Category Archives: Personal

Personal!

English Winglish

These are one-liner goof-ups that I’ve collected over the last 25+ years. Believe me, people have actually (and seriously) used these in their day-to-day life.
  1. Writing mein likhke dena padega
  2. Without eggless cake hai   🙂
  3. Benefit ka fayada hi nahin hua
  4. Galati se mistake ho gaya   (Very old & well known!)
  5. Time kya baja hai?
  6. Tumne mujhse jhoota lie bola
  7. Dimag mein brain hi nahin hai
  8. Puncture ki hawa nikal gayee
  9. Fevicol chipak gaya kya?
  10. Superb mazaa aaya
  11. Blouseless sleeve   😉
  12. I am scratching my leather!   (Itchy sensation)
  13. Chance ka mauka nahin dena hai
  14. Bad luck hi kharaab hai
  15. That also comedy became… No?
  16. Monthly charge of Rs.100/- per month applicable (Actually picked this one up from the VSNL tariff page)
  17. Network mein wire nahi hai kya?
  18. Both of you three, get up
  19. Take a round-bottom flask of any shape
  20. Open the windows and let the climate come in
  21. A song from the movie BICHCHOO (Bobby Deol & Rani Mukherjee). The English line sung as part of the song is incorrectly translated from Hindi.
  22. => FIRST LINE in HINDI: Jeevan mein jaane jaana, ek baar hai hota pyaar…
    NEXT LINE in INGLEES: Once you fall in love in life, Once you fall in love…
  23. In the Hindi movie ALBELA Govinda’s favourite “Engliks” dialogue:
    “You Bloody Basket of Flowers!” 🙂
    And he calls Ash: “Madam Memsaab” ;-(

Send me your collection. 😛

Enjoy! 🙂

 

Lakshmi Trading Corporations

A devotee’s concerned letter to Goddess Lakshmi, on the eve of Diwali 2010!
(… And no, there’s no typo in the title of this blog, i.e. “Corporations“.)

Jai Lakshmi maa,

Blessings, are what everyone *wants* from You this season (Diwali). Every devotee of Yours pleads, begs, requests, demands, prays and then, expects a shower (rather, a thunderstorm) of Your kind blessings. Every prayer, every pooja conducted, is only done to appease You. Every devotee of Yours *wants* You to set up a permanent “camp” in their household, and in their life.

Of Your devotees, salaried people like me, are fortunate to have a regular shower (albeit relatively little) of Your kind blessings (with minute annual increments) – even though we also duly share our share of the blessings with the government, honestly/forcibly.

Then there are Your other bunch of devotees, businessmen, most of whom are Your ardent devotees and You also shower them with a relatively decent share of Your kind blessings. They’re further able to maximize their exposure to Your shower by employing certain loopholes in the law, or even by breaking the law. These devotees are a little more casual to their approach of maintaining their devotion – a few being spendthrifts – however, they still continue to stay under Your shower’s fair share.

However – even though these two classes of people, viz. salaried class & the businessmen, form a overwhelming majority of Your ardent, hardworking & karmic devotees — it seems that some of the rest, less than 0.1% of Your “supposed” devotees are the ones who are the ones You seemingly bless the maximum.

I’m wondering & worried, how is it that Your atrociously shameless, un-karmic & lousy “supposed” devotees – the politicians – _*bathe*_ in the thunderstorm of Your blessings almost everyday – while the rest of us, barely get a handfull throughout our lives? 25-30 crores worth of instant blessings are less than peanuts for these parasites, who get exclusively blessed in posh resorts to “do” (their only form of karma) something unholy, untrustworthy & unethical? (Not delving into the lawfulness of their actions – the law is twisted anyway.)

These so-called “devotees” undertake roles/work which they are utterly unqualified for (recently, the CWG) – and still rake sackfuls of Your blessings without actually moving a finger, until there’s some “aakashvani” (media/press) forcing them to act. They do “act”, but just as in “acting” & play around with the money, as well as the emotions of the countrymen.

I can go on… however, to resolve this, I’d sincerely suggest You to get some sort of a UID (Unique Identifier) assigned to all Your devotees, so as to ensure that you shower Your blessings’ ration after careful scrutiny of the karma of Your deserving devotees.

Dhanyavaad!
Pranaam,

A concerned devotee

Dear Readers: Wish you and all your close ones a very Happy Diwali! Feedback/comments requested. Thank you! 🙂

Servicing the Bullet

My bullet (Royal Enfield Bullet) used to fall sick often. It had been chronically sick for a while now, though it was working as usual. I wanted to get it thoroughly checked up by a specialist, however I wasn’t able to get a really good one.

I had a couple of places that I could take it to – viz. – (1) Teknik Motors’ Polyclinic (CMH Road / Iblur); and (2) HSR Motors’ Polyclinic (Mission Road).

HSR Motors’ polyclinic had some serious problems. For whatever complaint you take your bullet to them, they would only register it as an IPD patient, admit it and monitor it for a few days (in the parking ward… wonder how?!) before they attended to its ailment & operated upon it.

Later, at the time of discharge – for some weird (& obviously greedy) reason – the doctor/ward-boys who attended to your bullet, would come out of the clinic & wait for you to tip him for his personalised “service”. After having paid the bill through your nose (no healthcare insurance available!) for the few days of IPD treatment, you were then also expected to *tip* this/these guy(s) so that he/they take(s) care of your bullet, the next time when you bring it in for treatment.

A couple of initial admissions to their clinic for scheduled treatment, did little good to the bull’s condition. So, instead I started taking it to the Teknik Motors’ Polyclinic branch at Iblur and/or CMH Road.

The physicians at the Teknik’s polyclinic were generally okay – (not good, barely okay) – but we had to manage with the kinda shabby OPD treatment there, as there was no other go.

Their bills, at discharge time, were equally torturous to the wallet, and no medical insurance meant the scars on the wallet stayed.

One unfine day, the bike finally gave up, even with all the regular treatment, and almost died on the road. Without an ambulance, after pushing the 200 kgs along for a little while, I was lucky that a tiny general practitioner on the Richmond Road referred me to a bullet specialist’s clinic which was close-by.

Pushing further through the tiny alley, there I was at the clinic, without an appointment and already late for work. The specialist, Wahid, was indeed an expert. He checked the bullet thoroughly and after a few tests, diagnosed the ailment. The treatment started and went on for about an hour or so after the initial 30 minutes of tests. After he completed the treatment, the bullet was back on the road, thumping all the way! I almost jumped with joy! 🙂

After all the experience, the bullet now has regular & scheduled appointments with Wahid – and it has eradicated most of its serious chronic ailments, except for one… its ignorant master.

(Wahid can be reached on: 9886147797 & is very close to the Vellara junction and Johnson market, near Richmond Road. Let him know you got his number from me -> Nirav Doshi. Thanks for reading!)

Our jobs, our salaries & us

A couple of weeks ago, I was speaking to an old friend of mine, who’s currently in Delhi. She’s working as a Project Manager with an IT major there. Though she already has a couple of big client products & a large team to manage, she was grumbling over being overloaded by her company with some additional project. She is a good & hardworking resource for her company – so she was annoyed that she was being overloaded with work because of that — even when there were other project managers available. She was feeling stressed out & frustrated that though she was credited with praise, the raise hadn’t come through as expected. She was considering applying for a job elsewhere, getting a better salary offer & then showing her HR what she was “worth” in the market.

This is quite a common scenario – and I’m sure most of the IT professionals would’ve experienced or felt similar at-times, and maybe even worse. At the slightest instance, we tend to take severe decisions – as wild as quitting our current jobs! I call such decisions “wild” because typically they’re taken at the spur of the moment and without giving enough thought, or with a single-track & limited thought.

So next – we immediately approach job sites, placement consultants & friends/contacts. We don a new “3-D Avatar” through our updated résumés and brace ourselves to be a blockbuster at getting a new job too. When asked the reasons why we are looking for a change in job, we give reasons like some of the following:

  • Not much work, or no projects – causing job instability
  • Nothing new and challenging in the current project
  • Change in technology in the current project
  • Change of management or the client’s management, causing job insecurity
  • No raise for xxx period, no promotion/change-in-designation
  • Bad politics in the team/management
  • Want to improve profile/salary by joining a brand/bigger company

After the initial evaluation process in a few companies, we also get through some of the companies. We negotiate hard & collect all the offer letters and then start a rather ugly process: Bargaining! We restart negotiations to get the maximum remuneration package from the companies we’d prefer to join. Sometimes, we even go to our current company & ask for a better package – just because the market has valued us *more*.

On what basis/parameters do we compare the various offers? Just the digits mentioned in the salary package? Or a better brand or preferred location or role? Or to work in another country?…

In my opinion, the parameters of choosing the right job should be one or more of:

  • This role is in the right direction of your preferred/ideal career path
  • You like the company and/or the work done by the company
  • This job/role could give you better job satisfaction (however, unless you join, you’d never know!)
  • They seem to value your experience & expertise
  • And, they’re offering you the right salary for it

Also – most important, understand the following points thoroughly. These are also some points I told my friend, who was immediately pacified (I suppose!) and cooled herself down. We don’t usually realize that: Grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side!

  • The new job will NOT get you closer to your ultimate Nirvana
  • As soon as you join the new job, you may have to work harder than ever before, to *prove* your mettle/worth
  • You’ll have to learn & adapt to how the new company/team functions; you’ll need to study & understand the product/project thoroughly, & even put in a lot of extra efforts to be on top of it, within a short period of time.
  • You’ll have to build the rapport with your team members, your seniors, the management; everyone who matters. The new team will *not* change for you, as you’d want them to. Instead, you will have to adapt to them.
  • So, you’ll have to quickly scale up to become a core & valued resource for the company

Think of it now — isn’t your current job better? (Unless of course, you’ve goofed up badly and desperately need to move out!)

If you don’t do things right, & as expected in the new place, you would start grumbling again and restart looking out for a new job, yet again!

Life isn’t easy, isn’t it? Don’t make yours tougher by acting on silly/petty reasons & without deep thought! 🙂

*When* to look out for a new job? In my personal opinion, you should consider looking out for a new job when something like the situations listed below demand for it.

  • NO JOB SATISFACTION: This does *not* point to the salary drawn, but to the work involved — where your expetise lies and what you’re doing in the current role. Typically, when you start your day — if you feel absolutely terrible and awful to report to work — it could be this. However, “satisfaction” is a relative term, every person would treat it differently – so always review yourself through a neutral and unbiased glass, to check if you’re *really* unsatisfied with your current job. Explore ways of fixing this condition, by requesting a change of project and/or team.
  • CLOSURE OF COMPANY or YOU ARE LAID OFF or there’s a possibility of one of these: Obviously, these circumstances demand that you immediately look out for a job for yourselves.
  • DISCRIMINATION, MISTREATMENT AT YOUR CURRENT JOB: Again, these are relative terms. Every person would interpret the situation differently. So conduct a fair review of your condition, and if need be, speak to someone trustworthy in your team, who knows the situation and can offer you genuine advice. There could be ways to fix the problems you are facing without the need to leave your job, explore those.
  • YOU GENUINELY ARE WORKING FOR PEANUTS: Understand this properly, as you might feel this perfectly applies to you. I ask you – how do you justify it? Is a friend or a colleague or an ex-colleague or your junior at college/work – just about anyone else – getting a better package than you? Is this one of the primary parameters for you to look out for a “better job”? SO – aren’t you just comparing the digits here? You could be comparing apples to brinjal – if you evaluate properly. The other person in comparison, could be getting a better package because of many possible reasons. His/Her company could have different policies of calculating salaries. His/Her company could be working in some niche area, and needs to retain their trained resources at any cost – so they pay higher salaries. His/Her company could have done better business than your company. His/Her project could have been more successful than yours. AND he/she could genuinely be a much better resource than you, so getting paid better than you (even being in the same company). In short – unless you are the core resource or one of the core resources in your project/team – this condition does not apply to you. If you’re dispensable, you’re not worth it. Do a just evaluation of yourself and then decide if you’re really not being paid right… i.e. peanuts.

