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JUNE 2000
Volume I •
Issue 5

Publisher's Note:

India’s newfound fame as a font for IT talent cannot obscure the fact that it also remains hobbled by severe problems of underdevelopment. Consequently, government policy will be pivotal in assuring future success of India’s IT potential – not just in its policies of liberalization, but also in its efforts to ensure a positive atmosphere of scientific innovation and entrepreneurship by helping develop infrastructure, promoting the rule of law, and ensuring a degree of social and economic justice.

So what is the government policy on IT? We decided to let the government’s point man on IT spell it out. Pramod Mahajan, India’s federal information technology minister, visited the Silicon Valley recently. We have excerpted a speech of his in this issue.

A politician’s public utterances are seldom accorded the respect of gospel, and we do concede that Mahajan’s speech has its share of self-congratulatory bravado. However, his earthy, occasionally funny and sometimes disarmingly self-deprecating speech deserves attention, for it gives a sense of what the government’s most powerful man in IT policy thinks.

This month’ s issue also carries a long article on the 5H program, a social upliftment scheme that is a breath of fresh air in these days of mindless dot-com cupidity.

We must emphasize that happily, this program is not unique. We showcase this band of conscientious role models as a tribute to the many other South Asian organizations who have been doing social work with laudable dedication and an even greater laudable penchant for eschewing publicity.


Main Feature

India’s IT Czar Speaks
More Dot-Coms than Cows

During his recent visit to the Silicon Valley, India’s Information Technology Minister Pramod Mahajan spoke to a doting audience of BJP supporters at a meeting organized by the local chapter of the Overseas Friends of the BJP. Excerpts follow.

I will tell you one thing. Always it was told about India that it is a country of naked sadhus. Now it is a country of computer scientists. It was told that it was a country of snake charmers. Now it is mouse users. People told us that there were cows on the streets of India. If you come to India, you will have more dot-coms on the street than the cows. I assure you that within next five-seven years, (with) the policies we have created, for Indians in IT the sky is the limit.

Now I am in a ministry which is called Information Technology. I am not a technocrat. I am not here to teach you what is IT. But sometimes I think that one has to understand really what is IT. All of you are experts. But for me, I have to talk to (the) one billion population of India. Half of them are illiterates, 80 percent of them have never seen what a computer is. They don’t know what it is. When I go I tell them I have found out the layman’s definition for IT.

For few of you sitting here information technology is a scientific revolution. (For) many of you sitting here IT is the best business venture. There is no other business where a person can overnight become a millionaire other than IT. In bricks economy it took years to become a millionaire; in clicks economy it takes seconds to make a millionaire and IT seems to be more popular not because of the scientific revolution, it has become the best business venture.

But if you ask me, for me IT is neither a scientific revolution, nor a business venture. IT is the fourth generation of human communication.

The first generation was gestures. If somebody smiled we thought that he was happy. You never needed language to understand (that). Now for gestures, you need to see each other, so it had its own limitations. Somebody cannot see my gestures if he is outside the room, so the communication is within the room.

After gestures, human society found out another medium of communication: spoken language. After spoken language, we came to written language.

After written language, we came into the fourth generation of human communication, that is digital language. The fifth generation of human communication is one of mind: I am in Mumbai. The moment I say I am in Mumbai, I just go to Mumbai. Even IT can’t get you to Mumbai as the mind can get you to Mumbai. This is the fifth generation of human communication and the intellectual property rights of this communication are still reserved with Almighty God and he has still not given it to anybody else and so you cannot use it and become a billionaire (laughter, applause).

IT is the fourth generation of human communication. As it is the fourth generation of human communication, everything in our life is going to be redefined. Everything, When somebody asked me what is IT in Indian terminology I can only say information technology is an area where Saraswati is going to dominate Lakshmi for the first time in last 5,000 years.

After becoming the IT minister, I went to my mother. She is 70 plus, illiterate. She asked: “What is the department Vajpayee has given to you?” I said; “IT.” She said: “What is IT? Previous department was good.” I was looking after Information and Broadcasting last time. So she knew me to be the television minister. Throughout the day she sat before the television, she thought every program coming on it has been brought by myself.

Then I showed her the computer. For 10 minutes I told her. Really, she didn’t understand anything but she looked at me with pride and said, “My God, my son! You know so much about IT!”

At that moment my 17-year-old woman came in the room. She asked: “What are you telling grandmother?” I told her what I had said. Then she looked at me with all sympathy in her eyes and said: “Dad, you know only this much about IT and still you are IT minister?”

Now my job is to bridge the gap between my mother and daughter. The generation before me doesn’t know anything about IT. The generation after me knows only IT.

When I became the IT minister I really didn’t know what computer is so I called somebody. Slowly the person started showing me the computer and said: “Click the mouse.” “Where is the mouse?” I asked. He showed me some white part of it and said it is the mouse. I said: “Why is it called mouse?” He said: “Sir, it looks like a mouse.” I said: “No, it doesn’t look like a mouse. A mouse doesn’t look like this. Have you ever seen a mouse?” He said: “Then sir, it seems that when you click it jumps like a mouse.” I told him, “No. The name mouse is not given because it looks like a mouse or jumps like a mouse. Somebody has inadvertently given the name mouse to it because the person thought that one day or the other India is going to be a superpower in this, and mouse is the vehicle of Lord Ganesha.”

What we see today seems to be destined for us for the last few centuries. The new digital language is 0-1-0-1-0-1. And as zero has been invented by Indians, we have 50 percent partnership of IT throughout the world.

Today I can tell you one thing: This IT has brought together the United States and India. The other day, I read a comment before President Clinton’s visit of U.S. ambassador Richard Celeste who said: “IT is the driving force of developing relations between India and U.S.”

What I want to say is: You are here. I really have not come here to call you back. Because I know you won’t come. And secondly, I know IT is a location-less industry. Whether you sit here or sit in Mount Everest, it hardly matters.

IT is the top priority item as far as Vajpayee government is concerned. In last two years we have given every concession, every policy framework for IT. Before I started for the U.S., I saw that the cyberlaw was passed in the Indian Parliament. We are the 13th country in the world which has its own cyberlaws. We have passed semiconductor law, we have given 10 years tax holiday to IT business in our country – every possible concession we have given to IT.

IT has made us proud to be Indian. Gone are the days when we were debating whether the foreigners should come to our country. Now it is the problem of the Germans to debate among themselves whether Indians should be allowed into Germany or not.

Frankly, we do not want anybody who is sought abroad not to go. Indians can go anywhere they like. If Indians want to go everywhere, they are free to go., develop those countries, be honest with those countries, earn money. I am sure, wherever you go, you will never forget India.

Now, Indians are going in every country, they are in demand, and I assure you, (thanks to) the education system in India, we are trying to develop so fast, that we are ready to fulfill the demand of the entire world if they want IT professionals.

