INSIGHTFUL TALKS, QUIRKY WRITINGS ON INDIA…

A BMTC(local) bus ride!

It had been many, many, days since I took a BMTC* bus ride. Not that one doesn’t want to. It’s just that there never seems to be the right combination of available time, a suitable bus route, or leisure that one can find. It just seems so much easier to hop into an auto (and now that Ubers are here, even more so), than wait and take the trouble to get into a bus. It came as a welcome change, when there was the chance to go to Richmond road, which very conveniently , is served by multiple buses on the arterial old airport road.

And so, it was the BMTC bus I got into. Not the fancy – airconditioned Vajras, but the regular BMTC ones . The ones that get washed perhaps, once a year. Or maybe its gross exaggeration- more likely to be washed once a month. And having got in, and secured a precious seat ( it was off peak time on Saturday), it was an experience certainly worth its while.

For starters, the ride was smooth. No jarring music, no loud mobile phone conversations. Simple folks, looking out of the window, as would be expected in a bus ride.  As it used to be, in the olden days, before the mobiles took over almost every minute of precious existence. I sat there and looked too. And that was what made the bus ride so much more worth the while. I must have travelled along the old airport road at least a thousand times before, but, it was only this time, that I saw it anew, with the luxury of the heightened seats that only a bus affords. The view of the army camp, unobscured by the ubiquitious compound walls, was what I got. So much worth the while. The beauty of the Army land- churches seen for the first time, old buildings, perhaps built during the British Raj, swathes of green- lush trees, and a langour that one can dream of, almost like someone had painted the entire stretch of the camp with a broad, stillwater brush.

And along the way, some more interesting experiences. A girl got in, wearing a white school uniform. Seemed like a regular schoolgirl, nothing much to note there. But, soon after, at the next stop, a set of five boys got in too- wearing similar uniforms, and sat next to the girl. It was then that the journey changed gears completely. From a slow, relaxed second gear movement, it suddenly skipped into the 4th , maybe the 5th gear. And how? The group of six school kids now started chatting. Completely throwing my imagination out of whack. They chatted in sign language. The girl  talking the most, with her rapid sleight of the hands- occasionally interjected by a comment from one of her friends. She talked, almost non-stop through the ride. Fascinatingly so, for I never knew of the speed with which the signs could be used, seeming to surpass the human voice by leaps and bounds. It was a moment of revelation, a moment of happiness too. For, when I saw the children, enjoying their banter- so differently, the bus ride became so much more enjoyable for me too.

And then the stop arrived.. as they always do. But life goes on, peppered by the taste of an unusual, joyful BMTC bus ride.

Regards

Aina Rao,

The amblingindian.

  • Bangalore Municipal transport corporation

This land- our own?

Every now and then comes a post that shakes you and makes you want to cry. A 2 year old who wants to die as a refugee ?This is so.. unbelievable – it belies belief itself. Who gives us the right to kick others out of a land, a place, a country even? Who are we to call a place our own and not that of others? Who decides what we own?

It is very easy to forget that we ourselves are living on borrowed time, on land that has never been ours. We mark our territories thinking and assuming that they belong to us. When in fact nothing is ours for keeps. One fine day, we will leave this earth too.. we have to.. its not ours.. it has never been.

To all the bigots out there.. the aces and the trumps.. don’t forget that you are just an insect in the vast expanse of the universe. The walls, the regulations, the restrictions you make, just a creation of your imagination. You think you rule this earth.. Read on..from Kabir, the 16th century saint :

” mati kahe kumbhar se tu kya ronde mohe
ik din aisa aiyega mai rondogi tohe”

” Clay says to the potter- are you kneading me today , wait for the day when i will knead you into dust…”

Regards
Aina Rao
www.amblingindian.com

Post from CNN below

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/manitoba-refugees-border-crossing-1.3972374

 

———————————————————————————————————————–

After the quirky characters- the amblingindians and the blog, here comes…

A fun story on India–Bollywood, IITs, IIMs, politics  & more, a laugh-out-loud read !

