Tale of Two Airports.

We who are groomed at the Drone’s club do know a thing or two, though it  is not a commonly accepted fact, the transformation of information to knowledge to epiphany tends to happen at that “eureka moment” how it hurts that this Drone’s vocabulary has been copyrighted by the blighter called Archimedes if I am not wrong.

Any way sitting at the Hyderabad airport I sorely miss the entertainment provided by the airport staff of Bangalore or Goa. You don’t get to see those smartly dressed ground staff, clutching to the walkie talkie like it were the last life line of Kaun banega crorepati , calling out to people that would put the vision of an Indian Bazaar in a British Raj story to shame, the hustle of, ”passengers to Vijayawada or whatever wada ” is sorely missing.

That gentleman Nehru would be highly thrilled how his socialistic values have translated, think of this, the inherent vice of capitalism is unequal sharing of blessings, so we “Kingfisher airlines ”owned by Mallya so on and so forth,  never mind that the plane is constructed in a factory supported by ordinary taxpayer, never mind the road we take to the airport the Vayu-Vajra floated by the Karnataka govt. are all taxpayer sponsored, Mr.Mallya is the owner of Kingfisher..then the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries, so we have stinking toilets in the airport and messy floors. Not to mention hollering mothers and rolling kids.

Coming to think of it, we have not really evolved from a railroad station, its just that to reach airport we have to take a cab 20 miles out town no wonder literature guys do not say ,”as pretty as an airport”

Just so that I do not think that we have turned capitalistic, the announcer goes,

“flight 6Ewhatever from wherever will be arriving shortly”

“flight 6Ewhatever has arrived from wherever and we welcome the passengers.”

Bangalore Airport

“passengers travelling to Goa on indigo flight-XYZ, please proceed to gate 23,”

Guess what we could follow the announcement, I mean we could hear it and understand it…. the secret was revealed to me through a quiet SMS that Hyderabad is a silent airport, so we have no loud announcements, the boarding announcements are made at the right time and closed 25mnts prior to the take-off.

Hopefully we are finally evolving.

Mah jawbox ay dishes–rescuer — Big Bosch!!

I am hurt, angry and want to forget that I am 50+ and stamp my feet like the youngest inner child trapped in me,

BlogAdda you have hurt me so terrible, that I shall go and eat some worms, big ones small ones wriggly wiggly one.

Don’t stare at me, okay I get it you are clueless about what inspired my ranting okay.

Remember the time when you are young and you have the next 20yrs years to build your dream life, I was there once. And my dream house had a wonderful kitchen right out of inside outside magazine with a Nikki-Tasha cooking range and unnamed brand of dishwasher and unnamed brand of washing machine.

When I set up my own house, I realized that there few tasks that can be akinned   to the torture of Sisyphus and housework was one of them an never ending cycle of the clean becoming soiled, the soiled having to be cleaned over and over , day after day.  I hate it…

“I do the dishes in my house, because nobody does them the way I do it,” this is a quote from either Bill Clinton or Bill Gates I am not sure, but I hate it…

Standing with sleeves rolled up and arms in the sink, is not how I like to end my day. My thoughts go round and round and it occurs to me, if I ever wrote a book, which I attempt every November it would of the stream of consciousness type and deal with an hour in the life of a woman, at the sink. I feel resentful at Mr. Tee and Jay as they plonk right in front of the TV while I am cleaning up the mess, of course nobody compels me to do it, but a sunk sink at 4am is not a welcome sight. More importantly I would be sitting on nails with dishes not done, or laundry not aired.

You know one of the wisest advice I received about kitchen chores came from my mother, “Do the dishes when you’re cooking” I visualize myself stacking the dishwasher as I cook.

I dream of buying that dishwasher. I have walked up to the IFB kitchen got the pictures and quotes, the only thing I get to hear…

“Oh! It is fine for us in US, even in US we don’t use it for all our dishes” one bay area house wife advices.

“Oh! It cannot be used for Indian cooking, our cooking is greasy” next NRI gyan.

“It does not really reduce work, you have to rinse the stuff and put it in,”  — it cannot more frustrating than washing dishes already washed by the maid, because, “she travels by bus and you do not know if she who she was sitting next to”

If this Bosch demo was open to people outside Mumbai=Bangalore- or Delhi, believe me I would apply, if I know the dates at Mumbai/Bangalore I would still manage after all with my family being Bangalore based and my in-laws from Mumbai not a bad deal.

