Friday, September 30, 2005

Kumar Sanu's new album


Its a good thing Kumar Sanu is back. Latest thing going on is:

Dil nashe mein chur hain
pass aa kyun door hain |
Do dilon ki doooooriya
Ab nahin manjur hain ...


No exceptional lyrics. Music from the Nadeem-Sharavan gharana. Which is just fine. Just when I was missing my staple food, he is back with an album, Aise Na Dekho Mujhe . Ah, I am so relived. It is so soothing to hear his voice amid all the orchestra & chorus.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Shivgange

We went treking up Shivgange, this Saturday. Shivgange is about 70 kms from Bangalore.

I am not much of an outdoor person, but this was great ! The view got progressively better as we moved up. This was not mountain climbing or walking through a forest. It was about climbing steps. Now the word 'steps' is very misleading. Because it was not easy as it sounds. Climbing up required effort, and we were all giggling at how much effort. We kept climbing with many stops at stone structures on the way, for chips & bhelpuri and drinking water, buttermilk & sugarcane juice.

We didn't make it to the top, because monkeys attacked us near that point. They wanted our chips packet. Anyway it was 2 pm and we needed lunch.

Climb down was a different adventure altogether. Steep portion were a bit scary. The huge green expanse seemed to spread out from the next step. Very deceptively inviting. And knees got all wobbly from climbing down so many steps.

I thought I would be really really tired and had planned to spend rest of the day & Sunday in bed. But surprisingly I was very active on both the days. But exhaustion did catch up with me on Monday :D !

Friday, September 23, 2005

Water

Nature is at its furious worst this year. Especially Water.

Begining with the Tsunami in Dec. Then floods in the most unlikelest places like Gujrat, Maharashtra, North Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh. Even Switzerland - I didnt know mountains are susceptible to floods. And Hurricane Katrina. Updates on upcoming Hurricane Rita are disturbing. And now cyclone in Andhra.
Andhra, washed away
The coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh were battered by torrential rains following a tropical cyclone that hit the area. It claimed 58 lives in two days. Heavy downpours also saw rivers overflowing their embankments, forcing the evacuation of thousands.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

City planning

Tavleen Singh squarely blames the bureaucrats for hindering India, on its way to becoming an economic success. She feels administrative reforms will help here.

The Govt is a dead elephant
By Tavleen Singh
The Indian bureaucrat does not want India to become a rich country, he does not want free markets and he does not want a truly free society because when these things happen, his powers diminish immediately
.....
Let us go further. India has the worst roads, water and electricity supply, public (government) schools, hospitals and cities in the world. This affects us directly but too few of us ask any questions. If we did we would discover that the obstacles officials put in the way of our ordinary needs get multiplied a thousand times as we go higher up the echelons of bureaucratic power. So even when you have a Chief Minister who genuinely wants to make a difference, even when he comes up with plans to improve schools, housing or healthcare, when these plans reach the hands of his officials they stop. The bureaucrats he is forced to deal with allow nothing to happen, nothing to go forward and soon his five years are up and he loses his election because he has succeeded in doing nothing and the same bureaucrats remain in important jobs to ensure that the next chief minister does nothing either.
...

Is this what is stopping Dharam Singh from achieving anything so far ? Possible factor. But, he also has power over them. So he can, if he wants to.

Is this the reason behind Bangalore infrastructure woes and failure in Mumbai in July ? Venkat Krishnan suggests more power to local governance as a solution. Well that idea did come up during the Mumbai deluge, esp when you compare the city's tax revenue vs returns in administration, city planning and infrastructure.
How about city govts?
By Venkat Krishnan
The only way to get cities some attention would be to get local governments, for which autonomy and representation are both important.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Travel & Being a grandparent

I read this interesting middle one night.
Grandma's tale
By Maya Jayapal

Being a grandparent is getting a second chance at atoning for and amending mistakes one had made


....We have got a second chance to atone for the mistakes we made as parents, young parents sans the wisdom and the experience we possess now...

I have been reading Maya Jayapal's articles, from like what, from the time I was in school. She is a regular contributer, mostly traveloges from across the world. I think I got my want-to-travel bug, from reading her regularly.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Happy Birthday Mom

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
Watched Home Alone 2: Lost in New York tonight.

Some nuggets like 'I thought being alone will be fun. But it's not. Now I dont want to be alone. Even if it is with somebody who bugs me. Even Bus'. My thoughts !

I love this movie for the Kevin's pranks, his slow torture of the burglers, snow and the fairy-lights lit streets, and the scene of all cousins asleep, sprawled across one room. But most importantly, what stuck me in both these movies, even the first time I saw it like 10-12 years ago - is Kevin's mother. Her despair at having left him behind at home and then at the airport. I dont have many words to describe, what I felt and still feel. But its just stuck on my mind.

Happy Birthday Mom !

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Lux for Shah Rukh Khan

Shah Rukh Khan in petal bathAfter 75 years of using almost every actress for their advertisements, they have Shah Rukh Khan now. Finally (and I think definitely), they are going to sell more soaps now ! I am yet to see the actual ad, so I will reserve my comment on it.

Bollywood's beau smells of roses

Khan was keen to appear in the ad
Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan has ventured where no male Indian film actor has before - a bathtub filled with rose petals for a soap advert.

But SRK says, he is not the first guy to do the Lux ad. Well, but in India, he is. I liked his explanation of why this is no big deal?

Not for Shah Rukh

Shah Rukh has made headlines for his Lux ad -- a first for a male celebrity. "Not true," SRK corrects. "Before me, Paul Newman had done the Lux ad.....
....Actually, all my favourite heroines have done the ad. Lux has traditionally been considered a woman's soap. But I can't remember a time when it hasn't a been a part of Indian households, for a male or female.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesha

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Tubelight Gyan

Questions:
Before 18, you are considered not intelligent, if you don't ask questions.

After 18, you are considered not intelligent, if you ask questions, without providing answers for them.

Sarcasm is the worst form of communication. Nobody gets the point. And its not funny. Also, the satisfaction of giving a biting reply often leaves a bitter aftertaste.
Art form, maybe. But definitely not for communication.

Accusatory tone
Anything said in accusatory tone need not be so.
Repsonse in accusatory tone, does not imply you are guilty. Its just their attack mechanism.
Example:

  • You are being defensive - Ofcourse I am, since you are being offensive.
  • Oh his English is simply a translation from vernacular. - Big deal. As long as you talk confidently and communicate your idea, its good enough. Wait for 20, or even 5 years, and your phrases will find a mention in the Oxford dictionary.