Today India has about half a dozen IITs, about 43 regional engineering colleges, 100s of engineering colleges. We are asking our state governments to make IT a compulsory subject at a higher secondary level. At the same time don’t compare Silicon Valley to India, because India is still in a stage of Operation Blackboard. You are talking about Operation Computer. At the same time we have to live in two Indias. We want the people who are already progressing to progress further, but my slogan is: “IT for masses.” (Our aim) is to take IT from south to north, west to east, from cities to rural areas and from English to Indian languages.

India missed the industrial revolution. This time we are determined that we will not miss the IT revolution. In this I need your cooperation., Not monetary cooperation. I don’t want somebody to come back, I just want your blessings for what we are doing in India. I am here to win the friends, not the business. Because I am a real businessman. I know that when you have friends, business automatically follows.

I am not coming here to sell India. I am only going to tell you that India is the gateway to the IT revolution in this century. Whole India is waiting for the IT revolution, and I request you, if possible, participate, if not possible, just give your blessing, your blessings are enough.

Indian Finance Minister Visits Silicon Valley

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — India’s Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha visited the Silicon Valley in June. During his trip he met top entrepreneurs, addressed an audience of academics at Stanford University and met activists of the Overseas Friends of the BJP.



Planning for College:
The Key is Starting Early - By Ree Mitra

College can be a wonderful, exhilarating time for the starry-eyed high school graduate. The same, alas, can’t always be said for the anxious parent whose mood is sullied by those pesky tuition bills. Yet just a bit of early planning can make a world of difference, says Ree Mitra, who explains how early saving can ease the parents’ financial woes.

The time of year is once again upon us when newly graduated high school students turn their attention toward starting college in the fall. It’s an exciting time, as new friends, intellectual challenge and independence lie ahead. But for parents who pay the bills for higher education, it can also be an anxious time.

According to a recent study by Sallie Mae, the nation’s largest source of funds for higher education, parents saving for their children’s college had saved less than half of what will be needed to cover the expected expenses. One in five hadn’t saved anything at all.

Fortunately, you can go a long way in avoiding this headache by getting an early start in saving for college. It’s simply a matter of doing some planning, estimating costs and investing diligently.

Understand that it’s going to be somewhat difficult to plan with a large degree of certainty, due to variables such as tax laws, interest rates and spikes in college tuition that are bound to change over time. The key is to do your best with what you know, and try not to worry about the rest. There are, however, some points you should consider before getting started.

Consider ownership. Do you want to create an account that will give your child ownership of any money, or would you rather retain control? There are tradeoffs to this decision. If you create a guardian account, you own the money, but any distributions or dividends are taxed at your rate. You can also create a custodial account, which you control only until the child’s age of majority, which can be either 18 or 21, depending on state laws. The account is taxed at the child’s rate, which is generally lower than yours.

Decide on your risk tolerance. Your financial planner can help you develop a portfolio that reflects both your tolerance to risk and the time remaining until you need the money. By and large, most planners believe that earlier in the portfolio’s life you can be more aggressive with the investments you choose, with a majority of money in equities. The closer the child gets to college age, money is usually shifted into an investment that is less exposed to market risk.

Decide what college will cost. This will be a tough decision, since the cost of college depends on so many variables. In-state versus out-of-state and public versus private are just a few of the choices that will be made. Costs of living can also vary from school to school.

Once you sort these choices out, you’re ready to start saving. And the earlier, the better. For example, suppose that you’ve determined you’ll need $50,000 for your child’s college expenses at age 18. Starting at your child’s birth, you decide to invest monthly in an account that you expect will pay 10 percent interest. You’ll end up contributing $84 per month, and when you reach the $50,000 mark, you’ll have put in $18,144 yourself. The rest, of course, will have come from the power of compounding interest.

On the other hand, let’s look at what happens if you wait until age 10. You’ll need to save $343 per month to reach $50,000, and you’ll have contributed $32,928. As you can see, just by starting ten years earlier, you’ll keep an extra $14,784.

College is a wonderful time, a bridge of self-discovery between adolescence and young adulthood. By saving early, you can guarantee that you’ll be just as excited about college as your child is.

This is a hypothetical example and is not representative of any specific investment. Actual results will vary. Taxes and fees were not considered.

This article is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Consult your LPL financial adviser, your attorney, accountant or tax adviser with questions.

- Ree Mitra is a financial planner with
LPL Financial Services. He lives in Fremont, Calif.



5H Program:
Transforming Society By Uma Prasad

The poignant paradox in India is too stark to be missed: Hi-tech excellence thrives right next to utter destitution. However, Bangalore-based Art of Living Foundation has launched a 5H Program – Health, Homes, Hygiene, Human Values and Harmony in Diversity. The program is drawing remarkable response from the privileged to lend a helping hand to their less fortunate brethren, writes Uma Prasad.

Kishore Kandarpa, a mechanical engineering graduate from IIT Bombay, gave up a lucrative consulting career and is now spearheading efforts to ensure that villages near Hyderabad have clean drinking water. Former businessman Chandrashekhar Joshi now works full-time along with non-profit agencies to promote the use of organic fertilizers made with local materials. Kandarpa and Joshi are just two examples of community leaders who are working to improve living conditions in Indian villages as part of the International Association for Human Values’ 5H program.

The 5H Program — Health, Homes, Hygiene, Human Values, and Harmony in Diversity — was launched in India last August by the International Association for Human Values, a Geneva-based organization founded by internationally renowned spiritual master and humanitarian Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The goal of the program is to uplift individuals, families, communities and the entire nation by fulfilling the basic needs of health, homes, and hygiene and by inculcating proper values so that each member of the community can take more responsibility for their lives, their surroundings, and their children’s futures. As Sabya Dutta, the West Coast coordinator of the 5H Program, says, ”Social transformation begins with empowerment at the grassroots. We’re putting the tools in peoples’ hands to better their own lives.”

Investing in building real leaders

The success of any development program depends strongly on having capable leadership and a motivated taskforce. Therefore the pillars of the 5H Program are youth leaders who are put through a three month training program before each taking leadership for a minimum of ten villages in his or her region, initiating projects specific to the needs of each community. These youth leaders — physically strong, mentally alert, morally responsible individuals - are role models committed to channeling their energy and talents into mobilizing and strengthening people to work towards fulfilling their own community’s needs. These leaders drive projects such as the building of homes for the homeless, AIDS awareness and prevention camps, and the setting up of basic healthcare facilities. They unite the community in service.

