Monthly Archives: September 2011

Meter Haaki Guru !!

It has been a little more than 2 years for me in Bangalore, and the only Kannada I know is the “auto language” (which is broken too). I don’t own a vehicle of my own, so I depend on public transport a lot. Sometimes I am a little impatient, and can’t wait for a bus (Volvo only), and one magic wave and a few moments later, voila comes the savior clad in khakis (most times), and riding his 3 wheeler.

Very convenient way of travel, especially in Bangalore traffic, the only problem being the outrageous rates the driver comes up with. If it is anything after 9pm, sometimes earlier, the auto guys’ knowledge of numbers is limited to multiples of 100 or 50 (if you’re lucky).

It’s a 3 km trip to my house from office, 5 rupees in a BMTC bus, 10 rupees in a Volvo, but by auto, well that depends on the auto-wala’s whim and fancy. They will have a million reasons to give “Time nodi sir” or “Vaapis khali barbeku sir” or the simple and straight forward “100 rupees agathe sir”. Firstly, excuse the language please. I really do suck at Kannada. But then yeah, those are the lines that most of you would have heard atleast once. What am I saying, this is Bangalore, you might hear it every single day.

Somehow there comes along an auto guy who agrees to go for meter charge, but the meter runs faster than Usain Bolt during his World Record 100m sprint. Before you know it, the meter shows a big fat 50 when all it is supposed to show is 27 or 28. And you can’t argue with him because you have no other choice. There was this other instance where my roommates and I had to go to a friend’s place sometime in the night. Mode of transport had to be auto. We reached there in half an hour with the meter reading 150. We were in a hurry, so didn’t bother to think about it either. We left his place at about 1 in the night, and thankfully got a rick guy who agreed to take us for 1 and a half meter. We reached our place in another half hour, and the meter read 97. I mean, same distance, same time to travel, but a 60 rupee extra on the meter.

Lesson learnt. Well, in that case it would be more feasible for me to fix a price before sitting in an auto. I can’t afford to tell the auto guy “Meter Haaki Guru”…

Dinner At Papa John’s

Tired of the usual dinner at the same restaurant, ordering the same food every dingle night, my colleagues and I decided to eat at a different place today, and the closest place we saw was Papa John’s (on the Old Airport Road). Though one of my colleagues were “anti-pizza”(apparently), we still decided on the same place. Another colleague had told us that the place was very good and the rates were cheap. (Yeah Yeah Yeah !!)

Well, we went in (coincidentally minutes after we all went to the ATM), and settled down in one of the many empty tables. Looked at the menu and ordered 2 large pizzas and a pitcher of Pepsi for the 4 of us. The guy who took the order did mention that one pizza would satisfy us, but we still ordered 2. After a long long wait, which included me indicating to the waiters rubbing my stomach that I was very hungry, our pizzas were ready. And 30 minutes later, there were 2 empty pans and 4 satisfied guys, and a little Pepsi remaining, which one of my colleagues, gulped down within no time.

The bill came, and we all expected the bill to be about 250 per head, but were taken aback by the excess on the bill. We had actually forgotten that whenever we go to eat out, we generally carry along 2 extra people by default, Mr.VAT and Mr.Service Charge. That too nearing month end, when I struggle to make ends meet, these 2 uninvited guests decide to play kill joy.

All in all, good food and a good place, though service could have been a little quicker. But I still would have preferred to have my Papa John pay at the end of the meal. (Just Kidding Dad!!)

Books Versus Movies ! ! !

I never was a great reader. I hardly read in fact. Ask my parents, they will tell you they struggled to get me to read a text book too. We had this copy of Arundhati Roy’s God of Small Things at home, and I’m not really sure who read it, but I do know that I didn’t even read the cover. We had quite a few books at home, and I made sure I never looked in their direction.

Not much has changed actually. Except that when the first Harry Potter book came out, people made all the hype about it that I had to read it to know exactly what all the people were going ga ga goo goo about. Yes, a good read. And then the movie came out, and suddenly all the people were at it again. I’m not really sure if that was for how cute Daniel Radcliffe was or for a wonderful movie. Either ways, I decided to go and have a watch. I will not say I was disappointed, coz it’s not really easy to fit a huge book into a 3 hour (maximum) movie. Then came the rest of the parts of the books followed by the movies. Again same result, the movie couldn’t compare to the book. Books 1 – Movies 0.

Then came all the talk about one Mr. Robert Pattinson (or was most would know him, Edward Cullen). I’ll be honest with you, I wasn’t even aware of the existence of the book till one of my friends told me about it. I watched the movie and I knew I had to read the book. Just to know if there really was a difference there in the book and novel, or was it just a HP thing. However I never did get my chance to read the book till the day I had to accompany my dear brother on a train journey from Cochin to Delhi. I got the first 2 parts of the book and finished it during that journey, and yes the book was better. Maybe the ladies will not agree with me especially since they can’t see Robert Pattinson in the book. But I do know a lot of people who absolutely adored the books like I did. I’m not a fan of the intense love story, but I would rather read about it, since its better explained there. Books 2 – Movies 0.

