Vantage point

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Cabinet Expansion?

Some additions to my blogroll

Hirak - Have been reading his blog for over a year, but always forget to link it. Pune-ite now in YooEssAyy. A member of the famous BC Quiz Club., and idolated by female quizzers. ;)

Sumedha - Queen of english lit and celebrity birthdays. Junior from COEP E&TC.

Piyush - Classmate from COEP, and current room-mate in Bangalore.

Vinayak - Sumedha;s batchmate, a quantum physicist trapped in an engineer's body. Possesses the first punjuabi-accent I heard in my life.

Freaks Inc - A motley collection of bloggers from UMBC.

Navneet - Quizzer, alumnus of AIT, cricket is his forte.

Ajit - Brilliant classmate from COEP, now studying in IISc Bangalore. Occasional poet.

Anand - Another relic from the BCQC, is an HR guy working in Mumbai.

Rajk - Is it a bird? Is it a plane?'s just Rajk. :P IIML batchmate, currently doing his bit to make Azim Premji's wallet fatter than it already is.

Jivha - Most prolific Indian blogger, averaging ten posts a day. Very opinionated, leans to towards secularism, which I agree with, and towards leftist ideology, which I disagree with. His hobby is linking articles from the Times of India and then attacking the newspaper. I suspect he is a clever marketing gimmick by Times people, to increase the popularity of their web edition.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Some Cricket Now...

It has been many days since I made a cricket-related post. So here goes..

- Gibbs and Boje are apparently going to tour India. Not a very wise decision, if you ask me, knowing the Delhi Police's zeal when it comes to rounding up celebrities for routine questioning that leads nowhere. This issue has international scandal written all over it.

- Boycott will spend a few days with the Indian cricket team during the training camp giving some batting tips. Very good move by the BCCI if you ask me. Boycott is a walking encyclopaedia on batting technique, but what would separate him from a grumpy Rusi-Surti-type would be the fact that he values natural flair too. I would particularly love to be a fly on the wall when he talks to Sehwag.

- Cable & Wireless, sponsors of the West Indies cricket team almost from the day Christopher Columbus set foot on those islands, have finally called it quits. They have instead opted to sign up Brian Lara. This reminds post on why Brian Lara, while being a genius batsman, is one of the reasons for the decline of West Indian still pending.

- Sri Lanka started their Australia tour. Now this is a team which, with Murali in it, was whitewashed at home by the Aussies. I bet there are many Lankans praying for some sort of a terrorist attack on Australia, so that they can pack and leave midway.

The most hilarious quote of the past few weeks however comes from New Zealand John Bracewell who says -

"Good luck to them. While we're not allowed to do it in New Zealand, they're obviously allowed to do it over here. Our policy is to produce the best cricket wickets possible, not ones that suit the home team."

Maybe this is Bracewell's tribute to Pinnochio Clinton, whose autobiography came out a few days back.

Yawn Movies

Here are my thoughts on some forgettable Hindi movies I have seen in the last month or so. What I am writing would not necessarily be a review....more of what went through my mind after watching it.

Murder - A very typically Bhat-ish movie, with pretences of upper class liberal viewpoint. Pretence, because despite all these claims about being modern, the Bhats still felt the need to provide justification for the woman cheating on her husband. They went through the trouble of bringing back an ex-boyfriend from her past, married her off to her sister's husband, and then made that husband ultra-busy. The Bhats, for all their bravado, refuse to cross the boundaries of political correctness.

Aan: Men at Work - Not everyone can straddle the two worlds of parallel and mainstream cinema. Madhur Bhandarkar, of Chandni Bar fame, is the latest example of this. Aan is one of the most hackneyed movies ever made. There is an overdose of stunts, and the actors are all miscast.

Dev - The only message I could derive from the movie was, that secularism is not a right, but a privilege that we have bestowed upon minorities. Again, it is distressing to see Govind Nihalani churn out such a muddled film. However, the positives are the performances of Fardeen and Kareena, both of whom are sliding lower and lower in my "Most Irritating" ranking.

Girlfriend - It is a bad movie. But everyone who is lambasting the movie saying they have not portrayed lesbianism in the right perspective, I have a simple question for you. How many films, Indian or Hollywood, portray heterosexual relationships in a realistic perspective? Hardly any. Why do we expect a deeper base for a movie about lesbians?

Thursday, June 24, 2004

...And Done!!

I guess the revamp of my blog is done. I chose to retain the old template, and make the necessary changes to the code. Made me realised that though my programming ability has gathered a lot of rust, it is still quite satisfactory.