The 5H program was launched in August 1999 with the first youth training program at the Bangalore headquarters of the Art of Living Foundation, the sister organization of IAHV. Youths from all over India, belonging to diverse ethnic and social groups, underwent an intensive three month training camp which incorporates traditional personal development techniques (meditation, yoga and breathing exercises) as well as training in rural resource management, leadership development with spiritual values, physical training and communication skills. The transformation that occurred during that first training program was remarkable. People who arrived pessimistic, unconfident, and unfocused left energetic, proud of their heritage, with a relentlessly can-do attitude. Yondaline, a tribal girl from Northeast India, puts it simply: “I never felt so free and responsible at the same time.”

Will reach 14 million within three years

These youths have since gone back to their respective areas and spearheaded various 5H projects, such as building concrete homes, working on waste disposal systems, and initiating livelihood training programs. They are receiving a small stipend to cover their basic living costs and work closely with a network of dedicated 5H state level coordinators who monitor their progress. Today work initiated by these youth leaders is already underway in more than 1,200 villages and several cities across India. Projects such as “Clean Gujarat,” a state-wide cleanup effort, and “Vista India,” which has already given 200 women in villages near Bangalore training in leadership and livelihood skills, are just two examples of projects under the 5H umbrella. Several more youth training camps have also taken place.

This is just the start. There are many more people and many more villages whose lives have yet to be impacted. With every 5H youth leader reaching out to a minimum of ten villages in his or her region every year, initiating 5H programs that in turn reach 800-1,200 people in every village, the 5H service leaders will touch 10-14 million lives in a span of three years.

A Call to the NRI Community

IAHV is now making a call to the NRI community to support and mentor youth leaders who are implementing 5H projects. “We’ve all been presented with the opportunity to participate in enacting a significant and lasting change in India,” says Janakiram Koka, a local volunteer for 5H and a marketing executive at a leading Silicon Valley software firm. “Each of us is in a position to help in some way.” IAHV strongly believes that the NRI community’s involvement, especially in the initial stages of the program, is key. “An organized, holistic, grassroots effort such as this can completely transform India within the next five years,” says 5H volunteer Tara Mathur, herself a software professional and a local teacher of the Art of Living courses, the personal development program which is part of the syllabus of the youth training camps. “Our question isn’t ‘How will it happen?’, our question is ‘How long will it take?’. This depends in large part on the participation of the NRI community.”

To raise awareness and solidify support for the project, the IAHV has organized a benefit concert featuring North Indian sarod maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and tabla virtuoso Ustad Zakir Hussain. (The artist originally scheduled to perform was noted Hindustani vocalist Pandit Jasraj.

Unfortunately he required emergency bypass heart surgery, and consequently had to opt out of his scheduled performance.) The concert will take place on June 17 at the majestic New Saint Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco. “This will be a gala evening with two legendary artists, but we really want people to come not only for the music but as a start to getting more involved in making a difference to people back in India. If each of us financially and morally supports for one year one youth leader, who in turn touches thousands of lives, then a lot can happen in a very short period of time,” says Dr. Kalpana Singh, the organizer of the 5H concert. She adds, “All proceeds from the concert will go towards supporting youth leaders. We have kept our overhead expenses to an absolute minimum. Every dollar saved in expenses can be better spent towards making a difference in somebody’s life.” Says Madhu Kadari, national 5H coordinator, based in Washington, D.C.: “This is about more than just another organization asking for funds. It is about each of us getting involved in a tangible manner. We encourage people supporting youth leaders to keep in touch with them, share ideas with them and visit the areas where they are working. Not only do our dollars go far in India – farther than they can ever go in this country – but our personal support, our interactions, and our participation goes farther than we can imagine. Working together a lot can be accomplished. There is power in a non-resident community joining hands with their resident brothers and sisters in support of their homeland. It’s not about choice, we simply must do it.”

Art of Living

IAHV is an educational and humanitarian organization with international headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Founded by spiritual leader and humanitarian Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, other members of the board include the Mirey Moscoso Rodriguez, president of Panama; Sir Ketumile Masire, former president of Botswana; Basdeo Panday, prime minister of Trinidad & Tobago; and Justice Bhargava, commissioner of human rights of Northeast India. For more information on the 5H Program and how to sponsor a youth leader, visit www.5h.org. Tickets for the June 17 benefit concert are available online at www.5h.org and by phone at (888) 909-7359.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar founded the Art of Living Foundation in 1983, which now has more than 1,500 centers in more than 90 countries. His Art of Living course has helped millions to find better physical and mental health and to find a sense of fulfillment. Inspired by him, thousands of people all over the world have found the strength within them to work towards making a difference in their communities.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will give a public lecture at New Saint Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco July 8. With disarming humor and depth, his talks reach across all boundaries to get at the heart of what’s important to each person. His public appearances in India draw hundreds of thousands of people. San Francisco is the only U.S. city where Sri Sri will give a lecture in Summer 2000. For more information on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s visit, contact the Bay Area Art of Living center at (888) 909-7359 or visit the local website at www.artoflivingsfba.org.

- Uma Prasad, a homemaker who lives in
Redwood City, Calif., is a volunteer for the 5H program.


Indian Firm at the
UN Infotech Meet - By Romi Mahajan

The United Nations Economic-Social Summit this year will be hosted by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and addressed by U.S. Vice President Al Gore. The ten companies highlighted include heavyweights like Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Compaq. An Indian company, Compunnel Software, will also be highlighted, writes Romi Mahajan, who adds that the company is thrilled to be representing the $5-billion Indian software industry.

New Delhi-based Compunnel Software has been selected as one of the ten global companies to be highlighted at the prestigious UN Economic-Social Summit. This year’s theme is “Development and International Cooperation in the 21st Century: The Role of Information Technologies in the Context of a Knowledge-based Global Economy.”

The summit, taking place at UN headquarters between July 5 and 7, will be hosted by Secretary General Kofi Annan and Vice-President Al Gore will be addressing the ten thousand expected attendees, including diplomats from 189 countries, the heads of financial institutions like The World Bank and Asian Development Bank, the heads of UN agencies, CEOs, and trade publication editors.

Compunnel is the only company from India to be highlighted and will be joining the ranks of global leaders like Dell Computer, Hewlett Packard, Compaq, and Nortel Networks.

“It is indeed a rare pleasure to be included in such an august body of world leaders and great thinkers from all parts of the globe, “ said Rajiv Savara, the company’s vice-chairman. “It is gratifying that our efforts at creating a global services brand out of India are being recognized and that we have once again affirmed India’s and Compunnel’s commitment to the creation of world-class design and content delivery solutions for companies, governments, and communities throughout the world.”

An emerging software company like Compunnel representing the $5-billion Indian software industry will ably testify to the fact that the entrepreneurial spirit in Indian technology is attaining lofty heights. According to Sanjay Kumar, Compunnel’s CEO, “The world is now recognizing small and medium-sized emerging companies from India that play in niche-spaces and offer services and products that are world-class in terms of quality and delivery cycles.” For India, the new Schumpeterian bargain is paying off.

