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Sunday, 7 August 2016

Bengaluru's traffic problem & half a dozen ideas

Hello good people,

Drafted this one 2 months back, just managing to publish it. Why the delay ?  - Stuck in traffic LOL! This seems to be the template reason for almost any event, especially in Bengaluru.

I'm one among those who believe that the Bengaluru traffic is not just due to the vehicle density but includes other few parameters. Like after being stuck in a t-jam for 30 mins,  we see that it is due to one SUV or Sedan taking an ambitious U turn,  blocking both the roads, and the road thereafter is almost empty.

Or a mini van waiting for a right turn, while a BMTC has 20% of it's body behind the mini van and is unable to move forward and blocking others behind it.

The idea of this blog, as visible in the title is not to sulk about the traffic or to make fun of it.  So let's see what can be improved - precisely, to look at some ideas which can be implemented with no or least investment.

 1. Bus stop where the bus stop :

Read it however you want, Forget that official bus stop,  that's for the auto guys and corporate cab pick up points.  So where does the BMTC bus stops?

  • at the start and end of a flyover
  • immediately after a turning,
  • immediately after a signal
making things worse for the vehicles behind.

And one unique technology followed by bmtc is -  when one bus is already in the bus stop,  the next one stands parallel to the first one instead of standing behind. What an idea!!

This is for sure the easiest of things to change first up - remove all other boarding/drop points other than designated bus stops.

2. Shortcut to success :

No need to asphalt the shortcut or gully routes,  at least they can be leveled.  At least the two wheelers can use those roads leaving the main roads for bigger vehicles.

Recently Accenture Whitefield campus opened a 'back gate' that leads to cosmos mall,  saving 4-5 km and avoiding rush at graffite India Junction. More such routes could be opened through out Bengaluru.

3. Continuous signals :

Where we have continuous signals in a same road,  it can be planned to sync the signals such that the vehicles that get the green can pass all signals at one stretch.  Saves time, energy, fuel, avoids pollution and lot of chaos.

Example -  the 3 or 4 signals in Richmond road.

I hear that this was tested for certain roads successfully and will soon be in action., super.

4. Let the waste wait:

As far as I've noticed,  the BBMP corporation vehicle cleans up the piled garbage,  promptly between 8am to 10am , which as you see,  is the peak hours for office and school goers.

By scheduling this at 2 to 4pm,  garbage is not going to complain.

5. 1-way:

Narrow roads prone to huge vehicle volume could be made one-way. People should start accepting a mindset that travelling 500m more to save 15 mins time is a better idea.

Example - The triangle between Gopalan grand mall, big bazaar and DRDO bus stop can be made a one way to avoid unnecessary t-jams.

6. Restructuring U-turns.

Needless to explain, this is one other spot where traffic is held up. Avoiding or changing U-turns from crowded spots, like opposite to Malls, Metro, petrol bunks, schools, corporate campus etc., can help in a lot of ways.

Recently, a U-turn near Marathahalli was changed to a spot where the road is much wider, and this showed good difference.

And there are more ideas like rain water harvesting near under-pass, which recently created a mess in outer ring roads.

As you see,  these do not need heavy investment of funds,  but just the time and 'will' to do things.

As usual,  if you know of some simple ideas,  please add it in the comments.

See you later,

Ta ta


@ Special thanks to Chetan for well depicting the situations.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Beat the heat

Hello Good people,

While Bengaluru is trying to understand the meaning of terms like ‘summer vacation”, “air-cooler” etc., I just thought of publishing one more blog, understandably coming after a few light-years.

I started writing this blog last year April, and whenever I began editing or proof-reading, it started raining and went on for few months, making the content irrelevant.  This time though, the intent is clear. J

Idea is definitely neither to share same age-old suggestions like - eat cucumber and water melon, drink water etc., nor to sulk like oldies saying “this year, it’s worst-summer-than-ever”. Thought of sharing some different ideas to manage the summer. 

1)      Get the monkey off the back:

This is mainly for the office goers who use two-wheeler. Carrying a laptop bag on shoulder while riding is always a nuisance.  thollaya thol’la maatikitu porome, che.

And in summer, your formal shirt becomes a ‘sweat-shirt’ and sitting with it in A/C only makes things worse.  So, do consider fitting a side box in your bike, in which you can comfortably put your laptop and accessories. You can consider stitching a small cloth bag which makes it easy to carry. You get one from Aerostar brand from most accessory shops around JC road that fits a 14 inch laptop.

This will not be an obstacle to the pillion, in fact, it helps because the pillion’s thigh just lands on the box comfortably!

I did this in my Avy and using it for more than a year now. I can easily feel the difference – feels like God !

2)      Get the power:

If you check the Indian dictionary for summer – one of the synonyms will be “power cut”.  No need to explain this more.  So, I would suggest to get an UPS / Inverter installed. For a minimum of 2-3 fans and 1 light, you won’t require a heavy inverter. I guess a 600 VA would do. 