Manmohan's Address to the Nation

Yesterday our new PM finally made his first comprehensive address to the nation. Here is my take on it.

First the negatives

- There was an indirect assurance about the Women's Reservation Bill for 33% seats in Parliament. This is an ominous sign in my opinion. Reservations, especially in election people's representatives can only undermine democracy.

The positives

- The biggest positive is that he has spoken about reforming the government machinery itself. The biggest roadblock in India's path towards progress is the ramshackle government machinery, intoxicated by power, fattened by lack of accountability, and slowed down by unnecessary red tape. If Manmohan initiates the process of government reform, it will do as much good for the nation, as did economic reform.

- He has rightly identified that the main problem that the "kisaan" i.e farmer in our country faces is that of too many restrictions on trading. Manmohan has rubbished the Left's stupid take on agriculture, by doing this. An excerpt -
The Indian farmer has also suffered from too many controls and restrictions. There are still far too many internal barriers to trade that must go. We must also re-examine those aspects of our policies that prevent a creative interaction between farmers and agro-industries. I would like to see the creation of a ‘‘single market’’ across the country for both manufactured and agricultural produce with encouragement of agro-industry linkages.
If Manmohan pulls this off, he will go a long way towards removing the spectre of state-control from a very large portion of the country's economy.

- He said that social justice can not be achieved at the cost of fiscal discipline. let us hope he actually acts on this.

In general, there are very few negatives in this speech. It is a very balanced speech which does not attack anyone, and will not offend anyone except for the Left (which is fine, since even something like the sun rising only from the east everyday, can offend the Left).

Let us see if Manmohan can walk the talk.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

New Look!!

Okay, this blog is finally shifting to the New Blogger goodies. Will be taking the template down for a few days as I try to incorporate the changes. Am putting a makeshift template in place till then.

Vande (alma) Materam

The national semi-finals of the ESPN School Quiz are underway. My alma mater Abhinav Vidyalay, which won the West Zone finals is among the 6 schools contesting for a spot in the National finals, and eventually the championship.

Abhinav has done well in all edition of the ESPN School Quiz so far, and this time I am cheering them on. I urge you all to watch the episodes and cheer my school, so that finally, for the first time in four years, the championship is won by a school outside Kolkatta.

The episodes are telecast at 5 p.m. everyday. Earlier they would be re-telecast at 11:30 p.m. but this damned Euro thing has played spoilsport. :)

Monday, June 21, 2004

GMail Invites!

I guess by now everyone and their uncle has a google mail account. But in case someone doesn't, leave your email ID in the comments section and I'll send one over.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Lakshya - Worth a Million Bucks

Yesterday I saw the movie I had been waiting for since two years. And the wait was worth it.

Lakshya is the story of a guy trying to find himself, as the promos suggest. There just happens to be a war going on in the background.

Like Dil Chahta hai, this movie captures the realities in the life of a rich upper class urban Indian youth. The insecurities, the uncertainties and the consequences of a decision as major as choosing your career. It is also the first movie that explores the layers of an estranged relationship between a busy father and his son.

Lakshya shows you a hero who is not a hero. He is not perfect by a long shot. This could also be the first time that a Hindi film hero is shown crying for reasons other than his mother's demise. The script of the first half is particularly brilliant for this bold incisiveness in story-telling. I get the sneaking suspicion that the first half of the movie had more involvement by Farhan the writer, than the second half. In the second half, he sat back and let his experienced dad, Javed Akhtar, take over.

This was inevitable I guess, since the first part was about a young man, while the second part was about war. And even in terms of depicting war, this movie is path-breaking in terms of using minimal jingoism. Javed Akhtar seems to have consciously avoided the JP-Dutta-Sunny-Deol path of bashing Pakistan to make us feel good. This is evident from the following -

- The war is not depicted as one between superhuman Indians and puny Pakistanis. There is a lot of realism wherein it is shown that the Pakistani army is not foolish. They are shown as good soldiers with good tactical brains. Parmeet Sethi, playing a Pakistani, is not shown unnecessarily spewing anti-India hatred, like the characters in Gadar. He is shown to have a firm grip on reality, and even in the climax, he guesses the gambit that the Indians play, albeit a bit late.

- There are very few speeches, and even they are short.

- While the Akhtars could not resist playing the Muslim-in-the-indian-army angle, it is handled in a comparitively sophisticated manner.

