Top 10 intro tunes I recalled

During my college days, we played this game called Tune-Ah! Simple stuff, you have to recognize a movie song from the introductory instrumental notes/tune. I used to be good at the game, I reckon I still am. Last evening, while listening to Hindi film music, I thought of doing a list of songs that have super catchy, quality and memorable intro tunes. And these 10 came to my mind most readily. Here are the tunes and composers:

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Lage Raho Gowda-bhai

I had decided to keep off this whole Nikhil Gowda episode because tons of bloggers have ‘taken up’ the cause, and Times of India has steady headlines going for a week already. But this is what I read today morning, see that quote credited to HDK:

Without going into details, Kumaraswamy told reporters on Saturday that a day before the incident, a political leader had boasted that he would demolish the Deve Gowda family. “I know who is behind this. Wait for two-three days, truth will be made public,’’ the CM maintained.

What is with that language? It is exactly the way Bollywood villains and Ekta Kapoor’s K series vamps talk! What would be wrong with raising a hand and saying – hey, my son screwed up, and I apologize on his behalf. These things happen, to err is only human and from all accounts this looks to be another rich-and-spoilt teenager thing. Get a bail and move on. But no. Midnight brawls too have to be bracketed alongside daytime politics.

Alright. Your wish. Lage raho Gowda-bhai.

But about the “truth coming out”, oh yeah. We know well by now that ‘truth’ is only code word for ‘hush-hush’. I wish RTI was expanded to include private lives of prominent public personalities as well. Don’t we need to know where these Hummers and farm-houses and diamond jeweleries came from?

Bye bye cable, going Tatasky

I have been sitting on the fence regarding ditching cable for DTH. But just last week, I came to know of this multiroom scheme Tatasky has. That just assures me that these guys understand multi-TV homes. Moreover, the picture quality is really good.

Now, DishTV doesn’t seem to have any multi-room offer. Their subscription schemes are confusing and expensive for multilingual homes like mine. And it seems Tatasky has much better customer service compared to DishTV. (Disclaimer – Internet hearsay and based on what what few friends tell me). Some folks say Tatasky picture quality is better than DishTV, but I don’t trust that.

Anyways. So, I have taken the plunge. Just placed an order for 2 Tatasky boxes, and I hope to have them installed this weekend. Can’t wait for this upgrade to DVD quality video and CD quality sound. And no blackouts during bandhs and through the power-cuts. Hope it will all be as they promise!

One interesting thing. I asked the Tatasky rep if they provide DVR (think Tivo types) set-top boxes as well. DishTV offers DVR box, why would Tatasky not do it? The rep told me that their boxes are DVR ready, and they will be launching a service (via a software upgrade) sometime soon. DVR ready, what does that mean!? Do these boxes (digicomps) have hard-drives inside them? I don’t buy that, but will inspect the boxes when they arrive.

Demolition squad rule-book, Ring Roads and more

Have you been to the BMRDA website yet? BMRDA or Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority has been putting some stuff up there. Not a lot of material yet, but few interesting things already.

The most interesting thing I found was a comprehensive list of the so called building Byelaws (or is it spelt Bylaws) ! Find it all well documented here – setbacks, zonal regulations, parking requirements and everything. And then, go around Bangalore and find me buildings that follow these to the dot! Heck, I never knew stuff like:

Garages shall be permitted in the rear right hand corner of the plot.

Go look at Innovative Multiplex at Marathahalli, and then read parking related Byelaws that say:

Theatres and auditoriums including Cinema theatres except educational institutions. 1 car park of 3 mts x 6 mts for every 25 seats of accommodation subject to a minimum of 20.

I really wonder if these ByeLaws are regulations to be enforced or mere suggestions.

ringroadsSecond interesting thing I found was a good map showing the two major ring roads being planned. Image takes a while to load on BMRDA site, so I have a copy here. Click on the thumbnail to see a large image that shows the rings they plan to weave around Bangalore. Notice the NICE peripheral ring road as well. Very informative, it may help you make your real estate purchase decisions.

Third interesting thing I noticed was complete absence of “project status” like information. Does BMRDA not execute any projects? Is it merely a we-only-suggest-and-plan body? Take the ring roads. How do I know the status of STRR and IRR projects?

Anyway. let us take all we are served, with the hope that more good information is on its way.

Elections approaching?

A sudden increase in the number of “one face at a time please” type unauthorized political hoardings in and around Whitefield, could that be an indicator that elections are approaching?