I visualize myself, recording the demo, and then asking those questions I have the check list

  • Can I wash the wok in it?
  • Can I wash the milk vessel in it?
  • Can delay the onset, — that really does not matter, for I can run the dishwasher and set the clothes washer to start when it is done.
  • What happens if the power goes off in between
  • How much of water will it consume – can have the used water collecting at a place to recycle it?
  • How much of power will it take?
  • How much of floor area will it consume?

But (my nostrils flared, fists clenched, rib tightened) BlogAdda, you deprive me of a chance to present my case to my family.dishwasher 2

Think about this, everyone, wants to save the earth, but nobody wants to help mom do the dishes, and no matter how much I hate it, most discussions of feminism refuse address the question who does the dishes, yet at the end of the day those damn dishes are there in the sink and they have to be done!!

The only redeeming factor of the lack of a dishwasher is you get the ideal time with appropriate emotional backing to plan the perfect murder mystery  … how else would explain the juicy murders penned by Agatha Christie?



Pravasi Divas

To me Pravasi always meant traveler

So ideally Pravasi Divas should be about Tourists, or if we are talking Indian here, it should be about the travelling Indian, well close enough, Pravasi Divas is about the migrant Indian, who has either given up or on the verge of giving up his/her Indian Citizenship. Oh! he/she is still rooted enough to an Over Seas Indian card..

Jan 9th, is celebrated as the Pravasi Divas and it is supposed to acknowledge the contribution of NRI’s to India.

The skeptic in me, pops high up I wonder if we are talking only about the NRI’s shown in Hindi movies, or do we have the courage to own up to the vast population of the indentured labourers that we find in Guyana, South Africa, Mauratitius and other countries.

When my parents went to states, they were at the Nigara falls, when some one commented if they  were Indians, my cousin who accompanying  replied,

”Well, my guests are Indians, but I am American.”

We have gated communities at Hyderabad, and Bangalore, where Americanism so strong that the children celebrate Halloween, they so totally identify themselves with that.

I AM NOT  saying that it is a bad thing, after all  kids brought up in Delhi are most comfortable with that environment, like the 4th generation of Pandya’s in Udupi are more comfortable speaking Tulu and Kannada than Gujarati’s.

Coming back, to the indentured labourers, are we willing to accept that there were women who entered relationships with their white overseers as that meant a little more money, a more comfortable life for the their off springs. Many times, the men were left behind in Bihar or wherever they went from so the woman did get into other relationships.  Swamps and insect ridden habitat was their reality. Are we willing to acknowledge their sacrifice for the family they left behind in India?

Their traditions, rooted in the year of their migration, and nurtured in the land they migrated too, has its own unique flavour and identity, one cannot call them Indians any more. Maybe at best we call them of Indian origin.

The first generation that migrates, stays clinging to their roots, the second generation, begins with weaning. They compromise on the or rather turn symbiotic and the third generation does not belong to the roots, it is an independent new form that is conceived, nurtured and flourished in a new environment.

Honestly I think we should let the NRI’s be, what they choose to be No-way Returning Indian, it is time we acknowledged the people who are in the country striving to exist and more than that create growth.

This year Bangalore gears up to host the “Pravasi divas” the day MKGandhi returned from South Africa, the day we look at the productive export the country had achieved from indentured labourers, to the white collared or is it the blue collared soft guys.


Culture in the Supermarket

The terrors of the future will not come from the drab repressions of an encroaching bureaucracy, but from the neon lights of a thousand supermarkets, the sounds of a million automobile accidents and from the public cremation of the dead astronauts as they return to earth.”
― Christopher Riche EvansMind In Chains

This was the opinion I walked around with until I went to Lulu’s Hypermart in Cochin, as I browsed the shelves I had an epiphany that this could be like the traditional open Kochi market with varieties of rice the red and white variety, dry fruits which Kochi was trading point for, pepper in sacks, I could be shopping in a clean air-conditioned local market.

Jogappa Shanbag our spice man.

1946 is apparently when the first supermarket appeared on American scene. Its not really very long ago. Though books by Agatha Christie do have a reference to grocery being packed in wrong sizes in bags, but until then where was the food? Well it was in homes, gardens, local fields and forests; it was grown in the kitchen garden they were cooked fresh and stored in the pantry, there was no branding.

