Friday, April 30, 2010

What you HEAR first in the morning?

Many of us have a habit of SEEING a God's photo or SEEING something which you like first in the morning, as soon as you wake up. Some see their hands and say some prayers. It is believed to be some kind of good luck charm to see God's photo. I know a hostel mate of mine, who had a big Pamela Anderson photo stuck to the roof. He wanted to see her first in the morning.
But have you ever tried to notice what you HEAR first in the morning. I realized today that I had never taken note of this. But tried to analyze and recall a bit.
  • The alarm set in the mobile phone. (This is rarely the case for me, but mostly the case for many)
  • Wife's voice - "ಟೈಮ್ ಆಯಿತು" (Times up) or "ಟೈಮ್ ಎಷ್ಟು?" (Whats the time?)
  • Street dogs chorus barking
  • Buzz of the fan...Its significantly loud to take notice. (only in summer though).
  • Sound of somebody sweeping the area in front of their home.
  • Sound of water splashing the ground. Getting ready for the makeup - rangoli.
  • Suprabhata from a near-by temple (it could be a Muslim prayer if you are close to a mosque or a remix of Hindu and Muslim prayers).
  • Sound of the temple bells which ring at a distance but pierce the morning silence.
  • Vehicle sound (Neighbor uncle starting his TVS to get milk)
  • Auto rickshaw sound (starting their journey early in the morning).
  • Dad's shoe sound. Jumping to pluck the flowers for pooja, before starting his daily walk. 
Not so surprisingly, I do not hear any bird's voice.
Do you HEAR any other sound first in the morning?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Words of wisdom from volvo conductor

Day before yesterday night, Mr Ashok the honorable Transport minister of Karnataka had a dream. In the dream he thought he can make moolahs by drastically and irrationally increasing the tariffs in BMTC volvo buses. So he woke up in the midnight and sent a SOS to his officials in the department. Frantic activities started in the night and by morning of 28th April, printouts of the new tariffs were released to all the volvo conductors. Sleepy, confused conductors were surprised (to put it mildly). 

The officials forgot that the ticket vending machines are not adopted for this fare change. But quick action was taken and the conductors were given the traditional paper bundle tickets for the day. The officials had done their job. And done it in good secrecy. The press and hence the public were clueless about the hike in fares.

I took the volvo bus in the evening. It was chaos inside the bus. The passenger gives some money, conductor gives ticket and no change back. Passenger argues, scolds the conductor, abuses Yeddi (the honorable CM), conductor has his counter arguments.....and this almost happened with every passenger. Our conductor devised a new strategy. He said to the passengers that the fares are increased from today. He said "I will give you at a discounted price and pulled the tickets out of his bundle at the older price or older price + small delta (still less than the increased fares)". 

There were some interesting quotes in the bus from the conductor.
  • The frustrated conductor was speaking loudly to the driver. He said "the officers who took the decisions are in ac rooms in the safe zone. We conductors are in the danger zone, getting all the abuses from the passengers."  He continued "we are the jawans and the officers are the politicians who take decisions so that the jawan faces war". Lovely words of wisdom!
  • One passenger suggested that the conductor gives the phone number of the officers who took the decision on fare hikes. The witty conductor replied "this is govt bus, not your company cab. There are no mobile numbers printed anywhere on the bus". Interestingly I had never noticed true! 
BMTC website has a call center number published.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Free offer from Colgate

The famous Colgate toothpaste has come up with a free offer. Yet again.
I have received several free samples of toothpaste from Colgate. Be it their "Total" or "Sensitive" or "Active Salt". Now Colgate has a free offer. To avail this you just need to spend on a SMS.

Send SMS - MaxWhite to 54646

After sometime you will get a call from Colgate, who would get your address from you and send the free sample of their new toothpaste "Colgate Maxwhite". 

Probably it works only in a few cities but will definitely work in namma Bengaluru. As all offers, its a limited period offer.