And there could likely be some other situations, which I may not have listed. However, remember that ad-hoc changes to your job, affect your career severely. So think through well, before taking such a decision.

My two cents… and a few more! 😉

Traffic woes, no one listens

I’d sent this e-mail on 26th Oct 2009 to the Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Bangalore City (currently Commissioner Praveen Sood) – to highlight the lack of regulatory efforts to improve the traffic situation in Bangalore. There has been no response till date (11th Feb 2010)… Well kinda expected, you’d say. There’s little that we can do, or make an impact about, unless the regulatory body is *serious* about it.

Please share your experience(s) & thoughts in the form of comments to this post.

To: addlcptrafficbcp@gmail.com
Date: 26 Oct 2009 02:07 am
Subject: Traffic Rules, Compliance & the Regulators

Hello Sir,

I have a couple of thoughts driving daily on the Bangalore roads:
1. We, the citizens, do not care or bother about the traffic rules; and even less about civic sense on the roads.
2. Then there are the regulators – the traffic police – who seem more interested to penalize the rule breakers & collect fines, rather than to make the citizens to comply by the law. (Is it true that there is a monthly “collection target” given to all the traffic officers, to be met?)

I’ve always wondered why do traffic policemen only stand inside a one-way, or after a traffic signal, (& such others)? Why don’t they stand at the start of the wrong end of the one-way and ensure that no vehicles come in & break the one-way rule? Similarly at a traffic signal its usual to find many traffic personnel waiting (rather waiting discreetly) *after* the signal to catch any offenders who break the signal. There are more traffic personnel seen waiting to catch the offenders & collect fines, than to regulate the traffic at the signals. Why is it being done this way?

Please understand, my intention to write to you is not as a complaint about these (& such others) – but more with a serious concern about the lawlessness on the road, which is increasing by the day.

My understanding is:
1. Some of the drivers are not aware of the rules. This is a problem caused by the RTO, which has issued them the driving licenses, without their being truely elligible for it.
2. And then, almost all the drivers don’t care much for the rules, because of their awareness of a lax regulatory body.

I do understand there’s a long way to get these things improved at the root level. However I look up to you for as much improvement as is possible by you, especially in the regulation of the roads. If the regulators get serious about compliance, I have a strong feeling that the lawlessness can be dealt with, effectively.

I am ready & available to volunteer as a pro-active citizen, for any help needed by your department, for this.

Thank you,
Rgds,

Nirav Doshi

Which car to buy: Petrol or Diesel?

Have you pondered over this question?

While buying a car these days, a majority of us prefer to buy the diesel variant of the car of our choice (if its available), as compared to the petrol one. Even though the diesel variant comes:

  • at a higher purchase cost than the petrol variant (atleast sets you back by Rs. 1.0 Lakh)
  • with costlier maintenance (atleast Rs. 2500/- more than the petrol variant)
  • with vibration & noise (It ain’t as smooth a drive like the petrol variant!) – though many diesel vehicles have improved here;
  • and is known to be more polluting than the petrol variant!

One of the primary reason why diesel cars are preferred in India is: Diesel is cheaper than Petrol!
The other being, diesel cars give a better mileage as compared to petrol cars.

One more: I’ve got a friend here at Bangalore, Rohan (RJF), who’s quite unique amongst the friends I have here. (He’s got a diesel engine in his head, instead of a human brain, specially fit from FIAT, Italy).  To quote him – if you would be driving majorly in the city, go for petrol. However, if you would be driving on highways quite often, go for diesel. Hmm… logical. He also gave me a long explanation, which was quite appropriate, however… technical. 🙂

So, is it really worth buying a diesel car, anyway?

Okay, here’s where I kick start my Gujju brain…
(Note, the figures below are approximate.)

If you buy a petrol car – saving approx. Rs. 1.00 lakh – that can buy you about 1970 litres of petrol at the prevailing prices, for that amount — and drive atleast 26000 kms.

At the same time, to make up for the additional Rs. 1.00 lakh that you pay for a diesel car, it would need you to spend atleast Rs. 2.9 lakhs to buy 7692 litres of diesel, which otherwise you would’ve spent about Rs.3.9 Lakhs to buy the same 7692 litres of petrol — thus saving you Rs. 1.00 lakh.

So, do the figures get you the right perspective now?! 😉

Expensive celebrity endorsements & inflation

Q1. Have you ever bought something just because your favourite celebrity was endorsing it?
Q2. Have you *not* bought something that *you wanted*, because a celebrity you disliked, was endorsing it?

If you said a “YES” for any of the questions above, you can go back to what you were doing before coming to this article; sorry – but this blog further, is not for you!

Celebrities charging a few lakhs for endorsement deals are passé; multi-crore deals are routine.

Aamir Khan’s in the news, ofcourse. Other than the success of 3idiots, he’s supposedly basking in the glory of making Rs.30-35 crores, being an “idiot”… A *damn* smart “idiot” though! 😉 Obviously, the success of 3idiots should’ve dug a deeper hole in UAE’s Etisalat’s pockets. Aamir is already endorsing a few others, like TataSky, Toyota Innova, CocaCola & Parle G. So more than movies, he’s obviously minting better with the ad deals. Now, why would he want to do more than 1 movie in an year? Eh?! 😉 He needs the time to do ads!

(contd. below)


Luxury chocolate gifts from Hotel Chocolat

Recently, we heard Shahrukh sign-up a new deal with DishTV for Rs.10 crores. We also heard Shahrukh Khan (SRK) received Rs.5 crores for a 10 minute (flying) visit to a marriage reception somewhere in Haryana. (No brand endorsement there, but he did “endorse the marriage”, mind it!)… So, didn’t DishTV get him real cheap? Eh?! SRK could’ve made that much in 2 marriages, or by even staying for 20 minutes in just one marriage instead!) 😉

Do you remember that most trade analysts had estimated the “brand value” of Amitabh, Abhishek & Aishwarya, after the Abhi-Ash marriage, to be around Rs.800 crores?! Unfortunately, I don’t suppose any of the “3bachchans” are milking their true “brand values” though, except maybe for the recent Lux ad series where, we heard, they were paid Rs.16 crores in all (package-deal).

There would be tons of such “crore-lories”! (FYI: lorie in hindi = lullaby)
Note: We’re not talking about broken multi-million dollar deals… The Woody Goody Tiger?! 😉

So, why do brands signup celebrities?

– To help the brand to gain (instant?) recognition (piggyback’ing on the celebrity’s following)
– To (supposedly) inherit the celebrity’s trust amongst the people (fans/followers & others too)
– To ensure easy, quick & sustained brand recall (Who said: “Go get it!” – and for which brand? Got it? :P)

Then?

– The brand gets the identification & recognition, it’d strived for (Unless, that celebrity is embroiled in a controversy or a scandal, a-la Woods!)
– The brand’s sales shoot-up (Everybody wants it? Huge demand, supply supply supply!)

After the initial promotional period, the product’s demand would shortly stabilise (typically reduce, but stablise… So supply stabilises too.). Of course, this assumes the product was good indeed.

Economics…

Now, most important, how would the brand’s company make back the money it paid the celebrity? (Aah elementary Dr.Watson, and did you think they actually liked the celebrity?)

Options (Choose one or more):

– The cost of the product is hiked (Ouch!)
– The cost of the product remains the same, but the quality is deteriorated a little, to save manufacturing costs
– The cost of the product remains the same, but the quantity in the packaging is reduced (Chhota pack?)

(Similarly applies to subscriptions & services too)

By opting for any 1 or more of the listed (and/or unlisted) options from above, the company would stealthily inflate the cost of the product to the consumer. (Sab ganda hai par dhanda hai yeh!)

And in turn, it is finally us – the consumers – who end up footing the endorsing celebrity’s bills! And we don’t stop there, we continue to pay it everytime we buy/subscribe to the endorsed product.

Typically about 30-60% of the marketing budget of companies is allocated for celebrity endorsements. So – if the companies could come up with some better method to gain recognition, build trust & cultivate brand recall in their consumers – the cost of the products could be reduced by atleast 30%.

So the next time you drink a CocaCola® Coke with a Parle® G biscuit in hand, after coming back from your office in your Toyota® Innova and switch on your TataSky® SetTopBox to pay & watch 3idiots – remember you’ve been made one too!

3idiots and Five Point Someone

I started reading Five Point Someone last week and finished it yesterday (17th Jan). In-between, I saw the movie 3idiots on Wednesday 13th Jan, when I had partially read through the book. That probably makes me one of the few (rare?) persons who partially read the book, saw the movie in-between & then completed reading the rest of the book. 🙂

Anyway… both were awesome! 😛

(Continued below…)


Luxury chocolate gifts from Hotel Chocolat

Not intending to rake up (like I can!) the controversy that has now cooled down, but personally I feel the movie was not as much as 70% taken from the book – as claimed by Chetan Bhagat. It also isn’t as low as 10-20% as claimed by Rajkumar Hirani & Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Instead, to me, the movie seemed to be about 50% similar to the book. The basic story, the characters, the plot – except the climax – were all from the book.

The message was obviously stronger in the movie. As a lifetime subscriber & self-appointed advocate of the message, I’ve also always said (rather argued with many relatives/friends/contacts) that – the Indian education system needs a major revamp. Churning out graduates doesn’t do any good for the industry, which would eventually employ them. The syllabus is old, the teachers aren’t experts in the subjects they teach (they’ve also come from the system itself), the knowledge imparted is shallow & there’s no value-addition.

I could never study for an exam, but – when asked to implement/present a new concept, I’d delve into it wholeheartedly. Somehow exams never meant important to me. The seriousness never kicked in, except for the worry of flunking. As in the book, where Ryan says – mug mug mug & then puke in the exams.

Similarly, I also don’t completely agree to the recruitment system where candidates are first filtered based only on their “qualifications”, and not on their capabilities. We still read “Only B.E./B.Tech. candidates should apply” in the usual job ads. Why? I’d understand the need for it, if the job required specific engineering skills.

Back to the “review”… The characters in the movie were mixed up a little. If I may specifically mention:
– Aamir’s character (Rancho) in the movie was a combination of Hari & Ryan from the book
– Madhavan’s character (Farhan) was a more like Alok (w.r.t. artistic skill), than Ryan
– Sharman’s character (Raju) was obviously Alok, crystal
– Omi’s character (Chatur) was adapted from Venkat, but he had a lot more to do than Venkat

The concept from the “Hindustan Bol Raha Hai” BSNL ad, where in a remote village Deepika Padukone consults a doctor over a video conference while delivering a baby, was used in the movie when the guys delivered Mona’s baby. I wondered if the child would actually grow up to be a watchman. Yeah – seriously – throughout the movie, he/she reacted only to “Aal eej vel“… Right?

Instead of Ryan’s Lube project in the book, Rancho had the “ViruS Inverter”. Instead of Alok jumping from the top of the insti’s roof, Raju jumped from the window in ViruS’s room. The movie had the hilarious “teacher’s day” speech – which was not there in the book. The movie had the hospital sequence where Rancho & Farhan desperately try to revive Raju, again not from the book. The book did not have “Jahanpanaah, tussi great ho! Tussi toph ho! Tohfa kabool karo!“.

(I got a hilarious SMS, stating that the movie could’ve done much much better financially, if Kareena had done a “Jahanpanaah,… Tohfa kabool karo!” atleast once.) 😉

(Continued below…)


Generic CA US 300*250

The book had a lot of Hari & Neha; missing from the movie. The book had the “Disco” – Disciplinary Committee; missing from the movie. The book had many professors, the movie only focused on Viru Sahastrabuddhe. The book had Hari’s interesting convocation dream, which also was missing from the movie. The book, obviously, did not have songs! (Whew!)

