Archive for November, 2008

Fund raiser for Sahai, by Stage Left Productions

The Medico-Pastoral Association
& Stage Left Productions



Directed by
Vasudev Kanthraj & Nazeef Mohammed

An original script written by the members of Stage Left Productions, the play is written
as a response to the growing concern on suicides in today’s world. The statistics on
death due to suicide are indeed alarming.

“This is their story” essentially deals with different kinds of relationships and how
demanding and stressful they can sometimes become. The play is presented in a
21st century setting – where new generations seemingly defy tradition, culture
imprints and break long-established stereotypes.

The proceeds of this play will go to SAHAI – a Suicide Prevention Helpline run by the
Medico-Pastoral Association.

Date: 6th December 2008
Venue: St. Francis Xavier’s School Auditorium
Promenade Road, Fraser Town
Bangalore – 560005
Time: 6:30 p.m.
The tickets, available at the venue, are priced at Rs.100 /- and Rs.200 /-
Assistance : 9844797531 (Vasudev Kanthraj)


Tour Of Nilgiris (TFN) Cycling Event: 25th December 2008-1 January 2009


Several cyclists of Bangalore have got together and done a very professional job of putting together a Tour Of Nilgiris event, that will kick off from St Joseph’s at 6.30am on 25th December, and go through 919 km of mountainous terrain until the 1st January 2009.

Details of the Tour Of Nilgiris are at:

I am a cyclist, but I can’t participate, fossilized as I am (it would be, quite literally, the last thing I do!) I am drooling over the mental picture of the cyclists sailing through the incredible beauty of the Nilgiris….I can do *that* quite well!


Updates on the Mumbai terror attacks

Arzan, city captain of Mumbai metblogs has been keeping Metblogs readers updated on the state of affairs in the metropolis.

Our wishes and prayers go out to everyone in Mumbai.  Like the rest of the nation, we hope the madness ends soon.

Critical Mass:Cycling Event at Lalbagh, 28th November 2008

Critical Mass – Bangalore

All you people out there with any kind of cycle…doodhwala cycles,
newspaperwalla cycles, mtb’s, road bikes,
with and without gearwallas (and walis), with and without helmets…
here’s calling all of you to bring along your cycles and join in the
first ever Critical Mass ride in Bangalore
spread the word and join the bandwagon….
Let’s make it happen guys!!!!

The intention is to ride in a single line (i.e one cyclist behind the other)
and draw attention to the fact there there are people who cycle on the roads
and that other people using the road should know about us and provide us
equal opportunity to use the roads.
Just a simple peaceful ride!
Be there and lets have fun and make a statement!

Those who are interested to participate please turn up at the start point by 6.30pm.

Start : Lalbagh West Gate
End: To be decided
Time : 6:30 pm.
Date : 28.11.08 (last Friday of the month)

We cycle in a single file
No breaking red lights
No cussing
No arguing with motorists
Just a quiet ride. And it’ll be fun.


A tour of the Nilgiris on cycle!

Tour of the Nilgiris

Tour of the Nilgiris

The Tour of Nilgiris is a 7 day, 919 km bicycle ride across the famed Nilgiri mountain range in South India. The Tour of Nilgiris takes off from Bangalore on 25 December 2008 and ends on 1 January 2009. As the name suggests, it is a tour and not a race. 

There are around 40 participants and do visit this page to get an idea about the background of these interesting (and daring!) folks! To ride for 919 kms will definitely be a feat of sorts. The places are already full up (they had 40 places) but you can do your bit and support the cause in different ways as listed on their site. 

An excerpt of one of the profiles: “Dattatreya Pandit Patil, 37, is a grape farmer and passionate cyclist from Sangli. He believes cycling is good for health, good for the environment and good for national integrity and peace! And it is not empty talk. He has been running a district cycling association for more than a decade in Sangli where he trains children of ten years and above for state and national-level competition.”

Currently, they have the following sponsors:
Official Accessory Partner: Wildcraft
Official Radio Partner: Radio Indigo 91.9FM
Official Medical Assistance Partner: Manipal Hospital
Official Print Partner: Time Out Bengaluru

Do support them and spread the word around!

Join Cubbon Park Mithra Sangha – Be friends with Cubbon Park!!

There’s more to namma Bengaluru, we have many names for our city of Bangalore, be it Garden city, Pub city, IT city but the very essence of Bangalore remians the same. The city has not changed but its people and the perceptions definitely have. One of the famous places here has been Cubbon Park, the place that acts like a much needed lung space for the city. That now needs you!!



This is one word which can only bring a sense of detest to one’s mind, primarily to those in Bangalore. A sheer size of seventy-five thousand and above, that’s the number of these three-wheeler vehicles which swarm the whole of Bangalore. Every person who lands in Bangalore, except for a few firangis, would have definitely traveled in this victorious vehicle. During their initial days in the city this simple three wheeler would be the sole mode of transport until they try out either the Bus Service or go for a private vehicle, which is decided more by earnings point of view rather than choice.

