Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Localities within my locality

I stay in a locality by name Hosakerehalli (It means new lake village, not to mention the lake is on the verge of extinction). I have been staying here since 23 yrs. When people came for the grihapravesh, they were stunned by dad's arrogance to build a own house in such a 'remote' (just 7.5 kms from majestic) locality. The area which had just one vegetable cum grocery shop 20 yrs ago now boasts of Big Bazar, Pizza huts etc. Land rates have increased 5 folds in the last 5 yrs. The population has increased some n times. The coconut grooves, agricultural lands that surrounded my house no more exist. Multi-storey buildings have cropped up like mushrooms. So called 'Unreachable areas' can be reached by cars today. This is the plight of many areas of Bangalore.

Last sunday, me and some guys were chatting near my house when an elderly couple came to us with an address in their hand. They were searching for a house in Kalidasa nagar, Hosakerehalli. I was not aware of such an area. But a friend of mine guided them. This triggered an discussion on the localities with my locality. I was stunned when I got to hear some 10 small 'nagars' with this 'halli'. I do not want to miss these names - Kalidasa nagar, Vidya Nagar, Shakti Nagar, Pushpagiri Nagar, D'Souza Nagar, Dwaraka Nagar, Kolal Krishna Nagar, Bangarappa Nagar, Muneshwara Nagar and Dattathreya Nagar. When the population of a locality increases, the locality size grows, smaller localities would like to have some recognition and so there are so many small layouts.

Whats the government or the corporation role in these things? Are these names legally recognised? The problem comes up when you approach the authorities like the police station for some complaint or enquiry. They ask the area of residence and you say Shakti Nagar. The police (or even the corporator) would not help you because they claim that the area does not fall under their jurisdiction. Once upon a time these were agricultural land and now thick residential layouts.

So Whats the solution?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Laloo is thrown out of power!!

I am a bit too busy these days...But i was determined to write about this today. I dont know why, but I am too happy since I saw this news yesterday.

Laloo finally is out of power in Bihar. After 15 years of misrule, he is out. For a moment, I couldnt belive this...but now the results have sunk in. I saw all the news channels till late yesterday night hearing the sweet news of NDA throwing Laloo out. The best comments came from the Bihari Shekar Suman, who was as exceited as me. He used all his vocabulary to screw Laloo. Though the phenomenon called Laloo is the loser, for the one last time he still held the center stage in all channels. There was more coverage on him than the winner, Nitish Kumar.

Nitish was all praise for the election commission. And they deserved it too. The election was fair and there were very few deaths and reports of rigging. Military was pressed into service. State police who are under the control of JDU were sidelined. Corrupt district officers were not used in election service. A special resident observer from the EC had managed the poll to precision. The election commission certainly showed that a fair election is still possible in Bihar.

Nitish should also thank the great Governor of Bihar, Mr Buta Singh! This person was the one responsible for this election.
If Buta had not hastily recommended the dissolution of assembly after Feb elections, Nitish would have found it diffcult to form a govt and then manage it too.

I am now waiting to see if Bihar really changes under the NDA rule. This election has brought smiles on the BJP faces. BJP's strategy for Madhya Pradesh may change now. Hope to see good days in this rich state.

Monday, November 07, 2005

"One night @ the call center (ON@TCC)"

I bought the book in the morning and by afternoon I was repenting the decision to buy it. By night (after several breaks), I had finished the book.

One night @ the call center - Sucks.
It’s a story about 3 females and 3 males who work in a call center. The stories are of Hindi soaps and Bollywood movies. Nothing innovative. Absolutely nothing!!

The stories go like this.
Radika has problems with her mom-in-law and her husband has another girl in his life.
Esha is modern, wants to be a model but is forced to sleep with the so called model makers.
Priyanka has a love break with the fourth character Shyam. Now she is about to get married to a NRI in USA.
Shyam feels he has lost everything in life after the breakup with Priyanka.
Vroom is a freak out guy but has a crush on Esha. He has problems with his dad moving away from his mom.
Military uncle is a aged person, longing to be with his grandson. But he has been sent out of the house by his daughter-in-law.
All these have a common problem - The Company they are working for is planning some lay-offs. All of them feel that the reason for layoffs is their boss, Bhaksi.
In page 225 (of the 229 pages book) "GOD" calls them and solves their problems somehow. Wondering what is the solution? The obvious solution and in an obvious way.
Chetan has thrown some light into the lives of call center people. Humor (if any) comes in the call conversations. There is rampant America bashing in the novel.