Many jokes/ideas/scenes were picked up from popular e-mails/pictures circulated on the internet, especially the 5 burqa clad women being photographed at Simla, the mixing up of the answer sheets after asking the supervising professor if he know the three of them, the use of pencil in space (US Vs. USSR, where USSR were the bright pencil users instead of spending millions like what the US supposedly did to get an anti-grav pen invented!) — then also the Rancho electrocuting the ragging senior’s scene – among others.

So – the screenplay was really a khichdi & not 100% original. To repeat Chetan Bhagat’s question – if the movie wins the Best Story award, who should go to collect it? I’d say – the movie shouldn’t be nominated for Best Story at all, after all – its not an original story. 😉

To conclude – disregard the controversy – “Aal eej vel” now!
AND, if you’ve not seen the movie, see it. If you’ve not read the book, read it. It really doesn’t matter, in my opinion, about which one you do first. But don’t miss any of them! 🙂

Whodunnit: Fictional Relief of Frustration – Part V (Last)

Part V: Continued from Part IV:

Recap:
Five auto-rickshaw drivers are mysteriously killed on the road over a week. The passenger of the first auto-rickshaw, Maanvi Sharma, potentially provided a clue of a bike driver being the potential suspect. The investigating police sub-inspector D. K. Gowda had received a note from the supposed killer which explained the reason for the murders. The supposed killer wanted all the auto-rickshaw drivers to drive responsibly & strictly follow traffic rules. Recently, two cabs had a very bad accident on HAL Airport road – killing both the drivers on the spot. While one of the cab driver was shot by the killer for driving past a red traffic signal, the other driver died when the vehicles collided.

The next day, a letter was published in most of the newspapers across Bangalore.

This is my NO-TOLERANCE MOVEMENT.

This time I got two birds with just one shot! The cab driver drove through the red signal; I drove a bullet through his skull.

My hit count is six, but total deaths are seven. Very low ‘statistics’ as compared to the perpetrators on the roads. So, treat this as an open warning to *everyone* on the road. Henceforth, I will not target auto or cab drivers only, now *ALL* the rash drivers are on my hit-list. If I see you break a rule, you will be shot at, 24x7x365. Simple.

Remember & obey the following 10 simple rules:

1. Strictly follow lane discipline. Do not change lanes without prior indication to the vehicles behind & in front of you.

2. Do not drive through red or amber signals. Respect the traffic signals, obiediently.

3. Do not honk unnecessarily. Honk *only* to inform other vehicles, not to SHOUT at them.

4. Slow down & HONK before a road crossing, and every time you take a blind turn.

5. Respect & give way to people crossing the road. Its their right to walk, while driving is a privilege given to you.

6. Needless to say, DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE.

7. As well as, DO NOT SPEAK ON YOUR CELLPHONE WHILE DRIVING.

8. Do not drive on the wrong side of the road, or especially on the footpath, even for a short distance.

9. Do not drive rashly in a personal rush/emergency; if you’re late for your appointment/work, its not the others’ problem.

10. Follow all traffic rules, and do not bribe traffic policemen to avoid penalty/punishment when you flout the rules. I will shoot both of you dead.

No one knows me. No one has seen me. Don’t dismiss my warnings here, I shoot quite accurately & discreetly. Strictly follow my instructions above, and stay alive.

Soon, there will be many more people like me, monitoring the roads in Bangalore & shooting at anyone who dares disobey my instructions. After here, we will move to other cities in India.

JAI HIND!

With a little grin on his face, Gowda read the associated article. He said to himself, “I think, I like this guy!”

The situation on the Bangalore roads, after the last murder & the published letter, was absolutely hunky-dory. *Everyone* was (suddenly!) very diligent & patient on the roads, strictly following lane discipline, respecting traffic signals and all this without unnecessary honking too! The auto-rickshaws, cabs & even two-wheelers – *all* of them, were demonstrating their best driving skills. Someone breaking a rule or about to break a rule – was immediately chided by fellow drivers. It all seemed right out of an unbelievable dream!

Some reality, coming out of fiction…

  • As is popularly said (in Sanskrit) “Dandam Dashagunam Bhavate” – i.e. Just one ‘stick’ (punishment) can teach 10 good lessons, easily.
  • As goes a very popular, but old Marathi song, “Chhadi lagey cham cham, Vidya yeyi gam gam“, i.e. You learn, as soon as you’re punished. Listen to the original song here, its really good.

Q. Why do we Indians learn only when things are taken to the extreme?

Q. Can we only learn with the fear of ‘punishment’, or after receiving the ‘punishment’?

Q. How much can the governments & regulating/voluntary bodies do, if we – the citizens – do not comply by the country’s policies, rules & regulations?

Q. How can we expect *anyone* (governments, leaders, NGOs, volunteers, etc.) to change us when civic sense is *utter nonsense* for us?

  • Coming to reality (from fiction), are we waiting for something drastic to happen to us, before we improve our civic sense & driving skills on the roads?
  • Will we always need a “chhadi” (a teacher’s stick!) to get our acts straightened?

There is a limit to control the frustration… Its still within the limit, as of now.

For how long would such an ideal & dream situation on the Bangalore roads linger, is an easy guess for anyone. Back to fiction…

A month had passed since the last murder. The roads were still satisfactory, everyone was happy with the *drastic* change. Driving was no more war on the road, where you had to use all your skills to survive in life’s reality show.

A clueless Gowda was happy with how the situation had turned, though he regretted not being able to solve the case & arrest the killer. The case had to be closed off, after a few months, as there was nothing which could be done further to solve it.

The biggest festival for most Indians – Diwali – was close, and the ladies were busy scrubbing & cleaning their homes. Diwali was the “annual occasion” when the homes & offices got cleaned and/or repainted – to welcome the New Year (New Year for Gujaratis, Marathis & many others).

On a bright Monday morning, Nirav was getting ready for his office. He wore his dark gray jacket, took his helmet, his brown shoulder bag & climbed down the staircase to the basement parking area. He put on the helmet and kick started his black, silver & golden coloured Royal Enfield Bullet Electra. The bike came alive on the second kick. After warming up the engine for about 25-30 seconds, he rode out of the parking area and got on to the road. Before he could speed away, he saw Swati (his wife) & Stuti (their 5 year old daughter) waving & calling out to him from the balcony of their second floor apartment. He stopped near the main gate of their apartment complex, lifted the helmet’s visor and loudly asked them, “What happened?”

Swati replied, “Stuti found a lot of these old newspapers. They have many articles with their words cut-out. She says she didn’t cut them… Are these yours?”

Nirav paused for a while & then replied, “Yes, these’re mine…”

Swati asked back, “Are they important? Do you need them?…”

Nirav looked back at her, smiled and replied, “No – I don’t think I will need them again. You can throw them out. Okay?… I got to go, I’m late as usual. Bye, see you guys – Have a nice day!”

He waved back to them & rode away! 🙂

(End of the last part, Part V)

Whodunnit: Fictional Relief of Frustration – Part IV

Part IV: Continued from Part III:

Recap:
Five auto-rickshaw drivers are mysteriously killed on the road over a week. The passenger of the first auto-rickshaw, Maanvi Sharma, potentially provided a clue of a bike driver being the potential suspect. The investigating police sub-inspector D. K. Gowda had received a note from the supposed killer which explained the reason for the murders. The supposed killer wanted the auto-rickshaw drivers to drive responsibly & strictly follow traffic rules. Now there’s news about an accident involving two cabs on HAL Airport road.

Alongwith the auto-rickshaw drivers, cab drivers who ferry the various company staff across the city, were also the worst drivers on the road. Unlike an auto-rickshaw, which cannot go very fast, the cab drivers drove their ‘racing cars‘ recklessly on the city ‘tracks‘. Numerous accidents caused by cab drivers were reported on a daily basis, and even otherwise – with their constant honking, menacing driving, blatant & consistent breaking of rules; the cab drivers *were* a serious nuisance on the road.

There was something unusual about this accident worrying Gowda, otherwise he wouldn’t have been informed about it. He was getting anxious as his jeep closed on to the HAL Airport (Old Airport) road – Victoria Road – Trinity Church Road junction.

The junction is a T-Junction where the HAL Airport road ends and the Victoria road starts, while the Trinity Church road causes the perpendicular split & connects them to the M.G. Road. The traffic signal regulates vehicles coming from the old Airport end taking a right turn on to the Trinity Church road, or continue straight on to the Victoria Road. Similarly, Vehicles coming from the Victoria Layout end can take a left on to the Trinity Church Road or continue straight on to the HAL Airport road.

Gowda got down from his jeep and walked towards the crowd gathered near the road coming from the Trinity Church road and turning left on to the HAL Airport road. He could see a white Tata Indica (car) crashed in to the right-side of a white Tata Sumo (multi-utility vehicle). Both the vehicles were badly damaged with the impact. Both the vehicles were cabs, most-likely ferrying IT/BT/BPO employees. There were a couple of police constables and a traffic constable already there. One of the police constable rushed over to Gowda and saluted him.

“Namaskara Sir, we had reported this & called for you.”

Gowda nodded, “Hmm… When did this happen?”

The constable replied, “This happened about an hour ago. We reached here about 30 minutes back, after we received the message broadcast. The traffic constable had first reported this.” He pointed to the traffic constable, called him over and continued, “Sir, the Tata Indica driver was coming from the Victoria road, crossing the signal to get on to the old Airport road, when this happened. The Indica driver was shot in the head, so we were called.”

The constable looked at Gowda’s face, expecting for some reaction. However, Gowda was busy inspecting the two vehicles. Without any expressions, he asked, “Is he alive?”

The constable replied, “No sir, he is dead. Both vehicle drivers are dead sir. We were doing the panchanama when you arrived.”

By that time, the traffic constable had reached them. He saluted Gowda and looked at the police constable, who continued, “After the driver was shot, he seems to have lost control of his vehicle. He probably floored the accelerator of the car turned left to crash into the Tata Sumo which was coming from the Trinity Church road and taking the left turn to get on to the HAL Airport road.”

Gowda slowly nodded his head, then turned to the traffic constable and asked him, “Where were you when this happened?”

The traffic constable immediately replied, “I was right here sir, managing the traffic. I was on the road median facing & guiding the vehicles coming from the Airport road when I heard a loud noise from behind. I turned around and saw the Indica and the Sumo had crashed.”

Gowda asked him, “Were there any passengers in the Indica or the Sumo? Were any other people hurt in this?”

The traffic constable replied, “Yes sir, there was one passenger in the Sumo. He’s not hurt as much, only some scratches. He was sitting on the left seat behind the driver.”

Gowda asked him again, “Any other passengers or passers-by hurt?”

The traffic constable replied, “No sir, no one else. The Indica was empty.”

Gowda turned to the police constable, “Where’s the passenger? Did you speak to him?”

The police constable said, “Yes sir, we spoke to him… that’s how we got to know that the driver was shot at.”

Gowda exclaimed, “What? Did he see someone shoot the driver? Where is he?”

The police constable said, “Yes sir, he’s there on the footpath.” They start walking towards the footpath.

The constable continued, “He said he saw someone riding a bike shoot the driver. The bike was waiting to take a right turn from the Airport road on to the Trinity Church road. After shooting the bike immediately sped away from the spot, he says.”

They reached the footpath and searched for the passenger. He was sitting below a tree with a handkerchief tied to his forehead. He had a bottle of water in his hand and looked calm.

Gowda held his hand out and said, “Hello, I’m sub-inspector Gowda. How are you feeling now?”

The man, seemed to be about 30 years old, shook his hand and said, “Hello sir, I’m Amit Joshi. I’m okay now, thank you.” He looked at his left elbow and lightly touched his forehead.

Gowda said, “Okay, good. Where do you work?”

Amit replied, “I work with Citibank, on Hayes Road, and I stay at Marathahalli. I was on my way home, after my shift, when this happened.”

He continued after a pause, “I saw someone shoot at the Indica sir. He was riding a bike.”

