Friday, 19 September 2008

Chikungunya/Dengue Mosquito breeding Centre in Bangalore thanks to BBMP

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The attached video is of a Chikungunya/ Dengue Mosquitos breeding
centre at 14th Cross, Indiranagar 2nd Stage, Bangalore 560038, which is
flourishing thanks to the laxity of Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (the
authority in charge of ensuring public health and drainage
maintenance). Water stagnates in this drain and no action is taken to
clear its choking. Now it has become a breeding place for mosiqutos.
Chikungunya has broken out in Karnataka and it seems BBMP is only
facilitating spreading of such diseases. In this case citizens are to
be equally blamed for dumping various wastes in the drain.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

An owl on my back

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The phrase “getting monkey of the back” is quite popular. How about an owl on your back? A couple of days back an owl got perched to the extension of my office window right behind my seat. Since there is a lot of greenery in my office campus, a lot of doves and occasionally crows sit near the window but this was the first time an owl had come. I did not notice it as I was engrossed in my work. After attending to the routine briefing of my boss, I came back to my seat, when a few office boys were trying to shoo it off. The owl would have none of it and stuck to his guns. It was only then I came to know about this owl on my back. Possibly it was hurt or just waiting for dark to set in. I shooed them asking them to mind their own business.

Somebody asked “Are you not worried about an owl so close to you?” I replied “It is only the owl which has to be worried about getting so close to human beings”. Next came a fortune teller, who told “This is auspicious, you will get lots of money” I replied “Yeah like you I am also due for the sixth pay commission arrears”. I also asked him whether the owl would not run into bad luck because of sitting on my window. He went off saying “You are always indifferent”. Somebody else remarked both have an equally grumpy face, I replied “No, I win hands down”.

Like in any other Government office, there are a set of jobless persons in ISRO also. They were discussing the issue as if a tiger was sitting on my window and how I was unmoved. My window pane became a place of site seeing for the jobless in the office. If only I had charged a viewing fee, I could have made a neat amount to finance me for a Gold Class film in PVR.

I don’t know what an owl eats, so I slid a biscuit through the window. It did not budge an inch. I tapped on the window; it gave me a hard look and later turned the other side. Possibly it found my face more disgusting than it has. A couple of crows came to attack/play with it, it was helpless and started screeching, I chased them away. It did not even give me a look of gratitude and continued with its wait for sunset. I kept some water for it but it did not drink that also. Is this the reason why people scold a simpleton “Ullu (Owl in Hindi)”

It was almost 6pm when my boss called me. I came back only to see that my little guest had flown away in the darkness. So my initial instinct was correct, it was just waiting for dark.

I could not name him though the name “Shi…… Pat…….” did cross my mind. I gave it up least of all the owl should sue me for insulting its entire creed.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Ads that linger in my mind

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Ads have become an inevitable part of our lives, more so, if you are a couch potato. I remember the days when we were required to pay tax for keeping a radio or TV. That was the only revenue for these authorities. With the advent of TV ads, this system went out of vogue. In the plethora of Ads, only a few stay back in our memories and they linger for ever. Such of those ads which linger in my mind till date have been keyed below with most of them from the 80s and a fair sprinkling from the 90s as well.

The first major TV ad I watched was “Only Vimal” during the dreadful India – West Indies series of 1983.

The first smartest ad one can recall was for the Godrej Shaving Cream, wherein one guys takes a market survey of all men with the standard question “Sir, which shaving cream do you use?” and at the end a bearded man turns back and asks “Me?”.

Liril was a blasphemous ad those days with a semi-nude women going under the waterfall in a bikini. As a growing boy, I could watch it only when my parents were not around. Bombay Dyeing was such an enticing and seductive Ad.

The ad that created its first celebrity should be “Lalitaji’s Surf Ad”. The ad by nature was a simple product comparison but the way it was enacted was legendary. The name “Lalitaji” became synonymous with “Samajdhari”. Dabur Lal Dant Manjan ads made the “Masterji” quite a celebrity, for his question “Ramu, tumhare danth motion jaise kaise chamak rahen hain?”( I don’t remember the exact wordings).