“We see this summit not so much as an avenue to promote our company, but instead as a way of expressing the idea that in an interconnected economy, India is not just a passive recipient of technology from more developed countries, but in fact has a great deal to offer the rest of the world in terms of customized IT solutions, especially in areas in which skill with English can be combined with enormous design and technical creativity,” added Kumar.

According to Mike Lackey, president of AIT, the organizer of the IT exhibits at ECOSOC, each company highlighted was asked to present itself and its capabilities in one focus area such that there would be no overlap.

Compunnel will emphasize its unique position in the design and content-delivery space, leveraging its technically trained and creative workforce, adept in the English language, and able to deliver world-class, creative solutions. “Our website design and content creation for websites and distance learning titles have received countless accolades from clients and users. We are not behind the IT curve, we are in fact pushing it ahead in certain niche-areas,” said Rohit Sharma, head of marketing for Compunnel.

Savara and Kumar emphasize that their expansion model is not typical of Indian firms that look to expand overseas. “We are not primarily an offshore company that takes advantage solely of cost-advantages due to cheaper IT labor in India,” said Savara. “Instead, we aim to compete on domain knowledge and skill sets at the high-end of the value-chain with US and European companies and leverage our offshore development centers to help sustain a competitive advantage.”

For the first time, the UN has decided to allow non-UN folks to attend such exhibits within the UN, according to Lackey. To attend, one must register at the http://www.aitglobal.com website.

“We would be thrilled for people to come see what we have to offer,” said Kumar. “This summit is a fantastic opportunity not only for us to showcase our capabilities, but also for us to express our commitment to the social and economic ties that are part and parcel of globalization. I hope that everyone interested in Indian IT comes and checks us out.”

- Romi Mahajan is an associate of the
Telecommunications and Information Policy Institute
at the University of Texas, Austin.
He is editing a book on Indian software to be
released in November 2000 by Penguin.



Silicon Valley Catalyst:
Wooing Investors - By Badru Valani

It's a long way from a bright idea to building a successful Silicon Valley business. The recent roller coaster ride of hi-tech stocks is making investors wary. Investment counselor Badru Valani offers a few tips to budding IT entrepreneurs on how to put your best foot forward.

If you hold a good idea, many VC’s jump down trees by the Silicon-Valley way, goes the saying.

But now most VC’s — shorthand for venture capitalists — are cautious to all kinds of ideas, especially before those ideas become sound, convinced business plans. Before telling your “story” to any VCs you need Silicon-Valley Catalyst.

Before going into what Silicon Valley Catalyst is all about, let’s take a look at what the venture capital scenario is like right now.

Venture deals have gotten bigger since the mid-1990s as young companies have devoured ever-larger sums, trying to develop more quickly and convincingly than their competitors. Indeed the San Francisco Bay Area venture average deal in the first quarter of 2000 was $15.45 million, according to the latest Mercury News/ Price Waterhouse Coopers Money Tree Report. California and Massachusetts still head the states with the most venture capital activity. However, there are emerging regions that are building the infrastructure required to support growing companies.

What is venture capital?

The professional venture capital community consists of approximately 3,000 accredited venture capital providers, including private and public management firms, small business investment companies, corporate venture groups, financial institution venture groups, and family-owned venture groups. Venture capital professionals typically raise “closed-end” investment funds from institutional investors such as private and public pension funds, endowments, corporations, high net worth individuals, and wealthy families.

Venture capital is money invested by investment professionals in fast-growing companies that have the potential to be significant economic leaders in their market. Professional venture capitalists provide the capital required at an important stage of company development in exchange for a commensurate equity stake in the company. They will continue to provide additional capital in later investment rounds if they feel that the deal is progressing and still has the potential for lucrative return on investment. Typically VC require an exist strategy or liquidation event to occur within 5-7 years of the initial investment. The preferred exist strategy is an IPO — Initial Public Offering — where companies usually achieve the highest multiples or valuation. Other exist strategies are merger/acquisitions, stock-swaps or cash buy-outs.

Venture Capital by Stage

The four basic stages of finance are:

  • Seed stage finance — prototype/ no revenues
  • Early stage finance — shipping product/ some revenues
  • Expansion stage finance — growing revenues/ earnings
  • Mezzanine stage finance — IPOs in 6-18 months

Most VCs invest in experienced management teams with good ideas in rapidly growing markets where there is little or no competition. If your deals meet these criteria you will be on the fast track with Silicon-Valley Catalyst. If you deal does not meet the criteria there are several potential solutions that can be employed in deals that may be missing certain key elements.

Due to the fall in high tech public market values and current IPO uncertainty most VCs are investing very carefully, often at lower valuations. In just a few weeks valuation have dropped by half and may well further drop.

What is Silicon Valley Catalyst?

Silicon-Valley catalyst is a resource center for entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. SVC integrates, classifies and creates an unparalleled all-in-one resource on venture capital investments. Resources are essential for effective business decision-making and achieving excellence in the challenging venture capital investment industry. We understand the frustrations of raising capital. We have reviewed business plans from hundreds of companies and many of these lacked critical information or did not meet our investment criteria. SVC took Internet companies, a novel idea at the time, to get modest investment for the youngest companies, providing them with intense assistance, expert advice, research, reference material and alliance to help launch start-ups and assist in their growth.

We at SVC help capital-seeking companies. Our network of venture capitalists and investors invest in almost all types of quality venture capital-seeking companies. Our network firms invest in seed, early expansion and mezzanine stage companies in high growth Internet/Intranet, telecommunications, wireless Internet solutions, healthcare and life science, and numerous niche investment areas. With our diverse management team, offering personalized attention and extensive involvement to start-up companies, SVC continues to break the mold of traditional venture capital firms.

SVC services

Our knowledge and background allows us to focus on seed and early expansion stage investments to next level with hand-holding in:

  • Product Idea Formation
  • Product Prototype
  • Getting Capital Ready Funding
  • Business Plan
  • Exit Strategy
  • Business Development
  • Product Development

Depending on different objectives and situations of the entrepreneurs, professionals with SVC can help achieve their objectives by advising and assisting entrepreneurs in going public or acquisitions. SVC also helps companies anticipate an initial public offering to evaluate and improve all aspects of their operations and management processes.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Let’s say you came up with a brilliant idea. Then you formulated a plan to make it work. Now you need CASH to put it all into effect. But raising capital is just the beginning of building a business. It takes much more than a stroke of genius and a loaded bank account to be successful. So SVC has assembled some of the best experts in their respective financial fields — CPA, legal services, banking, technology — to help you take your business to the next level. This is where the venture capital community comes together. You will find hands-on help, practical guidance and flashes of inspiration.