He took a pause again, wondering if he should continue talking or stop.

Gowda, looking at him in the eye, said, “Yes, continue… I want to know what you saw. Tell me in detail.”

Amit continued, “Sir, we were coming from this side”, showing his hand towards the Trinity Church road, “and the signal had just turned green for us and my driver continued to take the turn quickly as there was no vehicle ahead of us.”

“I was slightly worried and was anxiously looking at the traffic coming from the Victoria Layout end. Their signal had turned red, but still the last 2-3 vehicles were speeding through the signal, towards us. One of them was this Indica. As soon as the Indica was at the center of the road junction, I saw a bike rider standing at the signal, point a gun towards the Indica. I think he shot from the gun & after that, I saw the Indica lose control and hurtling towards us. It crashed into us and then I don’t remember anything until I was being pulled out from the wreck by this traffic constable and one other person. I’m not hurt much, but these policemen tell me my driver is dead.”

Gowda nodded. He said, “Yes, unfortunately he’s dead. Did you see the bike rider properly? What bike was it? What was he wearing? Was he wearing a helmet or did you see his face?”

Amit replied, “I only saw the rider for a fraction of a second. I only remember he was riding a black Enfield Bullet and was wearing a black or gray jacket. He wore a helmet, so I didn’t see his face.”

Amit continued, after a pause, “And yes, the rider had a cream or brown coloured bag kept in the front, on the bike’s fuel tank, where he quickly put the gun back before speeding away. I couldn’t understand anything at that time, and was more concerned about the cab approaching us.”

Gowda nodded, “Yes, I can understand. Do you recollect anything else? Anything written on his jacket or bag? Some logo or picture?”

Amit shook his head, “No sir, all this while after I was pulled out of the Sumo, I was thinking about the same thing. Whatever I could recollect I’ve just told you sir.”

Gowda replied, “Okay. Fine. Do you want to visit a doctor & get yourself checked?”

Amit replied, “No… no sir, I’m fine. I just want to go home now. Can I leave? I will hire an auto-rickshaw.”

Gowda called the police constable, “Take his name, address, phone numbers & get him an auto-rickshaw to go to Marathahalli.”

He then wrote something on a chit of paper, turned to Amit and said, “Give the constable your contact details. And, here’s my cell number. If you recollect anything else, feel free to give me a call anytime. Thank you, and take care of yourself.”

After Amit left, Gowda called the traffic constable near, and asked him, “Didn’t you hear any gun-shot sound from where you were standing? It seems you were close to the bike rider?”

The constable replied, “Sir, I might have heard – but didn’t notice it. Many times, vehicle tyres burst and even some vehicles, especially auto-rickshaws, while starting make abrupt loud noises… These sound like crackers bursting. So, I may have heard it, but didn’t give any attention to it sir.”

Gowda said, “Hmm… Is this signal mounted with a CCTV camera, & monitored at the Ashok Nagar police station?”

The constable shook his head, “No sir, not this one.”

Gowda brushed his hair with his right hand; he was deep in thought. This was *again* leading him nowhere. There were thousands of Enfield Bullet bikes on Bangalore’s roads. He still needed some better leads to solve this.

It also seemed like the Indica driver drove past a red signal, just before the vehicles from the Old Airport road were about to take the right turn on to the Trinity Church road. Their signal would’ve just turned green; so the bike rider *must* have been ready to shoot, with his bike engine running, before the Indica drove in front of him.

The killer also seemed to be a trained/expert shooter. He could hit moving targets with accuracy. Most of his shots were on the head, giving little or no chance of survival. Once he shot at the driver here today, all he had to do was keep the smoking gun in his bag, change the bike’s gear and accelerate away.

There must’ve been other vehicles behind him who must’ve seen him shoot and speed away. But no one there, waited to tell the story. These killings were also causing a serious risk to the other vehicles on the road and passers-by.

The next day morning, he was surprised to see the newspaper’s front page reporting the cabs accident and the driver’s murder. It had also published a letter received by most of the newspaper offices, purportedly written by the killer. The letter’s content as well as its photograph was published and it was formed with words cut out from a newspaper or a magazine, just like before. The words were again stuck to a paper in correct sequence of the words to form a sentence. It read:

This is my NO-TOLERANCE MOVEMENT.

This time I got two birds with just one shot! The cab driver drove through the red signal; I drove a bullet through his skull.

My hit count is six, but total deaths are seven. Very low ‘statistics’ as compared to the perpetrators on the roads. So, treat this as an open warning to *everyone* on the road. Henceforth, I will not target auto or cab drivers only, now *ALL* the rash drivers are on my hit-list. If I see you break a rule, you will be shot at, 24x7x365. Simple.

Remember & obey the following 10 simple rules:

1. Strictly follow lane discipline. Do not change lanes without prior indication to the vehicles behind & in front of you.

2. Do not drive through red or amber signals. Respect the traffic signals, obiediently.

3. Do not honk unnecessarily. Honk *only* to inform other vehicles, not to SHOUT at them.

4. Slow down & HONK before a road crossing, and every time you take a blind turn.

5. Respect & give way to people crossing the road. Its their right to walk, while driving is a privilege given to you.

6. Needless to say, DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE.

7. As well as, DO NOT SPEAK ON YOUR CELLPHONE WHILE DRIVING.

8. Do not drive on the wrong side of the road, or especially on the footpath, even for a short distance.

9. Do not drive rashly in a personal rush/emergency; if you’re late for your appointment/work, its not the others’ problem.

10. Follow all traffic rules, and do not bribe traffic policemen to avoid penalty/punishment when you flout the rules. I will shoot both of you dead.

No one knows me. No one has seen me. Don’t dismiss my warnings here, I shoot quite accurately & discreetly. Strictly follow my instructions above, and stay alive.

Soon, there will be many more people like me, monitoring the roads in Bangalore & shooting at anyone who dares disobey my instructions. After here, we will move to other cities in India.

JAI HIND!

With a little grin on his face, Gowda read the associated article. He said to himself, “I think, I like this guy!”

(End of Part IV)
Go to the last part, Part V

Whodunnit: Fictional Relief of Frustration – Part III

Part III: Continued from Part II:

Recap:
Two auto-rickshaw drivers are mysteriously killed on the road over a period of two days. They both were driving at crowded places when they were killed & lost control over their respective vehicles. The passenger of the first auto-rickshaw, Maanvi Sharma, potentially provided a clue of a bike driver being the suspect. The investigating police sub-inspector D. K. Gowda has received the postmortem reports of both the driver’s bodies & they corroborate Gowda’s thought that both the killings are related & done by the same person.

Early morning the next day, a constable walked over to Gowda’s desk and handed over an envelope to him. It was addressed to the Adugodi police station and had arrived by post. Gowda turned it over to see the post-office’s seal on it. It read “Koramangala Post Office” and was posted the day before yesterday, that is – on the day of the second murder. He slit open the envelope and pulled out a paper which some pieces of paper stuck on it. The pieces seemed to form a message created by using printed words cut and pasted in a sequence to form the sentences, and read:

The two auto drivers were killed because they were rash drivers and had almost got me hurt or killed on the road. I was barely saved, others may not be so lucky, so I killed them to save the others. I do not want to hurt or cause worry to any passengers and I will do my best not to hurt them. As passengers, they should act responsibly and stop the auto drivers from rash driving and/or breaking traffic rules. Henceforth any rash auto drivers I encounter, will be shot dead… INSTANTLY. Enough is enough! All auto drivers should strictly follow the traffic rules, obey the signals, show respect to other drivers on the road and drive safely; IF THEY WANT TO STAY ALIVE!

Gowda noticed that the words were cut out from newspaper or magazine articles and cleanly glued on a plain paper in the correct sequence to form the sentences with appropriate punctuation marks. The sentences seemed grammatically accurate, opening up the possibility of an educated & professional person ‘writing’ it!

He thought, “Its quite likely that the bike rider that Maanvi’s reported could’ve killed these two. The reason fits now, though a petty one, but his frustration on auto-rickshaw drivers seems to be on the last stage, not allowing him to ignore/forgive!”

Alongwith the motive behind the killings clarified, the person also seemed to be inspired from Kamal Haasan’s movie “Indian“, where a veteran freedom fighter (Senapati) takes upon a task to ‘clean’ the corrupt government departments by murdering all the corrupt government employees found harassing the public.

Gowda thought, “What will he or she do next? There are close to a lakh auto-rickshaws in Bangalore. A majority of them, rather all of them, break the traffic rules day in and day out. The killer doesn’t even wait for any explanation or reasoning and just shoots down an offending auto-rickshaw driver. He or she seems to be an extremely frustrated person, possibly had some very bad experience with auto-rickshaw drivers. He or she seems to be a regular traveller between Adugodi & Koramangala, quite likely working at Koramangala, as the murders were done in the morning when typically people are on their way to the office. We need to patrol that road thoroughly and even caution *all* the auto-rickshaw drivers in Bangalore about this. What is the best way for me to do that?…”

As if in answer to his question, a few crime reporters rushed in and thronged Gowda’s desk. They started asking him for more information about the two auto-driver murders. Gowda told them that the investigation was in progress and that he had just received an anonymous note from the killer. He told them that both murders were linked and done by the same person, as per the note. On insistence from the reporters, he showed them the note from the killer.

The next day, all the newspapers carried this story on their front page with pictures of the killer’s note to the police and with the regular sentimental masala about the murdered auto-rickshaw drivers’ families & their conditions.

The auto-rickshaw drivers in Bangalore started to panic, with many of them not plying their vehicles that day. Later during that day, the Chief Minister visited the families of the auto-drivers and promised them a cash compensation of Rs.1 Lakh each from the government. He also faced the other auto-rickshaw drivers’ ire over the murders.

The auto-rickshaw drivers’ union representatives also confronted the chief minister, and threatened the CM with an auto-rickshaw strike on the next day, if the killer wasn’t caught. They blamed the inability of the police to secure “innocent citizens” in broad daylight.

The CM tried to pacify their anger, saying the police are investigating the case on priority and that they were tracing the clues to the killer. He said, the killer will soon be caught and put behind bars.

He also asked them to communicate to all the auto-rickshaw driver unions & all their members to maintain their calm and not to break any traffic rules. They should all avoid provoking the killer, until he or she is traced & nabbed by the police.

A couple of days later, with three more auto-rickshaw drivers shot dead – the situation wasn’t in Gowda’s (or rather anyone’s) control. The auto-rickshaw driver unions had called for a second day strike today to oppose the murders, and there were very few auto-rickshaws plying today. Those auto-rickshaws on the road, were driving very carefully – taking care not to offend any other drivers. They had suddenly turned very polite and stopped quarrelling with any other drivers & passengers.

Gowda’s station got an urgent message from their central communication department reporting an accident involving two cabs (taxis) on the old airport road.

Gowda thought, “Oh my god! Now what? Cab drivers?? They *are* the rudest lot on the roads!”

(End of Part III)
Go to Part IV

Whodunnit: Fictional Relief of Frustration – Part II

Part II: Continued from Part I:

Recap:
An auto-rickshaw driver is shot dead by a mysterious killer near the Adugodi signal, while he was driving his passenger, Maanvi Sharma, to the Forum Mall. Though there’s a bad accident after the driver loses control, Maanvi escapes without any major injuries & informs the investigating police sub-inspector D. K. Gowda about an altercation between the auto-rickshaw driver & a bike rider a little while before the accident. She said she thought that the bike rider in a dark gray jacket & a small brown bag on his shoulders could have shot the driver.

PSI D.K. Gowda hung up the call and jotted down the first description of the potential suspect received from Maanvi, though he couldn’t digest the thought that the bike rider could shoot down the auto-driver for such a petty reason. However, he couldn’t ignore any leads & any clues to a potential suspect. With the bike rider in the back of his mind, he left the police station to go to the accident spot to further enquire with the shopkeepers & residents in that area.