Regardless, I really don’t understand why they have to cram so many faces in there! Please, do it one at a time. I am sure your parties and political bosses have enough money for you to not worry about saving money on paper and printer ink cartridges :)

Urban Naxalism and Pedestrian Safety

The accident on Airport road near HAL served us with two note-worthy lessons.

1) The obvious one. Bangalore roads are unsafe for pedestrians. Drive down on Outer Ring Road any late evening, and risk running someone over yourself if you don’t believe me. A nice road does not mean 3 tarred lanes going one way and 3 tarred lanes going another. Roadwork includes doing good and usable, footpaths, adequate measures for pedestrians to cross over (ped only traffic lights, or pedstrian bridges over roads) and where appropriate, usable service roads to take care of slow moving or local traffic.

As I said, have a look at Outer Ring Ring, often touted as the showpiece infrastructure work carried out during the S M Krishna years to realize what I say – when we say ‘road’, we only think four or six lanes for cars and trucks.

2) It is one thing to blame mob fury on “oh these stupid people who don’t know what is public property”. And another to think a bit deep as to why these accidents invariably lead to mob violence. These incidents happen a lot often in Bangalore these days, and the underlying reason in my opinion is unbalanced growth and resultant dissatisfaction amongst the common citizen.

Yes, Bangalore has the jobs, posh apartments, malls and everything else. But all of that recent IT development has created a divide between those who benefited a lot from the IT boom, and those who got only a little. Yes, most residents have gained, however indirectly. But the money hasn’t trickled down as evenly. The most visible example is public amenities. All the talk has been focused on Roads and flyovers and Volvos to get techies office and back home in quickest time possible. But there has been a lot less noise about the fact that most citizens get water supplied to them only every alternate day. That housing is out of reach of most commoners. That public transport for commoners plain-and-simple sucks. That you-tell-me-more.

I call this phenomena – burning down of Volvo that we witnessed today – the “urban naxalism“. And I predict it is only going to grow.

Note: Written in a rush as I am traveling. So pardon the grammar, spellings and all that. After a review later when I find time, I might just delete this post.

The Great Bong, Orkut and the irony

Revered (Indi)blogger GreatBong mocking at Orkut, how ironic is that!? It is like Coke calling Pepsi a junk drink. I am not sure if GreatBong wrote that post to make fun of Aurangabad Court or Orkut or both, but looked like he took potshots at Orkut culture for sure.

Well, if you get real and think about it, blogging itself is a pointless activity indulged in by people who have time to kill and no better stuff to do. But GreatBong and most of his admirers indulge in discussions of the very nature Orkut promotes and makes a business of. And when a Mohan tries to infuse some sense into the ‘discussion’ to make it a bit un-Orkut like, he gets slammed!

Communities like Orkut are here to stay, just the way these blogs are. Things we say and hear on Orkut and all those blogs, we have uttered and entertained before, but only verbally, and only in smaller groups. This “Web 2.0” thing gives our meaningless banters a lot larger audience and this power to express anything without the fear of being forced to shut up.

Now, whether this increase in meaningless banter online is a good development or not is for the fans of Orkuts and GreatBongs and Shobhan Saxenas to decide. But GreatBong making fun of Orkut, or vice-versa (if and when an Orkut community will try Bong bashing as well) is an irony of very interesting kind!

Talking of pointless activities that people with a ‘lot of time on hand’ indulge in, why site only Orkuts and Myspaces? What is cricket in India (as Shruti wondered), and all of sports for that matter!? One man’s passion is other man’s meaningless pastime. Smart businessmen recognize wasteful social needs of the rest of us and build businesses like youtube, myspace, orkut, BCCI and what have you. Whereas, the intellectually stimulated folks like the gang at GreatBong’s create ironies of the interesting kind, and in the process more customers for those very smart businessmen!

[Update: Some nasty comments make me edit this disclaimer a bit to better stress that I am a GB fan as well]

Disclaimer #1: I like GreatBong’s writing style, and am a fan. Might be silly and pointless at times, his humorous creations, his combination of very-orkut like cine-front-bench humor (“virus on orkut that eats your genitalia” style) and more mature ‘Sitaram Yechuri’ like remarks make for a really good time-pass.

Disclaimer #2: I am not taking anyone’s side or the opposite here (GreatBong, Mohan, Shruthi or whoever). And I have not expressed any opinions on the so called ‘real’ issue here – did Aurangabad Court waste time on that Orkut judgment?

Please don’t kill Deepavali

Did you know that they have banned firecrackers in Nepal for this year’s Deepavali? I only hope we don’t resort to a drastic measure like that in India, for what will Deepavali (or Diwali) be like without firecrackers!? Please don’t! Don’t kill Deepavali.

