Whither Bangalore

Is this what Bangalore is becoming ? Yeah, I'm sure the name change will help prevent this...

Really sad. Just 24 years old. Poor husband of hers must be devastated.

Question (un-related?): Do we stop to try and help when we see someone in distress or do we try and 'not get into it' ?

Bengaluru - old bottle old wine new nasha

Bangalore's been renamed, to all kinds of reactions.

Enough said, done and opined on. Just that given the context of current governance, apathy, regressive attitudes in the corridors of the Vidhana Soudha, one is tempted to think that D.Singh and his ilk have firmly established a strong connection between the aforesaid negatives and vernacular. This is not dissimilar to the automatic and unfortunate connection one makes between 'Bihar' and 'backward/casteist/criminal' or 'Kerala' and 'inefficient/strike/anti-entrepreneur'.

By itself, its a sweet name. Useful/necessary ? No way. Was in common usage anyhow - more as an endearment used by long term Bangaloreans (ALL, not just the Kannadigas). Now, as with with most things forced down the gullet, there's a monster in the frame and the word's innocence is lost.

Unfortunately, 'culture' is so often extremely narrowly defined in the symbols (even events are more tradition than culture) rather than an ethos or a set of core collective values (wearing/not wearing jeans cannot be a value, for God's sake). In fact, this itself is a strong (negative) change to Karnataka's culture - which has always seemed assimilating, warm, friendly and multi-ethnic to me in the past. Of course, this is more a political statement than a cultural change - but the absolute lack of voices against a change (a certain percentage would be a natural occurrence) amongst the local glitterati suggests that they're as fearful of a minority-driven backlash as their TN counterparts. Thats definitely unhealthy for what aspires to be a cosmopolitan city (and that is a good aspiration).

Productivity and the time angle

Was chatting with a friend about how time is the only variable thats squeezed commonly for productivity - and one which hits it upper bound very quickly - and its all downhill from there. So much so that a lot of managers actually equate productivity with the hours spent.

Here are some other variables to control....from my limited experience:

a. don't plan too much too soon or design in too much detail too early (XP) - expect changes.
b. allow for learning curves
c. its ok to say it'll take more time.
d. focus on improving skills, collective knowledge in team, dissemination (i dont mean 'seminars')
e. true ownership/buy in. not a mill-malik/mazdoor relationship
f. breathing space. helps solve the big problems real quick. if you cannot breathe, innovation = 0
oh yeah and
g. a team is made of N individuals who are ALL different - different skills, strengths, usefulness, speeds, ways of working. Don't expect (N-1) clones of ur favourite drone. Thats counter productive. The idea is that the team does enough with each guy playing a role. Is everyone in a movie a central character ? Yet the story is impossible without everyone.

This whole thing started cause
- this guy said he was in the UK and found the work atmosphere much more relaxed compared to the donkey-slogs people by and large define work-life as in India
- I have been proceeding at a comfortable pace (for a startup) and producing much more than in my corporate avataars.

Software Lives

IT Survivors - Staying Alive In A Software Job - JAVA J2EE PORTAL

Pretty true point of view - kinda mimics discussions I've had amongst pals. Esp the bit about 'exhaustion'. You HAVE to be able to breathe to think, and to think to create or innovate. Else its all donkey-biz.

Most interestingly - the no of people who seem to agree - obviously a ton are just hanging around in office cause either they have no place to go (scary scenario once u're 40 and no social life/skills) or want to keep a good 'impression' going - have personally faced that.

And MNC/web co offices are not too different from Wipro etc despite what they'd like to believe. This HAS to change if there's to be a more sustainable growth model for the Indian industry.


Lazy man's blog entry for the Diwali that went past. Apart from that - Bangalore got flooded - Gowdaed and may even get Bangalored.

I finally started moving the Ladakh triplog to a blog

Me - published

Here's some shameless self promotion - a content page of the AMH where our triplog got published.

Rangaswamy Betta Trek

downhill on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Been ages since I got any excercise - the 4 hour trek was pretty good. Great company too.

Big lonely house

Shubha n the kids are on a vacatio in Trivandrum. Should've made it easier for me to get work done. But the house is so eerily silent that I ned to walk around, talk to myself, switch th radio or the telly on and generally stay distracted. Productivity has dipped like crazy.

Am off on a trek tomorrow. Really need to get stuff wrapped up before that.

