No phone in car – two predictions

[Cross posted on Praja-Bangalore]

Click on this ad Karnataka government put out in newspapers on Monday. The message is pretty loud and stern – if they find a phone on inside your car or two wheeler, your driving license will get canceled.

Well, I like the idea, and I was thinking that the folks who gain most are FM radio operators. Imagine being stuck in Bangalore traffic – it being such a real thing, you don’t have to imagine anything here – for hours together, and you can’t use your phone, not even with a hands-free set. Wont FM radio would be your only friend, unless you get the time to replace music CDs in the car every morning :)

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Height of hope …

… or gross waste of strip of tin and red paint? What would you call a stop sign on a Bangalore road!?

stop_signI say a waste. Let me tell you why. The stop sign mechanism, rather any organized “discipline” at an intersection is inefficient, and we Indians know that! Hear out my case.

Imagine two 30 feet wide roads intersecting. If vehicles followed the “first come first go, but must stop” rule, you would be wasting 30 x 30 feet of quality pucca road at every intersection. When stopping or stalling, vehicles must occupy every available inch. We are a land starved country you know.

Now, even after the high packing fractions, gaps between two stopped vehicles are often enough to let a two wheelers squeeze through. There you go, so you can get more number vehicles to cross paths if you allow squeezing and inserting to play on.

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Overheard … #5 – Meet Bob

… that the way nature of news on Bob Woolmer’s death is changing by the month – a Jamaican newspaper said yesterday that Bob wasn’t murdered, he died of natural causes – it is likely that Jamaican ‘authorities’ may produce Bob Woolmer before the press in a month or two. It might very well end with a Bollywood like twist in the tale. “I never died, just disappeared to expose corruption in world cricket” (and to publicize my upcoming book!).

What are the chances?

A Bollywod script – “Full circle”

Flashback. The Girl came home. And told her dad, “The name is Khan, Mrs I Khan”. Dad, a popular leader, an upper caste Hindu with rich roots and cultured upbringing, stared at her young husband who had a Muslim sounding last name. He said, “No way”. Tension persisted, and a few tactical moves later, Dad won the battle of last-names.

Fast forward. Husband didn’t last long, ill health the culprit. Meanwhile, Dad got to rule the land, and passed away in office. After a lull, the Girl took over. A dynasty began. Sons grew up and got wings. One flew long and far to land seven seas away to return with a wife. The other one stayed loyal to his country. Sadly enough, only the better pilot survived to succeed. Eventually, the Girl too lost life in office, and so did her successor-princely son who left behind a son and a daughter.

Longish lull, things get dull, and then comes the climax.

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Wowfee thoughts

Vista coffee

While at Jayanagar last month, cousin S and I went to a cafe. Asked for the menu card. Opened it, and wham, there was wowfee! That very first item on the list – Windows Vista Coffee – made me brew some instant thoughts:

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Jokes apart …

… but something I talked off in jocular vein last year seems to have come true today. I swear I was only half serious in imagining Nirma Rail and Surf Rail! Indian Railways have monetized the concept with launch of “Kurkure express” trains today. Seems they got around Rs 7.5 lakhs per train for the “naming” rights.

Good going as far as making money is concerned, but a bit too commercial in my opinion. However, now that they are into it, let us get constructive, fine tune the idea and suggest more to them:

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Clocky like ideas

Nothing to do with India or Bangalore, a pure personal post for a change. How do you like clocky?

The alarm clock that runs away and hides when you don’t wake up. Clocky gives you one chance to get up. But if you snooze, Clocky will jump off of your nightstand and wheel around your room looking for a place to hide.

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Gadgets for those yellow plates

After I came out with those traffic gadgets for road-warriors pained by the (call center?) cabs aka ‘yellow plates’, cab drivers came over and asked me to design some for them as well. That made perfect business sense to me, so I said yes. After a few weeks of R & D (Race & Drive), here is what I have.

Honkster - Wonderful little gadget. Once you are in the driver’s seat, stick one end to your tummy and the other on the horn. Now, breathe in real hard, stroke your tummy, and you can honk. Helps keep one valuable hand free for mobile phones or cigarettes or you-wish. And the best part? It helps you get rid of that tummy fat. Noise and exercise, isn’t that some cool two-in-one magic!?

Humpster - It is fun and it is easy. We will mount these aerodynamic wings on the sides of your cab. And then you can land a few meters farther when you fly over those humps. Good fun, and helps your mileage too! Domestic laws don’t let us produce wider wings, otherwise we would have converted each belly hunter to a kilometer long gliding opportunity for you.

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The tech job ad punchlines

If you are an IT professional, you get to see job ads even if you don’t want to. So chances are you have seen this stuff, you may know these meaningless lines from those mass mailed job ads.

Whether you are advertising a 10 lakh per annum IT job, or a 2-rupees-a-packet shampoo, some common advertising principles apply. One of those is, your target individual does not have more than a few minutes to read the pitch. And another one is, each word counts.

Must be a self starter – I love this one. Because I am always trying to guess what it means. Why don’t they want kick-starters anymore? Not all of us have kinetic-hondas you know. Jokes apart, really, what does this mean?

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The pain of flying

[Note: Trying to convey the pain via this new experiment of creating two characters for the purpose.]flying

Bangalore airport. Ghaas and Phoos got stuck at the security check gate.

“What did you say, we got to take a dump and a leak before we cross the security gates??” Ghaas was so puzzled that he had to confront the security man.

“Didn’t you read there, we don’t allow any liquid or gel inside the plane. So there is the toilet, go and please be quick.”

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