Friday, August 26, 2005

License to ...

Yuhoooo !!!!!!!

I cleared my Driving License test. First attempt. Not bad.

But there's one more week wait to get the actual license. No problem ! After that, it's me and my car and Bangalore city (for now). All the congested roads (Majestic), open freeways (Outer Ring Rd), crawling-traffic roads (Hosur Rd) and loop of one ways (Richmod-Residency-MG-etc), and the countryside (Mysore Rd, Magadi Rd, etc) - Be Alert ... here I come !!!!

I hope to make good use of all that I learnt from my hubby & the driving instructor.

The test as such, was ok. It involved driving from the Jayanager RTO office to the Service road near Nandini. Via all the 4th block afternoon rush traffic ! Here, I had to get off for the next applicant's test. I was left wondering if I had made it ? Or did I flunk ? (Though I knew I am not so bad). Before the actual test, there is some patience needed in the RTO office. 2 different queues, but smooth and quick moving. That's because of an early, very early morning start. The best part was, the view of Jayanager BDA complex market from the 7th floor office. Vendors setting up their wares. Strong coffee smell wafting up even up there.

Hmm, I guess, now my real test will be to come shopping here. All by myself. Cool!


Janmastami - Lord Krishna's Birthday.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Flyover work - back in action

The BTM-Bannerghatta road flyover work has started. Yester-evening, it took me 2.5 hours to reach home. Usually its 1.25hr. But thats ok. All new diversions create some confusion for a week. And then things settle down. As long as the flyover work is completed asap and the mess is cleared up, all's fine.

All bylanes in JP nager were choked with buses, cars and people going home. I was envious of apartment blocks and houses out there. Though their peace was disturbed, atleast they were home. And not trapped in a bus or something.

But never mind. This is a positive development. Fingers crossed for good results.

Monday, August 22, 2005

This is good news

This is good news.

ToI, HT get SC notice for vulgar content

Its was high time, somebody pulled up ToI. Thank you Supreme Court and Mr. Ajay Goswami for the PIL. I hope it really has some effect.

ToI had gone down long back. I had switched to Deccan Herald nearly 4-5 years back. DH always has good material to read. Indian Express is good in Maharashtra. But their Bangalore edition is not in a good shape.

Condescending arm-chair critics - Part II

It's time to stop cross-examining the past.

To quote Outlook India,

Letting Go Of The Past
What is it about our historical icons that it becomes incumbent to deify or vilify them? Why not accept them for what they are, reclaim a common heritage?

They were a product of their time. They did what they had to do. Ofcourse there were good people and bad people. But carrying today's political correctness to judge past heroes is ridiculous. What matters are their deeds.

What kind of person he was ? Thats impossible to find out. Even if he maintained a 24 hour daily diary. After all, one is a coward till he performs a brave act.

Friday, August 19, 2005

TV free day

When I reached home, there was no power. And this was great! Because my eyes were burning from all the sleep loss. I simply plonked into my bed. A short nap of one hour and I was feeling great. Though the power came back, I didn't go into auto-mode & switch on the TV. Instead, prepared grand dinner and arranged the balcony flowerpots.

I promised myself a treat of my favorite sitcom 'Kareena Kareena' at 9:30 pm. Until then it was only Radio while I cooked. So promptly at 9:30 pm, I set my dinner, made myself comfy in front of the TV and turned it on. Boom, there was no KK. The channel was showing a cricket match instead. Agh ! Bah, with my schdeule disturbed, I lost all my focus. Watched a little bit of F.R.I.E.N.D.S and went to sleep.

So ultimately, this was a great TV free day (after a long time), even with a TV & TV addict in the same house.

Condescending arm-chair critics

A lot of time-waste going is on, on various news-sites & blogs, about Rudrangshu Mukherjee's book - Mangal Pandey: Brave Martyr or Accidental Hero.

People like Mangal Pandey, Tatya Tope, Laxmibai of Jhansi, Shivaji - they created the word Patriotism and notion of India. They were not born into well-defined structure, like we were. They were citizens of their village or provinces. Boundaries were defined later and have changed with time.

People generally follow rules & definitions they were born into. Then something happens, which makes them question or break thise rules. Its ridiculous to judge them by today's standards. Its what you do at your current time, that matters.

