Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Skipping Christmas

Hurray, hurrya, its a holiday, holi-holiday... Christmas is around the corner and with that comes a well deserved holiday season for many.

Last year, we had gone to Puri-Bhubhaneshwar for christmas, but this year, we have just decided to skip the Christmas vacation with any big plans of trip (having already finished our quota in October).

We have been hearing about 10's of thousands of people stranded in different airports in Europe, mad rush of travellers everywhere, atleast no regrets to skip this christmas vacation.

Will be visiting my home town of childhood days - Bhadravathi - after almost 12 years. All excited and looking forward to spending christmas in this little town, am sure there will not be any other soul to disturb our peace there. Hope Veena and Poorvi also relish this off-beat place as much as I always did (and still do).

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Advertising blunders

I have been commuting in car these days to office and back. So, needless to say, am hooked on to FM radio atleast for 2 hours/day. Recently an Ad on one of the FM radio station caught my attention. It was to do with online coaching/tuitions/tests/homework guidance for children from KG to PG. Nice concept, all the facilities were explained properly, but... I could hardly make out the website . Well, I could make out www & com and that word inbetween these two were very elusive. It sounded like "" or "", followed by a tag line "Learn on time". Thanks to my 2 hours/day loyalty to FM stations, I could listen to this ad many number of times over and I paid special attention to their website name, everytime. Alas, I can never get it. Determined, I started Googling for "Learns go", "Lets go learn" etc and landed in some education related websites, but was not sure if that's the one which was advertised on air.

I finally gave up on this website, untill yesterday when I saw an ad in the newspaper. "KG to PG" phrase caught my attention and I felt a bit happy to have found the proper website name this time around. Umm, not so lucky, even the way they have written the name in the ad, it was really tricky to understand it in the first read. Finally I could make out that I was always listening to the ad from (check their website and their Lampsglow logo) !!! Uh, so much for the advertisement. It is like writing an exam with full confidence of scoring 90+, but forgot to mention your registration number on the answer sheet.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Missing someone special...

Well, our friendship goes back to 1998. It was sometime in summer of 98 that I met him. Eversince then, its been a fantastic journey together. We were close friends for last 12 years. We used to go together to play cricket, go for swimming, go to anywhere and everywhere. It was an inseparable bond and unfortunately this came to an end today.

Although from last few years, we have not been so much together as we used to be 10 years back, we had that special feeling for each other. He never said NO to go anywhere at anytime together. I was really amazed by his enthusiasm and energy, which never seem to be low at anytime. Its really hard feeling to miss such best friend of mine today. I still cannot believe that he does not exist for me anymore. I am really going to miss you my dear old Kinetic Honda. Do take care.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Poorvi's experiment with words are on. She tries to read the words on the sign boards, words in the movie subtitles etc. She also tries to guess the word most of the times either looking at the associated picture or from the context. Well, most of the times she gets it right.

With such reading confidence behind her, she has also started etching some real good literature on her room doors, on the board etc.

One fine day, there was a mysterious word written on her door - M-A-N-O-H-S-I-P-C-I-G. I did not give much attention to this word. I presumed it was just a random set of alphabets Poorvi has written. Later that day, Poorvi asked me to guess that word. Oh, is that a word, well, I started guessing all possible words starting with M. Is it "Manmohan Singh", or "Manohar" ? No was the answer. Something to do with "Man"? No. Finally she gave a clue - something to do with phone. Oh yes, I could see "May I know who's speaking" written all over there now !! Wow, thanks Poorvi for such nice literature. I really enjoyed it.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Parallel ringing...

All of us get innumerable tele-marketing calls, offering loans, insurances and what not. I say "No" to most of these requests, but occasionally have fallen for this trap. One of these marketing calls I entertained was from Airtel when they offered the "Parallel ringing services". I thought this is one convenient service as most of the time our home is locked and if I get a parallel call alert on my mobile (whenever someone calls our landline), it is better. The marketing guy mentioned how I will be able to distinguish the parallel ringing on my mobile and I immediately registered for this service.

Well, not a bad decision. I do have the luxury of picking the calls to my home number from anywhere in the town/state (never tested in roaming conditions), however, this also puts me into embarrassing situations many a time. First time it happened with one of the relatives who called our home. I was away somewhere and picked the call (obviously I did not notice that small bar indicating the parallel ringing). I generally mentioned to them that I am out somewhere. There was 2 minute silence from the other end. Then the conversation continued at a hurried pace in a suspicious manner. 