After the super duper "Five point someone", I really wonder if its the same Chetan who has written this. May be he wrote from his experiences in FPS, may be I could relate my hostel life to some characters of FPS and so FPS was great. And for the same reasons as above I am not able to appreciate ON@TCC.

In short, the book is avoidable.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

"Writely" Trial

I got to know of this free web word processor from a BBC article on MS and Google war. I decided to try it out. My first impression about this is "AMAZING".
I want to hightlight the features I have explored.

  1. Basic features provided by MS word is available. Alignment, indent, font size etc is available.
  2. Collaborate feature - This feature is pretty interesting. I can save a document and send it to multiple people to work on it. People can review and change the document. They are provided with a confirmation code as a security feature. I liked this very much.
  3. Publish feature - You can publish the document on the web directly.
  4. Blog - There is a connection possible for different blogging engines. The document can be posted as a blog directly.
  5. Though this is a word document, it is saved as an html doc. The html code is visible.
  6. You can save the document in MS word format and as a zip file. Here I found one in appropriate behaviour. The formatting like bold, underline were not retained in the word document when opened in MS word. This could be an area of improvement.
  7. I could not find a dictionary or an auto correct feature. I would love to have this as I make several spelling mistakes.

But I love the concept and the tool. MS is alos moving into this domain of making office availabe on the web. This is a good change in strategy and is most welcome.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Tirupati visit

After thinking on what to do on the long Diwali weekend, we decided to go to Tirupati. It was a sudden decision. But the planning was good. I evaluated the options available.

1. Goto the TTD office at Malleshwaram - get a booking for the weekend - take a bus to tirupati separately - Stay in a lodge - Do the darshan - Come back in a bus. Up and down bus reservation was available in KSRTC.
2. Take a semi-organised package tour. Darshan time will be decided when we reach Tirupati. It could take anytime, but the acco will be provided by the package tour guy. Return time is not clear.
3. Take a fully organised tour. Darshan time is clear. Return time is also known upfront.

We chose to go by the 3rd option. I decided to take APTDC bus. The cost was 1200 per head. The bus is a volvo Ac coach. We left Bangalore at 2000 (on time). First stop was at Kamat hotel between Hoskote and Kolar. The food was good. All aprehensions on the bus stoping at a non-veg hotel came to an end when we saw the "Kamat" board. The next stop was at 0200 in the morning at Tirupati. We were given a room to take bath. The time given was 45 mins. The guy gave room for every 3 or 2 people. After the bath, the tour guide gave us a room to keep the luggages. At 0300 we started in the APSRTC bus to the abode of Lord Venkateshwara - the hill of Tirumala. By 0420, we were in front of the temple. The guide asked us to leave our chappals \ cell phones\ cameras in a shop. He took us to the enterance of the temple and split us into groups of 10, 20 and 20. He appointed group leaders, who would take us in and also collect laddus for the members of the group. At 0445 we started in the queue and at 0545 we were outside. The darshan was very smooth. There was less of jargandi and the police inside the temple seemed to show more patience. After the main temple, we went to the Varaha Swamy temple too. At 0645 we assembled near the Ram Bhagicha busstand and ready to comeback to Tirupati.

At 0745 we were back with hungry stomachs. Punnami restaurant invited us for the breakfast. The restaurant is pretty average, but the cost is on the higher side. After breakfast we were back in our Volvo bus at 0845 towards the Padmavathi temple at Tiruchenoor. There was an option to take a 10Rs ticket or a 40 Rs ticket or take a free darshan. Because of fewer crowd, we opted for the latter. After the free darshan of Padmavathi, we were on the way back to Bangalore. Here chappals and electronic goods were left within the bus. Yes, our Tirupati tour was over by 0930!! After the half night sleep, everybody in the bus were flat once the bus started. At 1200 we were woken up by the driver in front of "Green Park" Andra style hotel for lunch at Palamner. The curries were hot but tasty. At 1300 we were back in the bus. It was 1550 sharp when we were back at the race course road office of APTDC.

All in all a very good trip. I would recommend this service to anybody.