After about an hour and after speaking to atleast a dozen shopkeepers & a couple of residents, he concluded that none of the shopkeepers or residents saw anything untoward until the accident occurred. They also did not notice any peculiar person on the road-side. Being a busy road as well as a busy market place, all this sounded pretty weird, but it really seemed like no one saw what actually happened. For someone to shoot a person – while both of them are moving, and with such accuracy to hit the head – he had to be a professional shooter. It was unlikely for such a professional shooter to shoot down a simple auto-rickshaw driver, while riding a bike. So it was quite possible that the shot was fired by someone standing on the road-side. It was also possible that the shot was fired to kill someone else at the location at that time, while it mistakenly hit the driver.

The loud ringtone of his cell phone interrupted his flow of thought – there was a call from his station. He picked up the call, it was one of his constables from the station. He spoke with the constable for less than a minute, and rushed back into his jeep. He asked his driver constable to rush to the Koramangala Water Tank, about 2.5-3.0 kilometers away.

On reaching the St. John’s signal next to the Koramangala Water Tank on Sarjapur Road, he pointed to a crowd standing about 150-200 metres after the signal, “Take me over there.”

The driver drove towards the crowd & stopped the jeep close to the crowd. Gowda saw an auto-rickshaw which had crashed into the trunk of a big tree at the edge of the road. He alighted from the jeep and pushed aside a few people from the crowd to make way for himself. As soon as some of the people saw him, they themselves moved aside, making way for him to reach the accident spot.

The vehicle’s front body was badly damaged due to the collision, so the driver seemed to have been at a high speed. On taking a closer look, Gowda saw that there was no passenger, but the driver was still in his seat crushed by the vehicle’s front body!

Nobody could’ve survived in that position Gowda thought, and that was also probably why no one from the crowd had touched the driver – fearing he was already dead. However, Gowda called up his station & asked them to urgently send an ambulance and a couple of constables to the accident site. He then asked 2-3 people from the crowd to help pull out the driver from the vehicle. They broke off some leftover glass from the wind shield & pulled up the front of the auto-rickshaw with the help of the wind shield’s side bars. Slowly, they pulled out the profusely bleeding driver and laid him on the footpath next to the vehicle.

Gowda inspected the driver, checked for his pulse – there was none, checked his nostrils to check for his breath – but no sensation there as well. He also noticed that there was a deep injury in the head, it seemed like something had pierced through the back of his head and caused a serious injury.

“Could this be a bullet injury? Is this linked to the first murder at Adugodi? Is this the work of a serial killer targetting auto-rickshaw drivers?”

With such thoughts racing through his mind, Gowda loudly asked the people gathered, “Was there any passenger in the auto-rickshaw with him?”

A few people shook their head and replied, “No sir…”

Within another couple of minutes, the ambulance arrived. Gowda asked the paramedics to check the driver, if he was alive. They immediately tried to check if he was still alive, however finally concluded that the driver was already dead.

Gowda asked them to take the dead body & conduct the post-mortem on it. He would now have to wait until the report arrived the next day, to ascertain the cause of the death as well as the cause of the deep head injury.

By this time, his constables also arrived & with them he cordoned the site and started searching for any clues around the crashed vehicle.

He asked the people from the crowd, “Who saw the accident happen?”

A couple of men raised their hand and walked towards Gowda. He asked them to relate what had happened.

One of the men started narrating, “I was standing at the bus-stop here waiting for my bus to go to Bellandur. When the traffic signal turned green for the traffic coming from Madiwala check post, all the vehicles started rushing. There were 3-4 buses in the vehicles and I got busy checking if any of the buses would ply to Bellandur. And within a few seconds I saw the auto-rickshaw suddenly come out from behind one of the buses and directly went & hit the tree. Luckily there were no people standing there, as well as the auto-rickshaw was empty. There was a loud noise and the wind shield glass shattered.”

Gowda looked at him inquisitively, “Was the auto-rickshaw at a high speed?”

Both the men shook their heads & almost replied together, “No sir, it was not fast…”

Gowda looked at both of them, still patiently listening & waiting to hear more…

The second man continued, “But generally like what happens when the signal turns green, all the vehicles rush out fast; similarly the auto-rickshaw was behind the private bus along with other vehicles. He probably was driving towards the left to search for a passenger near this bus-stop, as he was driving empty.”

Gowda said, “Okay, so where were you standing?”

The second man replied, “Over there sir… near that gate sir…” & pointed to the white gate of a house on the service road, parallel to the main Sarjapur road.

“I work there, and had come out to smoke a cigarette… I was almost done, when I heard the crashing noise and saw the auto-rickshaw had hit the tree. I saw the driver was in it, and ran toward it to help. But when I reached there, I was afraid to pull out the driver, as he was badly stuck up in the crashed vehicle’s front body.”

Gowda asked him, “When you saw the driver, was he alive? Was he moving?”

The man replied, “No sir, he was not moving… I don’t know if he was alive, but he made no sound or movement.”

Gowda further asked him, “Did you hear any other peculiar noise before the accident’s sound? Like a gun shot or small blast or so?”

The man shook his head and replied, “No sir… The traffic was very noisy as it is… I didn’t hear any other sound sir…”

Gowda asked, “What other vehicles were next to the auto-rickshaw? Did you see them?”

The man replied, “There were many bikes along with the auto-rickshaw, and a bus that was before it.”

Gowda exhaled heavily & asked them both, “Do you remember anything else?”

Both of them shook their heads again & replied, “No sir… nothing else.”

Gowda looked behind and called out for one of his constables. Then turned back to them and said, “Give your full name, residential address and phone numbers to him. We may call you up, if necessary. And if you recollect anything else, absolutely anything, do call me.”

The two men nodded back.

He turned to his constable and instructed him, “Take their details, and give them my contact number.”

Gowda further instructed the constables to continue with the investigation process as he had to go back to the station.

At the station the postmortem report of the first auto-rickshaw driver had arrived. It confirmed that the death had occurred with a bullet in the head which should have been shot from a maximum distance of 1.5 metres away from the head. The other details of the bullet & the gun used were also mentioned alongwith the other usual information. He skimmed through the report and asked his constable to get him a cup of tea.

The next day, the second postmortem report also arrived and it seemed to corroborate his thoughts of the two accidents being related. The death of this driver was also with a bullet embedded in his head. It would’ve also been shot from a close range of a maximum of 2 metres away from the head. The bullet used & the gun type also matched for both the cases.

“Damn! Who is doing this? And why is he or she doing it? Why only auto-rickshaw drivers? Is there a psycho serial killer on the loose? They both seem like a professional job, as there are almost no clues at the sites. He or she seems to carry out the killings stealthily, in crowded & noisy areas, roads specifically, and making it difficult for them to be traced. What is he or she upto?”

With a deep sigh, he continues poring through the two reports.

(End of Part II)
Go to Part III

Whodunnit: Fictional Relief of Frustration – Part I

The shocked passenger was nervously happy to be alive with some injuries, after a close brush with possible death. The auto-rickshaw she was riding in, had suddenly swerved to the right & hit the median, causing the vehicle to topple to the left. Luckily for her, within a few seconds of the accident, some people from the crowd around the accident spot had rushed over and safely pulled her & the driver out. The people had carried her to the footpath and asked her to lay down there. After enquiring her how she was, she was helped to sit up straight and offered a glass of water to drink.

The 22 year old law student had hired the auto-rickshaw to reach the Forum Mall, and now the vehicle lay badly damaged at the Adugodi signal. She looked at the scratches on her left elbow & left knee and covered her torn clothes with her dupatta. Gathering her strength, she pulled out her cellphone from her purse and checked if it worked. She made a phone call and then continued to check for any other injuries.

Within a few minutes a police jeep with a sub-inspector (PSI) and 3 constables arrived. The constables pushed the crowd back with their lathis, while the sub-inspector looked around the vehicle, spoke to his constables & then asked aloud, “Was there any passenger?”. A few people from the crowd pointed to the girl and replied that she was the passenger in the auto-rickshaw.

Sitting on the footpath holding a half-filled glass of water, the girl nodded at the PSI and searched around for the driver in the crowd. The PSI walked over to her and asked her if she was okay. She nodded again and continued to search for the auto-rickshaw driver.

The PSI asked her, “Was there anyone else with you in the auto-rickshaw?”

She replied, “No.”

The PSI then asked her to relate what happened. She slowly recollected what had occurred and related the incident to him. She again turned around to search for the auto-rickshaw driver.

The PSI asked her, “Are you searching for someone?”

She angrily replied, “Yes, where’s the stupid auto-rickshaw driver? He almost got me killed!”

The PSI looked at her in the eye & replied, “He’s dead.”

She suddenly turned over to him & stared back unbelievably and exclaimed, “DEAD? WHAT? WHERE IS HE?”

The PSI helped her get up and slowly walk towards the vehicle. He showed her the driver’s dead body lying behind the vehicle. The body was lying in a pool of blood near his head.

She again looked back unbelievingly at the PSI and asked him, “How did he die? What happened to him?”

The PSI replied, “He has been shot in the head!”

She exclaimed, “WHAT? SHOT HIM WHAT?”

The PSI replied, “He seems to have been shot with a gun. That’s why he must have lost control over the vehicle and had this accident.”

“Did you see or hear anything before the accident occurred?”

She just shook her head in disbelief, then closed her eyes and started weeping.

The PSI said to her, “Cool down. Stay calm madam. We need you for the investigation. What’s your name?”

She replied sobbingly, “Maanvi”.

He asked, “Full name? And where do you live?”

She replied, “Maanvi Sharma. I stay in a PG at Frazer Town.”

He further asked, “Where were you going?”

She replied, “Forum Mall. My sister is there, waiting for me.”

He asked, “Did you call her up?”

She replied, “Yes yes… I called her a few minutes ago. She should be here any minute.” She turned her head towards the crowd searching for her sister.

The PSI then said, “Okay, we need to check your bag & purse. Can you show it to him?”. He beckoned one of the constables to come over.

Maanvi handed over her bag and purse to the constable, who checked it thoroughly and then returned it back to her. The constable shook his head at the PSI and went back near the driver’s dead body.

She pulled out her cellphone again and called her sister. “Where are you Saakshi?… Okay… Okay, I’m here diagonally opposite the Bata showroom. Come over quickly.” She hung up, turned to the PSI & said, “She’s almost here. Can I go?”

The PSI said, “Give us your full address & phone numbers. Do you want to visit a doctor first? Its important that you get a check up done. My constable can accompany you to a doctor close-by.”

She replied, “No sir, its fine. My landlady is a doctor and I will get myself checked-up by her.” She pulled out a piece of paper, requested for a pen from the PSI and scribbled down her name, address & phone number, and handed it over to the PSI.

“This is my address & phone number.”

The PSI replied, “Thank you. My name is D. K. Gowda. I will call you up tomorrow. You may need to come to the police station. Think about what happened and try to recollect if you heard any gunshot, or saw someone driving next to the auto-rickshaw just before the accident occurred. Okay? Take care.”

Maanvi nodded, and then slowly turned around to see her younger sister rushing towards her shouting, “What happened didi?” and frantically checking her clothes and body. “Are you badly hurt? Where are you hurt?”

Maanvi put her hand on her shoulder, and slowly pulled her away. She then said, “I’m fine. Let’s leave first. We’ll talk on the way.”

They slowly walked over to the other side of the road and hailed another auto-rickshaw to take them home.

The next day morning, Saakshi answered Maanvi’s cellphone. It was the PSI D. K. Gowda on the line,asking for Maanvi. Saakshi took the instrument to Maanvi who was lying down on the bed.

Maanvi answered “Hello Sir…”.

Gowda asked her, “Hello! How’re you feeling today? What did the doctor say?”

Maanvi replied, “I’m quite fine Sir, thank you. The doctor said I only have a few bad bruises… no broken bones, nothing serious. I was really lucky. My bag saved me. What happened to the driver’s body sir?”