There are varieties of inverters and batteries in the market, and it involves a bit of Physics to understand what capacity you require.

To keep it simple – ask yourself two questions – what all appliances you want to run during power cut (like 2 Fans, 2 light, one Mixer etc.,), how long you want those appliances to run (depends on average duration of power cut in your area).

3)      Baby’s day out:

It’s an unfortunate pain that we always have a “summer” vacation for the kids. Problem is simple – Kids want to be outdoor, but outdoor has free offers such as dehydration, sunburn etc., No kid is in a drinking or eating mood. And if they are indoor, grazing them is a headache.

We can have some physical yet indoor games such as a basketball game, Dart, table tennis etc., except for TT, others don’t always need a partner but just a supervision.

4)      Put it blindly:

And yes, the blinds. One-time set-up. Very effective for the balconies. Just scroll down in the morning, and up by dusk. Blinds are available in various materials, models like for monsoon, sun rays etc.,

Other alternative is to have an old cloth like old bed sheet, wet it, and hang it in the balcony of windows to block heat waves.

5)      Wat ? er ..

This hyperlinks to my earlier blog on harvesting of water-filter outlet water. Summer also naturally means water problem in most cities. So, this water can atleast be used for plants, cleaning the floor, flush etc.,


I hope atleast one of these ideas help you. If you have more ideas, please feel free to add it in the comment section, or send a short note to me, I’ll link it here for the benefit of others.

Monday, 21 September 2015

It is that time of the year again.. when we get very agitated, Blood pressure goes up, crowd everywhere.. people shout in the middle of the night.

No, I’m not talking about IPL.

Dandanakka nakka nakka dandanakka – got a clue ?

No, it is not about any new kuthu song..It is not even about any dead body dance..

It is our “Ganesha happy birthday” – Ganesh Chathurthi.. aka Vinayaka Chathurthi.
(blog purely based on Bengaluru experience)

If you google Ganesha – you will get more than 1 million answer on the origin of Ganesha and how he got elephant head.

The number of answers you get is more than the hits you will get for current world’s biggest question – “why kattappa killed bahubali?”

That is simply because, after Dosa and SAP, Ganesha is the most customized object in the Milky-way galaxy.

32 officially, how many in real world ? – Ganesha himself might not know..

That doesn’t justify you can do a dabba’kuthu song in the middle of the night, disturbing kids and oldies.

During Diwali, there is a rule for not bursting ‘sound’ crackers after 9 pm or before 5 am etc., but this one doesn’t seem to have any restriction. Even if so, there is not even an announcement in atleast FM channels about it..

The whole concept of dancing and singing seems to be inspired by the north Indian way of celebration, but totally overdone - needlessly needled.  Over there, it is a part of life style, the entire community joins in it and has fun.  That doesn't mean it can be forced on other states - come on, it's not Hindi language LOL.!  So, if someone likes the Tomatina festival, then what ? the entire KR market turns into Bunol ?

At least in Bangalore, I don’t see even 1% of sincere religious belief in celebrating Ganesha Chaturthi. – This is just a tool to collect money, buy imported liquor, have fun.

It’s quite appalling to see the youth of today drink and dance in the road, under police protection, for what appears to be a wastage of resources (time, energy and money).

So, unfortunately ,

Where there is god – There is also nuisance.

Latest model : Bahubali Ganesha

And then, the next side effect -  'click & drag' Ganesha all over the street. This again is based on ancient concept of gods taken in Chariot on auspicious occasions and devotees seek blessing on its way. But in Bangalore, there are atleast 10,000 such chariots that are dragged in busy roads, in peak hours.

Every small temple that was built by a wine shop owner 2 days back, want to have a big Ganesha and do Pooja in public in middle of road under police protection.

If there is a cricket match happening in Chinnaswamy stadium, there are maps and special one-ways published in newspapers. Why cant similar planning be done , atleast on known-busy roads ?

And one cant even take a short cut through gully roads. Because 5 out of 10 gully roads are blocked because that “street association” has a Ganesha installed in the middle of the road.

I quite like the idea of a street association that reports to an area association, but sadly it is used only in activities that block the street – Not even a fire engine can go through.


Where there is god – there is traffic.

And last part – the climax of Ganesha (festival) :  This actually seems like anti-climax. 

During Dussera, a giant effigy of Ravana is made, and in the end, it is shot and burnt.

During Ganesha Chaturthi, a giant idol of Ganesha is made, and in the end, it is dissolved/immersed in water.

One is killed by fire and the other by water ??

This year – BBMP has setup 136 mobile water tanks to immerse idols (spending lakhs of rupees) – but these were not advertised widely – even to the extent of covering Gokul Macheri topic or Indirani Mukherjee case.

Even though Government has insisted on SEZ Ganesha (some social eco-friendly ZZZZ) still all kind of cheap Ganesha’s are made every year. And still they are being dissolved in the beautiful lakes in Bangalore.