Many a times I also get calls from our security in the apartment to let some visitor come to our home or not. I find it hard to explain to them that no one is at home. I do not know what those visitors would be thinking about us though, turning down the entry to our home after talking with the security.

Until some technology and service become popular, there needs some explanation to do - and am getting used to explaining this service to all those people who called our landline ! Tring, Tring...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Poorvi's school has started & as expected, our days are filled with lot of suspense (whether Poorvi goes to school or not), thrill (of last minute rush to the school bus) and a nice climax (many a times not-so-nice-anti-climax).

Well, new academic year, new things to learn for Poorvi. On an evening last week, Poorvi was chanting something like "Daddy, Dog" etc. I was curious to know what Daddy had to do with dog. So, Poorvi started reciting the new rhyme - "I had a Dog, His name was Daddy, His tail was short.. best in the world is my Dog Daddy" so on. Is this the first thing to teach for the kids at school? I was really furious. I even tried to teach Poorvi - " I had a monkey, Her name was Mummy", but unfortunately she never picked it up.

Thankfully, yesterday Veena did some research on this interesting rhyme (probably she wanted to know what other adjectives are being used on daddy). Actual rhyme goes something like this:

I had a dog, and his name was Dandy,
His eyes were brown and his coat was sandy,
His tail was short and his legs were bandy,
The best in the world was my Dog Dandy!

Uff, what a relief for me.

Another incident with words during this summer. Poorvi is hooked on to POGO channel for 15 hours a day (rest of the time she sleeps). Probably she knows more about Pogo channel & the cartoon timings better than the Channel director. She was telling me about a program called "Maruthi Daughters". I was little bit puzzled. As far as my little knowledge goes, Maruthi (Hanuman) remained bachelor for life. Who were his daughters? Anyway, in this age of Chota Bheems & Maruthi-mera-dost, I thought Pogo must have come up with some cartoon. When I saw "Maruthi daughters", it neither had Maruthi, nor was it close to anything with mythological characters. Then I came to know about the correct name of the program - "My Three Daughters".

So much for the words. Poorvi now has a friend in school called "Mythri". I usually pull Poorvi's leg - "OK, you have a friend Mythri, but where are the daughters?".

Thursday, May 20, 2010

End of Summer?

Cool breeze, evening rains & cloudy mornings. Is it the end of Summer of 2010? Are we done with the hot days of 2010? Hope so.

End of summer has mixed emotions for me. On one hand, no more irritating hot days, nice weather to look forward to. On the other hand, it is Poorvi's school ! Oh God, all those running around in the mornings begin from next week. Poorvi will have 100's of reason not to go to school & we need to convince her that the best thing ever happened to mankind is the school. As she grows older, it becomes ever increasingly difficult to convince her to do something, including going to school :-( 

Coming back to Summer of 2010, it was nice last two months. We had IPL for most part of the summer, full of entertainment for 45 days. There was a match on each day & definitely made the summer evenings that much more hot with some exciting contests. So, I was looking forward to each day (rather evening) enthusiastically.

During this summer, I also tried commuting by Volvo bus for few days to beat the summer heat. It is a completely different world in Volvo buses compared to normal BMTC bus. Most of the commuters on board are either hooked to iPods or to laptops/mobiles & most of the crowd are from software industry. They also play music from local FM stations, which really makes the journey in Volvo buses all that more comforting.

Poorvi also had her first stay outside Bangalore for 3 days during this summer :-) Although she wanted to come back to Bangalore from day-1, she managed 3 days without much of fuss. Hopefully in an year or two, she will be big enough to look forward to spend her summer holidays in Ajji-Thatha's house.

Now that summer is almost over, am thinking of the coming months. Heavy rains, clogged drains & traffic strains? Hopefully it will not be as bad as the rainy season of 2005 when the lakes overflowed with water flooding some of the main roads of Bangalore south. 

Anyways, till next summer, wishing you all a very cool year ahead. 

