Self Driving Tips

If you are new to self-driving they are some useful tips to survive in Bangalore city roads (also include Bangalore – Mysore highway, SH17).
There is one very very important accessory in your car or bike and never ever forget it. There are variants available also depending on cost and which one would turn you on!

When I learnt driving there were only few things we were thought:
1. A for Accelerator
2. B for Brake
3. C for Clutch
4. Look at rear-view mirrors
5. Slow down at turnings
6. Honk when required

Today, if you are learning what you learn is
1. H for Horn
2. H for honk
3. ( H * n ) times. ‘n’ denotes duration of honking depending on how badly you are getting screwed
4. A for Accelerator
5. B for Brake (use with caution)
6. C for Clutch

Having got your license and driving on the roads and you know the first lesson already few things you should do:
1. Put a freaking big ‘L’ sign behind your car
2. Get a blaring horn fixed to your vehicle. Remember who honks first, who honks longer time and louder wins the battle on ground (read Road)
2. Raise all windows (to minimize the decibel level of honking sound reaching your ears)
3. Switch on radio and turn on the volume

What you can expect on the road:
1. BEWARE OF 4-WHEELERS BEARING YELLOW BOARD AND REGISTRATION NUMBER IN BLACK. They are also called as cabs which are for transporting workers from office to home and vice-versa. Other times they are on making money.
2. A slow moving 2-wheeler on first lane. What do you learn? It is ok to be on first lane and drive slowly. Other vehicles would move to second or third lane (depending on availability).
3. If you are driving on main road and reach an intersection, check for any other vehicles turning in or out at the intersection. If there is a 2-wheeler, they will push their front wheel in and if a 4-wheeler push the bonnet in. Remember lesson number 1 – 3 from learning days. Honk Honk Honk Honk.
The expectation of other vehicle is that you would apply breaks which is why they keep pushing forward.
4. Don’t be surprised if the pillion rider is wearing a helmet while the rider is without helmet on a 2-wheeler. Statistics say most death’s on accidents are pillion’s.
5. If you want to turn, just turn. The other guy would apply brake.
6. The helmet of 2-wheeler ride would cover anything except safe-guarding their heads.
7. If you are slowing down at a speed-breaker honk for the vehicle in front and vehicle behind! Honking ensures both vehicle know you are there. And be prepared for vehicle behind you to honk at you when you slow down at a speed-breaker.
8. Overtake from any side you want to, nobody cares as long as you honk enough when over-taking.
9. If you see red colour volvo bus, then it is BMTC, Stay aw nuch away. You never know when they will stop & start, when they will move too.

Everyday on road is a learning! Happy riding.

PS: Some things are facts and some are sarcastic in this post!

Piku (Hindi) – Movie Review

Statutory Warning: Do not feel constipated on your seat.

Piku as a movie is a good entertainer. All the characters most of us would be able to relate to especially in today’s urban upper middle class family.

A single daughter who juggles between her father’s taunt’s and office. Daughter who is irritated and frustrated due to her father and takes the anger out on others. Daughter whose temper shoots up at any instance.
A father who constantly feels he has problem with his stomach and keeps taking medicines all through. Father who always feels girls are not meant for getting married and submitting themselves.
Constant arguments between father and daughter.
A doctor who probably has the father as his only patient.
The male maid who is obediently with the father character taking care of his needs and the house. Happy that he is better off except at times when he shows his emotions of complaints on tantrums.
The co-owner of architect firm who is also trying to woo the daughter in personal life. Agrees to everything said.
The taxi driver who finds it difficult with drivers who run away on mention of picking up the daughter. Who finally turns up as driver and takes all humiliation from the father and finally manages to win a soft corner with the daughter.
And not to leave we have a mashi who wants the daughter to get married and tries to fix her with single men. Who though married multiple times thinks marriage is the ultimate.

The daughter is Deepika Padukone (Piku), father is Amitabh Bachan (Bhaskor Bannerjee), taxi driver is Irfaan Khan (Rana Choudhary), co-owner of architect firm is Jishu Sengupta (Syed Afroze).
The best part is all characters have done the role with so much effect that it looks like a typical family drama. There are emotions, motions, romance.

None of the scenes or the characters are over-dramatized. At a moment when you may feel it is getting boring there is a change. Actually nothing is done overboard to make you feel like getting up and leaving the cinema hall.

Personally I believe it is performance of Amitabh Bachan which has given the motion to the movie.
This movie is worth the watch and you would laugh loud, motionless.

My rating 4/5.

Life is tough – 59 (Cycle of things)

There is currently a huge uproar on social media over the government ban on the video of “India’s Daughter” by BBC. Maybe government is right in banning the video due to the legalities which were not followed.

Rape incidents are a major issue not just in India but across the world. There is something about rest of the world to blow up incidents that happen in India. Rather than deliberating on India Vs Rest of the world, let me put my little brains into the whole problem.

It is not just rape there is a whole lot of things which maybe inter-connected. There is a big divide between the rich and the poor. The poor see life of rich and also dream of it. We all know about “mistress” and “call girls”. We all know what money can buy.
Yes we are a paternal society where everything is right about what the guy does. The women have been abused, violated and have been subjected to domestic violence post marriage. Where does this all lead to? Men see women in different light. This percolates down to son’s and son’s and son’s. The girls learn house hold work and this is important to survive in husband’s family post marriage.
Primarily everything is related to marriage and re-production.
We want to kill girl child before birth or post birth. And men are ready to go to extent of paying money to get married. In fact the men buy girls from far away land for marriage and reproduction.
Did we not have issues of people high up in corporate accused of sexual harassment? We also had a high-level police officer involved in same. When the punishment to people high-up was not severe the people lower down in the social rank lose the fear of law and also want to do something.

Everyone has right to be educated and we got RTE the moment “sex education” is to be made as part of curriculum everyone wants to protest. The same parents who are worried about their daughters do not want education as part. This in fact could solve partly the major problem. Further on education itself is a difficulty for many due to economic issues.
Affordability is something that is in far distant. And many in the ladder of society cannot afford education. Why?
Multiple issues like, more number of children in the family or lack of proper earning jobs for parents. Again lack of qualification does not get them jobs where they would get sufficient money. And the chain continues that not everyone can afford for education to next generation.

If government targets development then we have different issue which is forcing tribals out of their homes (comfort-zones) and also losing out on forest cover and greenery. Then we have this massive organisational fight against this grabbing of land and the next problem is of maoism, naxalite and so on and so forth. Development as a term by government has its own evils that finally nothing much can be done.

On the other hand for development if the resources are given to corporates we have increase in pollution and depletion of natural resources. Bhopal gas tragedy is something that happened in the past. What was the outcome? Why would people agree for new corporates to come in? Thus ending chances of employment too! Can the government employ everyone into services? Where would they be paid from?

And to top it up we got certain leaders who give bold statements like “since “xyz married hindu’s and spread religion they should marry muslim women now” and “hindus should rape dead muslim women for revenge”.
This is poison in our society, can we eliminate them?

What I believe is everything is knee-jerk reaction. It is not easy to solve the entire cycle which comprises of social – economic – education – development – disparity. Unless all these are brought together and addressed in year or two or three, we could forsee rising incident.

Capsicum Chettinad Kuzhambu (Sambar) – Recipe

Total cooking time is less than 30mins and I love that!

Ingredients:

To chop:-
Capsicum – 2 if big otherwise 5 small
Onions – 1
Sambar powder – 1 spoon
Bay leaf
Cloves – 2 or 3
Curry leaves
Turmeric powder – 1/4spoon
Asafoetida – A pinch
Tamarind – small size ball

To grind:-
Red chillies – 2 or 3
Jeera – 1/2spoon
Coriander seeds – 1/2spoon
Tomato – 1
Grated coconut – 1/4cup

Preparation:
Soak tamarind in hot water. Alternatively tamarind pulp can also be used.
Heat oil in a pan. Add coriander seeds, followed by jeera, cut tomato and coconut. Once fried allow the contents to cool down. Grind to a smooth paste. Keep it aside.
In the same pan add more oil and heat it. Once half hot add mustard seeds. then add bay leaf and cloves, fry it a bit. Follow this with curry leaves. Now add chopped onions (small onions give better taste) and fry till golden brown. Then add cut capsicum. Fry a bit and not too much. Crush the tamarind to extract the juice. Add this juice to the pan and then turmeric powder, sambar powder and salt (required quantity).
Once the raw tamarind smell is off, add the grinded mixture.
Allow the contents to boil till the capsicum gets cooked.

IMG_20150305_213709 A nice aroma will fill the house during this cooking. If you love garlic they could be added.
The dish is now ready to be served with rice.

Drumstick Curry – Recipe

This is quick to prepare around 30mins.

Ingredients:

To chop:-
Drumstick – 2
Tomato – 1
Potato – 1
Onion – 1
Green chillies – 3
Salt

To garnish:-
Curry leaves

To grind:-
Red Chillies – 4
Grated coconut – 1/4cup
Tamarind – (small size)

Preparation:
Dry roast the red chiilies. After it cools down grind it smoothly along with grated coconut and tamarind.

Cut drumstick into equal pieces. For easier cooking you could boil the drumstick with water for 10mins.
Peel potato and cut it into small pieces. Similarly cut tomato and onion and green chillies.
In a pan heat oil. When it is half hot add mustard seeds. Once it spurts add cut onion and fry it till turns golden brown. Then add cut green chillies followed by curry leaves. Once this is fried add tomatoes, potatoes and then drumstick.

IMG_20150304_214844

 

Mix all the contents, fry for 2mins. Now add the grinded contents. Mix well and add required salt as per taste. Allow it to boil and keep stirring regularly. Once the drumstick changes colour, the cooking is complete.

Drumstick curry is now ready to be had with rice or chappatis.

PS: This is a semi konkan style preparation.

No helmet rule *

After long series of fruitful discussions between the government officials, traffic police, public (includes men and women) starting 1st March 2015, NO HELMET rule would be implemented. With this rule, no 2-wheeler rider is required to wear a helmet.

The only people who are sad with this new rule or those footpath non-ISI mark helmet sellers and manufacturers who will have to look for new avenues to sell something cheap fake product to public. Exchequer has decided to compensate the loss for now which brought smile to these small scale business men.

For first time there were valid points brought out by all concerned parties. The discussions did not last for weeks which is a rarity. There were no violent situations.

When the rule was passed the media was disappointed that there was no action which would have increased their TRP. To condemn this move in tonight’s “Nation Does Not Want to Know” episode would be a debate on “Why helmet is to be still a mandatory requirement”.

In the latest development, the association of “old paper mart” have decided that they would take helmets as scrap. They would pay 50 rupees per helmet which is landmark move. Normally they would not give reasons for not paying much for all the scrap that they take in a day.

Carefully deliberated points from all parties are detailed below.
From men’s view point were:
1. It was difficult to ride at same speed on one hand and wear helmet using the other hand at traffic junctions.
2. It was getting increasingly difficult to spot traffic police and wear helmet. On number of occasions the police change their spot for monitoring.
3. Tennis elbow was cited as another reason since most often than not they hold the helmet in their forearm.
4. Growing number of bald men was another reason for not wearing helmet. Men threatened to divorce their wife if they became bald after wearing helmet.

Points from women were:
1. Difficulty in kissing their husband/boy-friend during the rides within city limits.
2. Losing interest in husband/boy-friend since they did not look handsome once they were getting bald post regular usage of wearing helmets.

Other motorists who do not ride 2-wheelers had a valid point. Most 2-wheeler riders place their helmets on the fuel tank. When the rider loses balance the helmet falls on to the road causing an accident and wastage of time in quarrels. Worst still they welcome this move from government since sometimes the helmet is used as weapon during a fight over accidents.

Traffic police had only one view that anyway at traffic junctions or spots where they stand the average speed of traffic is around 20-30km/hr. It is not possible for a fatal accident at these places.

* – This is a satirical post attempting to mock at all those 2-wheeler riders who do not wear helmets.

The Professional Couriers – Unprofessional service

I in recent years trust Blue Dart more than The Professional Couriers. This was few years ago when I had received a parcel from Chennai for my motorbike and was in the office for 2days due to lack of delivery boys. I finally went and collected it myself.

Years later last week, a courier was dispatch to me from Mysore and it took 2days before I went and picked it up finally. The distance from Mysore to Bangalore is just 150kms. On first day evening I receive a call from courier representative that courier has arrived and the delivery boy did not know the direction to my house. Unbelievable since the courier outlet and my house is separated by less than a km (which I found out the following day). The operator promises to look into same day delivery but of course no further calls nor responses.
Next day I call them, get the tracking number from dispatcher, call them, call them and call them! No delivery till evening 17:00hrs of 2nd day. Why?
1. The phone line does not work clearly so they were unable to call me.
2. They could not tell when I called earlier to come pick up by myself.
3. There are no delivery boys available and only after 18:00hrs then can try.

If I had let them to try it, would have slipped into 3rd day and they would not apologise for such a delay.
Worst part:
1. No manager at the outlet to complain
2. They do not have complaint forms to lodge one

Then I read their vision statements which can be found on their web page. The irony is the below statement which is under “Vision Accomplished”.

To create an organisation with opportunities to the deserving in owning their own business at their local area, thereby ensuring a Customer Courier bonding with the best of services.

Be always advancing and outperforming in an on guard & systematic manner.

Be more customer friendly and achieve brand enhancement by the exploitation of IT and other technologies for sustained quality standards, training and motivation.

Thanks for the second time bad experience. Personally I will continue to be away from “The Professional Couriers“.