Whatever be the case, love them, hate them but just can’t ignore them. We need them sometime or the other. The drivers are a pure menace [Though I must say I did find one good soul, and there are such exceptions] on the road. No road sense, no traffic sense , faulty meters, 1.5 rate during rains and when it turns to get darker , double fare during morning or late at night, and refusing to come for no given reason. These are some of the complaints that we see from everyone using this princely vehicle.
Though I am not much of user of this means of transport, I have my own set of problems from these miscreants when I am driving the car. From stopping in suddenly in the middle of the road, going slow to block an entire lane on an already congested road, parking their vehicles at the most inconvenient location on the road and corners so as to create maximum problem to other drivers on the road their stories have no end.
So what do we do as our bit from this. The drivers are like Dogs tail, which can never be straightened either by shouting at them or honking.
Here are some of then things that I do. The reasons behind these actions are different though.

[1] Never honk at them. Just a small beep in case they are in your path. If they don’t move try to find an alternative lane. Honking at them doesn’t make any difference towards them , it only increases your blood pressure.
[2] If an auto comes in the opposite direction in your lane, don’t honk . Just stop there and don’t do anything. Leave it to him to find his own way out. Don’t even give him dirty looks. Give him sympathetic looks, feeling pity on him as to where he could go.
[3] If a auto driver refuses to come to your destination, just see the Identity card board on his auto. And that wouldn’t make any difference to them, and most likely they would say , “note down the number and complain”. Don’t say or write down anything, just read his name [90% its the name of some God ] , and then say, “You have such a nice God’s name, I thought that your actions also would be helpful like this God“, and then walk off. Quite a chance that he would come to you.
[4] Try and give drop to someone who normally uses auto for daily commute. That will reduce one user of auto. Else help someone to find a Volvo bus service for his route and encourage him to use Volvo. I have done it to two of my friends. So two less people using auto service. if everyone does their little bit, it could mean a lot less of demand of auto’s, and can translate into a lesser number of them on the roads.

Try out some of these and see if it helps you. If you have any ideas, please feel free to share.

Tale of two airports

In Jan 2008, Bangalore’s running group – Runners for Life – had organized a run on the upcoming airport tarmac. It was a memorable experience – the airport didn’t look anything like the way it does today!

So that was actually my only visit to the new airport. We had climbed up the ATC tower with permissions and gotten a great view of the area around. I still remember thinking then that the airport didn’t seem as big as it should be!

This weekend, for the first time, I had a flight to catch from there and was excited that I was finally getting to visit. It is really far and that I guess goes beyond saying. But I think that it’s probably the only road in Bangalore right now that is actually relatively smooth. While the terminal is rather big and swanky compared to the earlier one, you still have a feeling that it’s small. For an international airport, at least. But loads of check in counters, self check-in, helpful staff and all kinds of stores to browse around – makes it closer to an international experience.

Then I flew to Hyderabad into their new(ish) airport and I immediately changed loyalties. It definitely scored over ours in terms of size, user friendliness and sheer glam value!  They look slightly similar too, but Bangalore looks much more box-like in comparison. The one similarity was that both the airports are around 40-50 kms away from the main city.

But for now, this will do! The cab ride cost me Rs 700 as opposed a 150 Rs bus ride. I think the Vayu Vajra ac buses make so much sense, except if it’s late night. They’re comfortable and cost-effective and less than what a cab would cost to take me to the old airport. The one way trip on the way cost us Rs 150 each.

Now I hear they’re planning the second terminal and another runway. That might take a few more years though, I’m sure.

Volunteers for blood donation camps

The Lions Club of Bangalore Sanjaynagar needs volunteers to join its database of active
donors. They also need help in organizing blood donation camps. More information on
this initiative is available at

Here’s a brief overview of their activities over the past month.
In spite of a festive month with people going out of town during the holidays, the
following blood donation camps were organized.
1. On 1st Oct 2008 at Crompton Greaves Ltd, Jiganai where
28 persons donated blood to Narayana Hrudalaya.
2. On Sunday 19th Oct 2008, 13 enrolled blood donors donated
blood for the children of Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health
3. On 23rd Oct 2008, 73 staff of Swiss Re Shared Services,
Millers Road donated blood which was drawn by Lions Blood Bank.
4. On 31st Oct 2008, 36 employees of Telelogic, Residency Road
Cross, donated blood to the Lions Blood Bank at the camp.

As a result of combined effort, a total of 150 units of blood were donated.
In addition, many of the enrolled donors were also available on call for patients
in different hospitals.

More people can be helped with a larger database of willing voluntary blood
donors / correct contact numbers. And you could help here by requesting eligible
and willing friends and colleagues to enroll at the website –

For more information on blood donation camps to be held in the coming months,
you can get in touch with :

Alphonse Kurian
Lions Club of Bangalore Sanjaynagar
(M) Bangalore 94488 12330

This message, via Anita Gracias of Sahai Suicide Prevention Helpline

Check this link for volunteering opportunities at Sahai

The Beauty of the Sausage Tree (Kigelia pinnata)

Jayanagar, near the Ashoka Pillar, has an avenue (an avenue, by definition, is a tree-lined street), filled with, among other trees, Sausage Trees .

This is the time when the tree bears both flowers and fruits, and incredibly striking they are, too.

Here’s a flower and a bud:

061108 Jayanagar Ashoka Pillar Kigelia pinnata flower and bud

Here are some flowers, hanging down on their stalks:

sausage tree flowers on stalks


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