Friday, April 23, 2010

Choices in Life

Vanilla icecream or chocolate icecream? Movie or shopping? Pizza or Pasta? Well, all of us are spoilt for choices these days. For anything & everything, there are umpteen number of choices to choose from. I am sure the Landmark graduates appreciate this concept of "choice" and how sometimes life gives us only one choice to choose :-)

Last month, Poorvi (rather, we on behalf of Poorvi) had to take a decision - probably the first major one - whether to take "Hindi" or "Kannada" as her second language in school :-) Difficult situation, eh? We decided to go with Kannada, but Poorvi was really upset with the choice. Not because any of her other friends took Hindi, but she just wanted to learn Hindi !! She says " I know Kannada, why should I learn again? I want to learn Hindi". We tried our best to convince her that she still has to learn "how to write & read kannada", "Hindi can be taught at home" etc. No, she was not convinced. For now, this is enforced upon her and as parents we always think our Kid is too small to make a correct "choice". Wonder when & at what age of Poorvi that I will stop thinking about this & let Poorvi make her own choice.

Anyway, people make right decisions sometimes by choosing what seems to be best at a particular moment & some people make a wrong decision. We all have been through these "wrong" & "right" choices in our life, isn't it? But, only when we think that "I choose vanilla icecream, because I choose vanilla icecream", one can be happy with any decision we take in our life. Let us just enjoy all the choices we have made so far & enjoy the choices we are going to make in future. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hurray, Hurray, its summer Holidays...

One more academic year has gone by. Poorvi successfully completed PP-2 (a.k.a. LKG). She has mastered the art of cursive writing now :-) She has already started spelling the words & reading words in her own "phonic" way (other day she was reading something like - "vel-ko-may", took sometime for us to understand it was "welcome"). She is still to master the cruel world of vowels (e.g. why the word "India" does not start with "E" :-)), but OK, even we goof up the spelling of most words & rely on Microsoft to correct our mistakes, isn't it?

One of the pass time for Poorvi & Me has been "word building". We choose a word & try to crack the spelling :-) Poorvi has to write one letter, I have to write the next, she will write the next one, so on. Its really fun to know how these small kids think - very logical & without any bias of "knowing some spelling already". So, "apartment" becomes "aprtmant" :-) In the world of short-message-services, this word is fairly acceptable :-)

Anyway, it is holiday season now. I can already sense the excitement in the air. Swimming pool buzzing with kids, people leaving to their grandparents house for a long vacation, kids enrolling to summer camp & other kids playing for atleast 15 hours a day :-) Its all happening. Wow, what a feeling to be kid, I miss those days. 2 months of break from everything. The joy of summer holidays is back & I wish all the kids a rocking, fun-filled, fantastic & playful Summer of 2010. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Malatesh - A long lost friend

(Refer to my earlier blog :

As I was hurrying up in the evening to pick up Poorvi from her grandparents house, I found this very familiar person walking alone on Bannerghatta Road. Moment I saw him, I knew he is the same old person whom I used to meet during my mini-forest days. In my previous blog (refer to, I had a mention about him & how I lost in touch with this wonderful guy - Malatesh. 

Malatesh, one inspiring person - trying to overcome all the trouble that life has thrown at him. Ever since he met with the accident, he is mentally crippled for life. He does not remember things quite well, but he never forgets to walk, walk & walk. His routine includes about 2 hours walk in the morning & 2 hours in the evening. He does not have complete balance over his body, but he has never given up on walking. 

It was about 10 years back that we used to meet in mini-forest. When I introduced myself last evening, he felt so happy to see me. I once thought that he may not remember me, but he really surprised me. Initially he was getting confused with another Vikram he knows of. Then he started talking about one more Vikram who is in Wipro and whose parents name are Kamalanath & Nalini. Wow, I was zapped. How does he remember my parents name which I told him about 10 years back ! When I told him that I am the same Vikram he is talking about, his joy had no bounds. He explained me how he remembers my parents name - KNN (just like CNN), which stands for Kamalanath & Nalini. I was just wondering, how short our memories get compared to him but still he is not a normal person :-( He says, he has just one obsession in life - walking. He had some advice for me as well - do not run, but walk, walk & walk :-)

Well, he has taken my contact number & invited me to join him for a walk during some weekend. Hope I will be able to join him in his morning walk one day, even though I am not confident if I can match his endurance & enthusiasm in walking. 

