Tuesday, May 16, 2006
My Web Favourites
As every web-crawler knows, the Internet is a goldmine of the coolest and most fabulous websites. I can’t say much about the million other sites that populate webville, but here are a few blogs and websites that I seriously recommend because they are not only very good but I trust the people behind them as well.
Pragya Thakur, a senior executive at American Express in New York, is a very talented writer and the moderator of two writers forums on the Ryze Business Network – Shakespeare and Company and Creative Writers Network. I have always admired her mastery of prose, her sharp observations of life, her sensitive portrayal of people and places, and her tight control on her writing. Epiphany is her blog and I enjoy visiting it as often as I possibly can because of all the reasons I just explained. Her husband Anil is an incredibly talented writer and though I haven’t read anything from him for a long time… please don’t keep us waiting for too long, Anil. By the way, it was Pragya who encouraged me to start blogging in the first place, and now I am hooked.
John Wallen, good friend and colleague at the University of Bahrain, is a critically acclaimed fantasy and sci-fi writer, poet, web enthusiast, music lover and educator. He has combined his love for English literature and his fascination for the Internet to create one of the most incredible literary sites ever. Englitcom is a storehouse of actual audio recordings of acclaimed poets and authors reading their own work. Tennyson, Browning, W. B. Yeats, F. Scott Fitzgerald, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Sylvia Plath are just few of the big names whose voices you can hear. In other cases where it wasn’t possible to get an audio recording, he has included recordings from famous actors. He has recently started blogging, and so do check Ulysses on Ithaca.
Mahmood Al-Yousif, the man behind Mahmood’s Den, loves Bahrain and writes straight from his heart about all that’s happening in this lovely little island that has been my home for the past thirty-odd years. His blog is very popular in Bahrain and attracts readers not only from the Kingdom but, also, from all over the world. He writes about social issues, politics, business, his garden and, also, does some video-blogging as well. His blog posts usually receive a lot of comments and are, often, quite interesting.
Annie Zaidi, co-moderator of the Caferati Writers Network on Ryze, is another talented writer whose work I admire. Known Turf is her blog and provides some of the most sensitive observations of life in India. Those of us who are constantly being fed all the hype about the new emerging India, Annie’s blog points to other facets of the country that are often being ignored in the rush to be the next economic superpower. She is a very skilled writer and knows how to use words and phrases effectively to create the required impact. But most importantly, she is able to transport readers to her world with the power of the written word.
And finally, Batelco, Bahrain’s sole Internet Service Provider, has revised its broadband rates and has eliminated the unlimited usage option. On the plus side, connection speed has been increased to 1 mbps but, on the other hand, the threshold limit is 15 GB and users will be charged 10 fils per MB if we exceed this limit. I’m talking about the previous BD 40 package that was previously available with a 256 kbps connection speed and no limits at all. Internet users in Bahrain are unhappy with this revised package because it will severely hamper our use of the Internet. Boycott Batelco is a dedicated website, managed by Mahmood and supported by those in Bahrain who are upset with Batelco’s unilateral decision. It provides all sides of the argument and includes a statement by Peter Kaliaropoulos, Batelco’s Chief Executive Officer, giving his rationale behind the new rates.