I am a very regular of "Colgate Total" though. It's the best and keeps tartar away...I am speaking from my 3 yrs experience with Total.

Wonder how many packets of toothpaste does Colgate give away free! Great going Colgate.

PS - I saw a big advertisement on the old Airport road about this offer.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Project - Post office

My 10 yrs old niece is in my home for summer vacations. She is generally playing most of the time with the kids in the neighborhood. (Who wouldn't?) I was checking with her as to what her other friends are up-to during the holidays. She said most go to summer camps learning painting, singing, art workshops etc. Some of her friends are on foreign tours as-well. And here my niece was playing indoor and outdoor games.  

So on Friday night I asked her - What happens in a post office? And the answer was very guessable - People buy stamps, cards, letters and post it in the post box. I did not comment on the answer, but gave her an assignment.
Goto the post-office near my home. Spend 30 mins inside the post-office. See, observe, talk to visitors and prepare a report on why people come to post-office and what they do there.

She readily accepted the offer. So we went to the post-office on Saturday. Me and her. Equipped with pen, pencil, eraser and a notepad, she looked like a journalist. I left her inside the post-office and left the place. After 30 mins, her preliminary version of the project was ready. 

Her modus operandi was very simple (like instructed earlier) - Observe what people do and approach people and ask them why have they come to the PO. She also introduced herself and told the individuals that she was doing a project in her vacations. Predictably the reactions from the people was pretty open and warm.

What amazed her is the number of people who come to post-office for the "original purpose of post office" is very less. More people visit the PO for the traditional banking purposes like collecting old age pension, collecting money from savings schemes like monthly income scheme(MIS). Indian postal service is spreading its wings into various domains.

She is now ready for a bank project.

Personally, I felt that such exercises to the children would give them confidence to interact with people. Of-course the knowledge they gain is also immense.

I hope she makes the preliminary version of the project into a report to show it to her classmates after the vacation. Proudly.

Monday, April 26, 2010

When winners are not in focus...

You thought that the winners corner all the glory! Not always...
Read a few examples below - 

1.  Royal Challengers Bangalore were rocking in IPL 3. They thrashed Mumbai in Mumbai, chased down 200+ against Punjab in Bangalore. You expect that to be in the headlines of atleast Bangalore edition of newspapers. The front page of atleast 3 newspapers carried match pictures. Not of RCB boys though. It was Sid Mallya with Deepika Padukone. Siddhartha Mallya also told that Deepika gets credit of RCB win because she is the lucky charm. Damn! The cricketers who slog on the ground did not get the credit.

2. Ask a few colleagues and friend - Who won the Augusta Master Golf tournament 2010. 8/10 will not know the answer. But the same 8/10 guys would know that Tiger Woods returned to the golf course after 6 months of break. Sorry Phil Mickelson...theres very few lines written about you. When Tiger is around Micky can just squeak ;-)

3. "Hurt Locker" beat "Avatar" at the Oscars this year. Also the best director was Kathryn Bigelow. But hardly a few know her. Most of us only know all the details about the loser James Cameroon of Avatar, Titanic fame. Most news articles had headlines as "Avatar looses", "James disappointed at Oscars"....Hardly a few praised the movie "Hurt Locker".

4. When ex SAP CEO was replaced by the current 2 co-CEOs - Most news articles did mention the new co-CEO names only at the fag end of the article. Leo Apotheker hogged all the lime light as the "moving out" CEO. The news channels captured the co-CEOs (Bill and Jim) much later because of the co-CEO model which is rarely seen in the industry.

5.  In the (in)famous Kuwait invasion - all one remembers is the loser Saddam Hussain. The allied troops led by USA hit back at Saddam and he had to retreat. Even the US media had more Saddam than Bush (the then President of USA). 

6. The latest and the fresh one - Who is the new IPL commissioner? I doubt if he(Amin) would be present in the headlines atleast for the next few days. But the charismatic Lalit Modi (some suggest that he has to be Lallit Modi) would still take prime time in most of the news channels.