Such a pity that half of the lakes were lost to apartment construction, and now the rest for such funny reasons.

Where there is god – there is also pollution.

If you are a religious person and you are scolding me while you were reading the above – fine, but ask yourself against these above three topics – do you really want a Ganesha Chathurthi ( or any similar festival) which results in such chaos, disturbing the senior citizen & children, wasting money, time and energy ?

My view is not to ban the festival as such, but to abolish all the drama surrounded by it to have a peaceful life.

Disclaimer: As I said earlier, this blog applies for Bangalore city where I’m seeing these myself during last 3-4 days and in the previous years as well. Though I lived in Chennai earlier, I haven’t seen such outrageous things , may be because we were staying in the outskirts of the city, thankfully!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Manoranjan's maro charithra

So, you know I’m going to write about Uthama Villan. But before that, I want to touch up on a movie review in general.

In my opinion, movies are not to be reviewed or analysed or explained. It is all about spot entertainment. (And entertainment is not only about laughing and dancing). If you didn’t get entertained, then it is simply not your mug of beer. Movie is an experience to be shared.

Movies are of different kinds – Some make you think, some make you laugh so much that you forget why you are laughing. Movies like Inception gives you homework too.

Movie goers are like Zoo visitors. Most people go to Zoo only to see Lion and tiger – and don’t bother about the hundreds of colorful and interesting birds and smaller animals.

That is the case with Uthama villan. 

When there is no dialogue or song, and there is silence, people get bored and crazy.

So, what are these nuances of a Kamal Movie ? Or, what am I blabbering here..

This blog has to be elaborate in order to share atleast 5 % of what I enjoyed in the movie, so if you are not interested, you are welcome to close the browser and check IPL score.

To start with a small example – In movie Padayappa, in a scene, Ramya Krishnan removes her sunglasses and at same time Rajni wears his sunglasses – Crowd roars. Because thalaivar wears a sunglass. Few people would have understood that it symbolically tells that character weightage has shifted from villain to hero. This is just 0.001% of what we see in a Kamal movie.

And to start with an easy example from UV, In a scene, Kamal stares at a fish that is just caught and put in a basket,. The Fish jumps and struggles – symbolising that Kamal is nearing his death and is struggling in life.- again, no dialogues at all!

Clear? Now, lets go into interesting ones:

My favorite one:

Scene: Kamal writes a letter to his girlfriend, and she also writes to Kamal (not a reply). Both letters are hidden by his PA. After 25 years, Kamal comes to know of this. He asks his PA to read out the second letter.

Location – a mini theatre where movie previews happen. The word Uthama villan is written in Tamil fonts, with the dot over the last alphabet “in”(ன் ) in red color.

As Kamal comes closer to the screen, his shadow falls on the word villan (also interpreted as villain) – meaning, as the letter was not read in time, Kamal became a villain by circumstances.

Next, as Kamal takes his position to listen to the letter, the red dot over the alphabet “ன் ” falls on his nose – indirectly showing his anger on the PA for having hidden that letter.

Once the letter is fully read, Kamal comes closer to his PA and now, the red dot is on his forehead, indicating that he has come over the incident and is now acting with wisdom.

What an intelligently written and enacted scene !? they’ve simply captured the emotions and explanations which would otherwise take thousands of words and few flashback scenes.

Next scene – where Kamal asks his daughter (separated from him) to read out the first letter.

Location – Shooting spot – Kamal has just come out of a shoot, with a Theeyam make up. 

As she reads the letter, he is removing his make-up. Once the letter is fully read, his original face is back. In her mind, She had a negative image about Kamal, and as she is understanding the truth through the letter, her impression on Kamal changed which was shown through his make-up removal on screen.

This scene has a lot more interesting points like the background image outside the door, but I’m not going to write about all of those.

And then there are performances, humorous dialogues, meaningful songs etc., which lifts the movie. The song in the historical portions are important, as they reveal the most important thing which is again revealed only in the climax in one line. No, i won't disclose it.

The opening song is a nice spoof of present day’s commercial movies.

Kamal's movie, this one in particular needs mind, brain and patience to sit back and enjoy it. This movie will not appeal to all categories of Audience, and if you are one of them, its not entirely your fault. As I said, this is just not your mug of beer.

There are many more hidden messages in each scene, each frame which I haven’t written above. One of the smartest thing is the title - it is actually villan - Villu means Bow, and who is master in that is villan, this was smartly used in English as villain to play with circumstances.

To me, this is one of the most intelligently written and enacted movie I’ve ever watched.

This movie should be appreciated and celebrated. But knowing our Indian movie bluffs, they will term this as a torturous disaster, and after 10-15 years, come back and term this as a cult classic legendary movie. Shame!

Note: The below banner on "Beat the heat" is still valid. But everytime i draft something, it starts raining making the subject irrelevant. So, just waiting for the Bangalore climate to decide by itself whether it is summer or monsoon..!!