Entrepreneurs struggle with the issue of what information should be included in the business plan. Often as entrepreneurs, we want to include every minute detail of the business so that our program is viewed to be thorough and complete. On the other hand, venture capitalists voice frustration over having to pore through pages and pages of data to find facts critical to their investment decision. SVC reviews business plans and makes it VC spec ready.

Silicon Valley catalyst headquarter in Silicon Valley, California, provides service to capital-seeking companies from seed funding to angel funding to VC funding. Through our online community, SVcatalyst.com offers resources to help you improve and grow your business. We seek to build a strong SVcatalyst.com community among our partner companies by fostering collaboration and strategic relationships.


Self Help:
Making Organizations Work - By Neerja Bhatia

Organizations are made up of people, passion, product and power. But why do some do well while others fall apart? The secret lies in the individuals, says Neerja Bhatia, who provides a road map to successful individuals and organizations.

Organizations consist of people, passion, product and power. Each of the four ingredients can be described as a soul, a body, a spirit, and a mind of an organization, making an organization into a living entity.

This is how the connections work:

  • The soul is the passion that drives the organization.

  • The body is the product or service that serves the market.

  • The spirit is the energy required to move the organization forward.

  • The mind is the collective thinking processes of all people that impacts the quality of the product, power, and passion of an organization.

A healthy organization is enriched by people who participate in the growth of all four aspects of the organization. These participants are able to add value because they have already mastered the art of balancing their own soul, body, spirit and mind. These individuals are emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically strong. They are not impacted by the environment but have the desire to impact the environment in a positive way.

How does one recognize an individual who is fit in all four aspects of well being? These individuals choose consciously, are calm and collected, compassionate, attentive, wise and the number one question on their mind is: How can I make a difference to improve the overall environment?

On the other hand, individuals who are not fit in all four aspects of well being are a hidden yet significant cause of downtime, low morale, high turnover and poor performance. The number one question on their mind is: What ís in it for me?

We all have the potential to become emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically strong and tap into our inner wisdom to improve our own well being and the well being of our surroundings. This is possible through strengthening and cleansing of our mind, body, and soul to bring in spirit – energy — so one can move forward clearly without doubt or fear. An overall fit individual chooses consciously and lives in the present without resentments.

Let us examine the basic requirements of each aspect of our well being.

The body’s well being depends upon regular exercise, good eating habits, and proper breathing, all of which adds vital energy to one’s daily living.

The soul’s well being depends upon regular quiet time, being in tune with nature and adding what you love doing to your daily routine, which provides purposeful living.

The mind’s well being depends upon reflective moments, clearing emotional blockages, evaluating your belief system, learning from your experiences, knowing yourself and mastering the art of using your mind as your ally. This provides decisive thinking and eliminates confusion.

The energy of good spirits flows abundantly into a well body, soul and mind. The unlimited power of our well being creates success in and around us.

Overall fit individuals create healthy relationships; healthy relationships create healthy organizations and families; healthy organizations and families create healthy societies; healthy societies create healthy nations and healthy nations create a healthy world at large.

- Neerja Bhatia is the founder of Rhythm of Success
which conducts self help seminars.



Learning Java:
JavaServer Book Review – By Marian Corcoran

Instead of offering a tutorial on JavaServer Pages, Marian Corcoran reviews a book which covers far more information than she could possibly cover in one article.

In my last column, I gave a short tutorial on using JavaServer Pages with the software available for free from the JavaSoft site (http://www.javasoft.com). I was going to continue with more tutorial material when I came across a new book just published on JavaServer Pages. That covers more information than I could publish in an article, so it seemed appropriate to bring the book to your attention and discuss it.

The book is very well written with clear prose and examples to illustrate the concepts they discuss. They begin the book with the proverbial “Hello World!” example first in a simple version, then using some JSP notation, then a JavaBean. Be sure to look at Appendix A for direction on downloading Tomcat 3.0 which is a servlet and JSP container to run the programs.

Their Hello, World! Bean example serves as a good example of a JavaBean, so I am reproducing it here:

public class HelloBean implements java.io.Serializable {

String name ;

public HelloBean ( ){

name = “World” ;


public String getName( ) {

return name ;


public void setName (String n ) {

this.name = n ;


There are several things you will want to notice about JavaBeans:

  • The class that is being used to create the bean must implement java.io.Serializable, an interface in Java for saving the values of the data in an object.

  • You will want to create get and set functions for the data members you wish to expose to the outside world. In this case, the data member is name, therefore you will want the methods getName( ) and setName( ). Note the n is capitalized.

To work with JavaBeans, you will use the following JSP tags:

<jsp:useBean> lets you use the Bean on a particular page.

<jsp:setProperty> lets you give the data member a value.

<jsp:getProperty> lets you retrieve the value of a data member.

Scripting languages may be used within JavaServer Pages. Right now, the main scripting language in use is, of course, JavaScript. However, plans for other languages are in the works, if not available already. For general scripting, you place the script within

<% %>

The book also discusses XML format for JSP. The above line would be:

<jsp:scriptlet> </jsp:scriptlet>

Other topics in the book include:

  • Actions used to transfer control between pages

  • Using JDBC (Java’s way of working with DataBases) and JSP

  • Architecting JSP applications and a sample project. A good design is to separate the GUI front end, from application code (placed in a JavaBean) and use a DB at the back end.

  • Creating custom tags to add functionality to JSP pages

The book is a good contribution to the field of JavaServer Pages. I am concerned, however, about the JavaServer Page technology with the ability to mix scripting, Java, HTML all in the same page. This could lead to difficulties. Be sure to separate out the different aspects of your programs (as described in the architecting JSP applications just above).

JavaServer Pages By Duane K. Fields and Mark A. Kolb (Manning, 2000)

Marian Corcoran is president of Technical University
of Silicon Valley. She consults and teaches Java, C++ and Windows.
She teaches at Stanford University and UC Berkeley.



12th Awards Night:
Celebrating Our Youth

Few issues are as dear to the Indian American heart as the success of its youth. In Northern California, the Indian American Cultural and Educational Foundation celebrated the success of graduating high school seniors with a dashing party at the Fremont Marriott May 21, with a peppy mix of kathak, bhangra and the Bay Area’s best and brightest youngsters.

The 20 youths who were competing for the 12th Annual Youth Awards packed formidable resumes. Many were bound for top schools like Stanford, UC Berkeley and Johns Hopkins.

Started in Southern California in 1987, the IACEF Youth Awards moved to Northern California in 1989. In 1998 the Indo-American Foundation has taken over the responsibility of the event, easily the most important event to recognize Indian American youth.

