No sting operation this

[Cross posted on Praja, comments off]

I swear, I was not trying a sting operation here. Though I do wish our electronic media tried sting operations at these day-to-day levels as well, but they are on to bigger things :)

I like observing these situations though. The ‘negotiation’ lingers on, hands go in and out of various pockets – driver’s license in cop’s, wallet out of the ‘entrapped’, bike key in to the supporting cop. Faces frown, a little bit of sulking and threats later, peace is made.

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Work and perks

Broom“Shouldn’t she also have a holiday”, I remember asking this question to my parents one Independence Day (15th August) when I was about eight or nine. How do you or your parents react when the maid, driver, cook or gardener asks for a leave? Can’t make a general statement here, but many frown. There is never an agreement on how many days of leave your ’employees’ can amicably take every year. Let us not even get into things like health benefits, injury liabilities, working conditions and stuff.

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Movie crazy nation?

“Around 13000: the number of movie screens in India, compared to 65000 and 36000 in China and the US respectively”

Picked up above stats from a magazine recently. I thought we had a bigger movie industry compared to China. And I thought we were more movie crazy than US. What explains the numbers then? Piracy? Preference to watch older Movies on TV? Bigger Cinema halls here? Or the count doesn’t include tons of video parlors in smaller towns?

May be I should go pickup some shares of PVR and Shringar Cinema today.


How does it feel to know that you have a 1:100 chance if you take CAT? 230000 folks will write CAT and a tiny fraction will get to enter B-schools, 7 of the IIMs and 99 others.

Similarly, 2.52 lakh students wrote JEE to get one of the 4600 seats in IITs.

Are these ratios worth being proud of? Or is it for our education setup to feel ashamed about? Like all other in our country, this too is a supply side problem. Tons of demand, and no supply.

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Traffic and directions!

Everybody going in every possible direction on Outer Ring Road between Intel office and Sarjapur Road. A very good representation of Bangalore Traffic as it is today – in absence of any enforcement, we form our own rules, and mind you we don’t do a bad job of it either. Don’t let the chaos visible in this picture distract you, we eventually manage to reach our destinations :)

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Bangalore and Ribbon Development

[Cross posted on Praja-Bangalore, comments off]

Bangalore’s peripheral areas all messed up? Blame it on Ribbon Development.

Let me introduce you to a term very relevant to the urban sprawl that our city is witnessing. Simply put, Ribbon Development means building shops and houses along the roads radiating from a town. If you were to look at Bangalore from the skies and track recently laid or widened major arterial roads leading out of the city, you would notice that almost all big ticket construction/development happens solely along (rather right on top of) these roads.

Do me another favor. When on the periphery of Bangalore, try take a left or right out of any big radial road. This is most likely what you would see [pictures below]. Pathetic roads, poor quality of construction and even narrower streets if you were to venture into a “layout”.

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Overheard: Our 20-20 is better you know

Thus spoke Mr HD Kumaraswamy when asked about his views on the new and exciting format of a very popular almost-Indian sport.

“We introduced some novelties to make it even more exciting you know. See, in your Twenty20, all the thrill happens at the end of second inning. We add some thrill at the end of first inning also. If the team batting first feels it needed more runs, let them try and play more overs, alva?”

“Sound good.”

“Spectators get to see some strategy and suspense. Now another innovation we brought in is the concept of non-playing captain.”

“How sir?”

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Baalu in trouble?

This is how Mr T R Baalu was quoted to have reacted to Supreme Court warning against TN bandh (source: Times of India, Oct 2):

Courts are not infallible … haven’t we heard of corruption in judiciary … what had happened to warrant it? (Supreme Court’s special sitting on Sunday)

Whats with that language? What exactly is contempt of court? If he can say all that and get away, then we have got a serious breakdown of law and order in this country.

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Traffic policy ignores senior citizens : today’s TOI

Read today’s TOI. There was an article where the police actually admitted that they had failed senior citizens. This was in the context of World Elders Day and also the death of Mr Baalu.

I might hasten to add that they have failed every pedestrian and every law abiding motorist. Walking on our roads (yes pavements are mostly non-existent or in such poor shape) or trying to cross them is like playing Russian roulette. No guarantee of coming out alive!

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The middle-class slums?

[Cross posted on Praja, comments off]

Literally no peace or silence. Hear it all loud and clear when any of your neighbors talk. So called ‘individual’ houses, most of them joined with one another at hips. No air or space between them. 8 to 10 feet wide roads (practically speaking), dotted with cars, and cobwebbed with cables of all sorts – tv, telephone and electricity in that order.

Except for these narrow passages called streets, children have little space to play. Few grounds that are available host a hundred simultaneous cricket matches every evening. Abundant commercial ventures (bike mechanics, boutiques or eateries) in so called residential areas.

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