Going to vote baby!

I can’t promise to not put up a candid inked selfie of my index finger after I vote tomorrow. It has been such a long time I last voted, in 2009 twice and both the times, the people for whom I voted, lost. Well, voting is the least I can do to contribute something to the country, if not pollution, population and generally dissing the system. And I am excited about voting. (baby!)

Everyone wants to believe that they’re important. Everyone wants to express and believe that people listen to them. That’s why we post status messages on Facebook and Tweet about what are eating for dinner. But when it comes to expressing about who they want to see as their political leader, you are bombarded with aggressive replies, showered with cynicism and painted some-tard by the others and occasional shoe hurlings DUCK!. I will try with this post to ruffle your hair with love and affection and ask you to please vote this time to make you feel important. If you want, I will accompany you to a pub too, if that helps (but I won’t drink and you will pay for my nachos at least).

People need to understand how important is it to vote, and donate blood and I want to push you to do both. If you are anaemic then just vote. I know that you’re thinking that voting and blood donation is almost the same thing although the latter is voluntary. Personally speaking from my life experience, I never forced anyone to do anything but I suggest you to try voting. I don’t even request anyone to do anything but doing small bits for the society can give you more happiness than eating Mangoes if you’re diabetic. No seriously, the contestants will always be dubious criminal minded shady people but we have to choose the least shady from them. This has been the trend always and will continue to be in future till Robots take over. Not only you can feel pride and sense of importance, but you can at least have a say in some way rather than sitting at home and cribbing about system. I don’t think I have convinced you but let’s say, do it for showing off to people that you voted. That should convince you.

Now the question is whom to vote. Good that you asked because this is very important. See, this is India’s General Election (special actually) to select National Government. You’re going to select the people who are going to formulate national and international level policies. Please note that they are not going to fix the road outside your home, no. That’s state government’s job. Union govt. deals with bigger problems. Like taxes and major economic policies which can impact your wallet directly, railways, defence, deciding on next India Pakistan cricket matches, issue of that nonsense 15 kg baggage limit in domestic flights, etc. Now do you want people who ruled us for more than 60 years and gave us ‘Babaji’s Thullu’ by doing less than what they could or those who look more decisive, (better orators?), less family oriented and mildly less corrupt (but surrounded by idiots who want to decide which colour you should wear while going to cinema) or you want people who appeared very honest and refreshing change but totally TRP hungry which means they could have been a great alternative to first two but they turned out to be only couch potato freaks who just make noise and do nothing. The last sentence turned out to be pretty long but you cannot get goodies unless you spend little energy in choosing your leaders who are going to represent your country.

So go out with your voter ID card (or any other valid document), don’t take your phone with you, reach the polling booth, do the formalities and press the bloody EVM hard so that it beeps and registers your vote like anything.

I would still go out with you if you at least tried to vote but couldn’t get your name listed in the electoral list. If you don’t want to vote just because everyone is an idiot, just remember that the fight will always between a Giant Douche and Turd Sandwich (South Park reference) so you have to choose one to be counted.

P.S.: Well, this selfie is a stupid word IMHO. Suicide is also a kind of selfie, right?

Confusionism

It is slightly difficult being an Atheist, I feel. Without enraging a lot of people, one cannot follow/unfollow what one wants, when one wants, religion-wise. Personally, I do think there’s a higher (or lower but what is up and down) power which somehow controls things to avoid falling into one another but I also think that for the higher power, I am equally important as the electric poles which are used by dogs. So I am confused about the category of my religious inclination towards something I don’t understand.

In few years I will be reaching 30. Sigh. (And you’re not getting any younger either by the way, so don’t smirk). And since I can conclude that I have lived at least 1/3rd of my life already, I have become more confused than clear about the concept of religion. Too much Breaking Bad, South Park, Game of Thrones and real life examples of dwindling morals seen in the trailing part of 20s did me in. I decided that I am now going to question my beliefs and ask questions, wherever possible. Except Quora as I mostly see joke answers there now.