7. When Fedex or Nadal is defeated in a tennis match - the news is mostly about the form and stats of the loosers and very less about winner.

Are you wondering whether to be a winner or a famed looser!

It's no choice dear!

Just go for the win....and hope the limelight is on you.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cocos nucifera - prices set to go up

Summer is hot..really hot in Bangalore and generally in South India. In fact we had the hottest April in 27 yrs. What has this lead to?
The common thing and the first guess is "rise in the sales of cool drink"

For what cool drink. I suppose all cool drinks had a good market. 
When I said cool drinks, i am sure you thought about Pepsi, Coke, Maaza, Frooti etc etc. Though most of you have had TENDER COCONUT WATER (TCW, ಎಳ ನೀರು ), none of you would have thought it as a cool drink.

TCW is the best and healthiest cool drink that you can have in a hot summer day. I love the drink and have had it a lot during this summer. 
In around 100 sq mts, there are 4 vendors of TCW near my home. All the 4 are pretty busy making holes into cocus nucifera or coconut. At the end of the day, there is none to make hole and that's when they pack their bags for the day. Next day begins at 6:45am with a fresh stock arrival from places like Tumkur, Arsikere, Kanakapura etc. In the old airport road you can see atleast 6 vendors of TCW between HAL to Marathalli. This is a common phenomena across Bangalore.

Most of us are consumers of coconut either in its copra form (ತೆಂಗಿನ ಕಾಯಿ)  or as dry copra (ಕೊಬ್ಬರಿ) or coconut oil. I need not teach Botany for you to explain that TC ages to become copra which ages to become dry copra which is in turn used to make coconut oil. 
To put this in perspective, here are some cocos facts.
  • If tender coconut water is required, the nuts of 5-6 months of age are harvested.
  • If copra is needed (for culinary purposes), the nuts of 8-10 months are harvested. 
  • If dry copra is needed for coconut oil extraction and for other purposes, then fully ripe nuts of 10-12 months or so are harvested.
As we have consumed a lot of TCW, we harvested nuts at the age of 5-6 months. Or the nuts are not let to become copra. So there would be lesser copra. The demand supply law says that if the supply is less and the demand is more, the prices will increase. With no chance of increasing the production of cocos, I can only see my expenditure on coconut (and its products) going up.

Gear up for the increased expenditure!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bet - we want to loose

We all take bets\challenges. In all bets, we want to win. 
But most of us also have taken a bet which we want to loose. Wondering what is this? Proceed further.
What is "Life Insurance"?

 Basically if you die, you want to give a better life to your dependents. Atleast financially they hold respect in society. 

But look at it in other way.

Its a bet you take with the insurance provider. The bet is death.

You say to the insurance company -  "I will die and so you will pay".
The insurance company tells you - "You will not die and so I will not pay".
This is the challenge.

From inside, you want the insurance company to win the bet.
And the funny part is  - you pay annually some amount to loose the bet. (they call it premium! Funny!)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Shabby Vs Neat

Ask yourself the question - Do i want to be neat or shabby?
Most of you would say "Neat". 
Now ask yourself the question - Am i neat or shabby?
I do not know what the majority would say...Probably the answer would be (like my answer) - "sometimes neat and sometimes shabby".

There is no big need to explain what are the advantages of being "Neat". Looks good, probably healthy, some cases being neat occupies less space, more lovable perhaps etc etc. 
Similarly, there's no big need to explain the disadvantages of being "Shabby". The opposite of all the above. So the preferred thing is to be "Neat".

I mostly tend to agree with the "Neat" followers. But in some cases, its advantageous to be shabby. Let me put a picture in front of you. 

Just to make clear, the picture has 3 objects - Mouse, Headphone, Mobile charger arranged in some fashion.
Your first thoughts about the picture would be - part A of the picture is "Neat" and hence the preferred way to arrange things. Part B is "Shabby", haphazard and best avoided. 

