Are you enjoying the ride yet?

Ok, so this post was intended for lashing out at past week's Mangalore pub fiasco, in continuation of my question to mr. moral brigadier.

I'm not going to do so.

In one sentence, I believe it was all purely political and with the elections drawing close these incidents will happen more, peak during the elections, and dormancy will prevail for the next 4 years ... in the fifth year it will start again.

In the aftermath of the incident, mr. moral brigadier has downplayed the hooliganism of his monkeys, the NCW pointed fingers at irresponsibility of the girls who got beaten up (bummer?) then retracted and blamed it on the pub security even demanding cancellation of that pub's license, Ashok Gehlot has opined for an end to mall and pub culture saying that he is against boys-n-girls holding hands in malls (would you prefer boys-n-boys sir?), Yeddyurappa has ruled out action against Ram Sena saying he wants to wait and watch (???), Ramadoss has in all glory and authority stated that pubs are detrimental to Indian culture and society and an end should be brought to the nuisance ... let me stop here, the list is endless and meaningless.

Boy, are we being taken for a ride or what? Ram Sena, Maharastra Navnirman Sena, Shiv Sena, Hoysala Sena, Anand Sena, Saxena oops! sorry, no Saxena but ... its like a friggin' virus! I even have the unwanted privilege of knowing a guy back in Mumbai who proudly speaks about his MNS membership and how his 'ideals' are valued in this 'struggle'. There are thousands rather millions like him across our country; disillusioned with their state in life - due to unemployment, poverty, big list - and they are easy targets for these self-proclaimed leaders who use the anger of these millions to achieve whatever they want. These creeps can get them to do just about anything , why pubs, they could get them to even vandalize schools and colleges, breakdown hospitals, libraries, museums ... its not just their blind faith in their leader that makes them do these things. This vandalism makes them feel power-drunk, authoritative and dominant; for that brief period they feel important ... you can't reason with such a man. Any talk of morality, society, conscience, values is alien to him ... in his opinion he has gained nothing from those things, the society in question has rejected him long ago, whereas here he is suddenly a part of a peer-group that is willing to accept him for all his hooliganism. All he has to do is break and destroy more than the other guy ... I find all this extremely disturbing.

There are a large number of voices asking for a ban on these Senas. It won't work that way. It's like the phrase 'War on Terror'. You can't fight terror, you can only fight a person. Finishing him doesn't kill the ideology. We have to look beyond the who and come to the why in these cases. Why is it so easy to mislead them? You know the answer ...

In no way am I saying that those b******s should not be punished. They have to face the law and they should get the treatment that their crime deserves. We are not fuckin pushovers! We need to twist their arm before they can hear us speak. But let's speak to them ... let's not brush this issue under the mat like shoe dust.

We are far too quiet, and that we includes me. We are resilient, but maybe not by choice. We are resourceful, but maybe because we are forced to be so. We are far too quiet ...

One question for the Moral Brigadier

Mr. Pramod 'Ram Sene' Muthalik, I have just one question for you ...

Have you not gotten paid or have you not gotten laid?

More on this over the weekend ...

Beating the traffic ... I think WE can

I travel to and from office by the bus service that my company offers for its employees. Its a tie up that IBM has with the BMTC, so I travel in normal BMTC buses, no private A/C luxury bus and blah. The agonies of a more-than-six-feet-tall person in a BMTC bus seat are out of the scope of this post ... sadly ... but anyway, let's carry on.

I stay near the HAL Airport and my office is in Nagawara, near Hebbal. Via Outer Ring Road this is a distance of roughly 18 km. I usually board the 9:40am bus which is office rush hour on this route. It takes me an hour or more to reach office. It takes me pretty much an hour or more when returning back late in the evening. That means my travel speed is a little less than 18 kmph, very close to the average traffic speed in Bangalore and other major cities in India.

I'll put it simply - I hate losing so much time per day crammed in a bus, which as I have said before are not the least comfortable for me or even for many others. My friends have suggested that I should buy a bike, which means I can leave at my own time in the morning, beating the rush hour. The other plus is also that I can zip through the city's inner roads and lanes without having to make the longer journey via Outer Ring Road, which as the name suggests is actually a road that runs 'outside' they city in a big circle. I am actually going to buy a bike (as soon as I learn to drive it, I confess I can't drive a bike, shame on me!) because presently it makes a lot of sense to me to do so, for a lot of reasons including (but not limited to) the traffic woes I have just illustrated :)

Having said that, I came across this presentation a few days ago. Check it out it's totally worth the time. I have to say I agree with what the author has said in that presentation: 'Efficient Public Transport' is the best way to curb 'our' traffic woes. Its really very simple.
  • The bus that I travel in accomodates roughly 40-45 people. Buses on other routes carry upto even 60-65 and all this where you definitely have a seat, no standing journey, no shoving no pushing no nothing.
  • 9 times out of 10 any car/bike I see on the road is carrying, yes you are right, ONE person. There is very little carpooling. Imagine taking all those people from their cars and putting them in one bus ... 40 cars off the road for the price of 1 brand new bus!


  • Buses give a mileage of ... 4-5? km per litre of diesel. Multiply that with 50, which is the average number of passengers and you get 250 person-kmpl.
  • Even a really efficient car will give you a mileage of 14-15 kmpl in the city, tops. Even with carpooling you have 4 * 15 = 60 person-kmpl. Bikes are trickier! A mileage of 40-45 kmpl will go down drastically if you have a constant pillion rider. So it roughly comes to the same for bikes also, is my guess.


There are so many added advantages of a well developed public transport system. Fuel emissions will go down by tonnes! No choc-a-bloc traffic, so no rush hour (for all ladies, you will never miss your favorite TV serial). Buses are also much safer to travel in. A well developed system of this kind will save you time and reduce frustration caused by traffic.

Okay okay, there are some flipsydes to it, not the least being that you can't travel as comfortably as you can in a car. Another is your time-table will be run by the BMTC and not you. Having your own transportation also means that you are more flexible with your travel route ... dinner on the way back from work ... drop in for a beer someplace ... movie with girlfriend :) ... just go for a drive! ... blah blah

But the way I see it, there is no style or comfort left when you are stuck for an hour in traffic going from 0-10 on the speedometer. You lose time, get frustrated and seriously bored! Sure, maybe travelling in a bus reorganizes your time-table and weekend plans but if you save more than an hour everyday it might not be a bad idea to come home first on a Friday evening (early! since the roads were ... clear ... imagine) then set out on your cars n bikes. No one hangs out every night! I could personally do with saving an hour everyday ... I could practice my guitar, maybe read more or maybe even hunt for a girlfriend ;) ... lol!

We can't just keep crying about the traffic and finally blaming the government (culprits!) for everything, because that won't change anything. Its a small adjustment that will go a long way in making cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and others congestion free, greener and quieter. Its our city, our country ... not the government's.

I conclude with the following: I can't beat the traffic ... but WE can ... cheesy but true :)

Addition: Sunday Jan 11
Check out this really cool cycling initiative in Bangalore. We need more of these ... we need to adapt, there is just no other solution ... and there is no harm in adapting, frankly :)