All in all, my humble opinion is that even a Pakistani can watch this movie without feeling insulted, which is pretty remarkable for a movie set against the Kargil backdrop.

Now I am sure many people will say that cartain actors were "wasted". Particularly Amitabh and Om Puri.

I don't quite get this concept of "wasted". According to me the best movies are those in which a script is written, characters are plotted, and then actors are cast in them. People who say a certain actor is wasted probably expect that a film maker should decide the star cast and then write the movie. I don't agree.

Rajkumar Santoshi made this mistake in Khakee. Till the interval, the script was in charge. In the second half, he suddenly started writing with Amitabh in mind, making the movie drag. Farhan Akhtar does not make that mistake. He has focussed on Sunil Damle, the character, instead of Amitabh, the superstar.

Amitabh performs superbly in the relatively short role. He even gets to say a marathi proverb. Yayy!! :)

Speaking of performances, this is surely Hrithik's best yet. He portrays the transition froma happy-go-lucky youngster to a determined young man very well. The joy on his face when he stands at the LOC for the first time (before the war starts) and says "I never realised this strongly that I am an Indian" seems so genuine. The angst he has portrayed when the first assault fails is also amazing. One minor area of complaint. The portrayal of the happy-go-lucky dude seemed to border on "retarded" at times. Maybe there was a Koi Mil gaya hangover. :) But otherwise, a superb performance, and he should start making space in his shelves for half a dozen more awards.

Boman Irani's portrayal of a high-society Dad is good too, and he shows that his repertoire is not limited to just comedy. The scene where Hrithik calls him up from the front is one of the highlights of the film. Preity Zinta is good too, but gets overshadowed inspite of having a good role.

The camerawork is amazing, and the final scene of rock climbing (this part of the story inspired from the Sinhagad-Tanaji story, methinks :)) is one of the best ever shot in Hindi film history.

Overall Lakshya is a good movie. Go watch it.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Bob's Your Chacha!!

Okay, I knew that Miandad would be sacked, but appointing Bob Woolmer as the coach of the Pakistan cricket team is a decision which can do very little good to anyone except for Woolmer's bank manager.

It is like appointing a diamond-cutter to teach a bunch of blacksmiths. It is like putting a communist in charge of privatisation.

No good can come out of this.....for the Pakistanis of course...for the rest of the teams, it is great news. :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Return to the ATM - A true story

He stood outside the SBI ATM in BTM Layout 2nd Stage, regarding with singular revulsion. Feelings of a desire for vengeance had still not abated. But like the man-with-an-iron-will that he was, he pushed those feelings in the nether-chambers of his mind, to co-exist with darker emotions. As his hand reached for the knob on the glass door, his mind was transported back to that rainy night two weeks ago.

Back then he was an innocent young bloke who believed in the inherent goodness of man and ATMs. An ATM and he were natural allies in his eyes, common interests governing this alliance. The ATM needed to dispense money, and he needed to collect it. Over the years, his relationship with friendly ATM machines had cemented his beliefs.

Thus that night, when it was too rainy for him to take his spanking new HDFC debit card to an HDFC ATM, he walked into the SBI ATM, which incidentally was in the 2nd stage of the BTM layout. He inserted the card into the machine, entered the PIN, and entered the amount he desired to withdraw (it was Rs. 3400, for those who thrive on trivia). Sure enough, the machine made a few pleasant rumbling noises and spat out the money. What it also did was spit out the HDFC debit card which stuck out of the slot.

Now thos modus operandi was new to our protagonist. His trusted UTI ATMs would first give him the money, following which he would pocket the same. Next the machine would politely ask if he desired to conduct any more transactions. Should he decline with corresponding politeness, the machine would then spit the card out. Hence the SBI ATM's actions struck him as odd.

Contemplating this, he took the money and carefully placed it in his wallet. At precisely this moment, his phone indicated that he had received an SMS. As he started reading that SMS, the SBI ATM made a disapproving noise and swallowed the card back!!! Our protagonist's eyes sprang out of their sockets and rebounded off the walls of the vestibule a few times, as his mind struggled to comprehend what had just happened. Why has this machine gobbled up my card?

His first instinct was to scan the surroundings to see if Cyrus Broacha was around, intending to jump in and say "BAKRAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!". But the landscape was completely devoid of Parsis of any kind. Now he knew not what to do. he waited for the machine to say something to him. Something to the effect "If you tell me your PIN, i may give you back your card". However the machine has lapsed into a state of non-transactional equilibrium.