Gowda replied, “Okay, good that you’re fine. We had to conduct a post-mortem on the driver’s body, after which it was handed over to his family.”

“So, were you able to recollect anything? Do you remember any gunshot sound or any car or bike driving next to the auto-rickshaw?”

Maanvi replied, “Yes sir. I remembered something, which might be of help to you. I’m a law student myself, and I know the importance of such information in a crime investigation.”

DKG replied, “Oh, great! So tell me…?”

Maanvi said, “Sir, when we were crossing the MICO factory on the Adugodi road, the auto-rickshaw driver had suddenly turned a little towards his right, to overtake another auto-rickshaw, without seeing the rear-view mirror. At that time, a biker driving next to us was barely saved from hitting the road median. He braked suddenly and controlled his bike. He then accelerated behind us and came to our left and shouted at the auto-rickshaw driver. The driver also shouted back at him and they continued their argument while driving. The biker backed off before the Adugodi signal and we continued further. As the signal had turned red, we had to stop. After stopping, the auto-rickshaw driver seemed to search for the biker in his rear mirror… grinning. I don’t know if he saw the biker or not, but within seconds the signal turned green and we started again. We crossed the signal and just before the Bata showroom the driver lost control on the vehicle and we had this accident. I think I saw the same biker on our left just before our accident. I remember from earlier, that he was wearing a dark gray jacket and had a small brown bag on his shoulders. I don’t know if this had anything to do with him, but this just came to my mind about something that had happened just before the accident.”

Patiently listening to her story all this while, DKG broke his silence, “Okay good. Do you know which motorcycle was he riding? Do you remember the registration number, by any chance?”

Maanvi replied, “No sir, I don’t know the motorcycle or the registration number or anything else. This was the best I could recollect.”

DKG said, “Okay, fine. I understand. You should rest. This is my cellphone number from where I’ve called you right now. Store it and call me back on this number if you recollect anything else. We might need your help further, I’ll call you up as needed. Okay?”

Maanvi, “Yes, okay. I understand. Thank you.” She hung up the phone and saved the number on her phone.

(End of Part-I)
Go to Part II

“KINGFISHER Coach”

02092009

This is a picture I took on my way to the office today morning. Check it out, the auto-rickshaw is a “KINGFISHER Coach“, probably owned by Mallya’s gardener. 😛 (Actual picture)

And the main thing – there’s something (horribly + terribly) poetic written above it, which reads as below (copying the punctuation as well):

——————————————
Yes Kyoz Me                  => (Excuse me? Okay, but will I regret it?)

Beauty i Like u
But Not u                          => (Eh? Make up your mind!)
I Like u Lip
But Not Kiss u                   => (Untouchable lipstick?)
I Like u Smile
But Not Love                    => (Desi Elvis, sings “Heartbreak auto-rickshaw“)

– Graazy Boy                 => (Yeah, graze around. No hope!)
——————————————-

Don’t ask me… I’m myself asking, *WHAT*?!

WordPress Bug: Incorrect count of comments? – Solution

Yeah, I’d been noticing it over the last few days that the count of comments for the posts was incorrect. And it was consistently missing out later posts. 😐 I was unsure if the ‘bug’ existed in WordPress or it was due to the theme that I use (if that mattered).

I first thought, it probably didn’t count posts by the same person – or by the author… but that theory didn’t match for every post.

Googl’ing for the problem resulted in top 2-3 results which were tangential to my issue. So avoided that.

Tried some typical tricks… and finally, got the solution/”fix” for it: Just edit the comment for a post whose comment count is incorrect. You can simply add some character and delete it back, and then save it (Update Comment). You’ll now see that the count is corrected! 🙂

God bless the WordPress programmers! They’re doing an awesome job – albeit some bugs (they’re kinda obvious, in software development). 🙂

Enjoy!~



Luxury chocolate gifts from Hotel Chocolat


Generic CA US 300*250

Vande Mataram: One Day, Maa Tere Hum

When was the last time you saw the Independence day flag hoisting or Republic day parade, live, or on TV?

Me: I seriously don’t even remember seeing it in the news – later in the evening – for the last few years. 🙁

When was the last time you sung (or even hummed on) the national anthem?

Me: Well, the last time I tried to – I forgot/mispronounced a couple of words. 🙁  This was something we used to sing *daily* during the school & college prayer-time/assembly. Growing old, eh? 😉

Though these were a couple of the “symptoms” we used to proudly show-off to demonstrate our “patriotic fever” towards our motherland, they seem to have faded away in our past – drowned in our current life-style. We used to love pinning/sticking the Indian Tricolour on our shirts, T-Shirts, bikes, cars, doors, etc.; running & cycling around with the flag held high; and wishing everyone a “Happy Independence Day” or a “Happy Republic Day”. Nostalgic, aah!

These “symptoms” used to get us a “high” and were on “display” only a couple of days before the 15th Aug and the 26th Jan — Hence, I’d coined it as “One Day, Maa Tere Hum“… (Read it like: Vande Mataram!).

Sujalam Sufalam Malayaja Shitalam Shasya Shyamalam Maataram Vande! (Note: I didn’t Google for the lyrics; these were verbatim from my memory! Aaah!)

Whenever you have some time to spare (about 2-3 mins.) please read: http://me.enirav.com/?p=594
and post your comments at the site, after reading. Thanks! 🙂

सुजलां सुफलां मलयजशीतलाम् शस्यशामलां मातरम् वन्दे ।
Visit here and read it with its English meaning, I recommend. (Googled only now!)

The fever has lost its fervor and here we are, still high on patriotism, but bogged down with other things in life. A PH – public holiday – to relax, travel, shop, have fun; that’s what the Independence days or Republic days are meant for now. 😐

With the country completing 62 years of independence, what’s on your to-do list for this 15th Aug 2009?

Me: I plan to get up early and watch the Independence day flag hoisting with my 5 yr. old daughter, Stuti. It will probably be her first Independence day “celebration” – the reasons for which, she’s yet to learn & understand. 😀

Chak De… Chak De… Chak De India!

Jai Hind! 😀

Visit: http://india.gov.in/myindia/myindia.php

The Flag of India
The Flag of India

Indian National Anthem (Audio)

Indian Nathional Anthem (Video)

My south-Indian “dhosths”!

After about 6 years in Bengaluru, I am now well conversant with the English pronounciations & “Hinglish” spellings (i.e. Indian/Hindi spellings in English!). Never understood the *logic* and never got any satisfying reason about:  Why are English spellings of Indian words (Hindi, Sanskrit, etc.) spelt differently in south-India, so much that the words lose their actual pronounciations altogether?

Listing some of my observations here:

Observation 1:
South Indians graciously add a “h” (read as “hech“) in word spellings where its not required, and also unceremoniously remove it, from where its (actually) required.

  • दोस्ती (Dosti) becomes धोस्थी (Dhosthi) or दोस्थी (Dosthi)
  • शिव (Shiv – read the full ) becomes Siva (सिवा) & शक्ति (Shakti) becomes सक्थी (Sakthi)
  • खाना (Khana) becomes काना (Kana), and भूख (Bhookh) becomes  बुक (Book)
  • माता (Mata) becomes माथा (Matha) – and, in Hindi (& some other Indian languages), ‘matha’ (माथा) means head/forehead! Jai Matha Stores! (Yeah, it does store!) 😛
  • उमावती (Umavati) becomes उमावथी (Umavathy or Umavathi), and पार्वती (Parvati) ends up as पार्वथी (Parvathy or Parvathi)
  • My colleague at work, Umavathy [Her Royal Highness, the Queen of Mysore state], usually says “Bahut book lagee hai, Kana kaaney jaana hai“. And in response, I typically crack a PJ – “Kaunsa book lagaa? eBook lagaa?… Kana-Matra!” 😀 😉
  • Another “royal statement” by the Queen of Mysore is “Wo baag gaya!” for “Woh bhaag gayaa!“. And the PJ goes – “Which baag? Lalbaug, Cubbon Park or Vrindavan Garden?” 😛 😉
  • When my wife was hospitalized for her delivery in Dec 2003, I made sure that the hospital staff registered my wife’s name correctly as “Swati” (स्वाति) – and not “Swathi” or “Swathy” (स्वाथी)
  • When our princess was born, I again had to forcibly ensure her name’s spelling was recorded as “Stuti’ (स्तुति) and not “Sthuthi” (स्थुथी) or “Stuthy”/”Stuthi” (स्तुथी) in their register & the birth certificate issued by the hospital. Whew!
  • The same kinetic force had to be re-applied a few years later to the old lady who wrote our daughter’s government birth certificate, and yet again to ensure the teacher who registered her name in the school register, during her school admission in Apr 2008, wrote it right!

Observation 2:
Though I don’t approve the spellings treatment as described in Observation 1, I somehow don’t mind the additional “a” to Indian words, to allow the Indian alphabet to be fully pronounced (just as is pronounced in Marathi too, but unfortunately not in Hindi).

  • राम (Ram) becomes Rama (The is to be pronounced full, unlike the way its pronounced in Hindi, where is partially pronounced)
  • महेशहरीश & गिरीश (Mahesh, Harish & Girish) become Mahesha, Harisha & Girisha. (Here the trick is to pronouce the  completely, and not as शा)
  • Similarly with माधव (Madhav) – which ends up as माधवा (Madhava – pronounce the full )

Observation 3:
However, we all know – this additional “a” has  caused a side-effect.

  • Now people read “Rama” as रामा (Raamaa), and Mahesha, Harisha, Girisha & Madhava as महेशा (Maheshaa), हरिशा (Harishaa), गिरीशा (Girishaa) & माधवा (Madhavaa) – respectively.
  • We passed the कालिदास (Kalidas) road last Sunday evening – and on the signboard along the road, it was spelt as “Kalidhasa” (कालिधासा) road. Saw it for the first time, took me a few seconds to get it. 😐

Observation 4:
I’ve also been reading completely new forms of certain words. Well, truly speaking, this actually is the American form of English which has taken over the original British English.

  • Instead of “He hung himself from the fan” – you would read the books & newspapers (including the national ToI) publishing it as “He hanged himself from the fan”.
  • Instead of “The house burnt down”, its “The house burned down”.
  • As well as “He hurted himself…” instead of “He hurt himself…”

Please note, I am well aware of how west-Indians, north-Indians & east-Indians speak Hinglish.

  • I know how my Gujarati relatives “wrap” their favourite “snacks” (I’d better not give the Gujju pronunciation of “wrap” here; for “snacks” they pronounce it as “snakes” (स्नेक्स)) &
  • I know how my Marathi friends learn “कोम्पुटर” (Komputer) instead of “Computers” (कंप्यूटर्स) – and
  • I also know how some north-Indians send their children to “iskool” (इस्स्कूल) and not “school” (स्कूल).

However as you see, these all are pronunciation goof-ups only, and also pertain to individual treatment of the words.

Nevertheless, no offence meant to anyone, listing observations just for fun – nothing official about them! 😉

I have been learning and unlearning all these years… and will continue to do so! 😀

To conclude, my dearest south-Indian dhosths (friends)… See picture below – a token of our dhosthi (friendship) – (I shot this in Fort Kochi [Cochin, Kerala] in Oct 2008) 😉

“Yaaro yehi “dhosthi” hai; Kismat se jo mili hai” – Junoon
(See the video with English subtitles HERE and the actual music video HERE.)

"Yaaro Yehi "Dhosthi" Hai..." - Junoon
"Yaaro Yehi "Dhosthi" Hai..." - Junoon

Microsoft .NET is like James Bond’s cars

An odd comparison?…

“What exactly is the Microsoft .NET Framework?” (Tip: Read .NET as “dot net” – stands for Microsoft .NET Framework (Fx))
=> A typical (basic) interview question you might’ve asked/been-asked, or as a non .NET techie, you would’ve pondered about this question, isn’t it? A curious layman – think of an octogenarian relative/contact (grandpa!) – who’s heard about .NET (or maybe even not!)… He could fox you with such a fundamental question… Especially after you just looked him in the eye & told him that you work on .NET, at the same time as you straightened your shirt collar, or ran your hand over/through your hair.

