Rain Rain save some pain

Rainwater harvesting is something thats supposed to have worked for Chennai, and can help alleviate the looming water crisis over all cities large and small as the population gets more and more concentrated in these places. Local/micro level water management is probably wayy cheaper and more effective. Each house, apartment and office should strive to do its bit.

Shubha's been on a sabbatical from her formal job and volunteered to work with the RWC. Its been a great journey and awesome learning so far, from whatever I gather. Its help build marketings skills, a nose for business issues and been a source of a great deal of satisfaction. There is something about a desk bound job not directly connected to the "real world" that gets to you once in a while, and volunteering for such jobs for a short/long/permanent duration may actually help individuals in multiple ways.

If anyone is thinking of doing anything towards rainwater harvesting, do visit the website or write in to rainwaterclub -- A*T -- gmail --DOHT-- com

Big town/Bean Town

Had been thru Delhi last week. Got driven through the opened-that-day Gurgaon expressway, and generally caught up with the mammoth scale of infrastructural strides the NCR has taken.

Bangalore is quite firmly a small town. There's been little reason to think big, and despite the numerous growth pains, commuter woes and string of issues that keep popping up in area after area, intersection, road, wherever, the swalpa adjust maadi has so far kind-of-worked-out. If the traffic is horrendous, most people still get to most places in an hour cause they need to go only, say, 10 kms at most. The city has only recently started to scale to a genuine big-city size where inefficiency in infrastructure takes things beyond breaking points. Mumbai and the NCR have been through multiple rounds of this, and have been forced to take corrective action right from the design phase, given the scale.

I also experienced fear in Delhi. The expressways seem to have steamrolled everything in their way - including dhabas and small chai shops and the like - a lot of the smaller things that made India the warm comfortable place its always been. One shouldn't always need to walk into a mall for a cuppa, should one ? I hope whenever Bangalore suffers-and-hence-learns, the Darshini, Re 5/- coffee, the roadside cobbler kiosks - these stay alive. Its tough enough to find small services in Koramangala already. Absolutely no need to lose one's soul in the name of growth.

There surely ARE other alternative development models to massive-highway lead urban sprawl that the NCR is experiencing. A much better alternative is to make driving so painful that great public transport HAS to be built. Yeah we have the metro, but there needs to be much more, much faster. Keep the city alive, and manage growth, should be the mantra. Bangalore as a city probably has way more brainpower and international exposure per capita than any other place - it should take the lead in a new way, not merely follow the last decade's developmental models.

Green Sheen


Interesting tips/advice.
How much do you follow?

Here's my list:

+ always wait to fill dishwasher up 99%+
+ short showers/baths
+ reuse plastic bags - even return them to the vegetable guy
+ only CFLs
+ shop locally

-I admit I've got used to a dryer
-love driving, sometimes for the heck of it (lota biking so better tho)
- leave phone charger plugged in
- lotsa devices on standby
- no solar energy so far despite desire


Taare Zameen Par : First Reaction

Watched it yesternight.

Very feel-good, PC and well made. Very useful message too. Pretty much nobody will "disagree" with the movie.

BUT, as moviemaking goes : (warning - may give away parts of the story - but this was more a treatment-movie than a story-one)

Story handled at a pretty superficial level.
No characters apart from the kids really developed at all.
Dyslexia was the easiest way out - there are lots of kids that need hearing/handling in a similar situation without dyslexia.
Not everyone else is usually that "black" vs the art teachers "white". No real grays, esp in Aamir K's character. No self-doubt, no reflection.
The teachers were essentially caricatures. Also, no real reason they/principal/school changed that much.
Kid himself changed too easily, too dramatically, but this is possible.
Most new-age parents (the internet toting, high pressure go-getters that the couple were shown as) at least pay lip service to "no-pressure-education". These seemed too clueless. The bigger problem is the actual fears/anxieties below the surface where despite the lip service, parents cannot really let-go. Not even scratched this angle.
Not one other sympathetic kid/teacher in the Mumbai school! I'm sure the place isnt that heartless :)
Dialogues were verrry documentary like - sermons, almost.
Art competition : seemed too orchestrated yet predictable, and the kid didnt necessarily have to win it. Non-dyslexic kids could also win it, after all. And almost seemed like the whole thing was a setup to let him win. Wouldnt the other kids might have gotten a -ve message out of that!? A "gallery" of the most appreciated ones may have been a better idea, for instance.

It was a very good movie cause it'll make ppl pause at least once to start focusing on what the kid they deal with is thinking of. But the dyslexia angle took away from some of that. Normal kids have egos too, get hurt/rebellious too, also have multiple intelligences that need focusing on rather than a unidimensional stress on "expected performance" too. In fact, there is a lesson somewhere in it for all of us to stop letting the world decide the LHS of our lives' report cards.

All in all, a powerful concept, badly written script, well executed and heart-tugging, and a huge lost opportunity.