Archive for April, 2006

Full circle…

April 28, 2006

Up to the time my daughter left home at the age of 17, I was generally known in many circles as “Anjana’s mom”….after she left and we finished our travels to various places and came back to Bangalore to roost, I started developing my own identity, independent of the “corporate spouse” identity, and also the “Munni ki Maa” identity…I have made friends of my daughter’s age, or even less, to complement my friends who are 20 or 30 or in one instance 40 years older than me.

But my child is a young woman of very strong and srticulate opinions and yesterday, it felt nice to be, once again, asked by several people, “You are Anjana’s mother, aren’t you?”

My baby…you seem to have a large readership on LJ…carry on with your onion-peeling, dissecting every thought and action as far as analysis will take it! Feels good to know that you voice is being heard in many places….

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Different strokes for different folks…

April 27, 2006

I realize that people post on LJ for widely varying reasons. udhay says he got on to LJ to post comments on other people’s blogs; themadman says it is not his primary writing, but he uses it for stuff that won’t fit in elsewhere. Several people use it to post pictures.

For me, LJ is a kind of pickling jar. The daily dose of writing is good discipline for me, as I try to write fast, yet get the right words. And after I have posted, if I go back to the post and still like what I have written, off it goes to the newspapers, hopefully, to be accepted…or, if not, to survive still in the LJ electronic memory, somewhere in e-space…

They never do!

April 27, 2006

Will ANY of the Deccan Herald’s links work properly? Just tried the link on jace‘s LJ to see the write up about him…doesn’t work.

I know that since I started posting on LJ all my stuff can be read (without being hacked down or decimated for want of newspaper space) on it, but still, it’s nice to send my relatives some of my stuff in print…and it is frustrating when I click on a link and it takes me 1) to someone else’s article; 2) to a page about a month or so away from the date I am looking for; or 3) nowhere.

I am in a constant state of email conversation with this newspaper about this!

Lack of lane discipline in traffic….

April 26, 2006

I have thought long and hard about this problem of lack of lane discipline.The reasons for this are:

Roads that are really too narrow to enforce lane discipline. It is like a liquid pouring through a bottleneck…every vehicle jostles to get ahead before the next stoppage happens.

Widened roads, including highways, are often unfinished at the sides, with loose earth waiting to entrap heavy vehicles. Especially after the rains, no truck or bus wants to go in the slow lane if it is going to mean getting stuck in mud, with the consequences of expense and delay. To me this is a very prime reason why most heavy vehicles hog the centre of a divided road. This, of course, throws the rest of the traffic out of kilter as they weave through.

Lack of awareness of even a basic sort amongst vehicle users.

Apathy that is almost total. If *I* can get ahead, that’s enough.What do I care about other road-users?

Extreme manouverability amongst autorickshaws. When the turning circle is so small, there is a great temptation to squeeze through hold-ups.

The stretches where lane discipline can be enforced abruptly narrow into single-lane stretches and this defeats the whole idea.

I am somehow not very gungho about lane discipline inculcation being a success in Bangalore. This is because I have seen it being attempted on a one-km stretch Mount Road in Chennai, which has 3 lanes each way; one is reserved for buses and other heavy vehicles, one for cars, and one for two and three wheelers. I have watched the experiment in action for over 5 years, and it is a disaster, and soon degenerates into chaos, until the next enforcement is done.

It’s a kind of chicken-and-egg thing…good roads first, or good driving first? I do know, however, that even in law-abiding cities like Muscat in Oman, the Indian area becomes chaotic and hassled during high-traffic times…so I personally am not able to think of any practicable, workable solution to this problem.

Our new highways are, because of the lack of lane-discipline, far more dangerous than the old roads were. As high speeds become possible, so do the chances of collisions and accidents which will result in horrific injuries or fatalities.

Sad that I am posting an analysis of the problem without being able to postulate any solution.

This post was brought about because of an email from varshax, which said:

I was thinking about the traffic situation in Bangalore today. Roads are bad no doubt, but it seems to me that lack of lane discipline exacerbates the problems. Is there a public awareness initiative in Bangalore that tries to tackle this issue ? Has there been an initiative that failed ? I wonder if it is naive to think that we can make a difference in this direction if we tried. I remember someone saying that the autowalla’s are not even aware of the concept. If the benefits were explained to them, maybe they would listen ? What are your thoughts Andy ? Start with a few roads and spread the word ….. the results of the experiment would be very interesting. Too bad our group is mostly based out of Bangalore …… but if the right residents (who are able to approach this with an open mind) put in the effort maybe they can make a difference. If it takes off, they could be the new NRNs of Bangalore 🙂

Everyone’s LJ has it, so…

April 24, 2006

I also want this great, honest picture on my LJ for later reference, so here goes:

http://www.nixcartel.org/~botsie/autorickshaw.jpg

Remember, you also saw it here…

Met someone..