I don’t like the overly free and flexible angle of my religion that allows you to keep all your religious business inside the cozy confines of your homes in the ‘worship anything and worship anywhere’ spirit. Festivals that present opportunities for community bonding need to be nurtured and sustained.

But yes, firecrackers are dangerous. People sell them in dangerous ways, handle them in unsafe ways, and of course, children and adults alike use them in potentially fatal ways. But an all out ban will be like banning cars because so many of us drive unsafe.

First of, those shops that spring up everywhere and are ‘disasters-in-waiting’ what with candles lit up inches away from stockpile of sparklers and ‘bombs’, should not be allowed to operate. We need to have temporary and designated area earmarked for use by these patakha stores.

Next, Diwali isn’t meant to be a private festival anyway. The idea is to celebrate it together. Why not ban use of crackers outside individual residences? Communities could be allowed use of parks or school grounds of the area for Diwali nights. That would force people to celebrate the festival the right way – together. And this’ll take care of two main safety issues – unsupervised children, and fire inside homes
Well, you’d be pardoned for commenting I am talking nonsense and impractical stuff here. But sorry, this is how I think Diwali should be – communities celebrating it together and in a safe manner.

Joke – Wait for a day!

A taxi driver told me this joke over a month ago at Pune. We were on our way to my destination, and were going past the mess called University Road. As you know, a series of flyovers have been in construction there for close to two years now.

“Sir, someday this flyover will be ready and we will get to drive on it”.

“Yes, hopefully soon”.

“But sir, I have a tip for you”.

“Tell me, I am listening”.

“Do not drive on this flyover on the day they inaugurate it. Please wait for a day before you try it”.


“The way they are building it (from the two ends), I am not sure if both the ends will align and ‘meet’ on top. kya maaloom, gaadi uda ke oopar gaye, aur beech mein road hee gayab. So wait a day, check the newspapers and then try it”!!!

[I put the climax down exactly the way he said it, in Hindi. Translation: “What if you drive all the way up the flyover, and all of a sudden, the road disappears from under your car”]

I was rolling over with laughter for a few minutes. He had a point. By looking at the mess, you can never figure if construction from the two opposite ends is going to “meet” (or join) right. Frustrated with so much delay, my driver friend had little trust that they will build it right.

PS: I hear (yet to confirm) that a similar thing actually happened during construction of Satara by-pass. They planned a tunnel and started digging from opposite sides of the hill. Eventually, the two ‘ends’ did not ‘meet’, and they had a do some magic to complete the tunnel.

‘Belly hunters’ and ‘rattle therapists’

Who said I was done with the traffic lessons? Sit tight on your benches and listen, the bells are yet to ring! In this class, you will learn about a very important member of the Indian traffic ecosystem. Some call them speed breakers, some speed-bumps, but I prefer road humps. These are a necessity in India because hints and pleadings like “stop”, “slow down” or “school here, watch for kids” just don’t work. We are a rude nation you know. Anyways, now for the types of these.

Belly Hunters are designed to scrape the bottom of your car. If you don’t slow down enough to please these road humps, you car’s belly literally gets hunted, hence the special name. A Belly Hunter ‘scores’ more if it is the unpainted unsuspecting type. But, when painted neat and bright with black and white stripes, these manage to ‘score’ only the low ground clearance vehicles like Honda City and Suzuki Baleno.

Rattle therapist is a special rural variety. These are usually spotted on highways in rural areas or city outskirts. These humps have been designed to soothe passengers by way of providing free rattle messages. Structurally, these are nothing but a few – usually four – smaller humps lined up one after another in the hopes of that proverbial “2+2 equals 5” effect. Rattle massage is fun and highly recommended, though you should avoid sipping coffee or coke when taking one.

Sine wave humps – a rare but dangerous variety – start their life as regular Belly Hunters. But when rain water creates crater next to a regular hump, it gets the profile of a sine wave, hence the name. Amount and intensity of love these humps inflict on your vehicle depends on what side you approach from. If you approach from the crater side, you slow down in time to save your car a solid nose brush. But, if you approach from the other side, the invisible ‘trough‘ catches your car by surprise! Front tires get to suspend in the air for a bit while your car balances like a fulcrum on the ‘peak‘. You imagine the rest, I cant type stuff that your car might find too gross to read.

Sorry, I don’t have pictures handy. But I do promise to update this traffic lesson with photos pretty soon. Stay tuned.

Note: Past posts in the ‘traffic terms’ series: