Tag Archives: Bangalore

Cow keeps to the right side of the road

A BEAUTIFUL COW, well trained in British traffic values, wanders up the Domlur Road in Ole Bangalore today.

She knows that it is perfect sense to go with the flow, and to walk sedately up the road in the same direction as the cars, autos and trucks.

Except! Can you see just ahead of her a road on the left? And can you see a barrier in the middle of the road? Vehicles coming down this road have no choice but to turn right, and go against the traffic flow because the barrier won’t allow them to execute a proper right!

Our cow was safe and passed the accident black spot without event. We have seen so many dogs limping on the 100 Feet Road that we suspect even intelligent pooches have trouble reckoning where the traffic is going. And us pedestrians have the same problem too.

How now, brown cow?

How now, brown cow?

 

Builders play chess with stone chippings

THE BUILDING next door continues to rise, with few caring about the fate of the coconut dream axed in a dream of consumerism.

But today we went out and saw the labourers playing a game, so we felt compelled to ask Subhash, who works in Bangalore, for The News and the IT Examiner, what the heck was going on.

They, he said, are playing a board game, similar to chess, although the name of the game they were playing escaped him.

There are three things to note in these two photos. First, the ingenious use of wood instead of metal scaffolding. Secondly, the car in the broader picture appears to be a Reva (pronounced Raver), an electric car which appears to be Subhash’s car. Thirdly, the strategy involved in this game of chess. Chess, as everyone knows, was invented in India. ♥

boardgame

board_detail

Snowdown in Oxford, goodbye to barf

OXFORD LARGELY escaped the snow that engulfed London earlier this week, but we got our come uppance this morning with about four or five inches of barf.

Still, next Monday I’m off to Bangalore and to temperatures that will thaw me out, no doubt. Unlike Oxford

8AM today

View from the Tower of Light: 8AM today

They paved paradise, everything went quiet

THE DOMLUR ROAD in Old Bangalore was unusually quiet today because without any apparent warning, the tarmarketeers started paving both lanes of this busy little road.

Those who live in this road found themselves engulfed by modern technology assisted by old fashioned technology known as many human workers. In one day they managed to pave both lanes, but that didn’t stop people riding down the still wet tarmac.

The sound quality of the vid above is desperately bad – sorry about that. But the wonder that is India still remains. Many people were marooned – rather imprisoned by the unannounced tarmarketeering, because there are still many people live in this area. On the right of the vid you can see the office building going up in place of a  perfectly good house complete with coconut tree and little tulsi shrine.  The motor bikes you can see were forcibly uplifted onto the pavement by workers in case the tar baby embraced them in its grip of treacle.

We saw people crossing the road, finding themselves in the middle and having to move fast, because any delay would mean they would be rooted to the spot. Here’s a still.

tarmack

Today I had my first chance to ride in the electric Reva car on the 100 Feet Road which was really quite groovy. The driver, a senior editorial man, said it can do 50 kph, the charge lasts for four hours, and you can plug it into your home to re-charge it.   The Reva web site linked above overeggs its performance a bit. It is a little expensive at Rs 400,000 (four lakhs), but on the other hand it’s as quiet as a church mouse, unlike the rest of the vehicles on the 100 Feet Road apart from bicycles and bullocks.

I’m headed back to Blighty early tomorrow. There aren’t many electric cars in the UK – yet. I can’t yet see that petrol cars will be fossils for some time to come, what with the declining price of gas and that.

“Doctor Death” smokes in mortuary

SECURITY WAS tight at the Leela Palace in Bangalore today, everyone being frisked, cars being thoroughly searched. That,  explained an employee, was partly because of the outrages in Mumbai, but also because a VIP was staying in the Palace.

The VIP in question is the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh,  Mayawati, quite a controversial figure.

Like other five star establishments, pubs and public places, the Leela Palace has banned the noxious habit of smoking. We came across a small group huddled in a little spot outside the restaurant, and listened in to the conversation. One smoker was a doctor.

He said:  “I smoke, but of course the advice I give to my patients is not to smoke.”  He works in the UK and said that the surgeons used to have a smoking room near the operating theatres, but that was now completely banned. “Dr Death” did not offer an opinion on whether smoking bans were good or bad, but we did see him head to the smoking cubbyhole on at least four occasions.

Instead, he said, when the surgeons and doctors want a quick puff, they head down to the mortuary. There is little risk of the corpses being affected by passive smoking.

A woman said that she had been to the coffee bar earlier and managed to find a quiet spot in a corner, outside, where she had a quiet puff without interruption.

A Bavarian guy said that the federal government was thinking of tearing up the the non-smoking rules they’ve got there, for several reasons. One is that irate neighbours call the police because of the noise the smokers make on the pavement. The other is that small businesses are threatened by the lack of business.

Apparently, Taiwan is introducing a smoking ban in January 2009. Will the freedom loving Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC) be the only place where smoking in bars survives?

See what British journalists are really like

WE’VE ONLY MISSED a few Bill Moores’ parties at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese in Fleet Street, and unfortunately we missed yesterday’s event, as we’re in Sunny Bengaluru, rather than the cold Chrismassy atmosphere in London Town.

So thanks to fiends for sending us links to the best and worst of British journalism, raw in tooth and flesh, with the entire set here. It is Daryl Wilcox hosted now – he was a fine journalist – we used to call him Dayrate Wilcox –  but he has gone to the other side.  I wasn’t invited.

Louis Vuitton cans Tokyo shop plan

IT IS WITH THE deepest regret that we notice that Louis Vuitton has decided against opening yet another shop in Tokyo.

According to nikkei.net, it’s because people aren’t buying as much as they used to. More worryingly, it appears that 57 out of the 400 shops it owns worldwide are in Japan.

Louis Vuitton is rightly famous for having a sculture of a bag on display outside the bright, spanking new Bangalore International Airport.  Sadly, this wonderful sculpture, a full 25 feet high, has now disappeared. ♥

Welcome to Bangalore, India’s capital of coat hangers

YOU MIGHT THINK (mistakenly) that Bangalore is the world capital of pubs. Oh no, it is the world capital of coat hangers.

I know this because someone has just moved into the apartment here in Bengaluru and she was suffering a drastic shortage of coat hangers. So she’s been out today, and came back so happy at finding coat hangers that she went out and bought another clutch.

At Rs98 for eight, this seems sort of a reasonable price. She bought pink ones and blue ones and nicked most of mine too. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet unpacked and so I will have to either demand some back, or go down and buy some pink ones for myself.  Foolishly, I forgot to pack any trousers before I left Blighty, so I’ve had to go buy a couple of pair today. And they’ll need coat hangers, won’t they?

Cadburys invades pub

HOW THINGS have changed.  Just a few years back you’d get posses of young women invading pubs in Blighty offering customers free packets of fags and lighters.

Round the corner from my apartment in the Defence Colony in Bangalore, there’s a bar called Take Five, a dark place where you need to light a candle to read the menu. So last night we were astonished by two young women who came round offering people bars of Cadburys chocolate. Chocolate and beer? Well, they certainly don’t traditionally go together that well. ♦

Banga-Banga-Bangalore beckons

I WILL SOON be able to experience the delights of the 100 Feet Road because I’m writing this from Terminal 5 Heathrow on my way to Bangalore.

Just out there for a couple of weeks this time round but I’m used to getting away from the freezing cold weather here in Old Blighty, and to the sunshine, flowers and butterflies of Bangalore. See you on the other side!