This year Duke University-bound Aruna Venkatesan, UC Berkeley-bound Neil Parikh and Stanford-bound Tara Ramachandra won the top three academic scholarships. Venkatesan is a National Merit finalist and member of the All-USA High School Academic team. She is also accomplished in bharatanatyam and clarinet. Parikh is president of the Mission San Jose High School mock trial team and a member of the varsity volleyball team. Ramachandra is a National Merit scholar.

Chinmayi Bettadapur, Kishan Gupta, Jayanth Iyengar, Sonali Murarka and Jayalakshmi Ravindran won honorable mention.

Eight awards were given for academic achievement (1st $2000, 2nd $1000, 3rd $500 and 5 more $250 each).

The primary criteria for academic achievement was overall performance in high school measured by GPA and SAT scores. However, each application was graded on a 100-point count as follows:

70 percent on GPA and SAT scores.

20 percent on other extra-curricular achievements, including visual and performing arts, sports and contribution to society.

10 percent on a written test on Indian culture (administered on the same day before the Awards Night).

Two awards were given for excellence in visual and performing arts ($500 and $250).

The primary criteria for visual and performing arts awards are recognized achievement in music, dance, debate, painting, sculpture and other fine arts. However, each application was graded on a 100-point count as follows:

70 percent on the specialized area of excellence.

20 percent on other achievements including academic achievement

10 percent on a written test on Indian culture (administered on the same day before the Awards Night).

Two awards were given for excellence in sports ($500 and $250).

The primary criterion for sports awards was recognized achievement in track and field, team and individual sporting events such as swimming, soccer, tennis, volleyball, etc. However, each application was graded on a 100-point count as follows:

70 percent on the specialized area of excellence.

20 percent on other achievements including academic achievement.

10 percent on a written test on Indian culture (administered on the same day before the Awards Night).

Two awards were given for contribution to community/society ($500 and $250).

The primary criterion for contribution to community and society awards was voluntary service (not for pay) done independently, through school programs or through community.


Auto Review:

Good Value, Great Looks:
2000 Buick Century
By Al Auger

In a society as thoroughly dominated by the automobile, driving a car is more a necessity than a luxury in this country. Yet it is not easy to decide which vehicle to choose in a bewildering array of marketing gimmicks. Veteran automotive writer Al Auger is impressed with the Buick Century 2000.

From the 2000 Buick Regal to the Park Avenue there’s little doubt – in this mind, at least – they are the best looking and best value in the middle-road style of automaking. There’s no charisma, macho “Hey, look at me, guy” hyperbole. In fact, Buicks carry a sense of well being beyond push-and-shove marketing ploys.

I still get a few snickers when I mention they are more in the European sense of a clean-lined exterior, people-stuff chariots. Even on first glance there’s a touch of Jaguar, truly pronounced in the Park Avenue duo. A prime example, though subdued is the Buick Century 2000 Special Edition. What you have here is a Limited Edition with the Special Edition Package ($1,608).

Fully Packed

At $21,860, the Limited comes fully packed with all the wants and desires including an electronic 4-speed automatic transaxle and side airbags. The Special Edition Package adds such niceties as enhanced cruise and air conditioning with dual temperature controls, leather seating, steering wheel audio controls, 6-way power passenger seat, and appearance embellishments. A beautifully put together bundle of luxurious appointments, well mannered handling and performance and an eye-grabber of good looks. That’s a helluva buy.

I put the Century to the Cadillac Eldorado comparison test and, except for a few exotic toys such as pop-out cupholders (Buick’s are manual), automatic foot brake release, etc., the Century 2000 is a welcome wagon of goodies. Buick gets a little chintzy with rear cupholders optional; what’s up with that?

Further seduction comes from the mechanics. No longer the pogo stick ride, the corners feature 4-wheel independent suspension, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes and fat P205/70R 15-inch tires on aluminum wheels. I would recommend a higher tire pressure than the book calls for, to firm up the turning characteristics such as squealing rubber and slight frontend plow. Budding A.J. Foyts’ need not apply.

Unpolluted by Chrome

Outside, the Century 2000 is unpolluted by chrome, overkill in gewgaws and cladding. Straightforward in the best Euro-centric mold, it garnered numerous positive expressions from the sidewalk critics. On the practical side, the Century features a huge trunk, fold-down rear seatbacks, lots of head and legroom.

Under the hood sits a newly muscled 3.1-liter, 3100 SFI V6 for the millennium. Power has been upped by 15 ponies to 175 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque, up from 185. The power up is strong from start to cruising – and quiet all the way. Yet, Buick estimates 20 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Fair enough.

The marketing psyche of Buick poobahs has gone completely populist: “…(a) Century is a ‘luxury car for everyone,’” says Anthony H. Derhake, Century brand manager for Buick. Out the door for just under $25,000, the Buick Century 2000 Special Edition is a lot of car, both from the luxury angle and the pragmatic. In a sense, driving or riding in a Buick is “just going along for the ride.” But it happens to be a pretty nice ride.

Today's Test Drive:

Al Auger, our automotive editor has been writing about cars for over 30 years.
He has spent 20 years as a race driver and public relations specialist.


Bollywood: | Guftugu | Hindi Film Review |


Ash Awash in Awards

Last year she went ahead and captured the attention of the entire nation for her performances in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Taal. She was the breath of fresh air that assured to take over the pedestal that Madhuri

Dixit unknowingly stepped down from - thanks to her impending marriage. With the Screen and Filmfare awards safely stacked on her shelf, Aishwarya Rai has proved that there’s still more room for awards there.

For Ash has bagged the Priyadarshini Academy’s Smita Patil Memorial Award for best actress for her significant contribution to the Hindi film industry.

The award will be presented at the academy’s 16th Anniversary International Awards function to be held Sept. 19. Set to be a gala affair, the function at the Oberoi will reportedly be attended by prominent overseas Indians, international awardees, luminaries from business and industry, fine arts, entertainment, media and the government.
|Return to Bollywood Index| |TOP|

Three’s Company...

Around two months ago we were talking about how everyone in the industry has been scampering to get into some business other than acting, and we came up with quite an impressive list. Again there is word on two new entrants in this field. Getting into the production is not just Anil Kapoor (whom we did tentatively mention) but also his fast friend Anupam Kher and Satish Kaushik. Voice Entertainment is supposed to be a joint venture that will get into the production of films, software and complexes.

Besides, it aims at promoting new talent - script writers, directors, music directors — in the industry. They are planning on two new films to be directed by Satish Kaushik and Anupam Kher, starring Anil Kapoor (of course).