Our rice came from our fields in the village, and vegetables were carried to us by women who grew them in the back yards so this entire concept of empowered working women is an old hat. Oh! Our spices came either from spice market during the Jatra… the village fair or bought from Jogappa Shanbag who doubled as the medicine man.

When we were young it was a given thing in among surgeons to go to England for a year do their MRCP or FRCS as it went return and talk about the travels as vividly as the narration of Sindabad the sailor, the existence of the supermarkets was one of the destinations to be addressed.

When the supermarket cult hit urban India, I kept thinking here it comes the “the Nth Aryan invasion” like Ms.Marple we will be buying our grocery in wrong volumes, the stocked would be homogenous without respecting the local food habits.

Ragi Hurihittu in the More. chains of highland Karnataka

Over the last three years, I have made it a point to observe the Big Bazaar in various towns, what I find interesting this also holds good for the retail chains like More… And Hyper-mart – the shelves are stacked with very ethno-specific goods. Like the Big Bazaar in Hyderabad has varieties of chutneys both wet and dry. The range of pickles is also amazing. They pack it up in small quantities like 100 gms  if you ask for it.  the vegetable section had banana stem on sale too. on the rack with masala along with usual Everest masala’s there were lot of local small scale industries with very specific Andhra masala like the Bagara Baingan masala. While the Bombay Big Bazaar was high on the Goda Masala, instant sabudhana khicidi and other Maharashtrian fare.

The super markets in Bangalore were high on Ragi and Ragi products.  While in Kochi we saw varieties of avalposi and banana in their breakfast and cereal section. The traditional masala mix for stew and avial and other coconut curries though the sales girl told me they were not as popular as the frozen masala’s. the vegetable section had local traditional vegetable cleaned, cut, sliced as per the cuisine’s need.

Maybe a visit to the local supermarket might be an eye opener to look into the food culture.

avalposi from Kochi Lulu’s Hypermart




The Lords of the Road

picture courtsey internet
picture courtsey internet

The bus slowly stops, the door opens allowing the hot air inside, suddenly one becomes aware of how cool it was within the bus. it also allows a swarm of people who barricade the entrance these the  “auto drivers,”

These people are a tourists first exposure to the city. You can be assured that they will fleece.  One particular trip from Mehendipattanam to Himmayatnagar I had been fleeced off 150/Rs. so this time round I got off the bus and told the swamp of auto drivers that I had someone coming to pick me, after picking my luggage I walked a distance  where a lone auto driver was waiting. I asked him will you turn on the meter, he said yes,and guess what the fare was 97/-

At Bangalore from Malleshwaram to Infantry road the first day I was charged 115/- mind you this by the meter, next day I happened to mention to the auto guy that I would need a lift for the entire month and guess what he shuts  meter down and tells me 90/Rs is what you pay no matter who you pick up on the stand. Interestingly one day in between there was a new guy and he turns the meter on, and guess what the fare was 80/Rs.

Bangalore auto guys go where they want to go, and not where you would like to go, so until you find an auto that goes your direction you just keep walking. Oh! Yes if you ask to turn the meter he will drive away without answering you, if there is a cop around you might get a polite answer ”meter kettide amma” that is the meter is dysfunctional.

Call them Tuk-tuk or auto rickshaw, or just an auto, they rule road. the Hyderabad traffic police ran a media opinion on how to tackle this huge power that controls the road.. here were some suggestions that came up. Which the Hyderabad traffic cell is considering quite seriously

  • Auto bay’s at every bus-stop and railway station. It should be at distance that allows passengers to disembark.
  • Auto bay’s at theatre ‘s, malls etc. that are authorized to park at that particular bay. Unauthorized autos should not be permitted.
  • The RTO should apps that allow standardized charges; this can be coordinated with the passengers mobile.
  • One stop helpline for auto-users both the drivers and the passengers.
  • GPS based security systems.
  • Educate the rickshaw driver.
  • Authorized price hike, at periodic intervals, to be announced to the public.
image courtsey internet
image courtsey internet

The Bangalore RTO has appeals made to the auto drivers, and Sudeep the current popular star models for them. Bangalore has also made it compulsory for the details of the autodriver to me displayed on the back of the drivers seat so that it is visible to the passenger. One auto driver told me, “Whenever you get into an auto just photograph this on your mobile in case the auto driver overcharges or misbehaves you have his details to complain to the cops.”

