Archive for July, 2007

Bombay jadoo in Bangalore!

Inspired by contemporary Indian authors, Betsy Karel went to Bombay to find visual equivalents of the humanity, humor, mystery and psychological energy of these writers’ stories. Unlike many photographers who are drawn to the cacophony of urban India, she focused, often in an intensely personal way, on individuals going about their everyday street lives in this singular city. Patiently waiting amidst the bustle of Bombay, home to more people than the entire continent of Australia, she captures a poignant lyricism in the familiar.

As individuals transform public spaces into private places, forging islands of intimacy, she encounters the true “jadoo” of Bombay and its people. To accompany the photographs, the globally acclaimed author Suketu Mehta has written a companion piece about his boyhood in Bombay. The book also includes an excerpt from Ardashir Vakil’s Beach Boy.

Book Launch at Oxford Bookstore
Thursday 2nd August, 2007
6 pm onwards
Oxford Bookstore, Leela Galleria
Leela Palace Hotel
Contact: 080 4115 5222

Tasveer presents “Next to Each Other, Bombay Jadoo”
A show of photographs from Betsy Karel’s Bombay Jadoo
followed by “Art of the Matter”: A dramatized reading on Bombay by Kimaaya
Friday 3rd August, 2007
6:30 pm onwards
Tasveer, Sua House
26/1 Kasturba Cross Road
Bangalore 560 052
Contact: 080 2212 8358

About the author: Betsy Karel, born in New York City in 1946, now lives in Washington, DC. She worked as a photojournalist in the 1970s and early 80s, winning awards. In 1998, after an absence of 15 years, she returned to photography to participate in The Way Home, a book and national exhibition on homelessness in America. During the past nine years, Karel has made numerous trips to Mumbai, creating the images in Bombay Jadoo. Her photographs are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Yale University Art Gallery, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the John F. Kennedy Library.

Another Kill of commercialization on 100ft Road..

– One more reason why we should help and contribute to Janet’s holy cause in the following post by Anita.

Last weekend we came across another Tree cutting episode on 100ft Road and 12th Main junction (for those who are familiar just outside Sony Service Center pavement) in Indira Nagar the fastest changing residential to commercial area.

A beautiful, tall tree was observed cut-down for no visible reason by the culprits.

Plant those trees!

I got this from a friend and thought that it would be great if all of us could participate!

Yesterday itself, a friend and I were talking about Bangalore’s depleting tree cover to make way for more and wider roads. She had mentioned that just planting another tree in place of a 100-year old tree that has been chopped off or uprooted, definitely doesn’t make up for the damage. But in the face of what’s going on, even a small gesture like that is better than nothing, I feel. It can’t compensate for the damage, but it’s the least we can do for our future.

It reminded me of this news I’d got from a friend, about a lady called Janet who plants trees.

You can have a tree planted on someone’s behalf to commemorate a birthday, anniversary, ceremony, or just another day you’re glad to be alive. So far she’s planted over 650 trees…She’s looking for people who can become members of her charitable trust and contribute 100 rupees per month.

She’s also trying to get in touch with companies to see if the corporates can accommodate her mission – The Rajanet Yegneshwaran Charitable Trust.

She plants trees anywhere and everywhere – sidewalks, schools, churches, company compounds, houses… If you know any place where there’s place for a tree, get in touch with Janet on 9845449703.

Spread the word. The rest will follow…

Desserted at Olive Beach

Olive Beach has been described as “Bangalore’s most Miami-esque hot spot” and for good reason. The interiors are visual therapy, the food is divine and the desserts are out of this world. What I like best is the visual dimension to the way your order is served up. Thought I’d share an eyeball popper or two.

Location : 16 Wood Street, Ashok Nagar.