It was observed that most of the beliefs I had (as a Hindu) are just because of traditions. Since it is traditionally been followed since years, we have to follow it. May be they started as suggestions to keep people disciplined and that was that. But now people follow them just following the herd mentality. Don’t get haircut on Tuesday. Why? May be in the Vedas, it was mentioned that barbers had an off day on Tuesday which turned to a superstition eventually. Don’t eat certain things in Navratra and other times, it is alright to do anything. Moreover, I don’t feel like pleasing Gods to get things done for myself. What is the need to bribe God through praying? God is like your traffic police, is it? Going to temples is anyways not a necessity in my religion (yes seriously) because if God is omnipresent, he/she can directly understand what you’re thinking anyways. And how selfish are you to ask things from God again and again? Not a good habit. Religions have mostly led to hatred and illogical debates which pleased nobody except the politicians. It has always created divide and disharmony among humans, isn’t it? Morality and religion need not coincide and as Rust Cohle says ‘If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward then, brother, that person is a piece of shit.’.

But then important question is that what is the need of religion. Why do we need to be tethered to a religion to keep ourselves grounded?

There are so many advantages of Religion as well, aren’t there? The advantages outnumber the disadvantages? Let me try to list them and see.

1. Stress Buster 
When one is down and out (because of traffic and life in general) and have nobody around to share, a shoulder to care (for the rhymes), a temple be it of any religion can be a great place for solace. The silence there can cure stress better than paying loads of cash at some Ashram++ to detox yourself. Oh, Internet works in that case too by the way. (I should mention that I don’t support the culture of preaching and loud speakers reciting parody songs at religious places.)

2. Underground Bunkers 
When wars happen, places of worship are spared for sometime (I may be wrong) because most of the non-atheists fears God. So that place can be safer than the rest. Unless of course the war is itself religion based. In that case, build an underground bunker and stay there for minimum 18 days and don’t come out even if I say it is safe to come out.

3. Holiday Planning 
But the best part about religion are the Holidays and the Festivals. We get at max 10 official holidays, 3 of which happened to be Secular (read Indian National) holidays. Now as an atheist, what right do I have to ask for such Holidays. I once wished someone Happy Diwali on Whatsapp and the reply I got was ‘Happy Holiday’. Anyways, if we followed more than one religion, we would enjoy a lot more. With religious holidays comes great sweets and other eatables. And the purpose of life is to relish those sweets, isn’t it? The buildup to these festivals is exciting in itself. Who cares that why the festival is celebrated. Important is that it is celebrated and we get a chance pollute environment and waste water! If Crime is done as a religious belief, everything is spared, right? But getting holidays is always welcome, isn’t it?

We have to decide ourselves whether we want long weekends or unnecessary stress because we didn’t fast on Karwachauth.

P.S.: Don’t confuse the title with Confucianism but may be they’re confused too. Ooh.

When Nature Wants, It Takes It Back

There’s a garden near my apartment which ‘was’ used by the people for jogging, playing milder outdoor games and good old sitting and chatting (and romancing). Since last month, it has been taken over by birds from far and wide and humans have been ousted. Cool, I say!

Those birds are probably migratory, as there’s a lake nearby but isn’t this in itself a feat! The whole place is now white in color thanks to the bird’s shit and it smells like a chicken cage. But people cannot go there anymore. A lock has been installed outside the gate and place is now indefinitely inaccessible for humans. Isn’t this a rare occasion? A garden 500 square meter right between the city surrounded by houses from all sides has now been taken away from people.

I guess this is a very minute example of the fact that we humans take our self too seriously. We plan, build and live considering that everything is permanent while it is far from being even temporary. Whenever nature decides to take it back it does and we can just be mere spectators.

Probably soon, the municipal corporation will shoo away the birds by hook or crook as the neighbors have complained about the dangerous of diseases. What about the diseases we’ve given to these birds?

The events of that night

Usually I don’t ponder much about life because I find the word ponder funny. But then sometimes, you experience certain happenings when you have to ponder on your life and jot down on your blog, for everybody’s amusement.