Now just assume the following -
The setup is in your home. Its night and you are sleeping (probably a very sound sleep after seeing your  favorite team winning the IPL match). A thief somehow sneeks into your home. He is busy gathering the goods that are lying around. He sees your Bose headphone (10k Rs). 

Part A arrangement - He picks it up easily and walks out.
Part B arrangement - He tries to pick the headphone in a hurry. He holds the headphone and pulls. The wires are entangled and the mouse falls off from the table, making a loud noise. You wake up & either catch or chase the thief.

Now - Ask yourself the question - Do i want to be neat or shabby?


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Abuse with animal names

I will tell you what you need to curse, the next time you are angry at a guy.


You would have heard curses like the ones below but never heard somebody scolding other person - "BEE".

  • you become a lizard in the next birth (especially when you do not provide water for a thirsty individual)
  • dog (the famous kutte kaminey dialogue)
  • donkey (gadha jasisa khel tha hey)
  • owl (ullu, ulla ka patta)
  • monkey (kothi nan magane)
  • rat
  • pig (be aware that this is a very offensive abuse for some)
  • even a cockroach.

All these seem to have some bad quality which is why people "scold"\"abuse" using these animals. (I personally feel that like all animals these animals also have some good and some bad qualities. So use a bit of Gandhigiri\Munnabhaigiri and say thanks when you are called any of these.) But its pretty obvious that you are anyway going to offend a human if you call him anything but a human.

Coming back to the best curse - Bee. Read some facts about Bee and you know why its the worst curse.

  • The male bee (called the drone) is born to have sex with the queen bee. Thats the one and only purpose of its life. What a sexy waste!

Hold on bigger things to come.

  • The male bees queue up to have sex with the queen. If the drone gets the chance of its life time, it would have sex with the queen in mid air. During the event, the drone's penis and abdomen will be ripped apart and the drone will die. What a cursed life!

Hold on for one more moment.

  • The drones are fed by the worker bees till they grow up to a state when they can mate. The drones who do not mate with the queen is kicked out of the home (bee hive) and left to die of starvation (because they do not know how to get food of their own).
Long live the drone!

Monday, April 12, 2010

How do you spell ....?

the kid was waiting for the public bus to reach home. it was another boring day at school. he did not like the first few days of his 5th class. he was missing his 4th class friends. thanks to school's "rotation policy". he longed for the bus journey and meet his "foot-board friends". an old man was 2 steps behind him in an otherwise empty bus stand. old man came forward, tapped the shoulder of the kid. the tap was so gentle that the kid thought that it the bird flying above used his shoulders as the loo. kid hesitantly looked up and across the shoulder. kid was surprised that the shoulder was still clean and even more surprised to see a pleasant smile from the old man. after mutual smiles, the old man asked about school and studies. without much interest kid answered all questions. adding to the kid's frustration was the bus which did not turn up. the old man commanded respect by his pleasant looks and soft talk, so the kid could not be rude. suddenly the old man asked the kid "how do you spell 'wud'?". the kid already had told that old man that he is in class 5 and for a 5th class guy this question was lolly-pop. kid said "w-o-u-l-d", holding his chest high in pride. the old man laughed and asked the kid why not "w-o-o-d". stumped, bowled or whatever. the kid had no place to hide but argued foolishly. finally the bus arrived and kid was separated from the agony of insult and the old man.
the kid was me.
i have asked the same question since then to more than 10-15 people across ages. none have asked me "which wud?" and none have told me the answer as "w-o-u-l-d". everybody says "w-o-o-d". 
wonder why did i answer "w-o-u-l-d"?
try it on people around you including kids.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Question remains unanswered

With every election the answer to the following question gets murkier and murkier...