Moving on

“Think global, act local” is fine. But I wish for a community with “think local, act ultra-local” as the goal. That is taking me over to “Praja – Bangalore“. It is a new site – still infant – where we blog to start with, and later, once a community gets going, deliver the sound bytes to those who can do something with it. After all, whats the point in blogging in vacuums when every other authority of note has a complaint, suggestion and RTI cell!?

For most bloggers, writing is only a moonlighting activity, not a day job and I am no exception. That means, you can’t sign up to blog at multiple places and fool yourselves.

Before I move on, I wanted to thank Metblogs readers for tolerating all those posts. It’s been fun blogging here, watching the readership numbers swell, and meeting some like minded folks. There definitely is a need for blogging communities like this where you get to hear “real” stuff from the ground about everything Bangalore, or shall I say Bengaluru. Cheers!

Guilty until proved otherwise!!

Western Governments have turned around the cardinal principal of criminal law, Instead of ‘Innocent until proved Guilty’ it has now become ‘Guilty until proved otherwise’.

Like a celebrity, he is welcomed back home at Bangalore Airport; his wife goes on media saying sweets are being prepared and he likes sweets…Mohamed Haneef was reunited with his wife and newborn daughter in his hometown Bangalore after spending 25 days in Australian jail on a charge of supporting last month’s failed attacks on London and Glasgow, Scotland.

So how many languages do you understand?

Headline: Jaasthi Coverage
Brand: Spice Telecom
Baseline: Spice hain toh life hain
The current Spice Telecom hoardings speaks to you in three languages on a single piece of communication – without causing any confusion. Our city, Bangalore is a melting pot of different cultures, like Mumbai or Hyderabad. Mumbai may even be the city that has the most newspapers in different languages, but when it comes to the number of languages that the common citizen can understand, we Bangaloreans are No 1. If you ask for directions, you are most likely to get a reply in the language you speak here in Bangalore.

So how many languages do you know/speak?

I know English, Kannada, Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil and I can understand Telugu and Marathi.


Got some SKIL ?

Is that the question state government is asking these days for infrastructure projects coming up on Bangalore’s periphery!? Consider these. We have heard so much about SKIL Infrastructure getting Nandagudi SEZ approved. Next, newspaper reports suggest the same firm is pushing for 3 more similar projects:

” While for the Solur SEZ (Bangalore Rural district), the company has sought 7,287 acres, and for Ramanagaram, it will require 4,013 acres. SKIL has also sought 4,182 acres at different places around Bangalore to develop 188 km of an intermediate ring road.”

And now, a consortium called GIC, which includes SKIL, is asking to take over BMIC project. When a single entity gets so much prominence so quickly, questions come naturally. They can’t be the only infrastructure builder willing to bet on Bangalore growth story, can they?

Real Estate – slow down in demand?

The much anticipated but never talked about slump in real estate prices seems to be arriving. A short journey around all those places which were hub of construction activity gives a good idea.

The big slump in demand is evident from all those high rise apartments that are complete and waiting for buyers. Two years ago when Prestige group launched Shantiniketan project near ITPL, it was sold out on the same day when the bookings were opened! Things are much different now and the demand-supply equation seems to be tilting towards buyers. It is easy to find a ready apartment in areas like Marathahalli-ITPL stretch, Bellandur-Marathahalli stretch and JP Nagar 7th Phase. There has been word that it is a similar story in Mysore, where land prices had shot up considerably a year ago but there are few takers of late. But of course, no one wants to talk about it, be it developers or even the media.

However, prices, though have remained stable, do not seem to have come down much along with excess supply. And there are plenty of new projects coming in too. North Bangalore is now becoming a new hub of construction activity. It might probably take a few more months or even a year of low-demand until the prices start looking down. Or if there is a fresh wave of demand like last few years, a reduction in prices may never happen.

Have you been house hunting lately? What are your experiences?

No place like home


Nearly half a century after they were thrown out homes and after having become an integral part of Karnataka’s chow-chow baath of people, they still yearn to go back home. Tibetans striking in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue.

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