Now we all know that Kher had ventured earlier in television production, which incurred heavy losses and had to be shut down. But obviously Anil Kapoor is not worried about that. Let us hope Anupam Kher turns out to be as great a director as the actor he is.
|Return to Bollywood Index| |TOP|


As for Satish Kaushik, we all know he’s brilliant, whether it’s acting or directing. His recent performance in Feroz Khan’s play Salesman Ramlal was simply superb. It’s sad how Bollywood fails to utilize an immense talent like him. In terms of performance all he gets is movies like Hadh Kar Di Aapne where he has to essay all kinds of a slapstick roles. Now that he’s back to directing, with teammate Anupam Kher, hopefully he will utilize the power to pick up good roles for himself.
|Return to Bollywood Index| |TOP|

Better Half, Indeed

Speaking of Anupam Kher, we have to mention his talented wife Kiron Kher. While one wonders why this evidently gifted actress has recently relegated her acting talents only to the small screen, the news that Bariwali, directed by Ritupurno Ghosh, won the Netpac Award for the best outstanding Asian film comes as no surprise. For Kiron is an actress who, even on short television appearances, outshines everyone around her.
|Return to Bollywood Index| |TOP|

Fiery Nandita

Not one to let the grass grow under her feet, Nandita Das is busy working on a film on AIDS, even while shooting for her third venture with Deepa Mehta, Water. Written by Mahesh Dattani, famous for his play Dance Like A Man, the film Ek Alag Mausam projects the plight of a woman in her 20s affected by the HIV virus and confronted with questions of mortality. Though Ek Alag Mausam is an issue-based film, initiated by Action Aid India, it has been given a mainstream film treatment. There are songs and dances, music by Ravi and lyrics by Kaifi Azmi.

Das has played significant roles in Earth and Fire by Indo-Canadian director Deepa Mehta, known for getting into controversies over every film. She plays the role of a widow in the much-debated film Water. The actress had earlier shot into news for cropping her lustrous long hair for the role of a widow, to be soon followed suit by Shabana Azmi.

The grapevine has it that Nandita was the obvious first choice for both director K.P. Sasi and Mahesh Dattani. And for an actress who constantly looks for challenges, it is no wonder that Nandita happily accepted it. To be complete by the end of June, the film is currently being shot at Vagamon, Kerala. Let’s see what magic Nandita spins in this alag venture.
|Return to Bollywood Index| |TOP|

Gainfully Employed

Speaking of actresses, Padmini Kolhapure (whom the legendary Raj Kapoor described as one of India’s finest actresses) is one who has retired gracefully from the acting scene but not from the film world. And no, presently she has no plans to take to the small screen, as so many actors and actresses of the yesteryears seem to have done. For Padmini is very busy with her own business.

For the last three years, the actress has been establishing and conducting an acting school in London that has gained a lot of popularity among the Asians there. And now she plans to open one in the U.S. But close to her heart is another project in Mumbai - an acting workshop for kids. From what we saw of Padmini as a child artist, we can now surely expect a few talented new entrants to the Bollywood lot.
|Return to Bollywood Index| |TOP|

Sanju Saga

Having bagged the Filmfare award for best actor, Sanjay Dutt has positively reaffirmed his strong presence in the film industry. Coming out with releases in quick succession, these last two months have seen an overdose of Sanjay Dutt. But then, no one’s complaining. Even if the movies have been on the same theme, badly directed with really awful co-stars, this Dutt son shone through all of them. No one can deny his overpowering screen presence.

Besides the silver screen, he is also making his presence felt strongly all over the place, whether it’s calling a press conference over the controversy of Jung, appearing in TV promos for his films or making surprise visits to the sets of the TV show Movers & Shakers, where wife Rhea Pillai was a guest.

Incidentally, Rhea’s goodness seems to have slowly rubbed off on Sanjay as well. Recently, on the sets of Kurukshetra, Sanjay donated a computerized wheelchair to a needy diabetic.
|Return to Bollywood Index| |TOP|

Mogambo Sings

It seems that the singing bug has not just bitten the young stars, for here is our very own veteran actor Amrish Puri, making his debut as a singer as well. Playing the title role in Baadshah No 1, produced by Subir Mukherji, Puri will use his clear, sonorous voice — obviously — for himself. The song, supposedly, goes “Na coolie No 1, na hero No 1, mano aa gaya Baadshah No 1.” Jaspinder Narula (of Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha fame) has sung with him under the baton of the Bappi Lahiri.

Here is one actor who, with each passing year, has consistently evolved a new dimension to his personality. From playing small cameos to donning the villain’s cap, to handling comedy and then executing excellent character roles, Amrish Puri at 60 plus can truly be crowned “The Complete Man.”
|Return to Bollywood Index| |TOP|

Hindi Film Review
Irresponsible, Silly Worldview


Director: Kundan Shah
Music: Rajesh Roshan
Starring: Saif Ali Khan, Preity Zinta, Chandrachur Singh, Anupam Kher and Farida Jalal

In the second most populous country of the world, which recently “celebrated” the arrival of its billionth child with much fanfare, where newborn babies are abandoned every other day to join the ever-growing multitude of street kids, and when educators cry themselves hoarse over the lack of sex education at school and college level, Kundan Shah goes about making a film that glorifies teen pregnancies, turning a blind eye towards the complications it involves.

Priya (Preity Zinta) knows right from wrong when she boldly slaps the vice principal at the school’s annual function, even self-righteously giving a speech on how he molests schoolgirls. But the same Priya fails to listen to reason when her family warns her against playboy Rahul (Saif Ali Khan). The pampered darling of the family, Priya is blind to the affections of the boy-next-door Ajay (Chandrachur Singh) who carries flowers everyday in the vain hope that she will comprehend his love for her.

Before you know it, Priya finds herself pregnant, with Rahul refusing to marry her and the family against her. For one, it is hard to believe that we are still stuck in the one-night-stand-resulting-in pregnancy stage. Secondly, no one seems to have given even a passing thought to AIDS here. With 16,000 new infections a day in the world, and one out of every four case in India being a woman, are we actually promulgating unsafe sex here?

Against her family’s advice of abortion, Priya - after a divine voice calling out “Ma...” from the baby picture of Lord Krishna! - decides that children are God’s gift (safe in the knowledge that He doesn’t have a chance of defending himself). Thus when the family disowns her, she “bravely” resolves to make it on her own.

The anti-abortion stance and the glorification of the decision to keep the baby are juvenile and irrational, to say the least. How do you expect a 14-15 year old girl who is just out of school to support herself and manage to look out for her child as well? Why is the act portrayed as “brave and courageous”?

Finally, the family takes her back into its loving folds, and together they face the social ostracism. Priya even makes an impassioned speech on the college stage of how glorious the emotion of motherhood is and how abortion is equivalent to treating the fetus like a bad tooth.

But ultimately she is expected to marry someone, for she does need a husband to “give a name to her child.”

While Rahul realizes her worth only after her impassioned speech, and proposes to her, Ajay the sage, who has been hanging around for ages, decides to “accept” her “despite all her faults.”

Now, why, when Priya is supposed to have acted “independent” by deciding to raise the child on her own, does she need a man to give her a decent life?

