Whats in a name?

No no. I m not talking about an IPL owner using team name to promote his brand (Royal Challengers). I have a slightly more fundamental question. Why is it that none of the teams have an Indian sounding name. Leave out Mumbai (Indians), but the other seven? Even in ICL, except Lahore Badshahs, its the same story.

BCCI or IPL team owners’ argument could be – we are trying to appeal to a global audience. But can’t that be done via some Indian names as well. Bangalore Hoysalas? Sher-e-Punjab? Delhi Pandavas or Mugals or Aryans? Leave it, I don’t want to think of all the controversial possibilities here, but why not?

Its not just the cricket team names you know. Think of recently created big brand names around you. Tell me how many of those are ‘local’ words or names. Why is no local airline willing to use local words (pushpak, garuda, pawan, vaayu etc, keep thinking)? Why did UTI bank go Axis? Why is it called a ‘Nano’, and not ‘sawaari‘, or ‘aam‘, or ‘rathh‘ (branding gurus can think better, pardon my weak attempts).

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Immunization on death bed!

What would you say if someone started vaccination programs for 50 year olds, or an immunization program for those on the death bed? Wasted effort, too late, non sense? Pick your reaction. Now, I may sound like over-dramatizing the talk around reservations in IITs and IIMs. But media and politicos beating so much drum around reservations in higher education institutions does make me react.

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Dignity of labor

Here is an MP’s take on the thing we call dignity of labor, which they say is about respecting another workman’s space and authority. I cut it out from a story today that talked about an IA pilot throwing a late MP out of his plane. (Asian Age, Zee News). This quote is from TOI:

“Rana (the pilot) then told me that it was not my business. I replied he was only a glorified driver and shouldn’t equate himself with a people’s representative.”

God knows what really happened there. But I quite liked the fact that MP chose to go on record with his ‘glorified driver’ talk.

Update on roads over storm water drains

It was just over an year ago when BBMP talked about the project – about 250 km of roads over Bangalore’s storm water drains. Local papers, when covering BBMP budget today, are saying that this project is now funded. Here is a quote from TOI:

“Here’s what people can see within one year: Bangalore will see its first set of toll roads that will be built over stormwater drains. Four such roads are proposed under the Swiss Challenge method (14.7 km in the budget): KH Road to Inner Ring Road of Koramangala (5.1 km); Old Madras Road to Airport Road in Challaghatta Valley (2.7 km); Airport Road to Bellandur tank in Challaghatta valley (4.2 km) and Outer Ring Road to Raja Canal STP of Hebbal Valley (2.7 km). Infrastructure major IDEB has offered to take up the project. “

Getting to see this in an year sounds like a stretch. But, interesting stuff. These would be tolled roads. No mention of tolls yet. Not sure how many exit and entry points these roads will have. No talk of dedicated Bus corridors on them. That BBMP tender last year had talked about “upto 250 km” of roads. Is there a bigger plan for 200-250 km worth of road network, or the current proposal (about 30 km) is only a piece-meal project? Last, was this part of CTTP, or is outside of that project?

So lots of questions, we should hopefully be getting the answers over next few days.

[Cross posted from Praja-Bangalore, comments off]

Alpha dogs and blinking theory!?

Oh my god! I thought these guys were sportsmen. But for Mr Hayden, it clearly is more than that. Here is his answer to “Away from the field, how were the Indians?” question (full intvw here):

They were reasonably pleasant. At the end of the day, two alpha dogs are never going to sit in a cage and not look at each other. It is what it is. The way I see my cricket, if you’re the other alpha dog, you better not blink. I feel I’d be letting down my country if I was to blink. In terms of general human relations, I wouldn’t say there was ill-feeling. India had four months out here. We rarely saw them other than at the ground. It’s play and get back into the cage.

What the hell? What exactly is ‘blinking’, how does it make him let his country down? And whats this “play and get back into the cage” stuff? Moreover, how did he conclude that Indians were ‘reasonably pleasant’ when he rarely ‘saw them other than at the ground’? Continue reading

Bangalore’s Water: 38% is not “accounted” for!

Some newspaper reports (Hindu, ToI) this week mentioned that:

… water supply to Bangalore is … 694 million litres a day … consumption which is actually billed … around 429 million litres a day. The unaccounted for water comes to an alarming 38.2 per cent

Wow, 38.2 percent (quoted from Hindu)! This would include two types of losses, 1) distribution loss: damages, leakages etc, and 2) water that is not getting billed. There is no clear mention or estimates of split between the two categories. Assuming distribution loss (leaks) to be 20% (double the 10% developed world aims for, google “Water Management Act US”), 18% of water could be going unbilled. That guesswork tells us that 1 in 6 of us, Bangalore citizens, isn’t paying for his/her water.

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The news: Jodha Akbar, Bus Permit etc

They spotted Bhajji eating bananas, and thus started the latest round of monkey gesture allegations. From now on, a program director from Animal Planet channel will accompany media-men as they keep watch on Bhajji, his habits and gestures. Bihar will boycott all movies made in Bollywood, and Raj Thackrey, in turn, will force Mumbai-wallahs to make only Marathi movies. Whatever.

In the middle of all the news in papers over last month, here are 2 smallish items I have hand-picked for you. One of them said that Supreme Court has prevented UP state government from stopping screening of Jodha-Akbar in that state. UP banned Jodha Akbar for the most un-democratic of reasons – “to maintain law and order”. Wonder whose job it is to maintain law and order, and the right to freedom of expression? SC judges agreed, though March 14 is when we will hear more on this interesting petition.

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