Friday, August 28, 2009

The Great fancy dress

It was a fancy dress day for Poorvi in the school today. Last year, she was a "doctor". So, we wanted to dress her differently this year. The theme for today's fancy dress was "national leader". Hmm... without much of thinking, we decided to dress her up as Indira Gandhi :-) It is simple, isn't it. Wear a saree, hold a flag & tell few words like "Jai hind" or "Bolo Bharat Maatha Ki". Well, not exactly.

Poorvi was very uncomfortable in ready-to-wear-saree. Her stomach/back was visible & she did not quite like that. We tried our best to convince that it is common if one is wearing saree. Poorvi did not appreciate this logic & did not get convinced much. She was again crying in that lovely dress. Somehow, we have sent Poorvi in this attire, not sure if she is comfortable in the school & able to carry herself in saree. Hope everything is fine with her & her dress.

Few pics of Poorvi in saree, in the morning (some smiling, some crying and some crying-smiling pics).

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The one stop sports shop - Decathlon

This place rocks. If you need any sports equipment (be it camping, archery or even surfing), you get them all here. This is not like any other shop that you have been to in Bangalore. Shop is quite huge that you can try cycling inside the shop itself, before you buy the cycle. If you want to try hockey/football, you can do it all there. Staff is courteous, they can even play a game of TT with you, if you want to test your racquet before purchasing. This is a place called "Decathlon" on Sarjapur road. It is a must visit place for all sports buffs.

But, all good things in life come with a condition too :-) This place is meant only for the retail merchants / business establishments. So, you need to have a membership card there. To get this card, you have to prove that you have some business (by showing your business receipts/accounts) :-(

In India, for every rule, there will also be equal and opposite workarounds to overcome the same. So, I have seen many normal janatha like me having the card and enjoying the benefit. All you need to do is to catch hold of a card holder in Decathlon, go along with them & shop to your heart's content. Some of the must-see-must-get items in this shop include "Golf Umbrella", Water bottles, variety of torches etc. Stuff yourself with enough cash on you before you enter this place, as they accept card payment only from their "members". More details in this page -

Directions to reach Decathlon:

From Silkboard, go on HSR layout ring road -- Agara junction -- Sarjapur road -- cross Wipro corporate office -- Go past railway crossing -- Reach Decathlon (on to your right, 50 meters from railway crossing).

Monday, August 24, 2009

Soap Opera

Poorvi wanted to get a new soap, so we went to a nearby shop to get the soap. Poorvi was very clear in her choice - "Doy" soap. She had seen some advertisement on TV and wanted the same soap, come what may. After a few rounds of search, we found the Doy soap in one corner of the shop. It came in pack of 3 (which seems to be a new trend with most soaps these days) & it also had a free gift (coloring box). Poorvi was very happy. Little did she know how her expectation "bubble" going to burst in few hours from then, when she started using the soap. More on that bubble later.

While searching for Doy soap, I had the opportunity to glance at all other new & old soaps in the market. How much this soap market has changed. In fact there was an ad in a news paper last week that "Lifebuoy soap is known to protect against H1N1 virus". Wow, amazing isn't it. Everyone is making hay while the virus shines. First it was N95 masks and similar ones. Then came homeopathic medicine which is preventive against swine flu. Now, it is a soap. More than anyone else, it is the doctors & the hospitals which are having the last smile. Such an ad from Lifebuoy really creates an impression and I almost bought it (not for fighting against H1N1, but its a long long time since I used this soap & wanted to try).