What makes a party win an election?
  • Previous record
  • Current performance of itself and opposition
  • Strength of the opposition
  • Caste
  • Leadership
  • Alliance
  • Money power
  • Loss of choice for the voter
  • Corruption
  • Candidate profile
  • Promises
  • etc 
  • etc
These and many more form a matrix, which is hard to crack. And this makes the GREAT Indian democracy really GREAT.
BJP won the BBMP elections by a handsome margin, beating all predictions. Lets see what the current BJP govt has done.

Previous to this civic elections, BJP was nowhere in BBMP (this is the first time BJP has got to power in a civic body in South India). Their performance as govt of Karnataka was below expectation. Acute power shortage, no hikes for govt officials, transfer corruption, NICE controversy, water scarcity, vulgar money power of miners (CM acknowledged this), infra projects not progressing, frustration internal quarrels spilled out in public etc etc Still BJP won the polls hands-down. We also have a divided and a leaderless opposition which has helped BJP.

Of-course there are some good work done by them.
They have utilized the JNurm funds for having good roads and good buses. The compound walls of govt establishments are now beautifully painted (making the city look better).

Even with these good points, can anyone from BJP answer the question which i posted above with honesty and sincerity. I bet NO. The question couldn't be answered by Congress when they beat Vajpayee's BJP\NDA to head India.
Its better that state BJP realize that we have given them another chance to prove their worth. Repay us with good work for our votes.
Congrats and Good luck to BJP!

The immediate effect for sure will be increase in cost of living...
Candidates would want to get back the money they spent in elections, so some projects will start in each constituency.

A better question to end the post -  
Will Bangaloreans enjoy a better life under the new BBMP setup?

Friday, April 09, 2010

workout in good envoirnment

Why do experts all over the world recommend to exercise in the morning? There should be some sensible logic.
I strongly feel that one of the strong reason for this reco is that the air is relatively cleaner in the morning. And its no big brainer that we need more oxygen when we exercise. Other reasons could be temperature, free time, stay fresh for the rest of the day.
There are a lot of gyms near my locality on the ring road. Most of these gyms are flocked by guys early in the morning. They come in bikes and run in the gym(I do not understand this logic of theirs). Blazing hip hop music is put on in full volume inside the gym. Such music supposedly brings in the "josh" to exercise. 
These gyms are in the basement or ground floor of a shopping complex. Basically, they are in the space that is meant for parking in the complex. I went to a couple of them just to see how they are (not an iota of intention to join them). The gyms are cramped with equipments. There is not enough space between them. The gym is dusty and cob webs are hanging around like those in the horror movies. There is the garage shutter as the entrance to the gym and only a couple of small ventilators for air circulation. As the gym is underground, the door and the ventilators open to the stone walls(foundation). The gap between the openings and the wall is also less. So air cannot gush in.  The gym does not have ac. A couple of creaking fans try to cool the area. There are around 10-12 people sweating out in the 2200 sq feet gym. I hope you feel (or at-least imagine) thickness in the air of the gym. 
Smell of sweat, hot air from the fan, loud music, air filled peoples' exhaust....oh a creepy feeling.

Cant guys exercise in parks nearby? Cant they try something within the four walls of their homes? 

Guys - Choose a good surrounding for exercise. You are harming your lungs and muscles in these sultry gyms.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Waste of court time

When we do some work, do we really think if its approved by Supreme court or not?
Recently there was a ruling by the SC that premarital sex & live-in relations are ok in India. Or in other words it said premarital sex is not an offense.
Do people really care?
If somebody wants to have it, they will. If somebody wants to live together, they will. This was always the case.
On the other hand, how many would have sex before marriage because (only because) supreme court of India allows it? If they do not want it, they will not do it. Period. 
I looked up further into the case in which SC legally permitted premarital sex.
The case came up because actress Kushboo told in a TV interview that sex b4 marriage is OK. Some felt that this spoils Indian culture and the family setup. They filed cases (not 1, not 2 but 22 of them) against the actress. Now tell me, how many of you would do the thing because (only because) Kushboo told that its OK to do it.
Why should the court waste time on such trivial things? There are so many important cases pending which affects life of several people. Courts need to concentrate on important issues.