Our protagonists' heart ached as it identified this action as betrayal by an ally. His sentiments were not unlike those of Pandit Nehru when the Chinese attacked NEFA. In a similar vein, he called up SBI's call centre to ask them how he could get the card back. His hopes were dashed when the customer relationship executive said

"Sorry sir, the card must have been destroyed by now. You will have to apply for a new one."

Our protagonist then called up the HDFC call centre, with the same false hopes in his heart as Pandit Nehru, when he took the Kashmir issue to the UN. The HDFC guy conveyed his sympathy and clucked his tongue, sharing the protagonist's views on "Big Bad Public Sector Banks". However even he could do nothing more than register a request for a new card.

It was the memory of this ghastly incident that troubled our protagonist as he stood outside the same ATM, of the State Bank of India, located in the 2nd Stage of the BTM Layout. His replacement HDFC card had not yet arrived but he had his trusted UTI card.

Should he take the risk, he wondered? Then, taking a huge gulp of the faith-courage cocktail, he turned the knob and entered the vestibule.

With the elegance of a panther, he inserted the UTI card, entered the PIn and the amount. Again, the ATM spat the card and the cash out together. Our protagonist was now a grizzled veteran in these matters. With the sleek athleticism of a Ferrari on pole position, his two hands moved in perfect synchronisation. The left hand grabbed the money and the right hand grabbed the card. Within a matter of seconds, both were safely esconsced in his wallet.

He tilted his head and gave the ATM a condescending smile.

"Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.", he sagely uttered.

The ATM machine looked at him as if saying "Okay buddy, it's 1-1. Best two out of three?"

But our protagonist now had money as well as ATM card, while the machine had neither. The confidence arising from this fact was evident in his swagger as he walked out of the vestibule, and proceeded home.

Man had triumphed over machine, yet again!

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

More Eumourous Wisecracks

Did you hear about the footballer who got on the wrong side of the Mumbai Police?
He was killed in a penalty shoot-out.

Q - What did the Germans say when the Dutch scored the equaliser?
A - How Ruud!!

....and by the way, did you know that the Czech team never pays using cash?
...or did you know that Kasparov desperately wanted to date Martina Navratilova so that he could have a Czech mate whenever he wanted?

Maybe there should be a separate post for Czech jokes. :)

Monday, June 14, 2004


Firstly, the media is making Vajpayee's vacation into a news story. Why do I care where this guy, who is neither the leader of opposition, nor the BJP president is vacationing? Then he goes and says that the Gujarat riots were a major reason for the electoral defeat. Then the BJP comes and says there is no intention of removing Modi. Then the VHP attacks Vajpayee's senility.

For once, I agree with the VHP. One of the biggest peeves I have had with my fellow-countrymen at large is the fact that Vajpayee is so widely respected by them. It is mind-boggling how the admiration for the guy cuts across all sections of the society. Is it so easy to fool us?

Okay, the man is half-decent. But does he have any power? Does he have a spine?

This question is particularly directed at people who feel "ashamed" that our current PM will be a puppet with no real power. What world were you living in before 13th May 2004?

Consider these points about his Prime Ministerial tenure -

- In these times, the second-most important job in the government is that of the Finance Minister. And yet it took three years for vajpayee to get his choice as the FinMin. Jaswant took up the job as late as 2002. Until then, as a result of a power-tussle between vajpayee and Nagpur, the compromise candidate was Yashwant Sinha. How he bungled his job is well documented, from the petrol price hike, to the UTI fiasco.
Anyway, the point is that the most powerful man in India can;t even choose his own Finance Minister.

- In 1999, during the Kandahar hijacking, vajpayee reportedly was opposed to releasing the terrorists. However, Advani and Jaswant managed to convince him. Advani, for the uninitiated is the so-called Loh-Purush(iron man) of these times

- As an opposition member, ABV had attacked the Congress for corruption. So when Tehelka happened, Vajpayee was in favour of taking actions that will show the BJP as being different from the Congress. But what happened? A few months later he was forced to re-induct Fernandes. This, even though the Samata Party's support was not really that necessary for NDA to remain in power.

- Vajpayee was not in favour of declaring a unilateral ceasefire in J&K in 2001, if press reports are to be believed. However, Advani, and the temporary Defence Minister, Jaswant Singh, made him call it anyhow. the ceasefire led to the attack on the parliament.