The BOOK- AMBLING INDIAN by Aina Rao

Already Featured in Amazon top10 Hot new releases–Humour Buy 

Also Featured in the Hindu ” All set to take readers on an unusual journey through India” ;  The new Indian express ” Writer creates the new Aam Aurat” and more 

http://amzn.to/1kAqPcA  on Amazon.in for Rs. 170, Kindle for Rs. 40.

http://bit.ly/1R6Uq7H Newshunt e-book for Rs.62 (limited period offer – Rs. 16 only for new users: requires newshunt/dailyhunt app download to mobile)

Buy on Amazon India

Also available on Amazon.com, Amazon worldwide and as an e book on all e-bookstores

Thanks for reading and sharing !

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

The season of change –

Bangalore : July 31,2016

 

 

The seasons change. Overnight, the mercury plummets. The rajais , comforters and woollies come out. Seems so typical of nature-to be taking one by complete surprise each time- just two months ago: a hot, arid and unbearable summer, suddenly overtaken by welcome but incessant rain, and then the cold winter months.

If the  vagaries of nature weren’t enough , the vagaries of human behaviour also  envelop me with complete surprise.  A season of bandhs descends on Bangalore – almost a dark, cloudy, menace like season  – starting with the BMTC bandh ( a complete stoppage of Bangalore municipal transport buses) , and then moving on to Karnataka Bandh ( a protest against the water tribunal award of river water).  And so a whole week goes by, nothing gained, nothing achieved , but much lost. Kids languishing at home, for all schools have stopped. Commuters held to ransom for going to work. Daily wage workers tightening their belts for losing their livelihood . And it doesn’t stop there. So much more lost, by way of morale, productivity, and common sense.

What sense does it make though- to stop work completely because someone is not happy with

  1. What they get paid
  2. How much water they get from the river water sharing agreement

What stops them from walking out of the situation a?  Walk out of the job if unhappy- isn’t that ideal? The Bangalore transport staff are not bonded or wedded to their jobs. Why hold a city to ransom? Cushy government jobs are a privilege for some, not a right. Certainly, me thinks, no one has the right to use that as a lever for making the life of public citizens miserable, do they?

All this raving and ranting will still get us nowhere. Perhaps, a Maggie Thatcher  approach, if not Maggie Thatcher herself, would do the trick. Privatise completely. The buses, the roads, the water, the electricity. Privatise and regulate. So that things actually work , albeit within boundaries. The telecoms being the best example. If we hadn’t privatised them years ago, we would still have been at the mercy of the monopolistic BSNLs and MTNLs, waiting years together for a telephone connection at home, and having to pay an underhand amount for the technician to actually come and fix the last mile, when ones turn finally came.

Perhaps that is what is needed . The iron lady approach. Or an iron man one. Either way, it doesn’t matter. Things need to work- that’s all, for India to continue working. Or the seasons may completely take over life and push us back to the dark ages- stuck for want of basic stuff like water, electricity and buses. Fellow citizens and BMTC staff- Isn’t it time for the seasons to change now, change towards progress- for India to move on?

 

Regards,

Aina Rao

www.amblingindian.com

 

From demonetisation to demobilisation…

Love it or hate it – Demonetisation in all its glory has spoken . Along with this masterstroke, I wish though, that Mr Modi had created another one. The one of demobilisation. Now what on earth is meant by that big term… de..mobi.. lisation.

Putting it in very simple terms- all it means, dear reader- is that- the way Mr Modi, the Indian PM, has stopped people from using cash and pushed them online- I wish, somehow, that he would stop people from using mobiles too, and cajole them towards the written word. In a very non- destructive way that is. No need to burn piles of mobiles here, just ask people to send messages or mails explaining what they want, instead of calling up at all odd times, especially targeting the times that you are brushing your teeth, or having a bath, or having stuffed your mouth with a particularly crunchy piece of food …

And  what are you supposed to do when that happens?

a.  Pick it up and mumble your way through the conversation with lots of embarassing background noise…

b.  Return the call immediately after, by which time the other fellow might have gone for a bath,or be brushing his teeth, or have his mouth full of a pizza slice.. I mean, how, are you supposed to  know , apart from telepathy?

c.  Send an sms stating- busy, please message me. To which there will invariably be no reply. Anyway, wasn’t that obvious- the fact that the phone didn’t get picked up meant that the person was busy , right ? But that wouldn’t deter the persistent soul at the other end of the line from trying again..Not send the sms, but keep calling… and then, three days later, come back and tell you—you didn’t get this piece of really important information such as ‘your neighbour veronica aunty passed away and yesterday was the funeral‘ simply bcoz you didn’t pick the call. What the….? What were sms and watsapp and good ol’ email made for ?

