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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Remembering Manjunath Shanmugan

This post is to express my solidarity towards Manjunath Shanmugan, an IIM graduate who, unlike most of his batch mates, turned down lucrative career offers abroad and choose to work for an Indian Company and in the line of duty, lost his life fighting against oil mafia in UP. Manjunath Shanmugan

It takes lots of guts and courage to fight against a deep routed corruption and mafia that controlled the oil business in states like UP where law and order, if any, is at the mercy of the very people who break it. Manjunath, as an officer with Indian Oil Corporation, did his best to ensure that end users get un-adulterated fuel and that his employer doesn’t loose revenue because of oil theft. This obviously irritated the oil mafia and soon, a trap was laid to get rid of Manjunath and on 19th Nov 2005, he was murdered brutally.

All accused of this case were found guilty recently and the main accused has been sentenced to death by an UP court.
India Flag

Manjunath could well have been lost as yet another management graduate minting money elsewhere working for some multinational. But he choose the road less taken and retained an extra-ordinary amount of values, courage, commitment in his work, something very rare to find in today’s youth. His death has initiated a movement across the nation against corruption and he’ll be remembered forever by this country and .

Please join me in Saluting Mr. Manjunath Shanmugam.

Refer these links for more details on Manjunath.
http://www.manjunathshanmugamtrust.org
http://manjunathshanmugam.blogspot.com/

Jai Hind

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Read this fancy number plate

Spotted this car near Hussain Sagar last Monday. What is so special about it? Have a look at these 2 photos. If nothing strikes your mind look at the digitally zoomed in image below.I hope you get it right.

What grabbed my attention and made me take a photo was the number plate of this vehicle. I had some important work to be finished at office next day, so couldn’t risk my life taking a closer picture of a moving vehicle from another moving vehicle. (Driving and Photographing is dangerous). Regrets for the distortions in the digitally zoomed image below.


Can you read the number place? I couldn’t at the first look, and could interpret it only from a close look.

First: This car violates the basic rule of black digits on a white background. Second: The number plate defies the very purpose of having it. The strange font used makes it impossible for anyone to identify the vehicle during an accident or during traffic rules violation.

If there is a loophole, there’re people who will be happy to exploit the same. As far as I know, there’s no restrictions/guidelines available on the font to be used in number plates and their font size range. AP Transport Department official website [check here] as well as Govt of India Motor Vehicles Act 1988 [check here] doesn't speak about this aspect of how the numbers should be displayed.

Below is the exact text taken from Motor Vehicle Act 1988.
"The registering authority shall assign to the vehicle, for display thereon, a distinguishing mark (in this Act referred to as the registration mark) consisting of one of the groups of such of those letters and followed by such letters and figures as are allotted to the State by the Central Government from time to time by notification in the Official Gazette, and displayed and shown on the motor vehicle in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed by the Central Government."

It does not mention about the nature of font, number plate size (in inches, if not in pixels), font size, readability etc.

So exploiting this flaw, the owner of the vehicle shown above has prepared his number plate using some strange fonts, an imaginary replica is below (made using MS Paint). The number is something like ap2QQ9900.

So I’m permitted to use any font. If I can convince the cops that “Wingdings” is a font available in Windows, I can very well use Wingdings for registration number…

Photo upload courtesy: VCM

June update: Spotted another similar vehicle, this time Skoda..Logesh, your comment appears to be valid...
Related: Tips and Tricks on surviving traffic police in India

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The compulsions of IT people

Those working in IT Industry are often forced to face certain compulsions, because of which they end up saying/acting/doing things which they otherwise wouldn’t have done.

Everyone in the industry, from trainees to senior management are bound by these compulsions which often makes them to speak sweet things they do not mean. Those who hear these statements will also have a fair estimate of percentage of truth but there’s nothing much anyone can do about all these.

This post is an analysis of such compulsions. Read On.

Disclaimer: This post is drafted on majority opinions and on popular notions prevailing in the industry. It may not be true in all the cases and it not targeted at any individual/organization and resemblance if any is purely coincidental

The developer/SE/Team Member:
Towards Management: He/She needs to keep impressing the management that he is putting maximum efforts, dedicated to work, deserves all the opportunities
(Lest the management will think he doesn’t deserve any benefits)

Towards external friends: He needs to create an impression that he is not at all working and making merry at company’s expense
(Lest they will think this person doesn’t know how to enjoy life and is working like a donkey)

Towards family: He needs to keep telling them that he is going to office on time, coming back on time, taking enough rest and sleep…
(Back home they’re genuinely concerned about his health and wellbeing)

To Peers: He needs to keep conveying that he doesn’t know anything, he can’t do anything, he has no hopes of promotion or other opportunities
(Lest they’ll envy him…It’s a dirty rat race)

Towards society
There’s a compulsion to maintain status symbol. Just a roadside eatery would have served the purpose during college days but now he needs to go to a nice restaurant only. Rs.50 would have been his entire day’s food expenditure earlier but now that amount is spent just on starter. If he doesn’t buy a car, doesn’t go abroad within few years his relatives will suspect something is seriously wrong with him.