Almost every soap (cinthol, Dettol, Margo, Liril etc) has a "new" tag attached to it with little bit of twist to its fragrance, to attract the people looking for a change. But for those nostalgic ones, there are still the old versions of cinthol, Liril, Margo soaps in tact :-)

OK, back to Poorvi & her bubble. Poorvi had seen on TV that Doy soaps can create bubbles. Her first wash with Doy soap was anything but a big disappointment. "Where is the bubble" was her question. I tried to explain that in the next wash it might come. Next time around, I put more soap into her hands and asked her to rub more. She does so and lo, there are bubbles. I gave a victorious smile at Poorvi. But Poorvi was still frowning & said - "Papa, I don't want these round bubbles, I want an elephant bubble which they show on Doy soap advertisement. Where is it?" !!!! Oh God, somebody please help me.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The "deadly" accident

(With Special Thanks to that anonymous person who clicked the photos in this article)
There was a major traffic jam on outer ring road and on Marathalli bridge today. Apparently there was a "deadly" accident which caused this. The goods carrier (like auto) rammed against a lorry. The goods carrier person had supplied milk to our office in the morning and was going back, which happened to be his last journey :-( I think the pictures below speak for whatever happened. Very unfortunate :-( The way these goods carriers, cabs and water tankers are driven in Bangalore, they are always asking for trouble :-( Early in the morning, with no traffic, he would have just lost one or two minutes in his journey, if he was going cautiously. Uh, do they really care for themselves & others ? :-(

Monday, August 17, 2009

Swine Flu - The great mania

I resisted myself this long to write an article on the deadly H1N1 flu - also known as Swine flu. But the panic around this, changed priorities among people and in general the way people look & behave these days made me to dedicate an article to this H1N1 virus.

First of all, my due apologies to other viruses which causes equally (or more) dangerous diseases like "Dengue" & "Chicken Gunya". I am not going to talk about them in this article. I sometime feel bad for these other viruses which are not getting the due attention & respect they also deserve as H1N1.

Secondly, I want to apologize to any of the friends, well wishers or anyone known to me who gave me a "big smile" on meeting me at some mall or in some "crowded" place wearing a mask. I am sorry that I not only missed your smile, but also could not recognize you in your new found looks.

Headlines in the paper is about Swine flu, all news channels cover the same news. Tired of all these, go to office and open your mail box. There will be atleast couple of warning mails on this :-(

Last weekend, we had gone to a doctor clinic to get some treatment to Poorvi. Although we went there wearing the mask, psychologically I had got swine flu next day. You just cough once, people give a suspicious look. Imagine sitting in the middle of so many patients, who are all coughing, sneezing & with high fever. We were sitting there for almost one hour, before our turn came for the checkup. Definitely some virus can easily find the gateway to our mouth & nose through that mask. I had kept myself under observation for next one or two days to ensure that none of the serious virus have infected me.

You meet people wearing masks in malls, on the street, in the bus and every other place. Is it just for their precaution they are wearing the mask OR are they infected themselves?. Its a million dollar question. So, I avoid handshakes with these people & it is also difficult to recognize people wearing some sophisticated masks. So only way to "connect people" these days seems to be through mobile phones. It is safe & no need to wear a mask while talking. :-)

With schools closed for a week, malls having less number of visitors this mania is spreading much faster than anticipated. It was SARS in 2002-2003 which brought world out of recession, can Swine-Flu do the magic in 2009? All good things will end. All bad things like recession will end too. May be it needs some worst things like SARS & Swine flu to end? Time will tell.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

History Repeats....

This weekend was kind of disappointing for us. It all started on Thursday morning itself. Poorvi had Krishna-Radha dance at her school. She was supposed to dress up as Radha and go to school. Lot of preparations were done on Wednesday evening itself (like taking approvals from Poorvi on what dress she will wear next day etc). So, everything was set. Atleast that's what we thought so.

Woke up quite early to get Poorvi ready for the day. Everything went on well for sometime, but all of a sudden, Poorvi decided that it is a good day to chill out at home and cannot take the burden of the school for that day. We tried all possible methods - request, bribe, threaten - nothing worked. Poorvi had made up her mind. It is difficult to send a "crying" Radha to school. With Swine flu scare at the back of our minds, we decided not to push "Radha" to school. What a fun day to miss the school :-( Poorvi will probably realize this later :-)

In fact, it seems I was no different when I was "Krishna". I was crying through a fancy dress competition where I was forced to dress as "Krishna". Probably there was no swine flu threat during that time and my parents did indeed help me to participate in that competition and win first prize. :-) I could not help compare these two instances (Crying Krishna vis-a-vis Crying Radha), chronologically separated by around 30 years :-)