Recently Akshats been on a Beyblade trip. I guess his brand consciousness has started :)

Alankrita, Redwoods

She 4 and a half months old and a terror :)

Home @ Redwoods off Sarjapura road.

long time no blog

* moved into the new apartment - Redwoods
* left job and hoping to do something in the mobile space
* Alankrita is 4 months old now

Digital Life

Succumbed to the temptation. Ramesh, thru Vishal got me a new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5 which had a decent number of positive reviews and as usual is a little more equipment than I need and should pay for :)
Hopefully this means lesser spent on film, but what'll become of the EOSIIe ?


i looked in the mirror this morning
and i saw the damndest creature of habit
it was running along with other rats alongside
but vainly thought it was just a smarter rabbit
but the end of the track merges into the startline
and the chequered flag is an oasis far away
its only the start of the season
u gotta run, run, run every day

every day the moments pass on by (in traffic? :
and a thousand cars - they pass by you too )
and you live the way you live to keep on living
and you do the things to do the things to you
every day you have a need to know a little more
every day you have have even less of a clue

oh look at your ledger - perfect balance
on the edge of a sword that can cause a hidden cut
you learn to maximise your time and mind and virtues
and you learn to get stuck in the rut

till one day
the sun shines different
and maybe you have lost your vision
or maybe its your knees that gave way
and you cannot walk to that glass of water
or the next desire you have
so you must succumb
you must yield
to next fittest rat
your times up, you rabbit
give up now, or you've had it
but can you breathe when you know you're breathing
and can you hear the song they're playing
and can you stop and pause and not be
seized by the panic
of being left out of what you chased
coming last in the race
a rat losing face
can you do it ?

Alankrita again

We have decided to call her Alankrita - its a nice name and she looks a lot like her.

Gang of Four

Shubha gave birth to a little baby girl at 1:57am on the 25th. Haven't thought of a name yet - a shortlist got shortcircuited. Akshat's acting cute and funny at the same time :)
Pix posted below...

let sleeping babies sleep Posted by Hello

baby sister and big brother Posted by Hello

baby sister and mommy Posted by Hello

babySister sleeping Posted by Hello

Baby Sister Posted by Hello

April Showers

on the dot - April 1st saw Bangalore cool off and pretty much every evening after that has been amazing! This is what makes it worth living on in this city....

Interior Design is an interesting domain. Aesthetics, functionality, durability, personal tastes and tons of other variables. Anyway - we've kind of frozen on the light fixtures and drapes are whats next.

Akshat's PTA was a gr8 event - straight A+s - whatever that means at this age - but his teacher was all praises for him. Tried introducing the concept of letters making a word yesterday with limited success.

Happy Holi - days

Had a terrifically long weekend. Went to Forum on Sat with Akshat after idli-vada for breakfast at Woodys (Shubha did not have a day off so baap beta went all over town by themselves).
Finally saw The Incredibles - I have a suspicion Akshat did not like it tooo much tho I did :)
Bought Akshat tickets (over 3) for the first time.
Went to The Landmark and bought some books and toys - there are some neat books for < 50/- these days so you can buy as many as you like!
Was amazed to see rattle off the names of all the chessment when he saw a chessboard in one of the aisles! He's been doing more at school than he cares to discuss at home :) He's also beginning to get the notion of addition and subtraction in his head!
Saturday was spent celebrating holi in the morning - cleaning up in the afternoon and attending
mu ex bosses' daughter's bday party hosted in Cubbon Park and ending with a toy train ride there! Akshat had lots of fun this weekend.
Saw ShrekII on DVD later. Finally managed to get a DVD of The Wall too.
Sunday was devoted to new apartment plans and posession. The interior work starts and hope it turns out like we plan.
Bangalore's been very well behaved or rather we didnt venture out in the worst traffic. Plus all of Bannerghata Road is paved now :) Upto Arekere at least...

Redwoods ahoy ?

Need to register the new apartment this week for fear of service tax hitting hard come April. Will be a tough week - need to take possession of the apartment as well as get woodwork started.
Friday is a day off so the squeeze is more.
Of course, I hope Incredibles hangs aroung at PVR till Friday - have promised to take Akshat for a movie since Shubha's working.

Akshat went up on stage!

Sat was Akshat's first stage performance for his school's annual day - and it was a very cute evening with chhottus from nursery to grade 2 up on stage for rhymes, daydreaming and even a funky fashion show (which was pretty well done!)
As promised - we went for Pizza later and Akshat was extremely kicked and tired by the time we got home.

Sumana/Krishna hv a daughter!