April 24, 2006

I think I have been very fortunate in meeting many people over blogs or email, who subsequently become good friends….today I arranged to meet up with udhay, whose pursuits have impressed…and intrigued….me.

I felt so comfortable talking to him that I spent considerably longer than I had planned, and some of the writing for the day has been postponed….he spoke of the many things he liked to do, and I was amazed how he found the time for everything!

He is unusual to me in that he first founded his own IT company and then wound it up and moved to a large IT company…it’s more usual to hear the reverse.

Oh…I never got to talking to him about his interest in fragrances, which was what I wrote to him first about! Well, there was a whole lot of other interesting stuff he had to say…he is amazingly knowledgeable about a variety of subjects! He says he has a “packrat” memory..seems a prodigious memory to me..and the recall factor seems excellent,too!

He says he loves to connect with people, and loves to connect people…what a profile for someone who does marketing-oriented work!

Looking forward to meeting more of his friends…

I *CANNOT* believe this…

April 23, 2006

Amoghavarsha and Sanath,as I said, went off to BRT. I specifically told them, since they were going without me they were bound to spot a tiger. They scoffed at this remark.

Amogh called just now…guess what….*AND* no photos, I think, I couldn’t hear him clearly enough.

I am torn between feeling ecstatic that they spotted a tiger and despair that I am never ever going to see one…If I could get my hands on that William Blake I would teach him how to write poetry. “Tiger, tiger, burning bright,/In the forests of the night”, inDEED!!

Hereis MY version of the first few lines:

Tiger,tiger, hiding low
Not a stripe of you doth show
What immortal hand or eye
Couldst feel or see you? Not I, not I!!

Waiting for all the details…all my wildlifer friends have taken to either saying “Sorry!” outright, or announcing their sighting in an apologetic tone of voice to me!!

Sigh….

For all non-wildlifers..the tigers in Bannerghatta National Park don’t count ( I don’t mean they are anumerate, I mean they are too used to humans and lack that authentic “tiger in the wild” look.)

The article on the Jungle Lodges and Resorts Naturalists’ Training Programme…a pic

April 22, 2006

It was nice to see that sainath has scanned the newspaper article I wrote:

http://sainath.livejournal.com/64853.html

It is sad that a good photographer hasn’t been given credit for his photographs. But you can visit his LJ to see them (they look much better than on the printed page!)

The URL of the article still doesn’t work properly, it takes one to the March 17th issue of the newspaper….and there are some factual errors in the article which *I* certainly didn’t make, for example, saying that I started an egroup to preserve wildlife, which is a hilarious statement!

Oh well…that’s the real world! Put this behind you and get on with the next article!

Went LJ trawling…

April 21, 2006

….and I found this on footloosethaths LJ…hilarious.

http://footloosethaths.livejournal.com/12093.html

How come they don’t have any of these clinics in South Bangalore?

contradiction….

April 21, 2006

I was musing over the fact that, with the combination of a.being a woman and b. the bad roads of Karnataka and c. the perceived levels of safety if my car breaks down on a forest road, I cannot go off to a wildlife resort at will like most of my co-students in the Naturalists’ Training Course seem to do.(This post is sparked by Amoghavarsha and Sanath swanning off to BRT where they will rough it out with sleeping bags somewhere and come back, possibly jubilant about spotting a tiger too…GRRRRR!)

It then struck me that “housewife” and “wildlife enthusiast” have been, traditionally, terms that imply conflict with each other. The homemaker in the ancient past had to watch over the cattle, the flocks and the young ones, and the sight of a scorpion or a tiger or even a marauding elephant is a major threat to house and hearth and must have brought out the most primal instincts of hate and fear in her. Anything that smacked of domestication and was removed from the wild was to be welcomed. A dog that would watch over the flocks was a welcome animal, but even a bird that came to peck at the crops or provisions was a pest to be chased away.

Perhaps this is, to some extent, at the bottom of a woman’s screams at the sight of a rodent or any other animal that is not completely tame and domesticated? I was telling one of my friends about the amazing sight I had just before leaving Kapila resort after the tiger census stay…I went to the common (cards and gym) room toilet and it was FULL of hundreds and hundreds of spiders, which kalyan tells me are called Daddy Long Legs. My friend shuddered and promptly said nothing would make her visit a resort like that, which didn’t clean up its rooms! That was the first time I realized that my reaction to those creatures might be very different from the average feminine one..!(Not that my reaction would be very different if I felt a worm in my clothes or a leech on my leg…)