Underpass, overpromised, overchieved!

BBMPs "Magic Box" has been in the news for a while now, and is now nearly there.

It got ravaged by the press, at lest the TOI. Poor guys made the mistake of being transparently optimistic and said it'd take a mere 72 hours - but that became 33 days by the time it got done.

33 days - are you kidding me? When was the last time one saw any infrastructural project in Bangalore get done inside of 6 months - leave alone 33 days ? Even el-simplo stuff like relaying sidewalks took months together - and often got abandoned midway.

We got to give credit where its due - and in this case its definitely due! Kudos BBMP - this leaves me with a lot of optimism for further, quick improvements where bottlenecks are spotted. Perhaps, just perhaps, Bangalore is starting to learn how to manage its new expanded size.

[ Aside : reminds one a lot of the software industry - young, inexperiences enthusiasm genuinely imagines tasks getting over "by Wednesday" and 2 weeks later gets a lot of flak for being late for stuff that would've taken 3 weeks anyhow. ]


So the MNS now does Maharashtra Nirmaan by targeting Northerners. Sure that'll help build a much better state! Migrant labour, newer ideas, wider participation are only impediments in the way of progress and success.

How often have fringe ideologies managed to hijack the polity - and get a quiet nod from so many who're not really supportive, but agree anyways cause they'd rather not disagree, or have some obliquely connected biases ?
  • Is language for communication, or domination? Is it worth burdening it as a vessel of culture etc if that causes a breakdown in communication itself ?
  • Whats with this whole outsider/insider paranoia ? Are the insiders always more concerned about their city/state? [ If so Bangalore would be much better run :) ] Why are some outsiders so defensive and end being abrasive, not knowing how to handle their initial discomfort at what they cannot understand upfront ? Why is there so much digging up of trenches and hardlines ?
  • Everyone seems too keen to believe in the myths about the "other". I just read on some blog's comments that "Hindi speakers have a superiority complex". Would've never guessed that - in fact the average Southie is looked up to as a learned, law abiding, religious, vegetarian up north - again a rather generalized prototype. Benefit of doubt, people ?
Diversity is a good thing (imagine having the same food, same songs, same everything wherever you go - would feel like the US!) - but the way its being used right now - for hardline ethic identities - makes one wonder if our nation deserves that. Go the strict French way and abolish any signs of difference ? Adhere only to the one Indian-ness and ban everything else - at least from the state's point of view ? Crappy and quasi-comunist, of course, but what else do a people who cannot celebrate difference and only live in fear of imagined demons that the "other" might be deserve ?

Sad. Very very sad.

Bye Jamshedpur!

My parents bid adieu to the city where I grew up, have amazing memories of, made friends, got an education. I got to be there for no effort on my part - and am thankful to the Tatas, my parents and God that this came to be.

Jamshedpur set a benchmark in my life in terms of dreaming big, planning and execution (am still learning this last one), uncompromisable ethics, love for green lung spaces, planned towns and a charming life.

We've grown up - even said "there's a lack of opportunities here" - and moved out. We're part of the "real" world now - a bigger city - more diversity - more opportunity - larger ambition and huger aspirations. Yet there was something very, well "nice" about the place which is missing from the sum of all the adjectives the bif city might be able to cater to. There was no race to run all the time, everything was affordable and it was all smell the roses. Of course this was probably true more from my school-kid point of view than from my parents or other grown ups, but thats how I remember it.

No more Durga Puja, no more Bistupur, no more strange and specific-only-to-Jampot Hindi. No more sitting in the usual spot along the club fence devouring "signed-for" fingerchips and "Nova" at the club, and no more hitching free rides to school.

There is a dull ache in the heart, and lots of slightly-yellowed-and-withered-around-the-edges pictures in the head.

Adieu Jampot. May you live on and prosper forever. And thanks for the memories.


Dunno how effective/impactful this will be - but if there's any iota of a chance that it helps, this survey is worth taking. Takes under 2 mins.

Honestly, even if the roads are great, it hardly makes sense for those taking short haul flights (Chennai, Mysore, even Hyderabad, Mangalore) to travel that far out when a decent airport exists right in the centre of the city. One might be better off taking the train/bus or driving.

There's the added burden of huge costs, both to get to BIAL as well as in terms of the extra charges there. BIAL is a sure option for long distance flights, and we definitely need an efficient, scalable airport for international traffic. But they can make an exception for the short haul ones, at least.

Frankly, even a days trip to Delhi and back will be that much more strenuous now. Some early morning/late night flights for all domestics routes can also be routed to HAL.