INSIGHTFUL TALKS, QUIRKY WRITINGS ON INDIA…

Train-tracks in a pickle

Traintracks in a pickle Wonder why railway lines exist, if only to be used sparingly? As they say in hindi “aachar daalna hai kya”? ” are they to be made a pickle out of, never to be used”? The case in point is the Carmelaram to Yeshwantpur, or rather, Hosur to Yeshwantpur track. A wonderful route , which could save time, traffic , pollution and so much more for so many commuters that it belies beleif. It cuts across the city from the South East to the North West. It has a journey time of less than 40 mins, which would otherwise take multiple cars about 2 hours each. But then, belying belief, the track is used by a Demu ( or a local train), only twice in the day. Once in the morning and once at night. Wow– having such a wonderful route, lying barely used . If you had to reach Yeshwantpur from the southside, a train every 30 minutes on this route would be such a blessing. Cutting the traffic and the chaos by far. But, no such luck – you ask the MLA and he blames the State Govt. Ask the State Govt and they blame the Central Govt -since the railways belong to them. Ask the Central govt and they might ask you to go jump or go to Japan, to ride their bullet trains. But we will stay this way. Sad isn’t it. Such is the sad state of Karnataka anyway. Everything, to become functional, has to have a morcha or a dharna staged. Maybe the new CM @HDKumaraswamy will take note this time....

From demonetisation to demobilisation

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

Blame it on GST !!!

Blame it on GST!!! Over the last many weeks since the much awaited GST regime unfolded and rolled into full gear the amblingindian has been watching with baited breath… Sadly though, after much brouhaha and fanfare of course, bringing extra work to the under-worked civil servants and other civilians it seemed to roll out very quietly, almost like the Y2K prep where people had stockpiled months of food and essential supplies only to find it was a whimper. Nothing really went wrong. And so it happened with the GST, too. Almost nothing went wrong. Pretty smooth it seemed. No newspaper headlines shouting about the darned thing.Even the govt propaganda machinery was quiet this time. LPG seemed to continue ruling the roost as far as billboards went. The billboards almost screamed at you – “N million women got self respect thanks to LPG subsidy give up”. What about the others who lost it b’coz of rapes acid attacks and more? Well, we shall not talk about it now for fear of digressing… Another day for sure. So what about the darned GST then. It seemed to be somewhat amusing; or irritating could be the better word he thinks. The neighbourhood store for want of a better understanding- started billing us for MRP plus GST. No amount of reasoning would prevail for he was too terrified to go under. Until the consumers decided to give him the boycott treatment for a week. And the fear of really going under made him sit up and come back to ground; or GST reality. Thankfully he bills us now at MRP only. And some...
From demonetization to demobilisation…

From demonetization to demobilisation…

From demonetisation* to demobilisation… *Demonetisation- announcement by the Indian PM Mr Modi on the 8th of Nov 2016 – withdrawing all existing currencies from circulation and replacing them with new – to- be – printed notes . Caused a major upheaval in the country, as existing money could not be used. The move was meant to stop people hoarding cash gained through unlawful means as that was hampering the economy to a large extent. —————————————————————————————————————- 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...
Support KikuSharda- or beans?

Support KikuSharda- or beans?

Kiku Sharda Arrested for mimicking God on TV!!! What next? Everything you read or write about nowadays could suddenly become the subject of endless controversies, with authors being evicted from literary fests and the targets of unwanted FIRs, so it seemed best to stay clear of all this, at least for a while, and write about something totally non-controversial, like bell peppers, commonly known as capsicums. And why not? Fruits and veggies have enough qualities and virtues to elaborate on and extol, like their delectable tastes & riotous colours. Even then, I find their humility and stoicism to be the most noteworthy. Though the humble beans may have been the subject of gazillions of offensive remarks about their offensive, odorous capabilities (by ungrateful creatures who fry them anyway, day after day), have we ever seen a bean take offense to this? The humble fruits and vegetables seem to be the only subjects who don’t have activists or loud supporters and won’t take matters in the wrong spirit and hence are the only things one can talk about, to be pretty safe. We humans, who will one day end up just like the beans, bell peppers, and others, have a lot to learn from these creatures, so bereft of ego, so ready to serve, and therefore, here goes a humble salute. Salute to bell peppers: Read more in the hilarious book Ambling Indian by Aina Rao http://amzn.to/1kAqPcA...
Good times in Goa

Good times in Goa

Good times in Goa… Sun, sea, sand, s** and more- and if that wasn’t enough, just the word GOA invokes images of good beaches, good food, good books+ , sometimes God too. For, if you happen to be the religious kind, it would not be hard to find prayer houses, churches and a host of others, tiny, or large, scattered all over the place, some so nondescript, that you will need to stare closely at what look like annexes to the building gates, but, on closer look, turn out to be little devout delights, built into the ubiquitous compound walls. What you might see again, but not notice unless if you were particularly observant, is the dogs of Goa. Another sheer delight, and in all shapes and sizes, with one common characteristic, their friendly faces and wagging tails telling you that they are welcoming you, along with the locals, as a valued guest to Goa. I usually thought that Cats were the creatures that populated the coastal areas, thanks to the abundance of fish, but Goa is different. And it has to be, right? It is so different from the rest of India with its relaxed beaches, its laid-back attitude, its Portuguese flavours. So what if coastal regions across India and globally ( Bali comes to mind) are thronged by cats? In Goa, dogs happen to be the mascots. Cute and friendly, and ever-wagging their tails, they are a touristy delight too. This time, I met Speed, the Labrador who loves to read books- for he lives in the Literati bookshop ( which now stocks the recently released book...