Last week, I got an opportunity to visit a Hill-Station-y sort of place called Coorg about 220 KM from Bangalore. The place is good if you like riding across hills with light drizzling and in need of a much needed respite from Bangalore’s traffic. Actually I had gone to Coorg to attend a friend’s wedding who happened to be a Kodava. They’re very unlike usual stereotyped South Indians and usually drink a lot as if it is free. Apart from the shock that they don’t use spoons while eating rice, the affair was pretty nice as everyone ate a lot of pork, got drunk and came back home happily. And vegetarians like me had to live on just rice and regret about lack of respect people have nowadays for vegetarians. And apparently, if you seriously ask, I can tell that the appearance of the Kodava people and dressing are quite pleasant, if you know what I mean. Anyways, let us not digress as we have to travel 220 KM back and we have no time.

So while coming back from there, I was supposed to take a bus from Virajpet Bus Stand. The departure time of my bus was 11.45 PM and I had reached there at 5.30 PM because it is assumed that I am oblivious to the practice of getting bored. To add fun to this exciting journey alone, I had no earphones or any book to read to pass time. So to drag patience for 6 hours, I had no option but to see around the place. Usually bus stands in India are quite chirpy and full of life. This Virajpet bus stand was very small and you could do nothing but seeing some of the people getting on and off the buses without much hoopla. It is often said that when Murphy was about to jot down his laws, he ran out of the ink. Similarly, when I thought of seeing in and around the Virajpet Bus Stand, it started to rain which went on till bloody all night. After deliberately spending time in counting the number of time I bit each biscuit of a Good Day pack, I could only reach 7 PM. Soon the roof just above the seat I was sitting started to leak, drop by drop. After that I got in conversation with a local plantation guy who told about degrading Coorgi culture and that guys in Bangalore are weak physically for sometime. He left shortly though. As I was wearing shorts it started to feel a bit chilly and wet so I had to move my place to another seat near to which a person was sleeping and snoring at regular intervals. He kept on sleeping till 11 PM by the way. Before it starts getting boring, let us quickly fast forward to 11 PM. One bus arrived which looked similar to mine so I went there and asked whether this was it. The driver said no and asked me to stand on the main road outside the bus stand as buses towards Bangalore don’t enter the bus stand after 11 PM usually. I don’t understand why they call the bus stand the bus stand as buses don’t enter and stand there at all.

I picked up my stuff and stood outside the bus stand under a shed as it was still raining continuously. Under a neighborhood shed, another guy was standing who asked me ‘Bangalore??’. I nodded in agreement. Raining, I am sitting alone under a shed and one guy. Nice setting no? No. The guy came closer. Not that closer but in one-on-one discussion distance closer. Yes, I am offending you all but that guy was probably a squint. He was also travelling alone so he thought he could lure me into a discussion. Heh, poor chap because as soon as he started talking, I realized that it was all Kannada and I was getting nothing. I told him ‘Kannada barailla’ because ‘Kannada gothilla’ is too mainstream. He looked very disappointed so I asked him ‘Hindi? English?’ He smiled and said ‘Toda toda’. But he knew nothing actually. It was getting darker and rainier and bus stand across the road was now almost deserted. The guy told me something from which I could make out ‘Single person standing at bus stand can invite trouble’. Well done man, well played. Then he made a hut like gesture and asked me where I lived. I told him and he felt satisfied as he now understood that gesturing is a better way to pass your message across instead of just talking gibberish to me with eyes pointing in some other direction. Then we talked, ahem, in signal language about jobs, family, Rajasthan, rains, Electronic City, Coorg, etc. Then he said something that he didn’t have reservation in the bus and was being tortured by his father so he was traveling to Bangalore. I just gave an ‘oh’ and started looking into my cellphone as it was now 1145 and my bus should have been very near. At around 12 AM, a bus arrived and when I stopped the bus and asked about the scheduled bus, the driver said that my bus was about to arrive shortly. Meanwhile, there was one vacant seat in that bus so that guy who was supposedly running away from Coorg boarded the bus and went away.