A (kinda crazy) thought just passed my mind last week, when I was chatting with my friend Hari Krishna, currently a (HSMP) C# developer in London (he hates VB.NET, so explicitly mentioned C#)… Well I thought that the .NET Fx was *just* like a ready-to-use gadgets-fitted James Bond car – specially made-to-order (as per the movie’s script ;-))! 🙂

I understand & agree (Yeah, I seriously do!), the .NET Framework is much much more than what it sounds above, but to a non-techie (or even to the interviewer), he/she gets the basic idea here. (I hope your octogenarian relative/contact (grandpa!) knows Bond as Sean Connery or Roger Moore… or if not, maybe he remembers the Bond girls, viz. Ursula Andress, Tania Mallet, Nadja Regin, Jane Seymour or Lola Larson! ;-)… Hey go easy, you could give him a hard situation at this age! 😉

Back to our  interviewer, he/she could also be impressed that you have given ‘deeper’ (& philosophical?) thought to their ‘question’, than just reply with a (vanillatextbook answer.

I’ll delve in a little deeper… Stick along…

C++ (my alma matter!), is like an old HM Ambassador. Powerful, but with a hard steering wheel & manual transmission. C# (of course, throw in your other favourite .NET compliant languages too) is like driving a nice (relatively) effortless & large Toyota Innova with power steering & auto transmission. 😛  (HK Sir always says he drives an ‘elephant’ in the city! :P)

Obviously, in contrast to the point above, though the Amby is not as fuel efficient as the Innova – increasing the ‘run-time’ costs; a binary built with a C++ compiler-linker is pretty small in size, as well as low & efficient on resources at run-time; in comparison to a C# intermediate language (IL) one. Let’s not get into the differences between a native binary & intermediate language code (IL is ‘supposedly’ OS independent. => ‘supposedly‘ because I’ve not tried porting, yet.).

So – while with a C++ program you have to spend a lot of time & efforts ‘plumbing‘ your code for optimal system resources utilization; C# allows you to focus on the functional issues of your program, rather than bother about the system resources. With the framework providing you with a host of goodies – it further alleviates your focus to the domain of the problem you’re working on through the program.

Isn’t that just like in the James Bond movies – where 007 has fantastic cars fit with special gadgets, specifically designed as per the movie’s script, because 007 uses each & every one of the gadgets it has? Though his cars don’t allow gadgets to be ‘plugged-in’ dynamically if required, he makes optimum use of the gadgets he has, i.e. his resources. He isn’t bothered about the car or the drive; he focuses on fighting the villains he’s chasing, or the ones chasing him, or even to charm his beautiful ladies. (OOPS guys -> Yeh Abstraction hai mere yaar! – Listening to Rahman’s ‘Yeh Delhi hai mere yaar‘ from Delhi 6 while composing this, hence the quote… nevermind!)

Similar to Bond’s cars – the “Framework”… “.NET Framework” (the name is “Bond”… “James Bond”)… makes the developer’s life easy by giving him/her ample ‘gadgets’ (ready to use classes/libraries/controls) – and even allows third-party gadgets (custom classes/libraries/controls) to be dynamically ‘plugged-in’ & put to use without any dev delays. These days the developers are reading more about theoretical concepts like Design Patterns, Architecture & Algorithms – rather than learning the programming language’s ‘grammar’, or as we techies call it, syntax & parameters. Aah, truly RAD! (RAD stands for Rapid Application Development, & not ‘radical’)

So, is this convincing (or pakau) enough now? (Yeah, & I could drag this crap this long to compose such a long post… Eh!)

I do hear the hard-core Java guys (Madhav [Jaba?], Manju, Sukesh!) squealing: “Hey, Java has always been like Bond’s cars!”! Well, Microsoft ‘innovates’ stuff and *markets* all of it sooo well [bang, bang, bang!] ($ rules :-(), can you blame me that I didn’t compare Java here, instead of .NET?

Does an apple a day, keep the “quota” doctor away?

Hope you read about my accident in the previous post. If not, here’s the excerpt:

I had an accident on the 03rd of Mar 2009 at around 22:00 hours, when I was driving my bike back from work. I broke a couple of ribs (minor cracks/fracture, unsure if they can be called “hairline fractures“) when I fell down – as my Bullet, cruising at less than 30 kmph, did not make it out of a deep ditch on Adugodi Road, here in central Bangalore. The front wheel got stuck in the deep crater on the busy road and turned itself to my left, while I was thrown off the bike to my right. I was lucky that the traffic behind me didn’t run over me – it was slow too – and even that the 200 kg bike didn’t crush my right leg!

Next – the doctors & their diagnosis:

    1. The orthopaedic surgeon diagnosed me with 1 broken rib, on seeing the freshly taken X-Ray.
    1. The radiologist’s report said – my rib cage was in perfect condition, no cracks whatsoever. (If only I could transfer my terrible pain to him… Nevermind!)
    1. And, the Puttur Bone Setter I visited later, showed me the two clear cracks in my rib cage X-Ray. To confirm he poked his fingers at both the cracked bones, and I instantly released screams for the excruciating pain I felt. His treatment helped get the cracks filled in, and now I cannot make out where the cracks were, even by poking my fingers in the cage.
  • I visited the bone setter because allopathy (which even otherwise doesn’t have my trust & faith) cannot treat rib cage fractures, except for offering dumb pain killers.

    So was the bone setter better knowledgeable & experienced because of his diagnosis, than the other couple of trained, highly educated masters in medicine/surgery? Or carelessness by doctors?

    This reminds me of Dr. Nitin Powale (BHMS) from my home town Panvel. He is extremely experienced & knowledgeable, though he’s relatively young, in his early 40s most likely. A brief phone call from us here in Bangalore, describing the symptoms to him is enough for him to diagnose the ailment accurately. He then couriers across the tiny sugar pills and within a few days of taking the medicine – the complaints disappear. My whole family has tremendous “trust in the doctor & faith in his medicines”!

    So – how easy or how difficult is it to become a doctor in India? In my personal opinion (IMPO), with the medical institutions becoming purely commercial:

    1. If you’ve got (technically, if your father’s got) lots of money and can a pay huge donation (Oops! Read that as “Development Fees”) – do so & get admitted via the management quota – regardless of your marks.
    1. Then, there’s also the (stupid!) government accredited caste based quota for backward classes/tribes/others – further admitting non-meritorious students. (Yes, of course you can print your own caste certificate, silly!)
    1. Finally, a handful of truly worthy students make it in, to fill in the left-over un-quota’ed seats.
  • Getting admission is the toughest here – and once you’re in (via the money route, or the caste route, or the boring route), passing through the examinations is a breeze. Examinations in India are purely based on how well you can mug up your textbooks and vomit them back on the exam answer sheets. (Nope, no anti-nausea drugs needed – its a metaphor!)

    Not a single patient ever asks the doctor’s mode of getting his/her admission, or his/her scores or the number of exam attempts – before getting treated by him/her. So, attempt the exams multiple times as needed, clear the exams with the bare minimum scores, and “Congratulations – you are a qualified DOCTOR!“.

    Now – to ensure maximum business – drive away all the apple sellers in your shop’s vicinity.

    Accepted Injustice

    1. Dhanya, a 14 year old village girl, died on the way to the hospital. The valiant villagers who had saved her from drowning in the raging Cauvery waters, couldn’t reach the nearest hospital just 2.5 kms away in-time to save the breathless Dhanya, only due to bad roads. The Sunday ToI (Bangalore Edition) on 28th June 2009, reported the sad news on the front page – as this also highlights the sad state of roads, especially in rural India.

    1. Who’s accountable for the loss of Dhanya’s life?
    1. Can Dhanya’s family sue the PWD (Public Works Department) for the horrible roads, which were the prime reason for their girl’s death? It might be tough to prove the allegations in court (the way our legal system is) – but its become utmost necessary to atleast cause a ripple in the hopelessly lax government departments.
    1. Couldn’t there be some action taken against the authorities responsible to provide the basic “bijli, sadak aur paani” (electricity, roads & water) to the villagers?
  • 2. I had an accident on the 03rd of Mar 2009 at around 22:00 hours, when I was driving my bike back from work. I broke a couple of ribs (minor cracks/fracture, unsure if they can be called “hairline fractures“) when I fell down – as my Bullet, cruising at less than 30 kmph, did not make it out of a deep ditch on Adugodi Road, here in central Bangalore. The front wheel got stuck in the deep crater on the busy road and turned itself to my left, while I was thrown off the bike to my right. I was lucky that the traffic behind me didn’t run over me – it was slow too – and even that the 200 kg bike didn’t crush my right leg!

    1. Can I sue the BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike), which is responsible for the state of the roads in Bangalore, and claim damages for my long suffering & excruciating pain? The ribs took a lot of care, a full two months to recover and caused a lot of stress & worry to my family too.
    1. Is it too much if I expect basic needs to be met, like good quality ditch-less roads in the IT capital of India? Why is the Indian citizen given step-motherly treatment for basic infrastructure – “bijli, sadak, paani”?
  • Yes, instead of cribbing here, indeed I can file a court case, and even can Dhanya’s family. But we won’t get into it. By not doing so, we save ourselves from a few years of court hearings, fat fees to the lawyers and some mental & physical harassment worrying about the uncertainty of the outcome of the case.

    There certainly is a problem with the terribly slow delivery of justice. The typical citizen avoids appealing for justice; and in turn supports the government departments & their employees in their fearless & careless corrupt growth towards “invincibility”. No accountability has induced a “who cares” attitude in them. For them, the death of a citizen is limited to an entry in the dead persons’ register, that too only with a valid death certificate. Period.

    Accepted Injustice” (is what I term this condition): We’ve accepted to live with injustice. 🙁

    How can the heavily corrupt and nonchalant government departments be sanitized? How can we sensitize the government employees towards citizen’s issues? Suggesting some action items:

    1. Implement serious accountability – linked to the salaries of *every* government employee. Parameters for the accountability need to be well-defined and strictly applied.
    1. Conduct regular, as well as surprise audits of each and every department to verify that the accountability is in force. The procedure of the audits can be standardized, so the audits can also be conducted by normal citizens – like you and me. The results of the audits can be one of the parameters for the accountability.
    1. The state Lok Ayukta departments (anti-corruption cells) need to be given more teeth. Any government servant implicated by the Lok Ayukta, should be immediately fired. He/She can never apply for, or join any other government department, ever.
    1. A stronger RTI act and vigilant proactive citizens needed too.
    1. Courts to have a single hearing & immediate judgement (fines) for cases against government departments. The fines ordered in the judgement should be deducted from the salaries of every employee in the convicted department.
  • We never know if these will *EVER* get implemented in India, and we are too small to make these changes happen, or influence them to happen. We sure can hope, though.

    “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde

    So, do post your thoughts as comments here, and I will add the valuable thoughts to the list above – with due credit. 🙂

    Thank you!~

    Postcard from Bangalore!

    I noticed a red & white card lying next to my right shoe while waiting at the Madiwala checkpost traffic signal, on my way to the office. I bent over & picked it up. I wiped the wet dirt which had covered it. It was a card driving license (DL), and the name on the card read “Kavindra Rai”, above his father’s name and a very short one line address (the name of a road) in Darjeeling.

    We all know how difficult it is (typically) to get a DL done in India, especially if you go through the right channels. Alternatively, you need to ‘spend’ quite some money to get it through the twisted channels. So if the DL didn’t reach him, Kavindra would have to go through some trouble to get his DL re-issued at Darjeeling, or worst-case he’d have to go through the full process again – reapply for a fresh license, get the learner’s license, use it for atleast some 60 days, then apply for the permanent license, pass the test (and/or bribe!) & get the DL. And, only I had the power to save him from all that trouble & expense. 😉

    I suddenly felt important… And in the heat of the moment, I assigned myself a task: Trace “Kavindra Rai” & give him his DL back. 😐

    The ‘project’ was kick-started…  (music!)