Now I managed to find a couple of books to another movie I have watched. I absolutely loved all parts of this movie, and I am actually waiting for my “friend” to finish the book, so I can get my hands on it. Well, maybe this time movies can get off the mark. Oh and by the way, the series in question here is “The Bourne Series”.

Done & Dusted

There you go, India travels back from England with a test series whooping, a 20-20 battering and a one day series thrashing. The World Champions humbled at the hands of the English. Yes, we shall have a lot of excuses, starting from the tight cricket schedule to injuries to the Duckworth Lewis (which I still don’t understand) system.  Let’s all get our facts straight.

Bear with me while I go through some dates. India travelled to South Africa mid December 2010, to face the Proteas in a series extending till late January. February marked the beginning of the World Cup, and I’m sure we all know what happened there. Well, that lasted till 2nd of April. Immediately after that was the IPL going on till the 28th of May. A week later the Men In Blue travelled to the Caribbean for another month or so and then travelled to England for this dreaded series. So that solves the doubts of packed calendar. But hey, whose fault is that?

Next in line is our injury list. Starting off with losing our frontline seamer Zak in the very first Test, and then came injuries to Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma and Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar. I might be awfully wrong, but that is 7 of our best players. We got replacements for a few, but it really is tough to replace a Zaheer Khan or a Sachin Tendulkar. Never the less, the World Champions could have done a whole lot better. (One victory too much to ask for?)

Duckworth Lewis System, well I really don’t have much to say for that. I mean, that depends on sheer luck. No one expected a wet summer in England. Yet it rained cats and dogs. The D/L system played its role in handing India a defeat, and rain played spoil sport in the first ODI. Bad luck. Mother Nature really didn’t want us to win.

Another system that just came to mind is the Decision Referral System, popularly known as the DRS system (not to be confused with the DRS of Formula1). I never did like the idea of the DRS. I just believe that it spoils the beauty of the gentleman’s game. A little bit of batsman’s luck, a little bit of umpire error, that is what I prefer to see. Anyways, what is the use of such a system if the decisions are going to be wrong eventually inspite of them being referred. They should see the DOCOMO add, Keep It Simple Silly.

Add to all this, Michael Vaughan’s Vaseline controversy, and what more do you need. Man, you should have seen Michael Vaughan’s Timeline on Twitter on that day. Abuses in all possible Indian languages and criticisms of all sorts. He just can’t keep his mouth shut now, can he?

Let us not forget our only silver lining Rahul “The Wall” Dravid. He had a wonderful series, hit 3 continuous 6’s in his first and last T20, and hit a 69 (no pun intended) in his last ODI innings. India bids farewell to their best No.3 batsmen from limited overs cricket.

India came to England with a billion hearts praying for Sachin’s century of centuries. Before the start of play today, we were left praying for atleast one victory.

But all I can think of is one person. That guy who came in that ad before the Indian England series saying “you never beat us.” GGRRRRRR

La Tomatina Est Annulée

I read today that the much awaited (for different reasons) La Tomatina – Bangalore’s First Tomato Festival is disallowed. The CM has apparently given strict orders to the Commissioner to make sure that the festival does not take place. Reason being that farmers and environmentalists have objected to the wastage of tomatoes for mere entertainment. I, however do remember reading that the organizers had claimed to be using tomatoes that are “not edible, but not rotten” (whatever that meant) hereafter referred to as NENR.

Actually, I kind of expected this to happen. I mean, come on, we are in India. Just because Zoya Akhtar decides to show it in her movie, wouldn’t mean that we were going to make it happen here. There are quite a few things I don’t understand though. Firstly, which are the tomatoes that are NENR. I mean, why wouldn’t it be edible if it wasn’t rotten? Excessive pesticide usage was something I thought of, but isn’t that a risk too? Over exposure? I am pretty pathetic at science and my knowledge is way below average, but a pending question.

To look at it from the other point of view. If there were tomatoes that were in the NENR category, why shouldn’t it be used for entertainment? What else can you use it for? Manure? I’m pretty sure you can use a squashed tomato for that too. Once again, forgive my lack of knowledge.

As I guess is pretty evident from the post I am not taking sides. No harm done. I hadn’t booked tickets, though I really did want to go. But then hey, this is Bangalore, I’m sure we can think of something to spend a Sunday evening (football maybe – Man Utd v/s Chelsea). As is said, when God shuts a window, He opens a door.

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