Archive for August, 2008


Its a pity every time you hear the sound of the roaring [sometimes quite feeble] ambulances in Bangalore. There is nothing much , you , as an driver can do, nor the ambulance. That’s the sorry state that we all go through time and again. First of all, for a driver, there is no room to move whichever way, and to add to the predicament no one really knows, which side to move. Till date I haven’t personally seen any rules to guide an driver, as to which side of the road should he/she move.

Abroad, especially in the US, there are fixed rules that all vehicles should move onto the slowest moving lanes and leave the fast moving lanes for the Ambulances or Police etc as soon as one hears the siren. So everyone knows which side to move and so does the Ambulance Driver.
Here everyone is clueless. Its only when one hears the siren next to your ear, you start panicking and start looking for place to move. Please post your opinions and views and any rules which already exist on this front.

Worse, people don’t even bother to give them the right of way. Guys, just think that someone from your family is in the vehicle and you can save a life.

I just hope and pray that first of all the RTO makes some fixed rules and secondly makes everyone aware that these rules exist. The sole link that I have found on the web makes no mention as to where should a vehicle move. Please post your views or ideas on this issue.

The Fifth Bangalore Photowalk

Date: 31st August 2008
Starting time: 7.30 am
Starting point: Bull Temple, Basavanagudi.
Ending time: Approximately 9 am
Ending point: Vidyarthi Bhavan, Gandhi Bazaar Circle.

To participate, mail me at sandeep[dot]shande[at]gmail[dot]com

Route Map:
View Larger Map


Take a bow !

This is what I saw right behind my motorbike in the parking area at Palace grounds, soon after attending the Independence Rock Festival last Sunday. And needless to say, I stood there, partially frozen and wonder struck, pinching myself to see if I was hallucinating. The driver was kind enough to allow me to take a few pictures of this masterpiece.

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolls Royce Phantom ! Take a bow !

In 2007, Rolls Royce sold 11 Phantoms in India .The car is priced between Rs. 3.5 and 4 crore.

Barcamp Bangalore 7 on 13 and 14 September 2008

The next Barcamp Bangalore, an interesting amalgam of events and communication, where everyone is a participant, is happening at IIM-B on the 13th and 14th September.

For details, visit

And if you want to know in detail what a Barcamp is, go to


Toto Music Awards – Call for Entries

TOTO FUNDS THE ARTS (TFA), in association with Counter Culture Records (CCR), invites entries for the fifth annual TOTO awards for young budding musicians and bands. The winner of the award has two options: (i) the Rs 50,000 cash prize (to be used towards your music!) OR (ii) a complete record deal from CCR + a music equipment voucher from On-Stage Music (India’s high quality music equipment store) worth Rs 15,000! The record deal will include recording and releasing your debut album across India.

TFA is looking for entries in contemporary music from all parts of India (bands or individuals). The list of genres extends from rock, jazz, heavy metal, trance, house, instrumental, folk, to any genre which is yet to be “born”. The award is open to music in any language. (more…)

"The First Leaf" by, and at, Ranga Shankara

“The First Leaf”, a special play for children in English, will be staged at Ranga Shankara from 26-28 August 2008 at 7.30 pm.

“The First Leaf” is a production of AHA! Ranga Shankara’s Theatre for Children initiative. Padmavati Rao, who has previously served as Assistant Director on Shankar Nag’s popular TV serial, Malgudi Days, directs the play. The translation into English from the original by Shrirang Godbole is by the director. Padmavati has also co-directed AHA!’s other production “Gumma Banda Gumma” in Kannada.

Music for “The First Leaf” is by Bhavataarini, daughter of the famous composer, Ilayaraja.

This play opened in December last year to an appreciative audience of children and adults. Till date, over 6200 children have enjoyed the play through the Deccan Herald’s Newspaper in Education programme.

“The First Leaf” tells the inspiring story of Putti, her brother Dodu and friend Chinna who live in a time of imminent environmental catastrophe, which is as real as today and looms as close as tomorrow. The three young students explore their surroundings through fantasy and fun with the new tenant in their residential complex, who breathes new meaning into all he touches and encounters. The lesson ultimately learnt is one of protecting Plant Earth.