I stood alone now as the roads and the bus stand was now almost fully deserted, I could just see few groups of workers passing by and occasional auto-rickshaw zooming around. Few drunkard also passed by apart from some weirdos who chose the bus stand as smoking zone. I could see a couple of Policemen who also wandered to check any ill happening. Now I wondered what if the policemen interrogated me about my intent of standing there alone at such unholy time and that too in Kannada. They didn’t which first I felt alright but then realized that they could have been of help as well. It was now 1 AM and I thought that end is nigh and I should do something about it. I tried calling friends but the call couldn’t reach. After trying a couple of times, finally I was able to call one friend and told him about the situation. I also asked whether I can go back to the city and stay there for the time being so that I could start in the morning but the call got cut again. Just when I was about to lose all hope and cry :’-), finally the bus arrived.

I boarded the bus and eventually reached Bangalore in the morning without getting robbed and whatever is famous nowadays. Some lessons were learnt and also it was noticed that even if you’re a guy, you are as vulnerable as anyone if you are alone in a place in the night where you don’t know the language and have no idea about the geography and you are just unfortunate. Ponder over it.

Going anti-social – 1

There was something missing (my win most probably) in our duel last night, so I came back to continue our incomplete fight. But, what I encountered was an unusual sight. As the usual place of meet up was plain blank and your window was ghostly white.

I tried to peek but you were nowhere to be seen, I wondered for a while that where could have you been, but then I chuckled a sigh of relief latently seeing the space neat and clean, yes, I can be that mean.

Then I checked my phone and hoped it shouldn’t ring, without you being there I felt blood rushing back to my dead right wing, being free for the time being, all I wanted to sing.

Err, not that you have clinged on yourself on to my collar, but deviating all my attention to you makes my world look smaller. Yeah, yeah you will be heard, calm the beep down, don’t start the holler, the worlds we live in are as far apart as the region called as polar.

Because of the overdose of itself, we both end up being aggressive, I, being the rude dude, grin, you cry as if you did a sin, stop being so sensitive, for opening the ports to everyone will do you no good, people will keep using your assets till they become liabilities later, sure they would if they could, if you allow me to use the language slight offensive.

There are better people there where you have gone, for sure. They see you as you are, neither they pretend to act better, nor do they flirt just like that or seeing a feminine they drool and get lured. There are real people there who can be trusted in a better way than those who are on the other side of the door, why do you want to be such a loner when there is so much to seek out here it self more.

Too much of dependence on me will eventually make your emotions soak, as I might get myself out of this as I get further choked, talking at this unholy hour is anyways sounding like you croak, moreover I am man of very few words so better go sleep and stop making the thing a joke.

That gave everyone a chance to do something nice this time, as it was so good to see you offline.

Lock

Disclaimer: What’s that?

One Year in Bangalore

So I reached a place called Iggalur, Southern most part of Bangalore. Total green, total South India. Half of the people there speak Tamil and the others Kannada. Both languages being similar to Buffalos to me (Kaala Akshar Bhains Barabar, Sherlock). Tamil was like Pi written in all the angles possible and Kannada mostly ‘W’s. Anyways, I have no right to bash any script so not doing it.  The place, Iggalur, was painted in Green and the skies painted in many different shades of grey. In fact the cloud looked like they hung lower than usual. Bliss. It was quite a pleasant change from the scotching Hyderabad heat and way better than Jaipur’s boiling year-long summers. The temperature being just what the doctor had ordered. (Shastribot effect). While Hyderabad was Eminem, for more than one reason, Bangalore was like Lucky Ali. The apartment at Iggalur had no TV and no Internet but some amazing views and silence which you could actually hear. I loved the weather more than anything. Well, I had heard about the climate of Bangalore but experiencing it first hand was something amazing. For a guy who has lived all his life at the place where you can count the drops of water when it rains, this was like repeated telecast of Sachin Tendulkar hitting straight drives. As the modern day kids say, orgasmic. Though after a few days I moved to a more suitably located part of South Bangalore mostly inhabitated by ‘Amiths’ or the North Indians.

