Archive for August, 2007

How to be late for a client meeting


If you want to do lunch in 30 minutes, don’t go to Ruchi. Yesterday, their “unlimited” thali resulted in a delayed client meeting and a very angry client.

Didn’t matter, because I had one of those thalis that got you to loosen your belt and make impolite noises. We were driving past Ruchi on Cambridge Road and my colleague Sumit suddenly hit the brakes. “You must try the Thali out here, it’s more than decent,” he said.

I don’t usually argue about stop-overs or detours, especially when I’m hungry – so we trooped up to the first floor and took a table.

Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation

I went to visit the BMTC website, and was pretty impressed with their iniitatitives to improve the bus services in Bengaluru.

Here’s the site:

For many years, the bus services in this city were woeful, but recently, I find that a lot of improvements have happened; I often take buses now to other suburbs of Bengaluru (though not at peak time, alas!). The new Volvo services are also very comfortable.

However, I feel that a few more steps can be taken. One is definitely the fact that as of now, catching a bus is a hit-and-miss affair; there are no correct timing co-ordinates at all. One just goes and waits at a bus stop, and hopes..not a very organized way of travelling!

It’s no longer NICE!!

In an another pact of wisdom countering the NICE, State govt is all set to nullify an agreement signed in August 2002 with the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE), promoter of the Bangalore-Mysore Expressway Project. With the annulment of the agreement, the land at 10 major interchanges along the proposed expressway will not be available to the NICE. Refer for More…

The city which witnessed random and rapid growth over last decade have two significant projects one being NICE and another BIAL, the Bangalore International Airport, both the projects run into major risk of non completion due to the complex nature of Govt support in and around land acquisitions. Never the less the first project already ran into controversies and risk of non utilization to general public over the red Tapisum now, with systematic no-support via political and babudom arenas, the second project ( BIAL) may see delays in operation due to the access road situation.

Surprisingly both these projects hover around the disagreements over ‘Land’ acquisition and ‘real estate’ aspects and defining true beneficiaries! All this in the name of public who keeps struggling to survive through lesser infrastructure and have no option but to keep ‘Tolerating’ or ‘Swalpa adjust madi’ attitude!! What Say??

Onam Sadhya at Ranga Shankara

Anju, who runs the cafe at Ranga Shankara, which I wrote about in this post , is serving Onam Sadhya (lunch) at this prime theatre venue of South Bangalore, on Sunday.

Anna Sadhya

Though it’s a BUFFET LUNCH (no place for all the banana leaves like the one pictured above!), the traditional Sadhya items will be served, and there will be an option between Choru (the traditional parboiled rice) and regular rice.

Lunch is from about 12.30pm on Sunday afternoon, and will be priced at Rs.95 per head.

So if any of you want to taste a good Malayali feast,(with two payasams,too!), do call

98450 36605 / 93421 94176

and make your bookings.

Of course, you can walk into Ranga Shankara, too, but prior booking will ensure you a good, filling Sadhya!

And remember, there is also a matinee showing of Gandhi/Ambedkar (Kannada) at 3.30pm at the same venue…iso, instead of the normal theatre/supper combination, you can go for a lunch/theatre afternoon.


Tonight I left my flat expecting to walk to the corner and catch an auto to go to a restaurant. Instead when I got to the main road, I found a small flood of humanity, mostly dressed in variations of peach colored clothing walking down Infantry road. It seemed clear that SOMETHING was going on, but as a newcomer and foreigner I had no idea what it was.

I know that there are various festivals going on but as far as I knew none of them involved dressing up in peach colored clothes. I asked the local handicrafts store guy what was going on and after offering to show me some great deals, and asking me to come in “for a cup of tea” he explained it was some Christian festival.

I find the timing somewhat suspicious. I was raised in a Christian culture and I know of no big Christian feast day around now, but I do know of three or four Hindu festivals going on, but it was just another of those little mysteries. Rather than compete with the dozens of people walking down my street for an auto, we decided just to walk the mile or so to the restaurant.

On the way, we were surrounded by more celebrants, some dressed in peach, some not, all a river of humanity, just walking along at 8pm on a weekday. After six months here, it felt kind of comforting. We were walking along with our neighbors, here in the city. Some of them stopped for the local chaat wallah, others joined us in crossing the street in a safe and comforting group. Some jumped on to the overstuffed bus that barely slowed to let people on and off.

It was yet another fascinating and serendipitous experience for us, something that I’m sure people who live here take for granted, but that we would never see anywhere else.

