Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Kommaghatta Lake in Kengeri area…suddenly disappears

I belong to a group of women, and we call ourselves BULBs…Bangalore Urban Lady-Birders. One of our favourite destinations to go birding (or bird-watching) is…Kommaghatta Lake (in Kengeri).

Yesterday we went birding to Manchinabele Reservoir and several of us planned to go to Kommaghatta Lake this morning.

One of us did visit…and found that the lake had…disappeared.

Here’s part of her message:

“sorry for sending bad news your way so early, ….i reached the *erstwhile* kommaghatta lake and found no sign of it… I could hardly believe my eyes… the entire lake is GONE, disappeared, lake bed dredged up and big mounds lying all over the place. walked across the lake bed… i meant to walk the entire stretch but after a point didn’t have the heart to do it…. still can’t get over the anger and the shock….
no cheers,
-g”

The anguish we all feel speaks through those strong words. How DARE BBMP dry up our water bodies like this? Have they no sense? I read last week that BBMP does not want to plant any more trees in Bangalore because “the roots are shallow”. This may be true of the Rain trees and the Spathodeas (which are from Africa) …but what about planting banyan trees, neem trees or mango trees instead? Our old roads and highways had shelter for wayfarers, and sheltered wildlife and birds, and gave welcome shade even to motorized vehiccles.

What on earth is wrong with our present government that they are so extremely shortsighted>

Is there some way we can get the BBMP to account for the disappearance of Kommaghatta Lake?

I am told that Jakku Lake has been similarly drained. I am…truly anguished. Should I stand by and see my city being murdered and literally dried to death in this fashion? NOTHING will bring back the trees and the lakes once they are going. We can just have “Sampangi Tank Road” and “Miller Road Tank Bed” as road signs, that’s all.

click here

to see where Kommaghatta Lake is….was…situated.

Yes, we can

Interesting to see election posters in Bangalore, with the face that moved America.
As far as my memory goes, I haven’t seen any political icon beyond our shores gracing
an election backdrop in terms of face value.

There’s more.

My investment broker was talking to me about property prices in Bangalore and how things
would steady, now that Obama had taken over as President. At a coffee shop, I eaves-
dropped to hear another amazing take on Obama’s capabilities; how he could single-handedly
take India out of recession. I have seen school children fighting bullies with the ultimate
threat : Obama will come and beat you guys up!

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a small Obama temple springing up somewhere in the city.
And people actually stopping by on the way to office – to say a small prayer …
make a small wish.

Greetings of the Season

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
May everything you’re looking forward to, come true –
wherever you are in the world.

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.

Why I will not go to any play at Chowdiah on weekdays…..

I live in south Bangalore, and there was a time when Chowdiah was *the* venue for all theatre. But, after having gone yesterday (Friday, 11th July 2008) for a play at Chowdiah, I have resolved not to go there again, if it is a weekday. This, of course, is a purely personal decision, but here are the reasons why:

1. First, and foremost…..if I do what most of my fellow-Bangaloreans do and drive a car…..the traffic. No matter how many flyovers and underpasses and magic boxes have been built, the traffic volumes make sure that the roads are so choked in the evening that the vehicles just inch forward in clouds of smoke and roars of revving engines. I do hate sitting in a car which is at idling speed, guzzling petrol, and releasing fumes into the air, along with all the other vehicles doing the same thing.

Yesterday, we *had* to take the car; we left for Chowdiah at 5.45pm…and got back at 11.40 pm. Six hours for a play that ran an hour and a half…not viable, to my mind.

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The Labor Office

The thought of having to visit the Labor office was scary. I don’t know why but for some reason the idea was not exciting and I did it cos I couldn’t get someone else to do it. I imagined a crammed small office, with officers who would be very indifferent, touts pestering, and numerous visits to finish the task. And of course a big bribe to ensure the work gets done.

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Old Faithfuls

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Meet Raju, our dhobiwalla from Frazer Town. He’s been a regular with us over the last 25 years. And a good example of peripheral relationships in old Bangalore. You know all about his kids and he has seen your kids growing up right from the time they were in diapers.

Raju is like our postman, who often drops by for a cup of tea and to chat about how things have changed after “email”.

But Raju is now endangered species – with coal prices spiraling, power tariffs on a shock-spree and shop rents hitting the roof. The “new age” cleaner around the corner is another looming threat to his existence. He is getting old and does not visualize his children getting into the same line. So it won’t be long before his trusty cycle leans against his wall to gather dust.

I don’t know how many old Bangaloreans can identify with this feeling of loss in terms of a close “peripheral relationship”, but I’m sure many of you have grown up with these familiar faces who have been so much a part of your life.

