Archive for July, 2006

Update on the Jayadeva flyover

July 31, 2006

….

By about 5 pm, the shed/shamiana was dismantled and cars started moving on the flyover. I noticed much heavier traffic on the narrower side, coming from Jayanagar (didn’t I tell you? This flyover has one narrow road and a broad one, which BDA in its wisdom has done..) towards Bannerghatta….by 7.30 pm, the traffic had backed up heavily, and from 8 pm to 10 pm (that’s been my evening work) the traffic has been incredibly congested, with both the approach from the flyover as well as from BTM being completely jammed. After 10 pm, things slowly cleared.

Waiting to see how it’s going to be in the coming days…we may have to move…..

Someone like me…

July 31, 2006

Here’s an interesting blog…she writes very well:

http://agelessbonding.blogspot.com/

Is there some way of adding people on other blogs (apart from LJ) to one’s friends list? I wonder….

from the LJ of

July 31, 2006

Security at T G Halli Dam

July 31, 2006

….

Yesterday, we decided to check out T G Halli (that’s Tippugondanahalli to you) Dam, and see if we could spot any interesting birds. This post is not about the birds, but about birdbrains…

 Once we got there (about 35 km) we were told by the watchman, who was just letting another car (without a permit) in, that unless we had a permit, even a recommendation from the CM or the PM would not get us in! Great dialogue by the watchman…

We backed up a little and Amoghavarsha had the enterprise to talk to one of the local youths, Raju, and take him back to the gate; upon  his talking to the watchman, we were allowed to go in…without the camera! In this age of mobile phones, our Govt still thinks that if we leave a large,obvious looking camera behind, we cannot compromise security. And how security can be compromised  by our taking a camera inside, when, a few yards further down the road, the dam is clearly visible for all to photograph, I don’t know.

While we were walking around, we saw several other people come in. Even while we were arguing, the watchman let the car which came before us, past the gate. Apparently one of the passengers had worked there earlier. This was enough security for the watchman!

It’s the old, old story…as soon as you have some power, try somehow to harass the ordinary citizen with stupid rules, moronically enforced….we could easily have gone past, and got through the pathetic  barbed wire fence at another point, and gone about our work….with no one the wiser. We chose to observe the rules, and so the rules were used against us….I was calculating how long it would take a terrorist armed with plastic explosive to a) hit the lanky guard into insensibility and walk in, b) breach the fence and walk in, c) drop the explosive from a light aircraft…

“Opening the flyover” ceremony doesn’t include opening the flyover

July 31, 2006

After 3 and a half years, the Jayadeva flyover is finally being opened to the public. The govt had three options:

1. Have the opening ceremony on Sunday and actually open the road by Monday morning.

2. Have a ceremony early on Monday morning, before the peak traffic; the CM could have waved a flag and the traffic could have started flowing on to the flyover, perhaps headed by the CM’s car.

3. Have the opening ceremony at 9.30 am on a Monday morning, block off the road and build a kind of iron-sheets shed and shamiana to shelter the politicos,dig holes in the brand new road to put in the poles for the shed, make sure that the peak Monday morning traffic cannot actually use the flyover for as long as possible, and cause a tremendous traffic jam while the politicos’ cars are all there for the opening ceremony.

Which option would you think our user-friendly govt. would choose?

Here’s what Monday, July 31, 2006, 11 am looked like from our window:

IMG_0178 jayadeva flyover opening 31 july 06

On the extreme left towards the bottom of the picture are the parked cars; in the middle of the picture is the jammed stream of traffic that still has to detour right into BTM layout; in the top LHS of the pic you can see the politicos and mango public (aam janta) opening the flyover by blocking it off to peak morning traffic. (They have also, in this picture, blocked the right turning that the traffic has to take.)Notice one lane, to the left of the road, where no cars are allowed to drive..so that the parked vip cars can reverse and get away.

Wahe Guru!  Trust our politicians to extract the last ounce of suffering before giving us anything….

I HATE politicians.

I can just imagine a child in one of those cars. “Why are we stuck here for such a long time, Mummy?” “Because they are opening the road dear…”

Er…btw..that pic was taken by….ME!! (I was allowed to touch that hallowed camera!!)

PS.It is now 3pm… The shamiana is still there, the tin-roof shed is still straddling the road, which is STILL blocked….apparently, the “opening the road” ceremony doesn’t include actually opening the road.

How to take all the pleasure out of watching butterflies

July 30, 2006

….

Seminar:

:”Biogeography of hypocystinebutterflies (Nymphalidae: Satyrinae): the Palearctic-Australian connection”

No…I am not joking!