[Edited to add]
Apparently this festival was a flag raising at the Basilica in Shivajinagar in honor of Mother Mary’s upcoming (Sep 8) birthday.

In the name of security!!

Hyderabad blast caused ripples in almost all security agencies, Bangalore police being on among many seems to start the drills on meeting and review the situations in the city…

The city police would soon convene a meeting of the managements of shopping malls, parks and religious institutions to draw up strategy to insulate them from terror strikes. Says a report

Now the question is how and when will we ‘open’ our eyes and re-look at actual physical protection and vigilance in each and all public places, Given an examples recently on 15th August, me and my family tried visiting lalbagh, the crowd and the chaos convinced us well before we enter the park to get away from the scene and we choose to visit PVR, of-course when we drove straight inside the parking lot there was absolutely no security check, frisking provided in there … !!

On the other hand, All the visitors who enter PVR from the entrance are checked and let pass metal detectors giving a secure look to the mall, but this security just disappears when it comes to driving up on all levels and entering without your bags checked well inside the mall, isn’t this absurd. I guess same the situation with almost all major malls when visitors are checked if they walk in the mall but driving inside goes unchecked making mockery of the exercise and intent!!

To Cross Swords…

Bengaluru newspapers in English have one feature beloved of a small group of readers..the crossword.

The crossword is a word puzzle that keeps one’s mind alert and certainly, being able to finish the crossword in the morning gives a feeling of achievement that can carry one happily through the day!

Crosswords can be “general” or “cryptic”; many newspapers carry the same grid into which both types of answers can be fitted. Of these, the cryptic crossword challenges many parts of one’s knowledge…of the English language, of allusions, literary or otherwise, and even one’s knowledge of other languages sometimes. They are often very witty indeed.The Deccan Herald crossword on weekdays is a challenge to one’s thinking process, as are the crosswords that appear in both the Economic Times,and the Indian Express. Alas, none of these newspapers cite the source from which they are taken. The cryptic crossword in the Hindu is compiled in-house, but does suffer shortcomings sometimes.

But of all the cryptic crosswords that appear in the newspapers of Bengaluru, my personal favourite remains this one:

the deccan herald crossword on saturdays

Now is the time!!

Fed up with the telemarketers calls on your cell, The registration for National ‘Do-not-call’ is finally open through your service provider. Accordingly to this circular from TRAI you should register your numbers immediately.

The primary objective of the National Do Not Call Registry (NDNC Registry) is to curb Unsolicited Commercial Communication (UCC). UCC has been defined as “any message, through telecommunications service, which is transmitted for the purpose of informing about, or soliciting or promoting any commercial transaction in relation to goods, investments or services which a subscriber opts not to receive, but, does not include, —-
(i) any message (other than promotional message) relating to a service or financial transaction under a specific contract between the parties to such contract; or
(ii) any messages relating to charities, national campaigns or natural calamities transmitted on the directions of the Government or agencies authorized by it for the said purpose;
(iii) messages transmitted, on the directions of the Government or any authority or agency authorized by it, in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality.”

Refer for more >

In just another 45 days from your registration, yes that’s the time required for you and me to achieve the freedom from unwanted calls from Telemarketers!!

Being “Top 5” among world’s expensive cities…

When it comes to Hotel tariff’s, The back office rush to the city from Global MNCs has resulted in placing Bangalore among the top 5 expensive cities in the world!! says a report.

• Moscow remains the most expensive city with average room rates of 236.06 pounds (Rs 19,433).
• New York City at the second slot (180.29 pound),
• Dubai (166.73 pound),
• Paris (165.84 pound) and
• Bangalore, which has an average room rent of 162.04 pounds (Rs 13,341) for the first six months of 2007.

The rise in rates have been fuelled by a limited supply of hotels with rooms moving in the upper end of the market to meet the demand from the expansion in the banking, finance and IT sectors.

Let me warn you, don’t compete the infrastructure here, nor even the per capita income!! The city seems to have has just started earning to spend!!

Happy Onam ….

Instead of using the usual lamp or food pictures (which I have used already on my own blog!) I thought I would use this picture of the golden “thengin kai”, which symblizes plenty, fruitfulness, and prosperity, to wish our Malayalam brothers and sisters in Bengaluru a very happy Onam festival!

coconuts Kochi taj malabar 260807

The cosmopolitan nature of Bengaluru ensures that every community here can observe the traditions they bring here, as well as celebrate the Kannadiga festivals; one of the largest of these, Gowri Ganesha, is coming up shortly…

Every part of the coconut tree is useful in some way or another; let us try to be like the coconut tree, making our contributions to society in as many ways as we can.

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