People at onsite:
Towards their peers at offshore: Life here is very hectic…too much of work…no time for anything…(To avoid their peers thinking that he is making merry at onsite while they are working hard at offshore and to give them condolence that they are lucky they were not asked to come onsite)

Towards Clients: They need to fake an experience and try to show off they are the most experienced hands on board on the given technology/product.


The Manager:
Towards his subordinate: He has to keep everyone happy and keep giving them impression that they’re doing great work (core of the heart he knows they’re good for nothing) and keep assuring them that he is doing everything possible to send them onsite or give other opportunities and benefits

Towards customers: He needs to tell them he has got the best of the talents in the globe to do the work and can do any given task in record time and least cost

Towards senior management: He needs to keep telling them about the cost cutting strategies he implemented, the attrition he has curbed, the business benefits he has leveraged and the value his team has generated…

Other people in the industry also face similar compulsions, not details here though
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In all the above cases, the real truth lies as a compromise somewhere. Let me give some illustrations:

An employee can never tell: “I was busy on meebo, orkutting and mail forwarding since morning so couldn’t start the task you assigned” He instead tells: “Work is in progress, some great bugs came up which I resolved successfully and the task will be completed anytime soon”

If a manager tells: “Don’t think of an onsite opportunity for next 2 years” employee will start thinking of new company to work for altogether. So manager often ends up telling: “There’re many projects coming up and you’ll soon be sent abroad…just keep the good work going”

If a pre sales executive tells the client: “This project will surely take twice the time we’ve quoted in proposal and you’ll end up spending 3 times your allocated budget on this” the client will get scared and you’ll never get the business. So the tactic used is to give nice presentation and get the deal giving false hopes, and then justify the delay somehow

A small amount of exaggeration is generally permitted but the situation in industry is such that it’s difficult to survive if you’re honest and straight forward.

Do you agree with me? Leave a comment...

Related: The Questions you shouldn't ask IT People...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Kudos BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation)

The Bangaloreans may have dozens of complaints about their public transport service, known as BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) but living outside Bangalore and after experiencing other State RTCs, I give better rating to BMTC, compared to the buses I see in Chennai or Hyderabad.
BMTC Women special bus
Photo of BMTC's women special bus (Still driven by male driver...)

Below are the reasons why I rate BMTC better than city buses of Hyderabad or Chennai.

BMTC is the only operator among Karnataka, AP and TN to run Volvo city buses [Details on Volvo City Bus Service here][Update: Chennai also has got Volvo City buses-details](Pune is another city where they have Volvo City buses)

Both Chennai and Hyderabad have local train facility which takes substantial load off bus service. Also there is share auto concept in these cities; hence the burden on bus service is less. But in Bengalooru, BMTC city buses have to serve people single-handedly, as no other economic alternatives are available for passengers.
BMTC Curitiba bus

Most of the BMTC buses have pneumatic doors which provide additional safety. Though this concept was introduced in BMTC years ago other states yet to follow suite.

BMTC buses are relatively new and well maintained compared to most of the aged buses we find in AP and TN

BMTC has wide range of vehicle in its fleet. The Volvo city buses, The PASS BUS (for only those who have passes), Women only buses, Pushpak and PE (Pro Environment) coaches, Vestibules, site seeing Curitiba buses, Swaraj Mazda rural service buses, Swaraj Mazda AC buses, among other types. (Hyderabad comes very close to B’lore in this aspect with Metro, Veera coaches besides Set-win services and Chennai has cut root services and reportedly more buses have been inducted there.) Still BMTC scores higher.

Note: My information about Chennai is around 8 months old based on my experience during Nov-05 till July 07. I’m not aware of latest happenings there. Any update provided in this regard will be incorporated in this review with acknowledgement)

BMTC has launched “Yelli Iddira” a SMS based service which tells commuters location of buses.