- During the Gujarat riots, vajpayee wanted to replace Modi with someone else. As the supposedly top man in BJP/NDA, he could have done so. Even legally, he could have used Article 356. In fact in the past, whenever some such situation occurs, the CM's head rolls. Sudhakar Naik was replaced with Sharad Pawar by Rao during the 1992-93 Mumbai riots.
But no, Vajpayee could not do that. He could not fire someone like Modi. What was Modi's standing before 2002? Did anyone even know his name outside Gujarat?

- yes, it is the DMK that left the NDA. but the process started after the 2001 victory of Jayalalitha in the Assembly elections. the NDA openly made overtures towards her. They applauded her conversion bill. And when the DMK began to feel uncomfortable, Vajpayee did not like it. He was in favour of sticking with DMK. However again, he was overruled, and made to share several platforms with jaya, the same woman who brought down his government in 1998.

Exactly how was Atal Behari Vajpayee worthy of admiration? He did not have the power to stand by his convictions. His flip-flops were innumerable. His foreign policy about turns are legendary.

Remember his reaction to the petrol pump scam? Cancelled all the allotments!!! This decision hit those people who really deserved those pumps, especially families of ex-servicemen.

Even now, as the so-called leader of the NDA, his opinion was that ex-Ministers who lost the Lok Sabha elections should not be pitchforked into the Rajya Sabha. And yet, see what is happening.

Vajpayee is a person who has assiduously tried to appear non-controversial. It is nothing more than what HR folks call "Impression Management".

And the country is falling for it hook line and sinker.

And now we have educated people lamenting that Manmohan will be a puppet!!??

Yes, maybe he will be, but could you not see the strings attached to Vajpayee's limbs?

And people hail this guy as being one of the country's greatest Prime Ministers. This guy!!! Seriously?


Reposting this from almost exactly two years back, because it is "that" time again

Now those of you who have met me will know that I have an opinion on almost any subject and can carry out a lengthy conversation about most topics under the sun. Which is why striking up conversations with girls, pretty or otherwise, wasn't a problem.....of course most of them would immediately slot me as the "great guy i can cry about my boyfriend to" friend variety...(SHUT UP GAURAV, YOU AREN'T SINGLE ANYMORE!)..

Anyway, point is, that if there is an animated conversation happening with me in the premisis, I am usually at the centre, or nearabouts.

One topic where I am as clueless as a West Indian cricketer who is not Brian Lara, is soccer/football. Every two years, for a few weeks I find myself resembling Joey from F.R.I.E.N.D.S when the others are talking about anything but food and sex. These are the weeks when the FIFA World Cup or the Euro is on.

Now having an ego as big as I do, I don't like being left out. So I don the role of Chandler and try to wise-crack my way into the conversation.

My current wisecrack - I solemnly walk up to a group animatedly discussing the proceedings in Germany and say "Guys I have a question.."

They all go silent while I ask "You know they say France is the favourite again because of Zidane?"


"Now...why is Zidane..."

"Yes...?" they go as I take a long pause...

"Why is ze Dane playing for ze French?"

I crack myself up!! Not many others though. :(

Here's to all football haters!!

Rickshaw Maadi!

Each city has a different DNA code, which is defined by two things. Either the panipuri you get there(a topic on which I have written at length in the past) or the rickshawwallahs in that city.

Bangalore rickshawwallahs are astounding fellows. No, they don't display the abnormally high degree of avarice that a Delhi rick-wallah does....the Delhi rick-wallah is of course, a member of some political party interning in preparation for a Ministerial berth. Neither do these fellows feign ignorance of the rashtrabhasha, as the Chennai guy(reportedly) do.

The Bangalore rickshawallahs (henceforth to be referred to as rickies, in the interest of my avoiding carpel tunnel syndrome) are just astounding fellows. One thing about them is that most of these rickies have decided the destination they wish to take you to. So if a ricky has decided that he shall go to Malleshwaram then not even the most persuasive wild horses would convince him to do otherwise. And even the manner in which he refuses you is astounding. Imagine a guy who believes that magic tricks performed using playing cards are crap. Now imagine if you have goaded him into picking a card. Now imagine next that after applying whatever complex algorithm that magicians apply, you have come up with a card, and asked him "Is this it?". Suppose you are wrong. How will the bloke break the news to you?

Like Bangalore ricky of course! The contempt-disinterest-cocktail on their face is very frustrating.

Now your Pune or Mumbai rickshawwallah will refuse to do business with you only if your destination is remote. So if I stand at Deccan Gymkhana and tell the ricky "Bavdhan", he will quail at the prospect, for the simple reason that on the outskirts of the city, it is difficult to get a return passenger quickly. but the Bangalore ricky has no such train of though. Whether the place you wish to be in is on the fringes or in the centre, does not matter.