    I launched my web-browser, and popped the query to Google. Yeah – “Mullah ki daud masjid tak.” I thought Google knew everyone on this planet… however, I was wrong. Either Kavindra was not from earth, or I had exceptionally high expectations from Google (which obviously works only as per data available to it, so nevermind!). Searching on a few social networking sites, on LinkedIn & even Skype contacts did not result in anything – so, it seemed Kavindra was probably not very net-savvy. But then isn’t everyone in hi-tech Bangalore a net-surfing online animal? 😉  Naah, theory = FALSE! Misconception about Bangaloreans.

    I then ventured into the BSNL West Bengal website, navigated to Darjeeling & tried to search for a phone number registered to his dad, or to him. There were a few name matches, but no address matches. I did call up 2-3 people whose names matched, but they turned out to be “wrong numbers” (Yeah, they told me that, though I knew I had dialled the number correctly. :-)). Why is it never a “wrong caller” instead? Anyway, my numerous other tries with some combinations, resulted either in almost the same list of people, or else the nondescript, “No search results”.

    Now I could think of only two final options to reach him, viz.:
    1. Telegram. Courtesy: BSNL
    2. Snail mail – (Yes!). Courtesy: India Post (Bhartiya Daak!)

    I called up a couple of local BSNL offices, and got the know that the nearest telegram office was at the Koramangala BDA Complex. I visited the telegram office there, collected the form, filled it up… gave a deep thought… and didn’t send it.

    Why didn’t I send it?: Well… telegrams are delivered by BSNL, the telephone guys. Would they really be able to find the person at the brief one-liner address in Darjeeling? The odds, I thought, were very low.

    I was thinking – with such a brief address, this task could only be assigned to The Indian Postman. He was my final option too!

    Yes, don’t raise your eyebrows yet. Haven’t you heard of the stories of the Indian postman delivering letters perfectly, even when the letters carried an address so short that would make the tiny space for the address on the postcard seem royal? Yes, I’ve experienced it myself. Letters addressed to my Panvel residence – with just my name on them alongwith the name of my society or my building, are enough to be delivered to my home without delays. Even though, I’m not famous (or infamous!)  in my approx. 7-8 lakh populated town and there’s also one other Nirav Doshi (a good friend!) in Panvel, but the letters are correctly delivered – courtesy: The Indian postman! 🙂

    With the backing of my trust & logic, I expected the postman at Darjeeling would either already know the person addressed, or atleast put in some additional effort in tracing the person addressed.

    I went ahead and bought 2 postcards for Re.1 (yeah, no more the 15 paise we’ve known it to cost… its costlier now!) 😀 . I scribbled a short message about the DL I’d found, my contact numbers & just requested the recipient to call me.

    Quite a few pessimistic thoughts crossed my mind: what if Kavindra’s residence had changed and that was an old address? What if Kavindra had not informed his family about the lost DL and now could be rebuked because of my postcard? And even worse thoughts – What if Kavindra was into some illegal activities? What if he’d run away from home & was not in contact with his family?

    Setting these thoughts aside, I optimistically dropped the postcard in the mailbox & started my wait for that phone call from Kavindra Rai or his family.

    About 10 days after I’d mailed the postcard – I received a phone-call in the middle of a meeting. The caller identified himself as “Kavindra”. I immediately recognized him and exclaimed “Oh, Kavindra Rai! Is that you?” – He sure was the Kavindra Rai I’d been trying to reach for soo long. He said we could meet over the weekend and then he would collect the DL from me. I quickly agreed and hung-up, couldn’t keep the office meeting waiting for me for long.

    After the meeting, I met up with a couple of friends at work and expressed the joy of accomplishing the task I’d set myself unto. My trust and logic was proven right. The 50 paise postcard had done its job in helping me in my task. And ofcourse there was the uncelebrated postman at Darjeeling, who delivered the postcard to its right recipient even with a bare-minimum address on it! 🙂

    Kavindra & me met up on the next Sunday – and I gave him his DL. 🙂 It was also very kind of him to carry along a pack of Darjeeling Tea he got for me, as a token of his thanks. I asked him, how did he manage without the DL for about 3 weeks, to which he said he had a photocopy of the DL with him, so wasn’t so worried about it. Yeah, the RTO Officers @ Bangalore are very accomodating, eh?!

    Nevertheless – Bhartiya Daak… Still rocking!~

    Mission marathon

    Inside the Kanteerva Stadium, Bangalore. From the Gate 11, this was where we were waiting to enter into the ground/tracks.

    Inside the Kanteerva Stadium Bangalore
    Inside the Kanteerva Stadium, Bangalore. From the Gate 11, this was where we were waiting to enter into the ground/tracks.



    Inside the Kanteerva Stadium, Bangalore. A bunch of us Nouseans holding the placards high.
    Sorry about the shaken picture, it wasn’t me! 😛

    Some of the Nouseans on the ground with the placards high!
    Inside the Kanteerva Stadium, Bangalore. A bunch of us Nouseans holding the placards high. Sorry about the shaken picture, it wasn



    Inside the Kanteerva Stadium, Bangalore. Finally, the Nousean group started running…! Me there too… 😀

    dscn3393
    Inside the Kanteerva Stadium, Bangalore. Finally, the Nousean group started running...! Me there too... 😀

     

    This time on the road, out of the stadium. I’m there in the front with the gray track-pants.

    On the road!
    This time on the road, out of the stadium.

     

    After about a kilometer completed. See us panting and puffing… :P. That’s me in the front with my napkin & cellphone in my track pocket. Just behind me, Manjunath looks like he’s about to drop down! 😀

    That's me in the front with my napkin & cellphone in my track pocket. Just behind me, Manjunath looks like he's about to drop down!
    After about a kilometer completed. See us panting and puffing... :P. That's me in the front with my napkin & cellphone in my track pocket. Behind me, Manjunath looks like he's about to drop down! 😀

    Another one, Manjunath is close to the lens this time… me right behind! 😉

    Another one, Manju close to the lens this time... me right behind!

    One more…

    One more...

    And this one with a lot of Nouseans in the frame catching their breath. 😉 Yeah, I needed the break too… 😛

    Whew... catching our breath!

    And here’re Aji waving out & a partly visible Sunil Shankar right behind Aji.

    Aji & a partly visible Sunil Shankar

    Nouseans in a group!

    A group of Nouseans!

    Sridhar, Sunu, 3 others, KB & a couple of female Nouseans – resting in the shade! Placards already half-way down! :-))

    Nouseans under a shade... Placards already half-way down! :-))

    Hurray! In front of the Vidhan Soudha (Karnataka State Assembly)
    Vidhan Soudha: Government Work is God’s Work! ;-)) With that our ministers are angels! 🙂
    Vidhan Soudha: Government Work is God's Work!  ;-))

    The Famous Five – After completing the mission.
    Sunu, Abraham, Suresh, KB & me!

    Whew! Mission accomplished, at last!
    Whew! The Famous Five - Mission accomplished, at last!

    Kick-start… Courtesy, ITC, UB Group…

    After a nice 5.7 kms of Sunfeast Bangalore Majja (fun) marathon yesterday (31st May 2009), I have a few aching muscles and lots of memories of a nice time running for Bangalore! I’d say a nice kick-start for me to exercise more frequently, as well as to participate in such events henceforth. Thanks to ITC Sunfeast… (ITC Ltd.)… as I don’t contribute to their revenue/profits otherwise! 😉 Nor do I contribute much to the United Breweries’ coffers (KingFisher [KF]!)… 😉

    Thanks also to my employers Nous Infosystems & the HR team – who organised this event for all of us.

    The Sunday started off for me with a sleepless night, as I slept (& kept) wondering if I would wake up on-time… worrying if I wouldn’t be on time & miss the 08:30 missive by Maryann (our Sr. HR Manager) as the time to meet up opposite the UB City entrance on VM road.

    I woke up, well before the 3 alarms I’d set for myself & was ready to leave home by 08:00. Stretched myself a little, and left home after having a couple of glasses of water.

    I was supposed to meet my colleague KB at a parking place close to Kanteerva Stadium, from where we were to walk to UB City and meet up with the rest of the guys from my company, Nous Infosystems. Coincidentally we met up right at the parking place and started our “marathon” walk towards UB City. We walked a little more than half a km to reach UB City at 08:20 and waited for the rest of the guys from the office.

    They slowly trooped in after about 30 minutes, i.e. about 20 minutes later than the 08:30 schedule. Finally we received our T-Shirts, our ID badges & our kits. We were prepared to carry the kits during the run, though we would’ve preferred them to have been given to us on the previous day, allowing us to decide what we really need to carry during the run. Additionally we also had to store and carry the T-Shirts which we wore from home that day, because we had to change into the “official” T-Shirts. 😉

    The Nous T-Shirts (official-wear) were good, though could’ve been better without the light gray colored text. The text wasn’t quite visible on a white T-Shirt, however I guess there were constraints that the designers couldn’t bypass. Nevertheless, they looked pretty good!

    We got into the Kanteerva Stadium from the designated gate and then went over to the Gate 11 from where the participants for the 5.7 km Majja (fun) run started their marathon! Gate 10 was overflowing with participants and the participants from the Gate 11 were also made to enter the ground from the same entrance as Gate 10. Nevertheless, we *finally* started our run at 09:30 hrs. IST and slowly worked our way out of the stadium.

    There was a huge crowd for the Majja run – official count ~13500~ – and most of them were corporate representatives in their “official-wear” with placards/banners in hand or wearing caps. The event was high on spirit & enthusiasm as there was no competition, pure participation.

    Manjunath, KB & me typically started running together (I’m wearing the ID 20453). Later we got seperated, but we continued running. We ran a little distance, then paused under a shade (if available!), caught our breath (was available!), walked some distance & then started running again… again for a short distance! Yes, we’re not in shape, and it showed! 🙂

    The crowd, volunteers and the “official” cheer-leader girls (Yes!) were quite entertaining (less encouraging)… especially when you’re out of breath. 🙂

    The sad part about the run were the roads strewn with litter – especially the small KF water bottles, thrown on the road by the runners after emptying. Later, I passed a woman participant in Cubbon Park carrying a couple of large polythene bags filled with these strewn bottles – hats-off to her!

    Winding across the route, we – 4 of us from Nous, viz. Abraham, Sreekumar, Santhosh & me – finally completed the 5.7 kms stretch in ~00:50:00! Back in Kanteerva’s enclosure at ~10:20 hrs. IST for the water (gasp!), cheering crowds (whew!) & refreshments (wow!).

    Though the event was to encourage a GREEN BANGALORE, a couple of things could’ve been organized better to really show the spirit.
    1. They could’ve organised BMTC buses from all around Bangalore to pick-up and drop the participants. This would’ve saved a lot of fuel + reduced the parking hassles at the event.
    2. Instead of supplying KF water bottles, the organizers should’ve encouraged the participants to fill up the water bottle, given in the kit, at the watering holes. The littered roads were cleaned within a short while after the event, which is good – but it could’ve been avoided altogether – as there *was* a better & greener alternative.

    These and other such improvements could’ve served the event better. Hopefully, the next time…

    Looking forward to a greener Bangalore, contributing to a greener India, and eventually contributing to a greener earth! 😉

    Hello World!

    Being a programmer (now only at heart!), and that too a C, C++ one… everything starts with a “Hello World!” – Courtesy K & R.

    throw, is a programming statement used to “throw handled/unhandled exceptions”. Read more, if you want to: http://www.cplusplus.com/doc/tutorial/exceptions/ & http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/6dekhbbc(VS.80).aspx

    Anyway, a wam welcome!
    Thanks & keep visiting for more about me & my experiences, thoughts, core-dumps! 😀