Sumana and BKM have a brand new daughter - Aarohi - lovely name. We have about 6 weeks to go - am praying its a girl tho 2 brats would be fun too (sometimes, at least)

Bangalore Vacation

The weekend was a days free (cept 840/- in taxes) at the Royal Orchid near the Golf Course with complimentary breakfast thrown in! After a long while - a do-nothing weekend. The room was ok but the food at Limelight was awesome.

Also traded in the old DVD player (philips 729K) for a new one - the disc loader had gone kaput and the new ones are so cheap it makes little sense to get expensive repairs done. At least we know now that our DVDs are ok!

Bangalore, INDIA PhotoBlog

Bangalore, INDIA PhotoBlog

I'm a writer!

Just heard from Chris Scott - a major adventure bike traveller that our writeup about the Ladakh trip ( photos , more ) finally makes it into the next AMH - edition 5 !
Feel inspired to do more trips and write more. Maybe thats what I want to do for a living :)

What next ?

Life has offered many twists - and today I heard that one of my colleagues - he'd become more of a friend than most other people here - hanged himself. K was a great guy - funny and great company. We had common gripes, and he was an equally sentimental guy. I just wish he had a little more courage and had spoken to me or anyone about his problems.
We're all geting a little too stuck in our cubicles, minds, lives, cars. Everyone's a stranger and friendships are superficial, transient, and based on transactions, performance.
Just on Sunday I'd actually looked forward to meeting him in office - had chatted with him in Feb about both our issues at work. I'm still hoping this is all a dream or some elaborate prank.

Hv got specs - started getting used to them. Still wondering about next steps in life. Just when you start worrying about the 'value-adds' something like this happens and makes you think of the more important and taken for granted stuff.

Sent/Got a mail from Doug - old friend from my Sequent days - he's enjoying his time off from work life for now in MN. Wish there was enough cash or goodwill for ppl to meet up when they wished to in any part of the world - but theres passports and visas and airfares and so many other boundaries we have created and now work hard to get past.

The funny thing is - after all this in a weeks time we'll be planning a release/movie/vacation/interiors for the home again.

K - i'll miss you. Wish I could've helped.

Karthikeyan news

Waiting for the Australian GP

Stupid move by the sarkari types - they banned all sportspersons from adorning the national flag! Funnily - Narain could havbe claimed that the chakra his helmet sported was not even the flag - I mean they cannot ban all things saffron white and green ?

Update from the Moscow Launch
The Car Apparently its an EJ13 from 2 years ago. Should say the TATA logo has been kept tastefully subtle yet noticeable.

Mobile again, car getting ready

Got a Sony Ericsson T230 so am connected again. Wanted to get pretty much the cheapest I could find - too much of a loss last weekend. Silver lining - its way better so far than the previous handset I had - the Motorola c350.

Car guys said they might get it done with tomorrow! Things are looking up - and we may actually have a release today at work too.

Hope ?

There might still be hope for worklife sanity ? But again, will Indians even speak of this ? Mostly if you mention work/life balance issues - the assumption is you do not want to put in work! I think I should start saying life/work balance instead.
Of late, I have felt guilty about 'not being in office'...

Eyes wide open -

Think I should get that eye checkup done. The headache is a permanent thing now. So insurance claims, eye chkeckups, replacement SIM etc - life is beautiful. Especially with the current battles on the work front ! Someday this will all improve.

What a start to a weekend...Bang!

Was terribly stressed on Friday evening but got better when we went out for dinner to the Country Club - tho the drive sucked the evening was nice. Followed that up with poori aloo next morning - and then a quick trip to MegaMart for cheap clothes for all - after which Shubha and Sarika bought stuff at a very nice place called Pari's across the road from Megamart.
We then had a bit to eat ay Woody's and all felt ok with the world - and at the next stop I realized I'd forgotten my cellphone for the first time in my life! Started back to look for it in all the places we had visted - no luck at Woody's. Got back to the car - opened the door to start to get in and BANG! A bike's crash guard rammed into the door and the guy scooted even as I collected my wits - he must have passed within 2 inches of me! Now the door would not shut - Ramesh who had come along to help look for the phone helped me somehow get it closed a bit but it would not lock. Passed the seatbely through it and went looking for the phone anyway - no luck at all.
Good bargains on the clothes but magnitudes more lost on the repairs+phone - Vijay Auto on Bannerghata road gave me an estimate of 7500/- + parts at least.
Ramesh and I pondered over tea how needlessly complicated and involved life has gotten - and perhaps happiness lies elsewhere ...

Update :
Insurance claim forms were filled smoother than I expected - perhaps I've become a little more negative than I need to be about suchlike.
New SIM card for the cellphone took only 10 minutes at the Airtel office.
Will probably get car only on Sunday :( (the final estimate was 13k not 10!!)