Anyway, every artist has his own interpretation. Whether it is Rudrangshu or Ketan Mehta or any historian. After all, everyone agrees, nothing of his personal life is documented. Our school history textbooks didn't inform of his drinking habits or its absense. Only about the repulsion to those catridge covers and the revolt (begining with personal level).

But what matters is Mangal Pandey did something and it started something big. And it almost borders on ingratitude, that in this age, we arm-chair critics comfortably analyse and pass judgements on his ilk - to deify or vilify him.

A post on Version of Ramayana - unconnected with Mangal Pandey. But it just goes on to show that times change, and stories change accordingly.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Happy Independence Day !

Happy Independence Day !

Here is my list of good wishes for India
  • better weather (proper monsoon, summer and winter in just the right amount)
  • more growth in economy
  • better infrastructure in rural and urban areas
  • balanced gender population ratio
  • better output from Indian writers
  • continue the success rate and good quality in Indian cinema & music industry
  • And increased sensibility among Indian voters - for next time.
  • Wednesday, August 10, 2005

    Aamir & Toby

    Found Mangal Pandey blog - by Aamir Khan. Ofcourse its one of the publicity material. But never mind. Though the songs are not so good, looking forward to Mangal Pandey - the Rising for two reasons.

    Firstly, because its Aamir's next movie, after a long time. And I love Aamir.
    Secondly for Toby Stephens. I like him a lot, since Die Another Day. Was very sauve in that movie.

    Trailers were ok. Liked that one shot - of Aamir rising from behind the steps. Slow, steady, Awesome !

    Changed my mind about the songs. 3 of them are good, in this order.
  • Dekho aayi holi
  • Mangal mangal
  • Main Vari Vari
    Not impressive at first hearing; but catches on after repetation. Energetic.
  • We need more Plastic Surgeons

    We need more Plastic Surgeons. Yes. For cleft-lip operations and for other birth-related deformities. For gnarled fingers and limbs of burn or leprosy victims, disfigurement due to accidents. There are so many patients who need these specialized doctors.

    I know lot of doctors who hold regular camps for cleft-lip operations in rural areas. Then there is the legendary Dr Modi, who performed maximum number of eye transplants (5,95,019 eye operations and examined 10,094,632 patients since 1943 till the 80's).

    Its one thing to look ultra beautiful, conforming to the nitty-gritty standards set by few people. And it’s another thing to be whole, hale and healthy; to not be stared at, so as to concentrate on other things in life.

    I hope the current batch of medical students show interest in this area as well. I know this branch of medicine is as lucrative as any another. And it makes a difference in many lives.

    Friday, August 5, 2005

    For Men too !

    Today, I saw a billboard ad of Emami fairness cream - Fair And Handsome, for Men! Too much I say.

    I mean, I know men always used these products. Men used talcum powders, Lux soap, moisturizer, etc; but no ad ever showed that. This is the first time a fairness cream has actually advertised their target group. Men - "specially made for tough skin".

    I mean we have borne with ads where they show, how fortunes of dusky ladies get changed overnight (or 14 days), along with the color of their skin. What are they going to say in the men's cream ad? As far as I know, in our society, men's skin shade never really mattered. Maybe there is something I don't know.

    The 2000 decade is going to be marked by the fact that anything that makes money is fine. Anyway, money always bought respect, from time immemorial.

    Wednesday, August 3, 2005

    Tagged ! Book baton

    I have been tagged. Passed to me by Becky at pith , marrow, and coffee spoons

    While filling this out, I realized, I haven't read much in a long time. Or bought many. This is sad. There was a time when I was the only bookworm in all neighbourhod. I read books, newspaper, mag and even the film end credits and fine print on music cassettes.

    Graduation and job-hunting phase made me go through all the theory-vs-practical doubt phase and I gave up books totally. But once I settled down, I realized books are the perfect things I need and we were back together. But lately I have been reading only magazines and blogs. Maybe I am temporarily off the books, as am busy with 100 other things. Anyway, definitely need to take some corrective action now.

    Am not very experimental and have stuck to classics or books I know most about (sometimes even the endings!).