 

If it weren’t for the absolute disdain of the written word that the mobiles have brought in, perhaps I might have had a softer corner for them. Certainly, they deserve a lot of credit- for having made people mobile. The fact that you just have to stand in one place and catch the signal notwithstanding. Even though it requires you to assume a certain statuelike position to hear anything, and that turning your body means the call is dropped. It certainly defies the meaning of mobile, but anyway, one shall grant it the glory it deserves.

May the mobiles thrive, and be used for what they were meant to be used for – to have a good conversation when you feel like it- when lazing in the park, on a nice cool evening, chatting to a good ol’ friend and such .. Not for boring stuff like

a. the courier has arrived , or b. the gas bill is due, or c. would you like to take another personal loan/credit card/ debit card/ car loan/life insurance plan/ etc.. etc ..?( the list is rather long you see).

Well, if you see what I mean- lets at least now, demobilise as much as can be and get back to the written word… let’s give it up for demobilisation.

Regards,

Aina Rao,

The amblingindian. 

 

———————————————————————————————————————–

After the quirky characters- the amblingindians and the blog, here comes…

A fun story on India–Bollywood, IITs, IIMs, politics  & more, a laugh-out-loud read !

The BOOK- AMBLING INDIAN by Aina Rao

Already Featured in Amazon top10 Hot new releases–Humour Buy 

Also Featured in the Hindu ” All set to take readers on an unusual journey through India” ;  The new Indian express ” Writer creates the new Aam Aurat” and more 

http://amzn.to/1kAqPcA  on Amazon.in for Rs. 170, Kindle for Rs. 40.

http://bit.ly/1R6Uq7H Newshunt e-book for Rs.62 (limited period offer – Rs. 16 only for new users: requires newshunt/dailyhunt app download to mobile)

Buy on Amazon India

Also available on Amazon.com, Amazon worldwide and as an e book on all e-bookstores

Thanks for reading and sharing !

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

A BMTC(local) bus ride!

It had been many, many, days since I took a BMTC* bus ride. Not that one doesn’t want to. It’s just that there never seems to be the right combination of available time, a suitable bus route, or leisure that one can find. It just seems so much easier to hop into an auto (and now that Ubers are here, even more so), than wait and take the trouble to get into a bus. It came as a welcome change, when there was the chance to go to Richmond road, which very conveniently , is served by multiple buses on the arterial old airport road.

And so, it was the BMTC bus I got into. Not the fancy – airconditioned Vajras, but the regular BMTC ones . The ones that get washed perhaps, once a year. Or maybe its gross exaggeration- more likely to be washed once a month. And having got in, and secured a precious seat ( it was off peak time on Saturday), it was an experience certainly worth its while.

For starters, the ride was smooth. No jarring music, no loud mobile phone conversations. Simple folks, looking out of the window, as would be expected in a bus ride.  As it used to be, in the olden days, before the mobiles took over almost every minute of precious existence. I sat there and looked too. And that was what made the bus ride so much more worth the while. I must have travelled along the old airport road at least a thousand times before, but, it was only this time, that I saw it anew, with the luxury of the heightened seats that only a bus affords. The view of the army camp, unobscured by the ubiquitious compound walls, was what I got. So much worth the while. The beauty of the Army land- churches seen for the first time, old buildings, perhaps built during the British Raj, swathes of green- lush trees, and a langour that one can dream of, almost like someone had painted the entire stretch of the camp with a broad, stillwater brush.