Back to last Thursday. On the same day (Thursday) evening, we were suppose to go for a trip to Badami, Aihole, Pattadakallu. Due to some unavoidable circumstances, we had to cancel this trip in the last moment. I remember, we had to cancel our Hampi trip also sometime in 2006 December, very similar to this one. Just 2 months later, we were in Hampi and had a very nice time there. I am hoping that history repeats itself, we will get a chance to visit Badami soon & enjoy it too thoroughly. I am really looking forward to it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Aqua Aerobics - No sweat workout

Veena and me are trying Aqua aerobics from last weekend. This is something really different and most important of all, I don't sweat and there is no "pressure" on the legs :-) That gives a feeling that I am not tired and can work out longer :-) Not sure, if this exercise is really effective, but atleast it is fun. We were made to "sit" in the water with floaters under the armpit and pedal an imaginary pedal-boat. We were suppose to go forward and also backward pedaling like this :-) I had to unlearn some of my swimming techniques to do these exercise. It is so difficult to resist swimming and do jogging in the water. So difficult to pedal the boat and not do a back stroke.

Veena especially had some problem on the first day. She could not stand properly in the swimming pool as the swimming pool depth is more in Woodrose club. She was literally on her "toes". However on the second day, she enjoyed the exercise with the help of floaters.

Let us see, how effective this is going to be. But they promise lot of fun games too as part of this aqua aerobics. Atleast I am enjoying and looking forward to the next classes. A good swim at the end of the training session is like an icing on the cake.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Writing on the Wall

Do you remember sometime back there was a hysteria about "NaaLe ba" (Come tomorrow) ghost. Many of the houses in different villages & towns used to have this script (NaaLe baa) written on their front doors to fool & shoo away the "devva" (ghost) at that time. Belief was that this "Devva" would read "NaaLe baa" and come back again next day to read the same script thus ending up in an infinite loop.

Well, now a different kind of hysteria has started in & around our apartment (JP Nagar, Bannerghatta road, BTM layout). This time, it is a different kind, thanks to the overnight work of the BBMP guys over last couple of days (or should I call it night?). One can see some alphanumeric words (like 7.035M, 12M etc) written on most of the compound walls of the apartments, houses, business complex around BTM layout, JP Nagar & Bannerghatta road. If you just neglect this as one more identification mark/address to your home, then you are mistaken. This is part of BBMP's "Bruhat Bangalore" project, where they are widening the roads (from existing 4 lane to 6 lanes). You can refer to the earlier article in Vikki-Pedia - "Buffalos and Bangalore"on the development plans for Bannerghatta road, but I never thought BBMP will act so fast. These number on the wall indicate the extent to which each of the buildings along the road will get affected :-( Moreover the writing on our wall (refer to the photo) just indicates "12.00", we do not know, if it is centimeter, meter, kilometer or feet :-( This has come as a weekend shocker to many of the residents in this locality and all of us are keeping the fingers crossed that the damage due to this road widening activity does not literally throw us to the "streets".

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thiruvallavar Statue in Bangalore?

D-day is 9th August: Thiruvallavar statue will be unveiled in Bangalore. Sarvagna statue in Chennai. Thiru... who? Don't know him? Neither do I. Statue of him in Bangalore, why? This is the same questions many of the Kannada organizations are asking. Even I do not see any use in having Thiruvallavar's statue in Bangalore and Sarvagna's in Chennai. What do Tamilians know about Sarvagna? Will the Tamilians and Kannadigas give respect to Sarvagna and Thiruvallavar's statue respectively? I don't think so. Matter of days when someone notices how badly one particular statue is maintained in one state and other state taking a revenge on the other statue. We have already seen the report in papers on how badly Sarvagna's statue was treated in Chennai, few days before installing it. :-( Is it not a good option to have Sarvagan's statue in Bangalore itself & Thiruvallavar's in Chennai?