Another closed chapter on the changing face of Bangalore.

The New Bangalore Airport – The outside experience

The new Bangalore Airport has been written about & talked about a lot largely due to the fact that it is far off from the city. A not so positive point that but then the fact is The Bangalore Airport is up & running. Flights are taking off & landing, getting delayed & canceled. I was there a day after the inauguration and came back…well…read on…

First facts, yes the Bangalore International Airport is far from the city. This fact is so drilled into all of us by now that I suppose we are so mentally tuned to a long travel & starting off well in advance. Once the mental tuning is done the ride becomes that much more bearable. Largely the road from the Hebbal flyover is wide & good so a good car should be able to travel 80-100 km/hr. It took us about an hour to get to the Airport from Commercial Street that Saturday evening.

I really don’t know what a layman should expect from an Airport or from a new Airport for that matter. And especially for someone like me who doesn’t travel around by flights then it is once again of very little significance. But all the hype of the new Airport mostly for the wrong reasons got me curious & I wanted to be there & check it out functioning. Luckily, Brother was off to the US so we went there to see him off.

Only the passengers are allowed entry in to the terminal building while those who travel with the passengers to see them off basically have to hang outside the terminal building. Entry inside is allowed only in the Arrival section. That said the facilities for people who go all the way there to see off someone are not great at all.  The Terminal building is all glass & completely see-through type. So the only activity for most people who go there to see someone off is to follow the progress being made by their traveler in the check in queue. Apart from doing that we looked around for two things. One, some place where we could sit & two, for the toilet. Both were not to be seen. When we enquired with some uniformed facility management chaps their answer was, ‘there is no toilet outside’. That definitely had to be wrong. How could BIAL miss out on something as basic as that? Some more enquiries and we got the directions. We had to walk about 500 meters from the Terminal building for the toilet. And honestly there was nothing International about this toilet, at least in its maintenance. It is very Indian & very local.

I was keen to know how different can an ‘International Airport’ be from an ‘Airport’. I mean really what can be the difference? Well this is what I realized. There is no difference. An Airport is an Airport. And that’s pretty much it. For all those of us who hang out a lot at the malls in Bangalore, we are already used to the escalators, glow signs, uniformed facility management chaps, colorful chairs in the food zones, the organized parking & so on & so forth. The Bangalore International Airport is no different. But yes where the Bangalore International Airport can learn something from the Mall’s facility management chaps is in the maintenance of the toilets. One other area where they can take tips from a mall is in putting up some displays as to where the toilets are. I guess the kind of people who make malls & airports are the same. Because at both places you cant sit.

But yes where the feel of International comes in according to me is in the fact that you don’t see any autos & two wheelers around (I didn’t see any two wheelers at the air port that day but can’t confirm if they are not allowed there). Another area where you get a feel of International is in the size of the entire thing. It’s big & especially so when it’s compared to the previous HAL Airport. Despite these stand out features where it probably lacks in the International tag is Security. It does seem relaxed. Even the area next to the terminal building where some flights are parked can be clearly seen from the distance. The flights are only about a stone’s throw away.  One other area where some improvement would be great is in the food area. Is darshini type food or South Indian food per se not International? Why is it that we get more North Indian & the burger/sandwich type fare there than South Indian? Where is the promotion of local culture there

To sign off on a good note there is one good thing and that too with the most dreaded aspect about the airport, the connectivity. One can rest assured about the connectivity. BMTC has buses every half hour & round the clock. We took a BMTC Volvo well past mid night. This definitely is more cost effective & convenient but only to get into the city. From there you will have to rely on the auto or a taxi again. Other wise of course there are taxi services round the clock as well at the airport.

This Will Have You Pouring, Not Roaring, With Laughter…

My friend Anush Shetty spotted this poster just opposite the Bangalore Fort in the K R Market area…..

The hero of this recently released movie is obviously using this drainpipe to “pour his heart out” to his beloved….but, as two ladies near me kept giggling and pointing out, “Where’s the water going to come out from?”

We kept laughing about it all the way home….people who put up posters may lack imagination, but people who look at them certainly make up for that!

Conversations with a cab driver

“Stop!” came a voice from nowhere even as the cab screeched to a halt. In the moonless night on a road shorn off its streetlights, the light of the torch thrown full-on to the car was highly disconcerting.

I am not the one for great reflexes but survival is another thing altogether. In those seconds that the driver used to open the car windows, I had taken out my wallet and shoved it down the pouch at the back of the driver’s seat. The thought that I was not carrying my laptop offered additional solace to a heart that had lost its sense of rhythm and poise. (more…)

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