On the same stance, whats wrong with what Nithyananda swami did? He probably had premarital sex, which is perfectly legal. Why again waste time on the case? 

I do not endorse premarital sex. Even if I, who cares. I just want to say - don't waste precious time of the court on personal fantasies.

When giving this verdict court questioned - If Krishna and Radha had a live-in relationship, whats wrong with such a relationship?
Now - If Rama can ask his wife to goto fire, whats wrong with lighting up one's wife? Is wife a cigarette?
Dear court - It was a wrong example to quote. 

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Successful predictions?

Yesterday was celebration time for BJP in Bangalore. They made a clean sweep of the local BBMP polls.
Let me check about my prediction(March 29th blog) of the BBMP elections. 

*Source of actual results is the official website 

As I predicted, BJP won my constituency by 300 votes. I expected a bigger margin. (161, Hosakerehalli).
No survey predicted this victory for BJP. Check DNA page 1 today.
Even BJP did not expect these many seats. Their expectation was to win 104 seats.
Given these facts, mine was still pretty good prediction, I suppose! Got it slightly wrong on BJP's numbers. Error of 3% in the overall results is acceptable. What say friends? 
Now how did I make this prediction.

Bangaloreans have stood with BJP since sometime. BJP won most of the assembly seats of the city. BJP also swept the Lok Sabha seats of Bangalore. And BJP was united in Bangalore for the BBMP elections. The opposition on the other hand had no issue to highlight and were thoroughly dis-integrated. All this made BJP a clear favorite. 

The other source of information was the talk with the small time party leaders who are actually involved in the campaigning. This provides some insights on what the pattern is across different wards.

But the most important source for prediction is MY GUT FEEL.

Hope some channels are reading this and may want to avail my services for the next election....
He he...kidding :-)
Enough of blowing my own trumpet !

Monday, April 05, 2010

Marathon news

I have 2 news to share. A happy and the OTHER one...I will start in that order.

Happy news
May 23rd is the Bengaluru Sunfeast Marathon. As in the previous year, we have a 10k category and a 5k category apart from the senior citizen run etc. Last year I ran in the 5k segment. I had already decided to take a try at the 10k this time. I was super excited to see this news and spread the word among my friends (who showed some interest in participating...just to beat me).
Hearing\seeing the news, I already planned to buy a pair of new shoes for running. Set an alarm for 5:30 am on my mobile. Mentally decided the jogging route to take for the next 50 days. It was a big motivation to start exercising 'again'. Basically I was happy.

The other ONE
Over the weekend, i realized that one of my cousin is getting married. Its basically a happy news again. The marriage is on May 23rd. She is close to our family and I can't afford to miss her wedding. The wedding is in Bangalore. But we being the bride side, I expect that there will be some work to do at the wedding. The race timings would mean that if I run the marathon, I would enter the marriage hall only for lunch. This is very odd to do. So I have to skip this year's marathon. Sad.
This is something which is totally out of my control.
Wonder how much of what I want, I actually can do.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

April 1 special

I wanted to try this today.
Board the BMTC volvo bus (500k) which gets me to office via our office cab route. 
Buy a ticket costing 10 Rs to a stop which 3 stops(DG bunk) from my stop. 
After this, in the subsequent 2 stops, ask the colleagues waiting for the office cab to board the volvo telling them that the office cab has met with an accident. 
They would buy bus ticket to office paying 45Rs. 
Then I get down at DG bunk and catch the office cab which comes 5 mins later.
I dropped the idea because it could become sensitive with not so many like minded people. They may get defensive and the fun portion goes for a toss.
I checked with some friends and got to know that they would have fallen for this fool's day special.
By the way - I am fooled by my wife already :-)