EC

I had chosen Bangalore over Oh-So-approachable-With-Eatable-Food-Hyderabad or The-North-Most-City-In-South-India-Pune (Sorry Chennai, you are good only from a distance. Touchwood.) Because it was supposed to be the ‘IT’ City. I had heard so much about it being cosmopolitan with plethora of big IT giants and abundance of opportunities to work and many college friends were living here. You know, when you come to a city, you come with a mindset. I too had some expectations with the city of Bengaluru. Heh, some of them have been met, some still wandering to be met. So now I start my, I hope, un-biased or may be biased experience of the city and mind you, it will have some fair and unfair comparisons to my hometown Jaipur and Hyderabad where I had spend the last 65 days. Since I am talking about myself, who is an Engineer by degree, I am going to talk about stuff I see. Also, this post is from an Indian who has lived all his life in those geographical parts of India which are above the Tropic of Cancer. So some biasing is justified. Yes, offense if you feel so.

While Jaipur smells mostly of spices and Elephant dung, Hyderabad can be truly described by Russel Peter’s snide comments about Indian cities in general where as you step out of your plane and you smell shit. Bengaluru is like a coffee shop. Smells good Da. Though when it rains here pretty good, there is no familiar smell of the mud that I consider very Non-Indian.

Wanted

The first thing someone hits when someone enters a new city is the road. And since Bangalore was made, probably for retired people, it has roads as wide as the walkway in a garden. They took the name Garden City too literally I guess. Bangalore acts being fast paced but it is stuck in traffic jam. One wants to reach a place before time and it drains all your energy out till you reach the point. First thing to do when you come to this city, remove the word punctual from your CV. Drivers here are so insecure and rash, same as Hyderabad, as if they want to reach home quickly to check whether their wives are sleeping with neighbours or not. What they don’t realize is that even the neighbour is stuck in a traffic jam. Jaipur’s drivers are still learning how to drive though.

UBTowers

The buses here are the major medium for transportation and in fact, are the best maintained buses in whole of India. The revenue earned by the Government has been put to brilliant use in BMTC. Wigs off along with scalp for that. I absolutely love the reach of the bus service. They have taken full care of the pocket of people and for those who can spend slightly higher, awesome Volvo buses are at your service. With a maximum of Rs. 50, one can glide to any part of Bangalore in the Red Shiny Volvo buses with cool wind gushing inside your clothes. Even the normal buses are kept tip-top for the masses. Like every dead dog on Indian highway has an opinion about Cricket in India, similarly everyone in Bangalore has an opinion about Traffic Condition here. And since Bus stops are strategically located just near turns, and just after flyovers, Buses feel proud to be the part of the jam. Who doesn’t want to do a jig in the jam?

BMTC

Though it is a tragedy that the bus service virtually goes off after 9 PM. Why Sir? Don’t people travel after 9? Only few major places have buses running after 9. If you are stuck till late, you have to resort to Auto Rickshaws. Heh, Auto rickshaw drivers. If someone has problems of High Blood pressure, I would request not to ask anything from Auto Drivers. They suck. Suck and swallow. Shit and suck and swallow. I don’t know who told their generations that IT people are rich so they charge enormous amount even for tiniest of distances. Anand Ramchandran wrote a brilliant piece about the Autos in Bangalore so better read that. I only have cuss words for them. I might kill an auto driver as well, forewarns, if provoked more.

RaceCourse

Food wise, I like South Indian cuisine and I have eaten more rice being in a more pan-Indian family so eating 1000 varieties of rice is not a problem. But if your diet demands more wheat, I feel slightly bad for you. The food here is costly, same goes with the accommodation which is stale and on the costlier side with ordinary apartments and high amount of security money. Seriously, what could easily fed someone in 150 Rupees, here they take Rs. 300 for ahem, err, not so good food. Now I love Idly and Dosa so I enjoy them sucking each finger with each bite with Coconut chutney. DAILY. Point to note is that everything here is cooked in Andhra Style which is spicier than usual Udupi style. And when I say spicy it means loaded with green chillies as if green chillies were free. God bless your digestive system, especially during the morning rituals. Sambhar here is as ordinary as any Salman Khan movie and I assure in my hometown, Sambhar is much better. I am yet to eat Curd-Rice and Rasam. There are many North Indian joints for food but they cook North Indian food in South Indian style. Overall, I am disappointed by the restaurants here. And I am still hungry to eat real south Indian food here. I can still remember the first time I had awesomest Sambhar and Dosa in my life cooked by a Tamil neighbour aunty back in 1990s. Also, Bangalore is hill stations to people here so don’t expect cold water. Chilled water? What is that?

