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!!]

ECNALUBMA!! Alert anyone?!

Posted: May 13, 2010 in Social

I have been traveling by a 2/4 wheeler to my work place for nearly 5 years now..the one thing that catches my attention amidst all the day dreaming that i do is the sight of an ambulance. It gets me to think of the person lying on the bed inside the van who doesn’t have time on his hand, as much as anyone else on the road struggling to get to his/her work place/destination.
More worried than him are his relatives sitting around him, watching him hold and pull it off until the ambulance reaches the hospital…no situation can be worse than that…when you have to sit inside and peep out of the ambulance window to see the traffic piling up ahead and the ambulance struggling to make its way through the tedious clogging traffic..when you know you can’t do much but sit and wait to get to hospital…you would just feel like getting on to the mike and announcing/begging/ pleading/yelling to make way to the ambulance, deaf-struck people might just care enough to respond then?!
Its a scary scene really. I wonder if this is the plight of an ambulance in any other part of the better world.
Question: How can the Indian traffic Police afford to be so unresponsive to ambulance sirens? when they are taught and trained to handle such emergencies, why cant they act immediately, why exhibit such lethargy and put up a Don’t Care attitude?
I live in Sadashivnagar. For those who haven’t heard of this area in Bangalore, this is where the Who’s Who of Bangalore live…well known ministers of India to Celebrities to businessmen dwell in the state-of-the-art houses here… Sadashivnagar has some of the best 5 star/luxury hotels like Le Meridian, Hotel Ashoka, Windsor Manor, etc in its close proximity.
So guess what, when i travel back home after work, sometimes I end up waiting on roads in traffic for hours together waiting for the police to let go off the traffic after the ministers convoy has passed amidst elaborate security. Traffic comes to a dead halt till the convoy has reached the next signal junction and the escorts that accompany the convoy are out of site…What amazes me is that the coordination amongst the police at different junctions is so great that more often than not, the convoy, amidst all the chaos of Bangalore traffic, manages to maintain a speed of 40-50kmph.

This takes some good coordination and effort from the police.Is it so hard to implement this with ambulances, especially now, with all the V2V communication
gadgets? I wonder…

Sad to say, but my response to ambulance sirens has relaxed as well. Now I know better than to just honk at the person ahead of me in traffic, and act like I could make some difference, coz its simply too well known to me now that unless all the civilians are aware of what to do, one person alone can’t shake a grass. One just got to be responsive enough in such a situation that demands Action. To pass the message and let the circle inspector know that he needs to make way for the ambulance and act instantly, and then have the inspector react…Not happening … 😦
To me, Ambulance alerts and signals have become a part of the customary
idiosyncrasies while traveling, part of background noise on the roads and nothing
more…

Just when I get terribly frustrated about this system and finally decide to pen it down, I read something like this in the newspaper:
“Zardari convoy holds up traffic, woman delivers in 3-wheeler”


Foremost, I am not here discussing any religion and fighting for any communal rights, nor am I using this to degrade/out shadow a religion/caste and their ways.
That said, coming straight to the point, I see absolutely no sense in Reservations by compromising standards and quality.
Going by the very Indian Reservation acts, the constitution has made certain provisions for the Protection of Rights & Privileges of deprived communities (although I don’t see what these communities are indeed deprived of today!!), where by, intolerably high percentage of seats in education institutions and all government jobs are reserved in favor of the so called backward/minority groups.
Leave alone getting into discussing if the very act of reserving seats is right or wrong, lets save the discussions for later.
But what is beyond my comprehension is that if the government is keeping aside a percentage of seats in colleges/jobs to be distributed merely based on caste and community, then, doesn’t it mean to say that the government is compromising on the quality of the outgoing graduates/work delivered to that degree?

If the intention is to encourage minority community and help them be seen in various fields, then, it makes sense for the government to allot seats to the backward community on merit basis and for a lesser fee. Encouragement can be given in many more ways, by providing the backward/poor classes education at subsidized rates and providing them with free study materials.

Every year, about 27,000 doctors graduate from Indian medical colleges out of which a meager 15% to 25% come from general merit seats!
If this is the scene each year for medical courses alone, we can calculate the shocking figures of percentage of general merit seats when all other educational fields and government jobs are put together.
With this kind of promise to credibility, India will only emerge to be less competent globally. Also, this is one of the main reasons why students with good grades almost instantaneously consider migrating abroad for studies and better and fair opportunities, as a result of which, the best doctors, management icons and other intellectuals from India are serving elsewhere rather than in India.

