Archive for December, 2011

Bangalore is aching me!

Posted: December 23, 2011 in Social

Like how while in school we used to say ‘born and brought up…Bangalore’, I am a pukka Bengalorean.
My dad is a travel buff and so am I, so its hard to really count how many cities/towns i have visited in India alone. But no matter where I go, my heart lies in Bangalore. Like how TP Kailasm says “Namma Tipparhalli balu doora, adre al awL nam Basviii” 🙂 [The english version goes like this: Its a long long way to Tipperary, It’s a long way to go,
It’s a long long way to Tipperary, but my heart’s right there]
Every single time I take the first step in the Airport/railway station (I dont travel by bus), on the way back from journey, my heart shouts out loud – Nammaaaaaaaa bengaloooruuuuuuu.
Just love the people here, the kannada they speak, their attitude so accommodating, their dressing so simple…gratitude is all over the place.
Well, some of you may not agree with that, since today, Bangalore is not arguably so. So much of infiltration I must say. this is one thing that pisses me off. With every passing day, Bangalore feels more and more out of place…Something is wrong…well, too many things are wrong and seem out of control.
Bangalore is getting overcrowded, more than what the city infrastructure can handle. I don’t want to blame the IT companies alone, just any Tom, Dick, Harry, Kumar, Chowdary, Patel, Singh, Sarkar, etc wants to first land in Bangalore and then decide what he wants to do in life!!
And Bangalore, with all its goodness, welcomes every single confused soul with open arms. That is also not so much of a problem, we are after all a diversified nation, Bangalore is now brimming with diversity. Much as we complain that roads in Bangalore are bad, traffic comes to a dead halt and the cost of living is high, people who enter Bangalore seem to think otherwise. Most parts of India still do not have roads as good as here..first look at the city is overwhelming, lifestyle seems charming to most of the youngsters and most importantly, they know they can get on here despite all the differences, coz people here are accommodating…veeeeeery….Not to mention the growth opportunities. Hence, one gets to see a constant inflow to Blore, but hardly any outflow. Money is not a problem for most of them, coz half of the immigrants’ parents have a land they own, or own a business and mobilize money easily…And the other half of the immigrants that cant afford Bangalore life style, well, I dont know how they manage, but they still want to come to bangalore!
Thus, Bangalore has not remained the Bangalore it once was. SIGH.
All’s fine, but whats NOT fine is the changing attitude of us Kannadigas. Outsiders living in Bangalore for over a decade still manage to pull it off with ease here even without having to learn the language. Any one who first lands in Bangalore from other states NEVER finds language a problem, coz Bangaloreans talk Hindi/Tamil/Telugu, or at least try to, and that makes it all a cakewalk for the outsider. Whats more, Kannadigas are known for warmheartedness, and ‘adjust’ing is in their blood. Auto drivers, bus conductors, shopkeepers, house owners and just any man on the street makes an attempt to speak in Hindi and assists the outsider with all humility. This makes any Tom and Dick to never feel the need to learn the language or understand the culture.
THIS..THIS is just what I hate…its ok to go an extra step to be courteous and warm heart’d…but who the hell is asking you to go an extra mile a give up your identity and pride?
Make them learn the language and understand our culture. Make them realize that its important to learn the culture and language and respect the people and place if they have to be accommodated and if the place and jobs have to be shared.

It is purely because of the growing population in the city, that today, Bangalore is a victim of traffic problems, infrastructure problems, high cost of living, soaring land prices, increasing apartment culture, and in turn, elderly people, people working in Non IT sectors are majorly affected. Vegetable prices have reached the skies, even a middle class family cant afford some vegetables most time of the year. IT companies, roads, shopping malls, etc are being constructed in places where there was once a piece of land that was used for cultivation. Bangalore is expanding beyond all limits and bounds, and still not able to handle the crowd that is flowing in. Its a sad scene for a Bangalorean to sit and watch… you know.
Just a couple of years back I got a taste of it. I take an auto- riksha, and the driver asks Kaha jana hain? I used to think, What! from which angle do I look like a north Indian.
Any vegetable vendor I go to asks me what I want in Tamil. I used to wonder if I looked and sounded like a Tamilian. not long before it struck to me that I look like a Bangalorean, that’s the reason people take it for granted that they can talk to me in the language they like and I will still respond, as if seamless. Really sad.
This is one of the reasons why I derive pleasure out of my aimless beats in areas like malleshwaram, basavangudi, etc where the essence and spirit of old Bangalore is still alive, at least to some extent.