Well, since everyone knows you love to drink, there are plenty of pubs around. Just pay and keep peeing and peeing or puking the way you like. The liquor shops here open till 11 PM and mostly flooded with guys and girls alike. Modern, you see. If you don’t drink, don’t worry mate, come home someday and it will be lovely when mil baithenge 3 yaar, aap, main aur our ginger tea.

ShivaTemple

Places to visit? Meh. But if you are from a village in Uttar Pradesh or North India in general or Orissa/ West Bengal or combined North East or anywhere in Rajasthan (apart from Jaipur), you are going to love this place. The city has enough malls and maals and pubs and cafes in them that you were waiting for all your life. I am not going to talk about the Malls here because they are not worth it. But go to UB City mall to get inferiority complex and when you come out forget it and LOL. The Brigade Road, which seems to be having a competition of show off, is the place to be on a weekend. The roads are full of people of all shapes and sizes, with all varied sizes of eyes, the most loose or the tightest clothes possible, the ugliest and the most beautiful people possible.

LalBaghApart from old age attractions like Laal Bagh and Bangalore Palace, nothing much is there to see. My hometown had 2 aspects, one modern and one old and one could go to Malls as well as Castles on top of hills depending upon the mood. Bangalore is very similar everywhere so you don’t get to know the difference much. Though there are many places around Bangalore where one can go in weekends. Google to find out.

Umm, I feel that Bangalore is in fact a good place to work. The culture is the work culture here. People here mean business. Work more and leave the politics to NCR. The people in Bangalore come from all parts of India as possible. Also, number of Africans and Europeans can be seen, probably selling drugs or just chilling, who knows. I am most impressed with the addressing system of the houses here. You can find out the address quicker than your GPS because of the Mains and Crosses which one gets familiar with within seconds.

BryanAdamsBangalore, as a city, is in a hurry. Hurry to become something like Mumbai. No idea why? And in the first place, why would anyone even like to be like Mumbai? From what I have heard from real Bangaloreans, it is not what it used to be. Also, it was not made to be like this anyways. It is more hype than hip. People, who think Bangalore is the best place to live in India, have not seen India. It is, though one of the best places to live in India but certainly not the best. The best part of the city remains the weather. You cannot beat that. Although with the constant cutting of trees, exploding population and ever-growing pollution, the climate is changing more rapidly than the speed of people who read ‘offer documents are subject to market risks’. Bangalore seems like a kid who was pressed upon big responsibilities while it was still an infant. Kid did the job perfectly for making way for Indian Engineers a force to reckon with in the world and full credit goes to the people of Bangalore and South India to create job opportunities in many fields. Obama fears Bangalore and expects the Americans to give jobs to Boston and not here. Hehe, there we win. But the kid is now struggling to cope with the increasing pressure. Though still the people welcome outsiders but the odd feeling of accepting them with sour smile is slowly setting in. People here are generally cool but some of them don’t answer when asked a question in Hindi. Hope it doesn’t become Chennai. Recently a Kannada organization proposed that Kannada should be made compulsory if one wants to live in Bangalore. Rise of Kannada Manoos huh? They must also remember that the credit of city’s success should be equally shared with all Indians alike. Bangalore is way better than most of the cities in India because sometimes it lacks the Indianness which is sometimes needed and sometimes not needed. There are a lot of advantages of living here as one gets all the exposure needed. There are concerts, blogger’s meets and many major-minor events which won’t happen in most of the Indian cities. Bangalore is a big point on the world map and it is going to stay there for long. It has all the aspects of an Indian city and many aspects of a Non-Indian city. And that’s the USP.

This is neither a travel guide nor a survival guide. But this is what I feel at this moment of time about the city of Bangalore. It might change as I explore more about this city. As of now I am not sure whether I love this city or not. But certainly, I don’t hate it. This city has given me long due employment so I have utmost respect for the place and the people here.

P.S.: Fun Fact: When someone dies in an accident in Bangalore, people say either a Dog or an Engineer must have died.