*****

I love the way, when I am typing on Semagic, my little tiger userpic looks at all the little windows, looks up at the text, and then looks quizzically at me…ooh, I love my little shortened Hobbes! A tiny tiger…reminds me of my daughter….

Wasps’ Nest in Lalbagh, 25 July 06

July 30, 2006

….

This wasps’ nest, that I wrote about in an earlier post, is situated near the lake in Lalbagh, low in the branches of a Ficus Benjamina tree. Just look at the incredible construction, and the colours of those crescent-shaped markings. It seems to be a very large nest. Karthik, the Chief Naturalist at Jungle Lodges and Resorts, tells me that it is made of paper manufactured by the wasps. I wonder how long it would have taken the wasps to build this?

Sainath had also taken pictures of this, but had to leave for Kanpur before he could post them to me. So Sanath Reddy, who will shortly be opening his account at LJ with other pictures, including some fantastic ones of squirrels shot this same morning, took this picture for me. Thank you, sanath!

If you want to see an enlarged version of the picture, click on it and you will go to my Flickr site where you can click on “all sizes” and see the large size picture.

DSC_0067 Wasps' Nest, Lalbagh, 25 July 06

(Photo: Sanath Reddy)

Vignettes from the City Station

July 30, 2006

…..

Went to drop off my brother in law at the station…the train was at 11.45pm. The station was so beautifully lit up; we realized it was for 25 years of Bangalore Division of SW Railways, on the 27th of July.

The station was also amazingly clean, and the enquiry area has been spruced up so much…concourses seem well designed to take the crowds, and announcements were both visually and audibly clear.

Of course the lack of a lift to the subway  to the other platforms is still a major problem for anyone with a physical handicap, but at least there is a ramp up to the station from the space outside.

Got into the train and found a young man sitting in the darkened bogey, in front of his open laptop, which showed a picture– of himself standing in front of the train.

Saw the hardworking coolies and the platform stall people…they work all hours for not much pay, I think. Noticed the shiny new metal chairs which reflect the garish colours of the ads and the lights.

Had a piping hot cup of incredibly cheap chai from the stall, and felt the lazy wind a little less. (The Scots call  a chill wind  a lazy wind because it can’t be bothered to go around you…it goes through you!)

For the first time, stood by and watched two bogeys being connected, with one man on the wireless guiding the train driver to slowly bring the two carriages together, and then another intrepid railway worker getting down to connect the vacuum hoses which make a scary “HOOOSH” noise. When the bumpers touched, it looked like the carriages were joining hands. When he realized I was interested, the railway worker asked that some space be cleared for me to watch! How lovely it is to have time to “stand and stare”….

Found the Railway police watching the crowd with sharp, intent, practised eyes, as the mob jostled to get into the unreserved compartments. Speculated on how difficult it would be to be a pickpocket and earn a living that way, with a merciless beating the reward of even a slight mistake. And after the beating and the police station and the bribe and the escape, to go back to doing exactly the same thing…..

There is something desolate and melancholy about a railway station at night. Those who are leaving have left; those who are arriving have come and gone to their destinations; the day’s work is done, the dance of commerce and travel is over for the day. The platforms stretch into the distance, awaiting the next day’s bustle.

Saw the porters also gathering together, some were laughing and lighting up beedies, some were morose, as they had probably not made enough money that day.

Nobody asked us for our platform tickets. The parking lot attendants were also preparing to wind up business…there are so many urchins hanging around, it’s heart-wrenching to see them. None of them came up to beg. Beggary has certainly come down at the station.

Overall…a very positive change at City Station. Long may it last.

punctuality

July 29, 2006

What can be done when one spouse likes to be on time and the other one is invariably late…and not in the least apologetic about it either?

Blame the astrologer who got their horoscopes together in the first place!

Preparations for opening the flyover

July 29, 2006

….

Work is going on hectically for the past 2 days, since it was announced that the flyover next to our home will be opened on Monday. Well, at LAST!

But…

They have left the service road intact, and even planted neem trees,— but — from the road just beyond our apartment complex on, towards Bannerghatta. If this could be done, why not spare the service road in front of a residential apartment, as well as the trees? It would have made a good screen for us from the traffic.

For the width of road that a pedestrian now faces, the width of the pavement is PATHETIC. Even our ramp into the main road is not smooth at all.

After coming out of the flyover, Bannerghatta road will abruptly narrow down very sharply. This being so, the trees that were cut down last month could have been spared.

Oh well, no use grumbling, nothing will help..and at least, at last, this flyover is going to open, 3 and a half suffering-filled years later…let’s see what the traffic is going to be like…