Another funny thing about Bangalore is that here the 1.5times thing starts as early as 10 p.m! This time limit is midnight in places like Pune or Mumbai. But Bangalore, despite having made the transition from a sleep reasearch-and-pension-haven to IT Capital, resolutely sticks to the 10 p.m. deadline.

Now even if you get used to it, what makes this more annoying is the attitude of your Bangalore ricky. From 9:15 to 10 p.m, it is impossible to get a rick. All the fellows refuse to take you anywhere, and are biding time for the clock to strike 10, so that they can get 1.5 times their pot of gold.

Such are the Bangalore rickies. Extremely humane if you compare them to a Delhi ricky, but very weird if you compare them to the Pune ricky.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Laloo Prasad Cuppola?

More often than not, when someone becomes Railway Minister, the first few days are spent announcing new unviable trains. With Laloo taking over I was expecting a Darbhang-Madhepura Shatabdi Express, or a Chhapra Rajdhani Express.

But the dude, as usual has shocked the people by taking up an entirely unexpected issue. He is introducing "khullars" in trains! He also plans to introduce matthacola as a drink on railway stations!!

The khullar idea is not very original. I remember such an idea being floated by another Bihari RailMin when i was a kid. However the idea has everyone, from the opposition to the media to the intelligensia to the railway officials wondering what to say.

On the face of it, the khullar idea is good for the following reasons -

1. It is environment-friendly.

2. It will provide employment to hundreds of potters.

The criticism could be that it may not be very hygeinic. In which case, people may carry their own cups. Another criticism could be about the price, but I am not sure whether khullars in such a large quantity are really more expensive than paper/plastic.

Of course we have the "scam" attack. A man who could pull a scam while procuring fodder, can make millions off khullars.

Now the matthacola idea. Again not bad.

By doing this, Laloo has cleverly mananged to deflect attention from real issues, like safety, maintenance of railway stations, modernisation etc. Prepare for the Bihar-isation of the already ramshackle Indian Railways.

p.s- you may get those shatabdis and rajdhanis after all, when the rail budget is announed a couple of weeks later.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

This is a small true story from our training session that happened a few days back. A lady from a particular division in IBM was giving us a talk. One bloke who has been posted to that division asked-

"What are the locations in India that you have offices in?"

The lady very innocently replied -

"We have offices in all metros.....and Chennai."


Tuesday, June 08, 2004


Today I opened my gmail, and what do I see? The option of inviting one more friend to try out google. Well, well, well. Nobility plays does it not? Now, is there anyone who would like to offer me goodies for that account? Remember, what makes an early gmail special is greater latitude in choosing your ID.

Leave your bids in the comments. :)

Monday, June 07, 2004


....Pune is the best!! No no, it is THE best.

If you agree, good. If you disagree, still good....keep away. :P

What does mustaqbil mean?????

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Hey Jam!!

Bangalore's traffic condition makes Andheri at 7 pm on a weekday look like a holiday spot. The traffic just refuses to make any progres once it is jammed. The mass of humanity and metal has among its constituents every representative of the types of human beings.....beggars, rickshawwallahs, buswallahs, software engineers, MBAs, cows......with the sole exception of a traffic policeman. Two cars or buses come head to head and stop, each followed by a million or so vehicles. The constraints imposed by the road make them realise that both can't pass at the same time. Just then cars from their right and left also converge. All four drivers give each other hostile looks and start blaring their horns. This glare-n-bare continues for some time, and within an hour or so they realise that neither of them has vaporised and they are still in a jam. There are vehicles queued up behind them for miles. All the four drivers then resume blaring their horns.

How is the jam resolved, you ask? Well, in Bangalore, by-lanes are called "Mains"(yes, i get the irony). So the vehicles behind them, who have established that the vehicle they are staring into is not going to evaporate, slip away into these "mains" one by one. They all have thought of another road which they can use. Shortly, the four vehicles who caused the jam realise that there is no one behind them. One of them, who is not North Indian, reverses his car, and the jam is resolved. The other vehicles meanwhile have converged at another square and are repeating the same exercise.

Mobile companies entered India long back but started offering roaming only a few years later. You know why?

...because Roam wasn't built in a day.

Bangalore? Bah!!

Who made this city the IT capital of the country? The move ranks as one of the worst capital-making moves in history, coming a close second behind Muhammad Bin Tughlaq doing so with Daulatabad.