Its Gig Time !!

I attended the Independence Rock festival at Palace grounds last night and watched some amazing performances by some of the best bands from Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin and Trivandrum. While I was being frisked at the security counter at the entrance I spotted two advertisements that brought a big smile on my face. If you’re a fan of Def Leppard or Jethro Tull, you’ll know why. Its Rock ‘n’ Roll Season again in Bengaluru !

Smileys in your coffee cup

The family dropped by at Coffee Day the other day for a steaming night cap, after dinner. When the coffees came, my son pointed out to the smiley poster on the wall. The message there was interesting : If you don’t see a smiley in your cup, the coffee is on the house.

As you can see, my cup had something that looked like a coffee bean – not even remotely close to a smile. I alerted our friendly waiter about the smiley and sure enough, they didn’t charge me for my coffee.

Net takeaway : If there’s no smiley in your coffee cup, there’s bound to be one on your face … when you see the bill. Nice gesture.

(Not sure how long this offer is open, so do check this out the next time you’re at Coffee Day.)

There’s a link to “latte art” here, if you’re interested.

Frames of Mind 2008….

Is a photograph really about what you see? Or is it about how you see what you see?
At Bangalore Photography Club, it is believed that a photograph is about a frame of mind. A perspective. When a frame not only tells you what to see, but what to hear, smell and feel you know it’s more just a snapshot. It’s a true photograph.

Showcasing work of more than fifty artists across photo categories as well as winning photo documentaries, Bangalore Photography Club is delighted to welcome you its third annual photography exhibition, Frames of Mind 08.

Hope to see you there..
Dates : 29th – 31st August 2008 (10am – 7pm)
Venue : Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Race Course Road,Adjacent Chalukya Hotel, Bangalore-01
Phone : (080) 22267303/22265746/22267421

What happens after they’ve cut down every tree in sight?

I was in the thick of traffic the other day driving somewhere and the traffic hadn’t moved for a few hours. Okay, it wasn’t a few hours, but it was close to half hour. As usual, people had jammed up the road by treating the two way road like a one-way road – this meant that the on-coming traffic now had absolutely nowhere to go.

So the result was that we were stuck. And badly. And of course, no one had any clue what to do after that. The rickshaws and motorbikes got onto the pavement. That’s one thing I am happy about – that Bangalore hardly has pavements because most of the times they’re used by 2 wheelers :-)

Earlier, they had cut down all the trees in the surrounding area – if you folks have been on St. John’s Road recently – you’ll see how mercilessly they’ve chopped down everything. I saw huge bulldozers one day and tree stumps lying all around the side of the road. The next day, everything was gone. This was one beautiful road – the stately old gulmohar trees providing the much needed shade by forming a canopy over you.

What have they done now? Cut off all of them – more than 50 of them I think – to make the road the size of a football field. Did they ask anyone before they decided to take up their axe?

Unfortunately, none of the other connecting roads are so wide so we are stuck with the same congestion problem – again. And it was proof that all the tree-chopping by the tree mafia hadn’t changed a thing. We were still stuck in one position for 1/2 hour now despite them making St John’s road the size of a football field.

Wider roads within reason is fine but what is this mindless chopping without a second thought? Without any concern or approval from citizens (is this allowed? do we have any rights?!). How many more trees will they cut and how wide will they go? And what when they’ve finished cutting down everything in sight? What will they do after that? Have they figured out that one day, there won’t be anything left to cut and chop off?

We really need people who are slightly smarter and think a little when on the road too. And that is going to be a challenge, always. Can you imagine a motorist pausing and thinking, “maybe I shouldn’t go that way and block all the incoming traffic”. Road sense I am afraid, especially when in times when most needed, goes away with the wind (perhaps it was never there to begin with).

We need more traffic cops out there sorting out traffic problems. Where do these people disappear when you need them? We need more ways to get from one place to another! We need a whole new underground train system that will take off half off the motorists and vehicles off the roads.

I think we need a lot more than mindless tree-chopping and I am afraid that by the time this city finds out, it’s going to be too late. It is already too late.

It took me 2 hours to reach from Koramangala to Silk Board, a distance of about 3-4 kms.

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