Why is she foolish enough to reject an abortion of the child of a man who doesn’t give a damn about her feelings, besides being the first one to advise an abortion? On the other hand, why does she have to act defiled by considering it “an honor” to be “accepted” by the other man who has been nothing but a friend to her?

The film’s stylistic gaffes are equally egregious. The film has clearly been long in the making, which is obvious from the lack of continuity in the scenes. As is apparent when Saif, in one scene, sports the recent short crop, and in the immediate next scene long, curly tresses. Another dead giveaway is Preity’s fluctuating waistline.

Saif looks like a teenager, though the same cannot be said of Preity, though fresh and chirpy as usual.

Chandrachur doesn’t seem to get an opportunity to display his talent as he is always hidden behind a bouquet of flowers. While everyone else, from Anupam Kher and Farida Jalal to her brothers’ Mamik and others have given their best, sadly, the same cannot be said of the movie.

Accepted that family support is definitely needed when it comes to teen issues, and social ostracism and suicide are not the answer to unwanted pregnancies.

But the glorification of anti-abortion values doesn’t get us anywhere. Are we asking all teens to go ahead and have kids irrespective of their financial state? Is abortion an evil in such cases? How about contraceptives and a discerning attitude when it comes to men?

If it’s about women’s independence and courage, why is marriage shown as an ultimate necessity? If she could defy the world and have her baby, why not raise it alone as well?

One fails to understand whether Shah is actually proud of womankind, or set about making a movie about the female species that leaves one searching the dictionary for a word that would be equivalent of utter stupidity. By the time we come to the end of the movie, words that come to one’s mind are asinine, absurd, imbecile ... but enough said.

Rating: * (Poor)


Raag Brindavani Sarang:
High Noon Raga By Habib Khan

The mood of Hindustani ragas sensitively reflect the varying changes in nature. The scorching heat of the mid-day sun and the illusory spell of the mirage are captured in one particular raga, says sitarist Habib Khan, who describes the raga, presenting another sample of the close kinship between Hindustani music and nature.

Raag Brindavani Sarang is the definitive raag of the Sarang group of ragas. In fact, some musicians call this raag simply “Sarang,” emphasizing its centrality in defining the ragas in this category. Brindavani Sarang is a noon-time raga which, like all the Sarangs, reflects the heat and glare of the noon-time sun, radiating from high in the afternoon sky. Morning performances by artists often start with morning raags and towards the end of the performance they play Raag Sarang.

Brindavani, more specifically, evokes the feeling of a mirage in the desert heat. We are all familiar with the way a distant highway can appear wet on a hot afternoon, but when we come closer, we realize that the water was just an illusion created by the heat reflecting off the pavement. Similarly, when correctly presented, Raag Brindavani Sarang generates a feeling of shimmering illusion.

Raag Brindavani Sarang belongs to the Kafi That and it includes five notes in both the aroha and the avroha, making its Jati Audav/Audav. These notes are Sa Re Ma Pa Ni (Sa) and Sa Ni Pa Ma Re (Sa), with shudh nishad in the ascending scale and komal nishad in the descending scale. Because Pa is the swara that corresponds to the sun, Brindavani uses a very high and bright Pancham, creating a feeling of intense heat.

The Vadi and Samvadi swaras for Raag Brindavani Sarang are Re and Pa respectively. Vadi Rishad is extremely important in Raag Brindavani Sarang. This swara is always Nyaasa (ending note in a phrase), and phrases very often start on Rishab as well. In this raga, we avoid ending the avroha on shadj, as the movement beginning and ending on Rishab gives Raag Brindavani Sarang much of its shimmering, illusive character.

While Raag Brindavani Sarang, being a noon raga, has strong notes, it can be at the same time very tender, evoking an image of a deer looking for water in the radiant heat of high noon, moving from one mirage to another in search of an oasis. This raag is most powerful when performed at its appropriate midday time.

Habib Khan is a well-known sitarist based
in the San Francisco Bay Area.


June-July Horoscope

ARIES (March 21 to April 20): You will be working slightly harder and the results will be excellent in the long run. You will foresee things play for big rewards. Some of you may file a lawsuit to straighten out things. Financially you are on the right track. You will spend time with family.

TAURUS (April 21 to May 20): You will make few fast bucks. Any contract signed will be profitable. Do not neglect your own health, watch your blood pressure and do not take any chances with the hot weather. You will be going on an adventure trip soon. You will be very diplomatic in getting all your work done.

GEMINI (May 21 to June 20): You will have some serious concerns about business or a partnership. Money will be spent towards a future vacation. There is a strong chance for big diversification in career because of increased needs and commitments.

CANCER (June 21 to July 22): Life will become more exciting in the company of new people and fresh challenges in career. Deal recently offered will become a major thing. You may use legal language to prove your point and teach some one a lesson for negligence. Bank balance will grow suddenly.

LEO (July 23 to August 22): People will take you lightly and you may opt for legal action to get what you really deserve. You will sign an important document and close a major deal. Spouse will be full of great ideas. You will benefit from someone lot younger in age. Past efforts will bring you into the limelight.

VIRGO (August 23 to September 22): You will be in contact with folks overseas. This month will bring in major contracts and opportunities to keey you busy for a long time. Bachelors will ultimately find a good match. Job will get more relaxing. You will spend money on luxury items.

LIBRA (September 23 to October 22): There will be a breakthrough in negotiations. You will overcome obstacles in career as a big jump is assured. You will purchase another vehicle this month. An older family member will help resolve an important issue causing big distraction in mind for long time.

SCORPIO (October 23 to November 22): There will be a favorable change in career. Financial benefits will come at a later time. A trip will finalize after minor changes. Spouse will be impulsive in making hasty decisions. Some one from different race will try to flirt with you. You will go for some training.

SAGITTARIUS (November 23 to December 22): You may start a new venture and change residence. This month will be the beginning of a new relationship or partnership. Competition in business will disappear. There may be a positive verdict in a lawsuit.

CAPRICORN (December 22 to January 19): You will overcome your problems and emerge as a winner. You will pay more attention to children. Financially you will be stable. You will be in touch with people overseas. You will be looking for help to do some renovation on a property.

AQUARIUS (January 20 to February 18): A move will be finalized. An opportunity to improve your income will come from unexpected sources. A trip is possible. You may have arguments with spouse over a minor issue. You will be doing some reading to upgrade your knowledge.

PISCES (February 19 to March 20): Expenses will reduce and financial pressures will subside. You will spend extra hours at work and the results will be great. You will get some hint of gain from a legal suit. Handle all machinery with care to avoid injury in the arms. You may make the final payment on an old loan.

Bay Area-based astrologer Pandit Parashar can
be reached by email at: parashar@ix.netcom.com.


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