Bangalore is getting more alive

Concerts, Aero Shows, plays are adding colour to geek-town. After Sting, Mark Knopfler is to perform at Palace Grounds on the 7th of March. As one of my friends commented - its become Bangalore and Delhi now, not Bombay for concerts etc!
However, you just have to be very determined to want to go these. The traffic kills the spirit of it all - read on.

Bangalore is Imploding

M.G.Road to Arekere took over 2 hors last evening! We found infinite traffic jams in Viveknagar, Maruthinagar and of course Bannerghata road. Either telecommuting is going to be adopted and built into our work culture, or its going to get forced down out throats by a couple of massive gridlocks.

Narain K to F1-ly with Team Jordan

Narain Karthikeyan has done it! He's one of Jordan's 2 drivers for the 2005 season and has been making news ever since he signed the deal. He's taken to the new Toyota engined car Jordan are racing this year. March 6 and every Sunday from then should see all the F1 affinciados glued to the telly, and a lot of hectic acticvity for ad-spots during the races.

On the same note, the new F1 rules seem more field-leveling and test the whole car and longer term strategy rather than just pure horsepower.

Oracle Layoffs at Bangalore

A lot of my friends took a hit at the Bangalore layoffs - and I'm not yet sure how many. This whole Peoplesoft buyout episode has got Oracle some real bad press and employees a lot of unnecessary hardship. A lot of these guys were real hardworking, committed people doing a great job working on successful projects! Is it merely for the few cents that the stock will gain for a brief time over this quarter or the next ?

It begs the question - what do employers really expect when they ask for ownership and commitment ? Is sounds like a very unfair one-way deal. At least in India people are not that great at handling these situations, and a lot many will become that bit more risk averse.

Guys like Infy and Wipro hire people and match them upto available work (and Tisco and Tata Motors have been in that mode for generations). Laying of someone is under extreme duress for these orgs - unlike the MNCs who hire people for specific tasks. Which mode is better is up for grabs - but at the moment it does feel like a guy would want to invest more commitment to someone who's in with them for the long haul.

All the best to all those guys who bore the brunt of this - hope you come out of this better. I know a lot of you guys needed to be in better jobs anyway.

morning commute stress....

These days I take the company cab, and leave home around 8am to catch it at East End upto where I drive. But even so twice this week have reached office in a daze, tired and sleepy!
Even this morning blew it so easily and felt extremely stressed just because Akshat got a couple of minutes late for his car ride to school. I guess need a break and need to slow down - but there is no scope for that right now with the new project etc.
Life has to improve. Chittappa's bypass has also got me a little worried about where we're headed - food, stress and unhealthy lifestyles.

Bannerghata Road exists!

Last evening the stretch in front of IIM got redone with fresh macadam - right upto the Arekere gate intersection! Maybe, just maybe the traffic there will improve. Of course, the users (including I) need to improve their driving style a lot before this can happen.
Now all that remains are small patches, and of course interconnections with Hosur road.

Trans Indus not accessible any more :(

Just got to know from some friends that Trans Indus is off limits to non-residents since the last couple of months. Used to love going there for early morn breakfast and Rainseed concerts.

Alumni meet and Coffee House treat

The BITOSA chapter of Bangalore finally got going - Dr. Pandey himself attended the gathering and the overall response was huge - more than 290 registrations from the first to the most recent batch!
I met people I'd never imagined I'd meet again - or recognise :)
Ramesh, Swayambhu and I went to India Coffee House - after ages! After Barista and Coffee day and the like, this was a refreshing change. Apparently its managed as a co-operative run by the waiters etc - after the government first decided to sell it off because of low profitability! We discussed our mid-life crises and how the continuous corporate cauldrons over 8 years had sucked the life force out of us and all we were left with was this uneasy unhappy feeling in the background.
We are approaching middle age rapidly :)
Came home after that - a day of low traffic and no 'value-add' - need more such.

BR Hills 200 odd kmsfrom home Shivasamudram 60kms from
galorePosted by Hello

Me, Akshat and Ramesh's daughter Isika Shubha,Pati,Akshat @ Jubille Lake, Jamshedpur
Posted by Hello

We're us

From two individuals who came to Bangalore way back then - in '96 - to start a life on their own and grow with IT here, we've come a long way to a family of nearly four now - a little cynical, a little soft in the belly, and a little worried about where life in this city is headed.
This is a random one about us, our journey along with this city.
Oh yes - the coffee is great ....