Instead of concentrating on these statues, if both Karnataka and TN work out an amicable solution for water-sharing (cauvery water) & border issues (Hogenakal) it is good for everyone.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Aey Bhai, Zara Dekhke chalo..

aye bhai zara dekh ke chalo
aage hi nahi peeche bhi
daayein hi nahi baayein bhi
upar hi nahi
neeche bhi
aye bhai

Remember this song from "Mera Naam Joker"? Well, exactly this is what my car driving instructor taught me when I was learning to drive a car. He asked me a simple question - "While driving, which are the different directions you need to look at"? I thought this is just a test of "directions" and confidently told him "I will look at FOUR directions - front, back, right and left". "That's it?" question came back. "Yes" was my confident answer. Then he explained me, how "car" is different than riding a "two wheeler" and how we also need to be conscious about 2 more directions - "top" and "bottom". Definitely a good gyan for the amount I paid to learn driving. On the contrary, I remembered some advices from a friend (Tushar Oza), on how to ride my Hero Puch effectively. He always used to advice me to fold the backseat footrest as it might obstruct some hairline maneuvers !!!

OK, back to the topic. Why did I remember all these suddenly? Hmm, I had the opportunity to once again observe the daring driving skills of different cars on the Mysore-Bangalore highway last weekend. Many many cars (likes of Honda City/civic, forget about Indica and sumos) had their rear view mirrors on both sides folded to achieve maximum speed (increase the aerodynamics by minimizing air resistance). When you are cruising at 130 to 150 KMPH, is this safe? Who cares? Reaching their destination about 20 to 30 minutes earlier than it takes is the key for them and not the safety of themselves or the others on the road. Uh.

There are other bunch of taxis one need to be careful about. They have the car tail lamps modified to look like some graphic equalizer when they apply the brake. Are they taking a right turn or left turn or are they on the reverse gear? God knows. Just enjoy your music and their graphic equalizer.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Less known good places

Every city, every town has some special shops/business which is very well known to the local people, but the outsiders may not have a clue of these places. There are so many food joints like that in Bangalore. Each locality in Bangalore will have atleast one such special establishment which even other locality people may not be aware of. Similarly there are few good places in Mysore too. When we were in Mysore over the last weekend, we visited two such places. Although both these places are not new to us (having spent few years in Mysore), but I am sure people from outside Mysore would not be aware of these nice places.

First, we visited a place called "KSC" (Karnataka Saree Centre), a government establishment dealing with apparels. This place is just diagonally opposite to the Mysore zoo front gate. Its a must-go place for all ladies especially, as there are umpteen variety of dress materials, sarees at almost the cost price of the material. We were amazed to see some very nice dress materials starting at 160 Rs. Wow, beat that price anywhere else. Veena had a fantastic time shopping there for almost 2 hours and I was happy that such a big shopping did not dent a hole in my pocket :-) There are also range of bed spreads and shirt/pant material for men.

Just today, I was listening on the radio about a new saree (Kanchivaram silk) getting launched today in Bangalore. Looks like Vishnuvardhan is going to unveil this new saree in Malleshwaram today. It is dubbed as the costliest saree, priced at Rs 2 Lakh. Different worlds? Eh.

Our second visit in Mysore was to a place which I like the most :-) Its a sweet stall in one of the by-roads of Kuvempunagar in Mysore. When I used to reside in Mysore, this establishment was run in a small home/shed and there were limited number of sweets/khara on the offer. I had a similar picture in my mind when we visited this place to get some sweets/snacks this time. Wow, to my amazement, this has become a big shop at the same place. One can now see people queuing up to buy sweets and also there are many supplementary business (like soda guy, vegetable seller etc) surrounding this establishment. Wow. Best part of this shop is the consistent taste and very very low price for the sweets/khara. In fact, many of the other retail vendors come to this place, buy sweets in bulk and resell it at higher price. So, next time when you are in Mysore, don't forget to visit this "Udipi Krishna Sweets" in Kuvempurnagar (off Adi-Chunchanagiri road, close to Cauvery school). Try their special "sajjappa", "bellada kobbari mithai" and a range of "kodbaLe" and "chakkali". Its really worth a visit and makes your visit to Mysore all the more memorable.