Unless we stand for ourselves nothing we will be run over.

Quicker moving and settling

blogger 7“I give you this to take with you:

Nothing remains as it was. If you know this, you can
begin again, with pure joy in the uprooting.”
― Judith MintyLetters to My Daughters

Looks, like Indiblogger has decided, that the New year should bring fresh beginning that includes a new location. Moving to a new city involves a process, a little research,  that in my way of working would mean create a check list. I have my check list right at the end.

Moving into a new city, is dicey I mean one would not want to jump into a pool without testing the waters, for us, of course Bangalore is a known territory but visiting a place and living there are definitely different.

Settling in actually like getting used to a new pair of shoes, it pinches a little in the begin, but you like the way they look, so you carry on, the longer you have them the more comfortable they become, until one day without realizing it the new town has become part of you, its like you have been there for eternity,  you cannot imagine life elsewhere.

But a first thing first,   since Bangalore is known territory checking out is not necessary. Still I would like to check out the neighbourhood before actually setting up house. before picking up a house  I would check

  • The distance from our workplace.
  • The distance from rest of the family and friends.
  • Average real estate price in the area.
  • The senior citizen friendliness of the place.
  • Accessibility to medical care,
  • Safety,

This would require information from reliable source, Quickr being one, then of course actually inputs from friends and family.  The next challenge is the transport, is it cost effective to use our personal vehicles or does it make more sense to use public transport.

Rural family moving
Rural family moving

Then comes the nitty gritty of moving stuff, of course doing it ourselves is a great option. I have done it before, still this would be a great time to ditch- donate and pack only those really necessary.  Like I said before though I have done it many times,  I would invite agarwal movers and packers to help me pack up.  Its now look up http://www.bangalore.quikr.com for someone carpenter to help me reset the house at Bangalore—cross check the- pricing.

The vehicle has to registered and insurance has to redone, this would involve going to the RTO, the options that i can check out here is western automobiles, who deal with all this or again look up Quickr for other options.(services section)

Informing the banks, and other services about the change of addresses, finding corresponding ones at the new location.

Collecting and filing health care documents, like dental and medical records.

Moving in , means creating a new social net work, so I am bound to have friends and family who would visit, people we would have to entertain,  that involve a little know how of possible eat outs, food deliverers,  tour conductors, shopping area. What we did when we moved to Goa was to take the conducted tours so that we got the general hand of the place, then went on our own discovery.  Taking the Karnataka tourism tours would be a great idea but for regular trekking and travelling joining a community might be a good idea—check www.Meetup.com and  http://www.bangalore.quikr.com   (community and events)

blogger 6CHECK LIST –http://bangalore.quikr.com/.

At the end of the day, there is always a sadness about packing, I guess there is always hesitation, if where we’re going is as good as where we’ve have been.

written for indiblogger happy hours–http://bangalore.quikr.com/.

The Autorickshaw.

auto track marked by Bangalore traffic cell
auto track marked by Bangalore traffic cell

I am at Bangalore for the “Sheroes summit.” Enroute from JPnagar to Brigade road, I was to pick up an auto.

Last month when I was here, the auto drivers were relieved that cargo trucks were banned from 8am -8pm. Well I did see them around.

This time round the Banglore police apparently has come up with a new rule, if you ride on the footpath, your driving license gets cancelled. If you park your car on the footpath or no parking area. Then your driving license gets cancelled too. The drivers were generally feeling good about this.

Another innovation of the Bangalore traffic is an auto path. That is they have identified a specific path that the auto guys can take. I thought it was great idea. But  the auto guys had another story to say,

  • If you stop your auto to drop a passenger then all the other auto’s behind get stopped.
  • If your passenger has to get off on the other bank of the road, then the passenger has to cross the traffic, and there were no pedestrian walking area.
  • You cannot turn into an available left because the auto behind will bump into you.

Wonder how the Bangalore traffic cell plans to handle these challenges.

Yet on the face of it is really interesting to see a road  that is organized since the hazardously zigzagging auto’s are not cutting through the traffic lines.