CWG ke side effects

Of course you know about the massive scale of corruption thats supposed to have happened during the buildup to the CWG. Of course you've been drowned in the bad news and images that the 24x7 media bombarded you with unrelentingly as one shocking expose after was presented to us.

The CWG surely has lots of smoke. There are likely to be massive raging blazes of horrendous management, nepotism, corruption, and most glaringly, a lack of any pride associated with trying to organize it well. The IPL had shady behind-the-scenes going-ons as well, but the show was pulled off really really well.

But in the runup to the event, the media (as usual, one might add) went nuts. Whatever happened to balance ?

There were nicely done venues as well.
Delhi's infrastructure overall did improve.
The new terminal was completed ahead of time.

There were surely other positive stories as well. Sure, the bridge (under construction) that collapsed was a horrific sight. But thats hardly licence to make it a one sided, cynical story and provide fodder to the whole world to go-right-ahead-and-bash-us.

Events have failed elsewhere (and this one hasn't really, not yet). Freeways have aged and collapsed. Scams have killed economies for various durations. Yet one does not see the kind of we're-a-laughing-stock approach to news that the media, and yes, also the middle class - represented through the twitterati - have descended into. The over-the-top (or if you will, under-the-bottom) resigned-ness and self deprecation is pathetic, and mostly just a facade to (a) do nothing towards solving anything oneself and (b) distancing oneself from any possible failure and any sense of responsibility at all. The media and this section of the population have become echo chambers for each other. The 'can-do-will-do' reaction to problems is so missing that its almost criminal on their part to be making a noise about this.

In all the noise, I heard just one lady from Chandigarh wonder why a Sukhna-lake-revival type of shramdaan was not something the Delhi folks cribbing about this were thinking of.

Then there were other aspects of reporting that went missing.

The north's been reeling under some of the worst floods and rain the area's seen for decades. In many countries, this would have been cause enough for a national emergency and all other activities would have been postponed till the crises was over. We're either resilient/apathetic depending on how you want to look at it.

The labourers who worked on the CWG village, the guys who were called in to clean it - they inhabit completely different worlds and the disconnect between "water in the basement" and their likely-flooded homes and villages right now could not have been starker. No story there ?

Sure the OC and a bunch of jokers are responsible for the mess. Yet, a lot many contractors from both amongst Indian private players, and abroad, were responsible for construction, material etc. Not even questions about these were interesting ?

These are just things I could think of sitting a couple of thousand kilometres away. I'm sure, on the ground, many more threads would've been worth pursuing. Definitely more interesting/insightful than shots of Mike Fennel landing and getting out of the airport.

What about a report on what other events India's done in the past - successfully and those with hiccups ? What about a comparo of cities that have/could have pulled off the CWG ?

It seems that the media's gone really lazy, and just feeds off, and into the heightened state of cynical limbo the middle class exists in. There's very little genuine effort, or imagination.

And definitely no notion of balanced reporting. Make-the-most-noise is the only approach to television journalism.

To Own A Car

I've always loved driving (at least outside town, certainly not inside it). And stretched myself to pick the OHC in 2001 on a tiny salary.

9 years and 73k kms later, the car still serves me well. But purely from a financial pov, does it make sense to own a car, esp when you start with a new one ? The alternatives of using public transport/autos/taxis etc needs a little more planning-ahead, but thats not too bad a thing, and there's tons of options now.

Lets see - I paid 8.2L for the car in 2001. Today, I might get 1.8 at most. Thats an erosion of 6.4L - almost Rs.8.80 - per km! Of course fuel, on an average, at 11-12kmpl, has been at Rs.4.60. Insurance, maintenance, tyres, minor repairs etc would be another 2/- per km or so. That adds up to a cool Rs.15.40 per km!

In town : bus fares are 85/- for a Volvo day pass, autos are 8.50/- per km, even Meru cabs etc are 15/- Outstation Indicas cost 6.50 and even Innovas are under 12/-

Of course, it'll be different for diesels, and for higher usage. But most don't even keep a car for 9 years, and a Honda's wayy more reliable, and I've not included voluntary upgrade and other costs.

Financially, taking a cab makes a lot more sense anyday! In fact, you can pretty much do it off the capital needed upfront alone! Of course, the "fun-to-drive" sinks dramatically, and a little bit of the convenience - or at least the notion of it - reduces. But throw in a few go-karting trips, and you're still way better off :)

LingerLeisure is live

What started as a one-off experiment last year is a bigger now.

Linger Leisure is live, with 2 locations, and the hope of many more to come. And Vijay is part of the Linger team now.

Its not just about adding places and rooms and accommodation, but experiences - as local and authentic as we find them. Its about exploring these ourselves. Its about learning, being surprised, the unfamiliar and unknown - these are what make travelling worth it.

We're looking out for more pretty places, different experiences, and even folks who're keen to do this sort of a thing.

Total Mall's Drop (Bus) Service

Pretty good move! Total Mall on Sarjapura Road has started a bus service to drop people who shop there to their doorstep. The map attached shows the apartment complexes the service is available for. No more need to take your car, and no autowallah headaches. All they need to add is a pickup service at a fee thats redeemable at the Mall.