Development finance lawyer, global urban nomad, sometime GQ columnist and self-confessed Eurovision obsessive
Kaushik Ray is a partner at Trinity International LLP, a boutique project and development finance practice based in the City of London.
He writes about the energy and infrastructure markets in emerging markets and has contributed in the past to the Financial Times, its sister publication “This is Africa” and various legal publications. In his spare time he writes a regular column for GQ India, called Urban Nomad, focussing on his travels and experiences across the globe.
His interests outside development finance include exploring race and diversity issues.
Kaushik spends much of his spare time obsessing over Kylie Minogue and the annual Eurovision Song Contest and believes that such shallowness is the only refuge for the serious.
It's that time of the year again - cherry blossoms, the year's first barbeques and dusting off the summer wardrobe. That heady combination of fruitiness, big flaming whoppers and costume changes culminates neatly this week at the Eurovision Song Contest.
Can we put this more recent decline down to Wogan? It hardly seems fair to pin it on one person and the dates show little correlation. However, Björkman's main point seems valid: that if as a country we see Eurovision as frivolous and odd, we're unlikely to send a serious artist (more to the point, a serious artist is unlikely to enter).
Drama and tragedy: Greek concepts, Greek words and the Greeks love them both. Yet to top them off, there's nothing that the average Greek loves more than a good song and dance. From the lyre to the bouzouki and all manners of drums and dancing in between, music is one part of an ancient culture that no Grexit can extinguish.
Whatever your preference - anthemic Russians, operatic Italians or telegenic teens from Tel Aviv - you'll find something to whet your aural and visual tastes at Eurovision. Crack open a bottle this Saturday night (you'll need one!) and enjoy the festivities!
As licence-fee payers, shouldn't we have a say in the artist and song that represents our country in an international competition? As consistently one of the highest-rated programes on television in the country in the whole year, shouldn't the lead-up programme be shown on a mainstream channel (rather than hidden behind the Red Button)?
Eurovision officially kicks off on Tuesday 6 May at 8pm UK time from Copenhagen with the first semi-final. To help you through the semis and Saturday's Grand Final, I've picked my ones to watch below...
Molly Smitten-Downes is the artist (in these class-conscious pop days, she is being recast as the much more approachable "Molly" as though one earns a mono-nomic moniker with a debut song). Her song, "Children of the Universe" is being premiered via the BBC Red Button at 19.30 GMT on Monday 3rd March.
The annual celebration of all that is kitsch, camp and quirky in European music comes to our screens this Saturday at 8pm BST, from Malmö, Sweden. We've watched both semi-finals and as many rehearsals as we can to give you a taster of what to look out for (and when to take a loo/fag/cuppa break).
There's something peculiar about the UK's relationship with Europe. It's like an arranged marriage - seems a good idea on paper (interests aligned, status consolidated, families united). But then you get to know them. And sometimes love doesn't grow like they all said it would.
Just a few weeks ago, Britain was deep in the doldrums. A stagnant economy, morally and financially bankrupt banks, journalists and politicians and never-ending rain had over months and years slowly sapped the country of its spirit. Even the much-hyped Queen's Jubilee in June, with a somewhat flat river pageant and sometimes unremarkable concert, failed to lift the public mood.
So - here we are. After months of preparation, the annual kitsch-fest of sequins, divas and shrill voices (and that's just the fans) has kicked off in Baku, the oil-rich capital of Azerbaijan. Below are my tips for the top in this Saturday's final.