The biggest cricketing ad was reserved for Kapil Dev in Palmolive da Jawab Nahin for Palmolive Shaving Cream. Gavaskar had his own Dinesh Suiting. There was also Srikkanth modeling for Bournvita and Sri Chakra Tyres. Later came Kapil’s Boost is the secret of my energy.

The first funniest ad was the Bajaj Bulb ads. It was such an innovative idea for projecting the longevity of Bajaj Bulbs. It describes how a Bajaj Bulb was responsible for exposing a man’s transgressions from childhood till old age. Equally interesting was the “Sunday ya ho Monday Roz Kahon Ande” for the National Egg Promotion Council. Chal meri Luna for Luna was not far behind as was the first ad for “Maggie- 2 minute Noodles”. Jalal Aga's “Pan Parag” Ads were equally funny. The king of funny ads was Jaffery – Pankaj Kapur, Maggie Tomato Ketchup “Its Different”.

The first concept ad I came across was Tata Steel’s “We also make Steel”. Bajajs “Humara Bajaj” is of legendary propotion since it epitomized middle class aspirations of those days. Mile Sur Mera Tumhara wets my eyes and heart even today so does the animation film “Ek aur Anek”.

The best innovation ad was from Onida “Neighbour’s envy, Owners pride”. Pepsi with Aamir Khan and Aishwarya Rai was not far behind. Kelivinator’s the coolest one with a penguin was cute and innovative. The Vicks ad in which a boy gets drenched to get a bouquet for his mother on her birthday was innovative and heart warming.

The Five Year Plan ads (the same visuals used to be played for five years before being changed) were the meaningless “Apne Chabi se Khulne” Wale Linc Lock ads and Colgate which was such a poor advertiser those days. Nirma, Lijjat Papad also came in the same category.

There are many more ads which were brilliant and I have mentioned only those which I could remember. The main thing about all these ads was there was not much of a technology but more of human emotions and intelligence involved.

My dramatic debut at reaching home late

I am on the Government rolls but working for a schedule oriented organisation like ISRO means as good as working for a MNC and reaching home late is but inevitable. In addition to the work schedule, once in a while I party with my friends though I am a teetotaler. None of the reaching home late was as dramatic as the first time I reached home late.

My debut in reaching home late happened when I went to pay the fees for a professional course. At that time I was in second year of my degree course and was passionate about becoming a cost accountant. I was staying in Banaswadi and the institute was located in Basavangudi atleast 25 kms away from my home. Given the pathetic state of mass transport in Bangalore at that time, this was quite a distance to travel. My mother would not let me go by cycle and hence I was forced to go by bus. I reached the institute pretty late at 7pm, though I left home at 4pm. The queue was lengthy and at around 8 pm, I reached the cash counter. The clerk pointed to me that I did not enclose photocopy of certain documents and asked me to get one. By the time, I could be back it was nearly 8.45 pm, I paid the fees and went to the NR Colony bus stop. I had to board a bus to Shivajinagar. A bus going towards the Majestic bus stop came and the conductor urged me to get into it saying it was the last bus. I would have none of it and continued to wait.

It was getting close to 10pm and I began to feel jittery since I have never been away from house all alone. There was no phone in my home or any neighbour nearby to communicate the mess I was in. Since I was fairly adept at the geography of this locality, I started walking towards Gandhi Bazzar and there I just missed the last bus to Majestic. My heart started thumping because I did not know how to reach home with the limited cash of Rs.20 I had in my pocket. I madly started walking towards National College Road. On the road, a cop stopped me seeing my helplessness. I explained him my situation and also that I had only Rs.20 in my pocket. The good guy he was, he gave me a twenty rupee note and asked me to take an auto. He stopped an auto and asked him to take me upto my house, where I would pay the fare. The auto driver understood my situation but explained to the cop that since he was driving from morning he could not drive that far and assured him that he would drop me till Shivajinagar. The cop took his details as well as my brother’s office number and sent us.

As promised, the auto driver dropped me upto Shivajinagar at around 11:15 pm. After paying him I was left with Rs.10 in my pocket and a distance of 10 plus kms to travel. Having reached Shivajinagar, I heaved a sigh of relief. I knew another 5 to 6 kilometers of walk, I could reach my nearest relative/friends house. I walked for a couple of hundred meters when I saw a HAL bus coming. I just waved my hand and asked him “Banaswadi”. He replied “ Maruthi Sevanagar”. That was ok with me, because this place was only 3 kilometers from my home. I hopped onto the bus and the employees inside asked me what I was doing there at that time of the day. I explained them the situation and the driver refused to take money from me.