For one, lets say you yourself belong to a minority community, if you knew the surgeon operating on your heart has not been a merit student and has come up
only with the aid of the bias in the system, would you still consider having him operate on you? wouldn’t you opt for a better skilled and a genuinely good doctor?

All said and done, I would like to ask those availing such reservation facilities if they feel good about being offered such a concession on grades and scores simply because they are a minority.
Isn’t it an embarrassment to them and their community by itself?
The message given out laterally by such reservations and quota system is this: The fact that you belong to such a community implies that you lack intellectual ability to compete fairly and you are not in par with those from general merit and so, you need a reservation and quota system in place to climb up the ladder and make a place for yourself.

Quota system must be banned if India must emerge as an arguably strong, promising and intellectual nation and give good competition globally.
Any such compromise on the military standards, medical abilities, political leadership, army, navy and air force and even sports for that matter directly goes to say that we cant have our best men on the job, which means that we are placing the expectation bar so low for ourselves when it comes to quality and productivity.
Sigh…
“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present” (Abraham Lincoln).


Nostalgia…School’s Calling…
I just look back at the years that have passed by, all the emotions and thoughts stirred in my brain at once, and walk ahead to face the next day that’s in store for me, with a shrug on my shoulder and a smile on my face, nothing really to say.
Yes, I just have nothing more to say!! When you remember school, more often than not, you just have nothing more than probably “Those were the best days of my life :)” to say!!
Why is it that we spend more than 10 years in school and yet, we yearn for more schooling?
We have all the money in the world now but still cant buy those precious bygone moments with best friends within the walls of a classroom.
Now, I have no homework to do(just have thankless never ending work at office), no punishments for talking in class and being naughty(I would rather stay mum now to save some energy and restore peace), no black marks for poor performances(needless to talk about carrot and stick policy in IT companies), no complaints from teachers written in our diaries to bring back home(nobody really cares anymore, just make sure the work is done), no impositions to write for not doing home work(I have forgotten how to hold the pen in my hand,for now, I only type).
no rounds to run during Physical training (PT) periods for not polishing shoes(I lack fresh air and good exercise), no more waiting for school vans to pick up and drop(now that I do the job of a driver too, driving to and back from work everyday) no red circles marked in note books for spelling mistakes(no scpe fr spelln’ mstkes while smsing u c), no getting drenched in rain on the way back home and lying at home that I never found shelter(Is it raining? I am at office, no open windows, I didn’t realize) no more crushes and blushes(lets get serious in life, how much does the guy earn? ), no more giggling in the class during lectures till your stomach hurts(My stomach hurts all the time now, I eat at work place), no standing on the podium with a spark in the eyes to receive Individual championships, medals and certificates(I now compete for a star performer of the year/bravo awards) no sleepless nights thinking about crushes in school(I have a boy friend now, no choices anymore), and yet I love my school days and give anything to get back to school.
I now miss just anything and everything about my school- Stealthily nibbling chikkies, chocolates and channa(remember ‘Take It’ channa for Rs.5/- ?) during classes, linking and pairing up my friends with other guys n gals in the classroom, throwing chalk pieces and paper parachutes randomly at others and pretending like I am not aware of it, sharing and leaking small secrets amongst us and making a scandal out of it the next day, by-hearting a poem and delivering the poem before the whole class, kneeling down near the board with hands up for being mischievous in class. Oh, I so miss my friends too, who made my schooling very special:-
Jo – my best friend(Now after 13 long years, we still are inseparable), Divya, cute little girl with a sparkle in her eyes – with whom I studied from class 1 to class 10, Ranjani – we have laughed endlessly, and continued to laugh after school,even at home, Anu- The Ever blushing chick, Vivek H N- Guy with a great sense of humor,Prashanth- The scandalous and most notorious,my male counterpart for School Sports Captain – we used to religiously cat fight every day, Sukla – Mr. Hot tempered,Pavithra, Archana – the Karanth Sisters, Sudi- One to secretly share with me all the ‘guys-only-secrets’ safeguarded by our class guys, one of my closest friends, Manoj – not too loud, but the master mind behind most mischiefs, Rajini – prettiest of all faces, Lakshmi- the first ranker, Chotta-shortest of the lot but the most mischievous, Vani -The PJ queen, and the list goes on…

The sports day celebrations, the punishments, exams, gossips make me nostalgic even to this day.
How every silly little thing seemed important to me then! We were just not aware of anything beyond our note books, exams, friends, secrets, ranks, clean uniforms, little crushes. Even new/fancy pencils and erasers could bring a bright smile on our faces and a single mark more than our counterparts in tests could make our day.

