Le Ferrovie indiane, un colosso che tenta di modernizzarsi
New Delhi (TMNews) - In India, si sa, tutto ha dimensioni enormi e spesso i contrasti sono marcatissimi. Non fanno eccezione le Ferrovie, un servizio che ogni giorno trasporta 25 milioni di passeggeri, in tutti i modi possibili, e dà lavoro a un milione e 400mila indiani e che presenta tanto eccellenze quanto sacche di arretratezza e problemi. Ma complessivamente le Indian Railways, fondate dai britannici negli anni Cinquanta dell'800, sono ancora lontane dagli standard di una grande compagnia ferroviaria del XXI secolo. Per molti indiani, però, quei binari sono indispensabili. "Senza i treni - spiega quest'uomo - la nostra vita sarebbe molto difficile. Senza le nostre ferrovie non potremmo andare da nessuna parte". Le condizioni di viaggio, specie per le classi più economiche, sono spesso complesse, e anche l'organizzazione delle prenotazioni non brilla per efficienza. Anche sulle tratte più frequentate da chi si muove per lavoro, se ci si trova in lista d'attesa l'unico modo per scoprire se si potrà davvero partire è recarsi alla stazione la mattina e consultare un foglio sul quale sono indicati i nomi di chi ha conquistato un posto in carrozza. Non esattamente un metodo adatto all'intraprendenza dei businessman indiani. La convenienza delle Ferrovie, però non è in discussione e ancora una volta si evidenziano le enormi differenze tipiche del Subcontinente. "Questo viaggio - spiega un giovane - mi sarebbe costato 200 dollari in aereo, in treno me ne costa solo sei". La politica dei prezzi bassi è anche alla base, nonostante l'enorme flusso di viaggiatori, delle enormi perdite della compagnia. Ma ora il governo pensa di adeguare le tariffe al costo del carburante e quindi di modernizzare la rete. Per dare anche nuovo slancio all'economia. "Il 70% delle entrate - spiega un consigliere del Primo ministro - viene dal trasporto delle merci, dobbiamo potenziare questo settore e con 200 miliardi di investimenti possiamo fare crescere il Pil indiano di 1,5 o 2 punti percentuali".
Jesse McCartney - Jesse McCartney
JESSE McCARTNEY “If we get back together/It’ll be like when I met ya” “Back Together” Hard to believe it’s been five years since Jesse McCartney’s last album release, Departure Recharged, and a whole decade since his solo debut, Beautiful Soul, the platinum-certified album that sold more than 1.8 million copies. The title track to that album hit #3 on the U.S. Top 40 radio charts and topped the charts in Australia, the Philippines and Taiwan, garnering him an American Music Award nomination for Best New Artist and three Teen Choice Awards. McCartney also co-wrote the Grammy-nominated global hit “Bleeding Love,” for Leona Lewis, a chart-topper in 34 countries, winning an ASCAP award for Song of the Year. In the same year, his own “Leavin’” went to #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 as radio’s Most Played Song of 2008. Now, at 26, McCartney’s music has matured along with him, and In Technicolor is the result, released on his own Eight0eight Records and distributed by INgrooves, a fully realized nod to the classic ‘70s/early ‘80s disco sound as heard on Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall album and more recently, by the likes of Justin Timberlake, Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams, with a further nod to Prince and his long-stated love of R&B artists like Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles and Lauryn Hill. “That’s what I’ve always gravitated towards,” says McCartney. “That being said, my record is not a period piece. You study old masters and let it filter through you to make your own unique art.” The first single, “Back Together,” with its vamping funk guitar and hip-hop flavor, came out of a writing session with Nashville pop-rock band Hot Chelle Rae’s Ryan Follese and Nash Overstreet for their album. “I had a pivotal moment with that song, which – somewhat accidentally – nailed a sound I was searching for - for myself,” says Jesse. “It was both retro and contemporary. I envisioned real horns, real instruments, tight syncopation.” The track turned out to be the start of In Technicolor, as this is where Jesse met the production team The Elev3n, whose credits included Sean Kingston, Cher Lloyd and Karmin. The Elev3n ended up producing most of the album, with two songs produced by Troy “R8DIO” Johnson [Jennifer Lopez, Chris Brown, Backstreet Boys], including the shimmering ballad, “Checkmate.” Songs like “Superbad” could have come right off Thriller, while “Young Love” evokes the time period by name-checking Dirty Dancing in the lyrics and “Tie the Knot” is a thumping wedding song in which you can practically see the mirrored ball spinning at Studio 54 set against the soulful, punchy horn lines. A pulsing bass and insinuating funk rhythm rules the party song, “Punch Drunk Recreation,” Jesse’s version of “Get Lucky,” with its urgent admonition, “Don’t mess with it/Just move with it… Got the invitation to be your plus one.” “This album had a completely different energy from the start,” Jesse explains. “I used to write dozens of demos with many different producers and then cull them down to 11 or 12 songs. This time, we essentially wrote the 11 songs on the album, with a few bonus tracks. There was absolutely no waste. The album as a whole is by far my proudest musical achievement to date.” That is saying something, given McCartney’s remarkable achievements over the young veteran’s impressive 16-year show business career. Born in Westchester, a suburb of New York City, Jesse began performing at local community musicals by the age of seven, making his Broadway debut in The King and I when he was 10, then landing a major role on the daytime soap opera All My Children, earning two Emmy nominations. He later appeared in a Broadway production of A Christmas Carol with The Who’s Roger Daltrey. Two years later, at 12, he was the singer in the “tween” boy band Dream Street, whose self-titled album was certified gold. By 16, he was launching his solo career, performing a version of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” with Anne Hathaway for the Ella Enchanted soundtrack, releasing his debut album, Beautiful Soul, in Sept. 2004 on the heels of his recurring role in the WB show Summerland. Other acting roles include film credits like Chernobyl Diaries, indie films Keith and Beware the Gonzo, guest arcs on ABC Family’s Greek and now the new 2014 season of Young and Hungry, voiceover work in the Alvin and the Chipmunk movies, and a season as Private Tim Truman in Lifetime TV’s Army Wives. With the release of In Technicolor on his own label through a partnership with INgrooves, McCartney has embraced the indie model of doing it himself. “It was an easy choice for me at this point in my career,” he explains. “I weighed all the options. At the end of the day I wanted to be able to have ownership and control of my music. The fact I already have built a base of loyal fans allowed me to successfully do so. In some ways, it’s definitely harder being independent as opposed to signing with a major label. “But in the end, it’s so much more liberating. I’m enjoying every second of being a hands-on businessman and artist.” Or, as he sings on “:Technicolor Part 2,” “There’s no other place I’d rather be.” Jesse McCartney fans would agree whole-heartedly. With In Technicolor, he’ll find a whole new spectrum of fans.
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