Thursday, July 23, 2009


Went to the neighborhood store to buy some Kabuli chana and some odd vegetables. While I was waiting for the guy to pack the stuff, a woman came by in an auto, got off near the store, came along and asked for her "20s", paid and did some small talk and left. (This neighborhood store services all the smallish colonies around). I was like wow, she is picking up cigarettes for her husband! Then I was like, wait a minute, why am I assuming that she is doing it for her husband?! So I asked the store lady (she happens to also be my neighbor) if those cigarettes were for the woman and she said, yeah, she picks up a 20 pack every night. And the other store guy added how their house is always filled with smoke, no need for mosquito repellant etc etc but that is irrelevant here.

I happened to realize I nurse a stereotype in my mind about smoking and men :) Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against women smoking. Well, in general I hate smoking and smokers as such, but nothing like its ok for men to smoke but not for women etc. And yet, I never realized I had this in my head, well, its out in the open now and out for good hopefully! :)

No interference please!

I read a couple of heartening articles about the traffic situation in Bangalore, plus Subhash and I have both been noticing it getting better a little by little day by day. So we were talking about it on the way to work yesterday.

To me it looks quite simple. Things are really bad only when the politician/minister responsible for a certain area is either a) uneducated or b) too corrupt or c) too meddlesome or d) all three. When the minister is not meddlesome and makes his own money and doesn't interfere with the civil servants in-charge, things look much nicer. Added to that if the politician is not extremely corrupt (note, little corruption is ok), things then really start to look up. Now if the politician is really motivated and educated and wants to improve his ministry, I have seen some wondrous things happen.

So, really, for things to start looking better, all it takes is a less meddlesome minister. (Biggest example is Lalu with his Railways stint? Really, the only thing I think he did was not appoint a smart IAS guy and then leave him to run things, poking his neck around very little. And looks like the BSY government has more silver in the lining. The transport minister is not only a little better educated but he also actually has a goal to improve public transportation in Bangalore and added to that he has a TCP (Traffic Commissioner of Police) who is willing to make it happen!

So will we see better traffic in coming days? I am already seeing lots of changes, so lets hope it will continue getting better :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Not one but two!

Finally I have not one but two forms of address proof which also double up as a photo ID :D A voter-ID card and a passport!

The voter-id was relatively easy. They accepted the Airtel bill as address proof, no apps were mysteriously lost, they even took the same Airtel bill as address proof for Subhash along with our marriage certificate, relatively smooth. We couldn't make it to the voter ID drive but we still managed to vote! They recently setup a VFC (Voter Facilitation Center) in July (as promised ;) ) and we got the voter IDs too :D

The passport was a lot of running around the different counters and endless waits at the long lines @ the passport office. But over all considering government office paces this was not that bad (of course in retrospection everything looks much better than it actually was). Police verfication happened promptly, luckily my neighbor's son was also applying for a passport and so the lady herself wrote the two letters, one in which I had to refer her son and one in which she had to refer me saying we knew each other well, and that we were actually neighbors etc. I must say, this made it much easier, her son applying for a passport as well, since she was nice enough and drafted both the letters in Kannada! We then have haaziri at our police station and then was just waiting for the passport to arrive. They said on the website that it was due to be dispatched on 21st but it came on the 16th itself. My Dad happened to be home and he convinced the post-man to give it to him since he was my Dad, showed him pictures, showed him his own photo ID and the guy matched it with the Father's name on the passport and finally gave in. All in all exactly 30 days from app to receipt. Not bad at all!!

So there! I have two legal, government issued, photo IDs with address proof! Now to get that ration card and then on to applying for HP/Indane gas connection. Let's see.

We need to get the Khata for the house transferred in our name. The government clerk attitude and the tendency to make a big deal out of a small work, the finding-something-or-another-wrong-with-your-app-so-you-can-be-asked-for-bribe attitude, the tendency to keep asking us to come back etc have driven me crazy enough to want to drive a nail through the guy's head. After n number of visits, it is still nowhere close to being done, the DD that we gave with the app is now beyond its validity so we have to make that extra round to the bank to renew it, phew! And the biggest problem is that we don't even know how many more times we have to keep going back to get it done. Well, I hope its sooner than later.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


My maid came in today after two days' absence. She had to leave town urgently because her younger sister's husband was serious. She called in to say she will be back on Monday. But she came in today and said that her sister's husband died, very young chap apparently.

Now my maid is all of 21 years and she already has two kids. Her younger sister is 18 and I was very curious to know if she also had kids. Apparently yes, she does have one kid. I was shocked. 18 year old. Married for a year and a half. Already has a kid..tsk..

What kind of age do they still live in? She is not even old enough to look after herself. How can she take care of a kid. And now with the husband gone, she is all alone to it. At least if she didn't have this kid, she could have done something with her life but now all her life will be spent raising this kid :( Sigh! I felt bad for this girl. But then I also felt sad that she (and her parents and her social circle in general) was stupid enough to land in this mess :(

But then I believe at least 50% of our country lives this way :( Its sad but true. And the census numbers aren't lying. I only hope people start behaving sensibly sooner than later...

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

It is finally here!

We've been looking for nearly 6 months to find the right one :)

Is it cute?