I got down at Sevanagar at around 11:50 pm, only to find my Father standing at the bus stop frantically looking at each passing vehicle. I thought he would thrash me but he understood something wrong should have taken place and asked me “What happened?” I explained him what had happened and he just smiled it off appreciating my quick thinking after 10pm. He was equally critical of my inability to take the Conductor’s advice. The next day the cop called up my brother to check up if I had reached home safely.

I always had a negative thought about cops but this cop changed my perception. Till date, I don’t wait for a direct bus no matter what time of the day it is. These were the two biggest lessons I learnt from that eventful night.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Railways acts on my corruption complaint

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Vide the aforesaid blog, I had narrated about the corruption practiced by a TC on 15/04/2008 in Train No.1058. The concerned TC had sold of our seats to unauthorized passengers. I had filed a complaint with the Central Vigilance Commission and continuously pestered them for action. All this was done through e-mail. Finally they have relented and Railways vide his letter dated 2008/g.130/06/001/VI dated 11/09/2008 has informed me that disciplinary proceedings has been initiated against Mr. DK Chouhan, Hd.TTE/CST, Mumbai and Randhir Kumar, TTE/Bhusawal. This is not the end of pursuance of the matter by me, I will follow this issue till action is taken against the concerned and if required be I will travel to Mumbai to give any witness in the case.

I am not projecting myself as a hero but bringing this to the notice of all concerned only to highlight that educated people who have resources at their disposal should protest against corruption in the fiercest possible manner. More and more educated people protest, the courage to commit an act of corruption will come down. I urge each one of you to complain about corruption as and when possible. I was traveling with my family. I could have assumed the role of a non misery seeker and ignored the issue (after all it was a minor one).

Corruption is a monolithic monster of our democracy and can be dismantled only part by part. First let us start attacking the weak and susceptible parts; later we can take corruption head-on, when its weakness starts bleeding.

This country is corrupt not because of the deeds of the bribe seekers but because of the silence of the bribe payers.

When the groom's dress went missing! grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.. ha!ha!

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I despise marriage receptions which start half an hour beyond scheduled time, to the extent that I have walked out of such functions in the recent past. I feel that it reflects that the hosts don’t have any respect or regards for their guests because the same set of people don’t have any problem in starting the muhurat on time the very next day even if it is at 3am. Possibly we fear the unknown stars more than respect the known guests.

When I got married all my emphasis was that the reception should start on time. The reception was scheduled to start at around 630pm and almost till 5pm I was personally monitoring the situation. The custom in my place is that the groom’s dress will be given by the bride’s side before the marriage reception. At around 5pm, I went to receive the esteemed dress but found my in-laws blinking at each other. Nobody knew where my dress was and the only person who knew it was my wife and she had gone to the beauty parlour. Those were the days when mobile phones were not popular and it was decided that somebody would go to the beauty parlour to get the required information. Sensing the frown on my face, the informant came back in an iffy only with the news that the dress was kept in my in-laws house. Thankfully, their house was nearby and somebody went to fetch the dress.

He came back at around 6:10pm with the news that he was able to locate only the shirt and the tie. I could not digest that somebody could be so careless and construed it to be a deliberate act to defame me. I got ready to walk out from the hall only to be pacified by a couple of friends. Later it was revealed that since everyone was seeing the dress, with an intention that it should not get soiled, the same was kept under lock and key. When they left for the choultry, they forgot to pick the same or tell anybody about its whereabouts. By the time the dress arrived, whoever from my in-laws house came to pacify me got a very angry piece of my mind. I got very little time to dress up and the reception started with a delay of 20 to 25 minutes.

This is a funny-sour moment from my Marriage. I just can’t believe that anybody could have forgotten their son-in-law’s dress and turned up at the choultry. This thought brings a frown on my face. However, I got a nice stick to beat my wife with for the remaining life brings a smile on my face. Any marriage reception, we go, I pop the question to her “Hope the girl’s side have brought the groom’s dress?”

About Me

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Banglaore, Karnataka, India