Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Profiteering of few Sr. Govt officers….

Lokayukta has done it again; surfacing the bemani properties of corrupt sr.govt officials… this still seems to be the tip of the iceberg …

Lok Ayukta sleuths swooped down on the Bangalore residence of Davangere assistant commissioner (commercial taxes) Amanulla Sharief on Friday morning, They unearthed documents for property worth Rs 1.35 crore and cash from his house, whereas his entire 30 years’ earnings would have come to just Rs 30 lakh.
The Lok Ayukta also raided residences of nine officials, including an IAS officer, a deputy superintendent of police, commercial tax department officers. The raid yielded properties worth Rs 20 crore, disproportionate to their known sources of income. Read more..

What’s happening is not something new; the corruption has deeper roots in almost everything in our country, the lac of drive from political and administrative fronts to uproot the same. The need of hour perhaps is to protect the public wealth and interest rather than compromising our democratic principles and maintain the ‘chalta hai attitude’. The legal framework though has noted this down the ‘suo motto’ actions from political arena must be deep asleep over these cases for sure…

For Young Minds .. Really ?

From 26th May, Bangalore city has one more newspaper under circulation. The newspaper is by a Hyderabad based media company Deccan Chronicle, the group which is more famous nationally for being owner of a bottom performer team in recently concluded Indian Premier League(IPL).What's on your back ?

The newspaper claims itself to be ‘for Young Minds’ through provocative hoarding ads depicting a lady with news printed on her back. (more…)

"Retell" at Ranga Shankara

“Retell”, a series of narrative plays, was performed on June 5 and 6 at Ranga Shankara. The production was by Theatre Nisha, a group from Chennai, and the design and direction was by V Balakrishnan.

Some of the narratives were based on translations of the stories of Satyajit Ray, Gopa Majumdar, and others from the works of Goli Taragi, by Karim Emani and Sara Khalili.


“Bhuto” by Satyajit Ray


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.

HAL, In the memoire….

Now that the May 23rd 2008 takes all commercial flights off HAL airport, after the great ‘fixing’ of the protests to keep it open HAL is finally set to rest, an article written by Mr. R K Mishra about this episode in todays times highlights the same…

The new airport is all set to put holes in the pockets of the travelers under UDF charges and roaring taxis that will clinch out few more hundreds, that’s the story now!! The infrastructure starving city is now getting hoaxed by this new ‘arrangement’ by and between few that would churn many closing the HAL airport…uhhhh!

Summer Rains & Solace….

Perhaps this adds one more reason for my liking towards Bangalore, the city gets rains in the midst of summer…while rest of the country fights it out with mercury chasing all time highs. This indeed is a solace….

summer Rains

Been two weeks out of city and returning to get a great news that it rained cats and dogs was really pleasing… that to when I could enjoys some drizzles just same evening I returned to help me cool down a bit was too good to resist!!

Hey dear Bangalore, and howdy rains…I like you so much!!

In two newspapers…

Being more used to writing for the newspapers, it was nice to be featured in two newspapers today; but I have an observation to make about that….

Today’s “Mint” newspaper carried an article by carries an article Kirti Pandey, in the “Life” section, about birdwatching in Bangalore. I have been quoted in the article, as have the two other youngsters who went with me for the associated shoot at Lalbagh.

It’s here

There’s a photograph of the three of us, though it does not show up in the online version.

Also, today’s Economic Times carried an article called “Bird Whisperers”, carries an article Kirti Pandey, about a birdwatching trip that I had organized in Lalbagh a few days ago.

It’s here

(Click on “Live it up” in the list on the left-hand side, and the article will appear.)

The photographs, for which proper credit has been given, were all taken by me during the course of that morning.

But…the thing is…both these articles, are, in a sense, not “real”.


A green slogan….

Spotted this lovely slogan….

greenery creates pleasant scenery jpnagar 060408

Surely something that the BBMP can remember, in their haste to cut down as many trees as possible in the quickest time…

"Common Man" at Ranga Shankara

Yours Truly Theatre is putting up “Common Man”, an interactive theatre effort, at Ranga Shankara, today, the 2nd of April, and tomorrow, the 3rd of April.

I went with a couple of my friends and found that as a foretaste of the play, they had a small piece called “Life in a Frame” in the foyer. I wish I had known this, as I do like to watch anything that is to do with the play. I did see Rasheed Kappan’s cartoons, though I wondered if there was any copyright infringemen issues with R K Laxman! I also liked the innovative poster that advertised the play:

common man poster RS 020408


The Brand Equity Quiz in Bangalore

Yesterday (31st March 2008), the Bangalore round of the Economic Times and Idea/ Brand Equity Quiz took place at the Chancery Hotel, Residency Road.

True to celebrity-convention, Derek O’Brien, the quizmaster, had Andrew Scolt to “open” the quiz for him with 30 questions that the 50 teams who had registered had to answered. Andrew seemed to relish moving about the hall and interacting with the enthusiastic crowd, but is yet to master the expertise, and also the easy banter that Derek has. He went around asking a lot of audience questions, and distributed some audience prizes too.

andrew scolt brand equity quiz 310308

Six teams made it to the finals: as Derek announced, in alphabetical order,they were: CISCO, Deutsche, Kotak, Nokia,Wipro, and Yahoo.


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