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bharat Sangeet Utsav

What happens when the likes of Nirupama/Rajendra with Kathak sequence, Sangitha Kalanidhi R.K.Srikantan with Carnatic vocal, The Manganiyaras (of Nimbuda Nimbuda fame) with Sufi music, Vidyabhushana with devotional songs, Manasi Prasad with music & dance, Anuradha Sriram/Sriram Parasuram with Jugal sangeeth come on stage & perform one after another for 2 days? Stage is on fire? Well almost yes (although real fire  happened elsewhere), it was an enthralling weekend at MLR convention centre in Woodrose club, packed with these music & performance from the best of the artists in their own field. It was called "Bharat Sangeet Utsav", it really did live upto its name & expectations.

I was fortunate to witness some of the great performances, special note goes to Sufi music by The Manganiyars (Jameel Khan, Mansoor Khan & party). It started at 10 in the night on Saturday & went on till 12 in the night. It was absolute hysteria at the venue when they sang "Nimbuda nimbuda" and "Dum mast kalandar". Crowd was literally on their feet & the kind of standing ovation they got at 12 in the night was just awesome & have never seen in any of the concert before. Same goes with Nirupama & Rajendra. It was a jam packed house on Sunday evening to witness this Kathak-couple dance in tandem for some lovely music. Overall, music lovers had a weekend that they will remember for life, for sure. Let there be more such events, more such entertaining weekends. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

200* (147)

200*(147) - Period. "God" had gone crazy today & records came tumbling down. What an amazing achievement by the greatest Cricketer of our times - Sachin Tendulkar.

Atleast two times he had come close to scoring double hundred in one day cricket, but missed it. Not this time around, although there were tense moments in the last over when he needed just 1 run to create history. Even a die-hard fan like me had little hopes from Tendulkar to score a double ton in ODI, not because anyone can doubt his abilities, but more due to his age. Wow, doesn't he like to prove people wrong? Go Sachin Go, Get more before you call it a day.

There was more than one reason to rejoice over this stupendous feet. Previous record of 194 runs was held by a cricketer from our not-so-friendly neighbor & that too against India. I always wished for an Indian to beat that record preferably against the same neighbors. Alas, although it did not happen against them, Sachin scored his double hundred against a much much better side in world cricket. What else can one ask for?

This is an era of 20-20. It has changed the complexion of Cricket. It is becoming common for a team to score 400 runs in 50 overs & to a player to score century in 60 odd balls. So, 200 run mark is bound to be broken. But I wish that this record stays for a long long time to come, challenging the Cricketers to achieve this feat. Just compare this whole show against completely contradictory innings from another little master Sunil Gavaskar - scoring 36 runs after playing for 60 overs in an ODI, back in late 70's. It is difficult to predict what kind of records we will be witnessing in the days to come. But, whatever it is, Sachin is the greatest cricketer NOW & I hope he will be the greatest EVER. We take a bow Sachin. We are privileged to watch & witness all your great knocks.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Beggar Free Bangalore?

Government has launched a month long program to observe "Beggar free month" in Bangalore. Lot of our money already goes in beggar rehabilitation (to the tune of 6 to 7 crores per year). Not sure how this money has been utilized till date, but government now wants to make some use of this money. As per Indian laws, begging is a punishable crime & beggars can be sent for 1 to 3 years of imprisonment. 

Definitely it is a welcome sign, considering that even begging has its own mafia. But, I was wondering why government is targeting only the one-rupee-beggars, while the other bigger beggars getting in thousands & lakhs per day are left free to loot more. Government, can you do something with them too?

By the way, I had an encounter with another kind of beggar few months back  (refer to  A man & daughter posing as lost in Bangalore & wanting to get some money to go back to their home town. Some of us in the apartment had helped them with 2000 Rs. Now there are reports from different parts of the city that these beggars are looting people with the same story with little twist. Be it a rupee beggar or a sophisticated beggar, it is difficult to trust anyone. 

Just some thoughts on how to tackle this kind of situation if some really "lost" people approaches you for money & promise to return the money back after reaching the place:

  • Easiest thing to do is to neglect them (with heavy heart, assuming that they are begging)
  • If you really want to help, help them, but ensure that you also take few snaps/vidoes of them (with your friendly (Nokia?? :-)) mobile phone). If not it helps in tracking or giving complaints to police later, it will atleast have an impact on the beggar. You can find out if he/she is genuine or not by looking at their reaction to taking the video/photos.
  • Offer them the help of local police to go back to their place. (You can just tell them that you know the inspector & inspector can help them).
These were some thoughts which came to my mind after I got duped. I wish I had taken any of the above steps to avoid that beggar. I hope you can take these precautions when you encounter such a situation in future. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sound OK, horn