Everyday would begin with a long prayer, followed by NEWS reading and thought for the day.
Classes would commence and we would start counting minutes left for short break.
Lunch breaks were never enough for all the talks and gossips and teasing and playing around that we did.
It was almost impossible to sit through the ‘Last period’ of the day, all of us would pack our bags before hand and wait for the bell to Go.
Just how can i forget this prayer, every day in school had to end with this cute little prayer, with folded hands and closed eyes:-

School is over for the day
Done out work and done our play
Thank you God for the beautiful day
Guard our school by night and day.
Thank you God.
Good Evening teacher, Thank you teacher.
🙂

Masala Dosa, By-2 Coffee.

Posted: November 17, 2008 in Love, Life, Laughter

Slrrrup, Slrrrrup!

If you are a Bangalorian, you will definitely agree that there is nothing more refreshing than this combi – Masala dosa, by-2 coffee.
Well, many reasons for that.
One, even in just any mediocre restaurants in any galli of Blore, Dosas and Coffee taste good.
So you don’t have to think twice before ordering a dosa and a cuppa hot strong coffee.
Two, this is easily the most affordable and delicious filling item you can order and feel good about!
Three, I think By-2 coffee concept is cooool 🙂
Its not for Nothing that you see ppl crowded at different Dosa points in almost every locality in Blore.
Some of the best places in Blore for Dosa and coffee are Ganesh Bhavan(Jayanagar 3rd Block), CTR(Malleshwaram), Vidhyarthi Bhavan(Gandhi Bazaar), Mmmmmm, yummmmieee.
I am sure you can keep this list going.
Recently Best Dosa-Coffee contest was launched in Blore and Ganesh Bhavan won the crown!!

My opinion on preferred dishes always stand the same:-
In spite of the the variety of dishes easily available in the best of restaurants now,like Chinese, Italian, continental, yada yada yada, dishes like masala dosa,idli-vada-sambar, pani puri-tikki puri-boti masala, and even Corn(muskin joLa ) and softy (:-)) will never go out of vogue, at least as long as people like me exist on earth!
One more thing that i think is most romantic is stopping by a dhaba or a ‘kaka aangadi’ (if you know what i mean) for a cup of tea. Nothing can beat that!
Also, the very fact that these are very cheap and affordable makes them taste even better . Agree or disagree ?!
Of course, needless to say we must always keep hygiene in mind when we decide to stop by a road side shop.

Now, shout with me-
Dosa – Coffee, ZINDAABAD!


Today we were randomly talking during break and happened to discuss Habits. I decided to share it here.
Habits can get very peculiar and unique and even annoying at times, After a discussion, A friend of mine and I had once concluded that at times, the most important decisions in life were made while in the loo!!
Well, come to think of it, Loos are the best places for deep thinking! lol
While in school, i had a habit of shrinking my nose every now and then, I used to do this to adjust my spectacles on my nose correctly.
The habit continued to remain with me even after I switched to lenses, without my awareness. Just any onlooker would find it funny that I should casually shrink my nose every few seconds. I gave up this habit only after watching myself in the video my uncle shot without telling me.
Man, I hated to even imagine that those cute guys I was trying to impress and also those guys who had a crush on me would have noticed this ugly habit of mine!

What’s most hilarious is this incident that happened in my sister’s class room.
After the test papers were distributed, this student(lets call him Pappu) went to the lecturer to bargain for more marks or he would fall in the ‘below avg category’
that would have to take up the test again.
He is in this gross habit of throwing up saliva while talking, and apparently till date he has never felt embarrassed.
Should anybody feel embarrassed, its always the other person talking to him!!
So while bargaining for more marks, the lecturer kept on declining his appeal for a couple of extra marks. The chap, all desperate and hell bent on getting some free points, in the process of convincing the lecturer, threw out a huge ball of spit and
a part of it entered the lecturers eyes!!
The lecturer, being a not-so-loud-person, not knowing how to handle this nasty situation, gave him a stare for a whole 15 seconds and scribbled a +5 on his sheet and pushed him away!! The whole class burst into laughter and Pappu was glad his habit fetched him some extra marks but never felt ashamed of it!

Consider this. How many times has this not happened to you –
–> You end up sitting next to a person in the queue/bus/train who is constantly digging into his seamless nose pits, concentrating hard on picking his nose like you have never before concentrated even when you watched India strike a six on the last ball.(Aaaaargh)
–> You get into an auto rickshaw, half way through he stops to take a leak, you get all paranoid and look into your wallet for change just so you don’t have to
take change back from him, and you realize that you have a single 100 rupee note(Sigh!)
How abt this-
You are sitting in a crowded bus on the aisle seat , person standing next to you is blissfully scratching his ass to Glory?!! (:|)