    Number of Books on the Shelves:
    200 odd. All fiction and non-fiction ones were bought by me and the technical ones are my hubby's collection. I stuck to the bare basic tech books.

    Last Book Purchased:

  • Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince - by J K Rowling. Have linked it to my review.
  • Blink : The Power of Thinking Without Thinking - by Malcolm Gladwell

    Currently Reading:
  • Blink : The Power of Thinking Without Thinking - It’s a good one really. I now feel vindicated for all the instant decisions I have made :)
  • HitchHikers - Ah Gwad, when will I finish it ? I am trying to read it since January. But no worry - I know the day will come.

    Last 5 Books Read:
  • Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince - by J K Rowling
  • State of Fear - by Micheal Crichton
  • Deception Point - by Dan Brown
  • Da Vinci Code - by Dan Brown
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

    Have linked them to my reviews.

    Meaningful Books:
    Meaningful only in igniting my mind.
  • Internetworking with TCP/IP, Vol I, II, III - By David L. Stevens & Douglas E. Comer
  • Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austen. All time favorite. Because I love the book, I endup liking all film versions of it. Regardless of any demerits in the movie.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas - very huge, very detailed, humorous and profund stuff too.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird - By Harper Lee - reminded me of my good times :)
  • Sherlock Holmes Series - By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - for children. To develop lateral thinking.

    Adding my own question:
    Books on my 'To Read' list:
  • No Logo - Noami Klien
  • Sideways - by Rex Pickett
  • Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television - by Jerry Mander
  • Polite Lies: On Being a Woman Caught Between Cultures - by Kyoko Mori
  • In the Absence of the Sacred- The Failure of Technology and the Survival of the Indian Nations - by Jerry Mander
  • Bridget Jones Diary
  • Fried Green Tomatoes - because everytime I hear this name, I feel hungry. Want to see what the book is about.
  • Mrs Dalloway - by Virginia Woolf
  • The Hours - by Michael Cunningham.

    Almost everyone I know has been tagged this a long back. But I am passing the baton on to: Haribol and Ftz. And everyone is free to tag along from here.
  • Tuesday, August 2, 2005

    What’s goin on?

    What is going on, I say? Ayodhya attack, Gujarat floods, London blast, Egypt blast, renewed attack in Kashmir last week, attempt in Delhi, blast in Punjab train. Seriously, what’s going on?

    Rains in Mumbai, damage it has caused, its unbelievable. I did not bother about this piece of news, till I spent the entire weekend in front of TV, watching all news channels. All those images of people trudging in water, in rain. For more than a week now.

    This is not something out of the blue. Mumbai has been suffering rain damage every monsoon, from quite a long time. For that matter, I remember, during a month stay in 1997 in Mumbai, I was stranded thanks to overflowing roads. I walked home for 10km and stayed home next day. I was lucky. So many people who depend on the trains, walked almost across the entire city, all night & day to get home.

    About something so natural and regular, the administration did nothing from so long. Took no action. I mean I know, memory is short. But this is practically amnesia. Or good will thinking - that oh nothing will go wrong next monsoon.

    For now, rest of Maharashtra is also severely affected. Indore is flooded. Calcutta is usually in a similar situation about overflowing roads. When Bangalore receives marginal drizzle, all drains start overflowing. There have been serious damage and losses because of that last year and before. If we were to receive a fraction of what Mumbai got, I hate to think what will happen?

    Floods in Urban areas - I think even now nobody wants to adapt and believe that yes that’s possible. It’s like a myth, that oh other than crime, there is no danger in cities. This is nature’s fury, yes. But what kind of people allow weak buildings to be overpopulated? What kind of administration allows for slums to come up, by treacherous hillside, with a landslide waiting to happen?

    Administration is good to manage an existing properly running system. Any crisis and they start running away, hide and pray for us to forget it all - which actually we just might. Seriously why the hell do we pay taxes for, if we don’t have basic stuff in normal life and no help in times of crisis? I doubt even a fraction of all that working class tax-paying public in Mumbai can see any returns when they need it most, for what they have done so far.

    I know a lot of throw contemptuous sneer at news channels, for sensationalizing, for self-back-slapping. But hey, if they jolt up anyone in the administration, if they affect the way town-planning is done henceforth, then they have played their role well.