And along the way, some more interesting experiences. A girl got in, wearing a white school uniform. Seemed like a regular schoolgirl, nothing much to note there. But, soon after, at the next stop, a set of five boys got in too- wearing similar uniforms, and sat next to the girl. It was then that the journey changed gears completely. From a slow, relaxed second gear movement, it suddenly skipped into the 4th , maybe the 5th gear. And how? The group of six school kids now started chatting. Completely throwing my imagination out of whack. They chatted in sign language. The girl  talking the most, with her rapid sleight of the hands- occasionally interjected by a comment from one of her friends. She talked, almost non-stop through the ride. Fascinatingly so, for I never knew of the speed with which the signs could be used, seeming to surpass the human voice by leaps and bounds. It was a moment of revelation, a moment of happiness too. For, when I saw the children, enjoying their banter- so differently, the bus ride became so much more enjoyable for me too.

And then the stop arrived.. as they always do. But life goes on, peppered by the taste of an unusual, joyful BMTC bus ride.

Regards

Aina Rao,

The amblingindian.

  • Bangalore Municipal transport corporation

This land- our own?

Every now and then comes a post that shakes you and makes you want to cry. A 2 year old who wants to die as a refugee ?This is so.. unbelievable – it belies belief itself. Who gives us the right to kick others out of a land, a place, a country even? Who are we to call a place our own and not that of others? Who decides what we own?

It is very easy to forget that we ourselves are living on borrowed time, on land that has never been ours. We mark our territories thinking and assuming that they belong to us. When in fact nothing is ours for keeps. One fine day, we will leave this earth too.. we have to.. its not ours.. it has never been.

To all the bigots out there.. the aces and the trumps.. don’t forget that you are just an insect in the vast expanse of the universe. The walls, the regulations, the restrictions you make, just a creation of your imagination. You think you rule this earth.. Read on..from Kabir, the 16th century saint :

” mati kahe kumbhar se tu kya ronde mohe
ik din aisa aiyega mai rondogi tohe”

” Clay says to the potter- are you kneading me today , wait for the day when i will knead you into dust…”

Regards
Aina Rao
www.amblingindian.com

Post from CNN below

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/manitoba-refugees-border-crossing-1.3972374

 

 

———————————————————————————————————————–

After the quirky characters- the amblingindians and the blog, here comes…

A fun story on India–Bollywood, IITs, IIMs, politics  & more, a laugh-out-loud read !

The BOOK- AMBLING INDIAN by Aina Rao

Already Featured in Amazon top10 Hot new releases–Humour Buy 

Also Featured in the Hindu ” All set to take readers on an unusual journey through India” ;  The new Indian express ” Writer creates the new Aam Aurat” and more 

http://amzn.to/1kAqPcA  on Amazon.in for Rs. 170, Kindle for Rs. 40.

http://bit.ly/1R6Uq7H Newshunt e-book for Rs.62 (limited period offer – Rs. 16 only for new users: requires newshunt/dailyhunt app download to mobile)

Buy on Amazon India

Also available on Amazon.com, Amazon worldwide and as an e book on all e-bookstores

Thanks for reading and sharing !

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

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What is the amblingindian  The amblingindian is an aam aadmi, aam aurat, common man, or common woman of India. As she ambles along the lanes, bylanes, gallis and mohallas that make up much of India, there is so much that puzzles, amuses, irritates and even frustrates. Is there anything to be done about all this? Absolutely not.She revels in the confusion, enjoys the chaos that is India.             Nonetheless, a germ of an idea starts to grow from somewhere, and there is a rush to put it down on paper..maybe she will just add a small tweak here , a little quirk there, all practical ideas for India.. and this blog is born… Enjoy!

The amblingindianTM blog is created along four key themes about India. Innovation- for she believes that Innovation is the future of India; Life- which is the essence of India; Humour- for the joy it brings; and Ethics- which forms the very foundation of Indian thought.

Invite the amblingindian for insightful talks/ quirky writings on India

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The BMTC bus ride

A BMTC* bus ride It had been many, many, days since I took a BMTC bus ride. Not that one doesn’t want to. It’s just that there never seems to be the right combination of available time, a suitable bus route, or leisure that one ...
Read More

This land- our own?

Every now and then comes a post that shakes you and makes you want to cry. A 2 year old who wants to die as a refugee ?This is so.. unbelievable - it belies belief itself. Who gives us the right to kick others out ...
Read More