Sound OK, Horn. This may sound noisy, but unfortunately this is the most accepted cliche in India :-( This cacophony is at its best in the evenings, when everyone is hurrying back home. This is equally bad in front of our apartment in the early morning itself, when I wait for our office cab to pick me up. Having absolutely nothing to do till the cab picks me up, I tend to observe the vehicle behavior :-) I am not sure if our apartment is so attractive or distractive, without any exception all the vehicles honk atleast once there. Since there is no option but to accept these honking, sometime I even try to enjoy this early morning music. But it is tough :-(

So, having analyzed sound-ok-horn, I have been able to classify people into different categories:
  • People suffering from Vehicle-syndrome: When you see a vehicle in front of you, just honk. Unfortunately in India, on any road, there is always a vehicle in front of you, and one hand of these people are always on the horn :-(
  • Anti-social people: When you see someone trying to cross the road, honk. Someone is not trying to cross the road, but just standing by the side of the road? Honk even more... what if they decide to cross?
  • Stress-Busters: Honking is a way of stress busting. More you honk, less stressed you are. Honk, Honk, Honk & be cool. Transfer all your frustration to others on the road & you have a smile on your face when you drive.
  • Jam Busters: When there is a traffic jam, keep honking, hoping that jam gets cleared because of your decibel levels.
  • Signal Busters: Even before the signal can turn green, start honking. Just to ensure that everyone at the signal are ready to do a race once signal goes green. If someone stops at the red-signal, Honk - why did the guy stop when it was just turning red?
  • Road-o-phobia: Just saw a speed breaker? Just saw potholes? Honk, Honk, Honk. 
  • Honko-Freaks: That guy honked at me, I honk at him. That guy overtook me, honk. I overtook this guy, honk. I need to scare this guy to give way, honk. Honko-freak guys just eat, sleep & drink honks.
All of us who honk does fit into one of these categories. When you drive next time & honk, just think why did you honk? You will get an answer as to which kind of Honko-personality is yours. No need to play an online quiz in Facebook to know the answer :-)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Gemini Circus : See to believe it

One of my friend had called me to wish on New year's. He just mentioned about Gemini circus which he attended during the last week of December & how much he enjoyed it. He said, he enjoyed it more than his 4 1/2 year old daughter did. I was little skeptical anyway, but I exactly had the same feeling after we attended the circus yesterday.

It was long time since I went for circus. During my Bhadravathi days (in late 80"s), I had visited some circus. Later I also had been to a circus show in US, in 1999. But the Indian circus has lot more variety & lot more interesting stuff to offer. Poorvi has never been to circus. So, I thought it is better to visit the circus over the weekend, before they pack & move to other city. I am always fascinated by circus. It is such a great art on the verge of extinction. :-( Unless people support them, they are gone & the next generation kids will have to just live in virtual world of entertainment :-(

We went there on Saturday evening & occupied the better seats available to watch the show. The whole setup was nice. There was orchestra band in the podium & the usual bells (3 times, last one being a long bell) indicated the start of the circus. From the word go till the very end, there was not even a single minute break, 2 hours of pure entertainment. Expectedly, the number of animals have reduced & the human touch has increased in the performance. They have performers from Russia, Africa etc & they set the stage on fire, literally. Each performance was better than the previous. Especially the ladder-balancing act, cycle show & the elephant performances (playing cricket, playing doctor-patient) are just memorable. When you just think you have seen the best performance of the show, next one will be much better. Wow. Such a talented bunch of people risking their lives day after day, show after show to entertain people.

Take a break from Idiots & Avataars to get the pure entertainment & thrill of circus. 

Here are the details of  the circus:

Place: Palace Grounds, you have ample car parking space, entry opposite to TV tower.
Timings: 3 shows daily : 1 PM, 4 PM, 7 PM  
Price : Rs40, Rs80, Rs150, Rs200, Rs250. My suggestion is to go for either 200 Rs or 250 Rs. You will have a good view. Rs 150 row itself is little back. Rs 40/80 are gallery benches.
Other points: Carry snacks/water. You will also get popcorns/juices/chocolates/candys/Coffee at your seat itself, but it is expensive. Try to sit away from the globe on which they do motorbike stunt, as it will be too noisy. Photography is prohibited, however I saw many many people clicking the photos & shooting the videos. Restroom services are not available, so take all precautionary measures :-).