I really don’t know where this will end up. I wonder if our children will even find the need to learn Kannada tomorrow unless we urge them to.
But I will definitely not give up my pride and prejudice. Unfortunately for many, I am not the types to reply in Hindi even when I hang out with my north Indian friends, I only converse in English, and urge them to learn Kannada when ever there is a chance to do so. Those who like and respect Bangalore and its culture have also made an attempt to speak a few basic words in Kannada.
I snap back to any riksha driver who starts off in Hindi, and remind him that he is not anywhere in Delhi or Mumbai and is expected to speak in Kannada.
I created a big scene the other day at SPAR when the security at the entrance who watches the bags and other customer belongings told me to speak ONLY Hindi,when I asked him if I should leave my laptop as well, since he didn’t understand both English and Kannada. I mean, WTF!!! It took 20 min for the crowd gathered to clear off after the fight I started. If only I had returned home the other day without giving him back, I would not have slept peacefully that night.

People migrating to the city and getting jobs without having to learn the language for survival is ridiculous! I urge all you Bangaloreans to stand up today for your language, your city and culture, hold your spirits high and get every migrant to learn the language and respect the place and people of Bangalore.
BE a true Bangalorean.

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Facts about Facebook…FACE IT!!

Posted: December 20, 2011 in People

Most people open an account on Facebook only so they don’t have to face the embarrassing question ‘U r not on Facebook??!’
Half the people are confused as to what to do once they are on Facebook, most of them don’t even upload a profile pic in the first week, or they may not even log back in.
Once established on Facebook, they spend hours uploading best of pics and revisiting their profiles. People then start looking out for old crushes, friends, just any body/everybody of their interest on Facebook and send friend requests. And once they are added, they scan their pics and see what is happening in their lives.
People then want to upload more and more fancy pics to exhibit how colorful and spicy their lives are, or at the least keep changing profile pics every now and then to grab attention.
And then comes a phase where before every travel/party/events, most people already plan that they have to take pics for the sake of displaying on FB, and then cant wait to upload on FB.
I personally know a college mate who has absolutely changed the way she dresses ever since she has joined FB, she has started splurging on clothes and uploading pics on Facebook to get noticed. She is desperately looking for a prospect for marriage and is using the medium to the best of advantage.
Most of the engineers who have access to Facebook at work place spend more than one third of the time visiting Facebook, this has become more of a habit, not to forget that I belonged to this category at one point of time. It simply becomes addictive…. a weakness.
And then, there are people who are doing, well, not so bad in life, but compare their weekend end activities, hang outs, ET AL, with that of their friends and feel jealous/depressed.

But again, Facebook DOES really bring the world closer…You not only get to see your friends/cousins pictures, but also the ‘Whats on your mind’ feature and notifications give people a sense of belonging, familiarity and closeness.
Some of my cousins and one of my best friends live in US…I have kept a tab on their FB profiles, and always have a feeling that distance cannot do us apart as long as we follow each other on FB.We exchange emails only for elaborate conversations. I would have also missed this colleague and friend of mine after she quit the job, but thanks to Facebook and Google Talk, we are still very good friends.
Some times, I keep wondering if Facebook has reduced the popularity of Picasa and other Picture viewers and web albums that were once a must have. Recently, a friend of mine needed some clarification regarding a course that his wife wanted to opt for, he posted it on FB, and got overwhelming responses. Better still, when I went through his friends comments and suggestions, I got an answer to one my own worries regarding a similar course…How easy it all was!

Common man finds Facebook very handy to express views at the drop of the hat. Starting and promoting groups, communities and ideas have become easier than ever before.
Minister of communications and Information Technology, India, Kapil Sibal’s remark that social media like Facebook, Google must censor derogatory and defamatory contents wrt politicians created a stir in the Nation. Not only the Internet companies but also the media and the common man have expressed criticism and disagreement regarding Kapil Sibal’s remark. Facebook is officially banned in Syria: they believe that Facebook can lead to promotion of false teachings about religion and war!!

Now, Moderation is the Key. As long as you don’t take FB too seriously, and vow not to be irked/intimidated/green eyed by friends albums and flaunting, FB is GOOD.
And yes, Please pleeease don’t spend hours on Facebook, its totally not worth it!! [No offense meant, Mark Zuckerberg!!]