Despite high fuel prices, BMTC daily pass is still costing Rs 25, pretty cheap and in fact cheapest of all (August 2007 update: Daily pass costs Rs 30 now)

Bus stands (Bus terminals or Bus stops or waiting places) in Bangalore are better than those in Hyderabad or Chennai and are very well maintained. The one at Corporation circle even has a ceiling fan, powered eternally by wind energy!!!

In Chennai the conductor will not move from his seat. Everyone have to go to his seat and buy ticket. Both AP and Karnataka is much better in this aspect.

I appreciate the patience of BMTC drivers as they need to drive such heavy vehicles in Bangalore’s congested traffic, struggling between rash autos and negligent two wheelers.

The down side:
The ticket prices are very high in BMTC compared to other states, for a given distance. This is mainly because diesel is most expensive in Bangalore compared to TN or AP and partly because BMTC needs to recover its huge investments (in buses and infrastructure) by charging passengers extra.

Most of the waiting spots in Hyderabad and Chennai have a board listing the Bus numbers which will pass through that place. Except major terminals, this info is missing in Bangalore. (Info on what all route numbers pass through that place to reach different places. BMTC can display additional information to aid passengers. (For example, at corporation circle I need to wait at one place to go to Basavanagudi/market etc where as to go to Jayanagar/ Lalbagh/ JP Nagar I need to stand at a different place. A newcomer will never know this and will keep waiting at wrong place.)

I somehow am not comfortable with BMTCs cost cutting strategy of making the driver work as conductor. This puts extra strain on driver as he needs to ensure that all passengers bought ticket, lot of time spent in issuing tickets, collecting money, returning change, increasing the time taken for commuting.

Update: Nearly a hundred new buses have been inducted in Chennai with Hydraulic doors. Details here. Info courtesy: Logesh T

July 17 Update: APSRTC has introduced Ashok Leyland made CNG buses in Hyderabad. I think this is first time a CNG bus is being run in South India.

August 2012 Update: KSRTC has launched Volvo buses with chemical toilet and kitchen.

Related post: Chennai gets Volvo City buses * Surviving a KSRTC Volvo bus accident *

Friday, March 16, 2007

Patronize your customers

In business, it is extremely important to patronize our customers by using their products and services wherever possible. But this basic requirement is often overlooked because of the other factors like workload, pressure etc.

This post gives some examples how, where and why you should gain and retain customer goodwill by using their products or services wherever whenever possible.

Note: All company names used in this post are property of respective companies and are used here only as an illustration and no actual reference or implication is meant.

1. Motorola is your customer and during a meeting with Motorola team, you keep your latest NOKIA phone on the table expecting everyone to see and admire it

2. You have a great business proposal to FedEx and you ship the proposal by DHL

3. You give a beautiful presentation to Jet Airways executives and later in the day your assistant submits Kingfisher boarding passes (Assume they have offered to reimburse your travel expense and you took Kingfisher flight to go to their place) to Jet for reimbursement.

4. You meet a Dell executive at a conference and in the middle of the conversation you start explaining the features of your latest HP notebook

As you might have noticed, in all above cases, you were found using a rival product or service in front of your customer. This is a very very bad practice for which your client will never forgive you.

Now don’t give excuses like:
I just asked our office travel department to book a flight; I don’t have a control on what flight they book,
or
I just gave the proposal to the mail desk, I don’t know with which courier company they have tie up with.

Even if it takes some extra effort (like telling people at mail room to send it only using FedEx) some additional inconvenience (waiting for a flight etc) please bear that and ensure that you use services of your clients only.

In today’s world of cut throat competition, anyone can offer the service we’re offering and take away our business. How we can differentiate ourselves is by showing a genuine interest in our customers business. If you’re sending your resume to Microsoft, you better create a MSN email ID and give that as contact information, instead of giving a gmail or yahoo ID. Because giving gmail ID to Microsoft indicates you’re not interested in using Mircosoft’s product and services. So when you don’t have that primary interest why would they take you seriously? Same with other examples given above.

Exceptions:

There’ll be situations where it is not feasible to use your customer’s product/service. For example, just to meet a BMW executive you can’t buy a BMW car. In such cases ensure that you don’t use product or service of a company your customer perceives as a threat or competition to his business (like if you don’t have BMW car to meet BMW officials fine, at least don’t go in Mercedes. Use some less expensive cars)

To be successful in business you may have to fake an interest as well at times, but be extremely cautious. Any businessman worth his name will be smart enough to detect that you’re faking an interest. This will backfire heavily.

Also don’t hesitate to give constructive criticisms. People are open to it. But when you make a negative comment, always be sure to provide a solution/remedy/suggestion. Like: “My wife had trouble de frosting our LG refrigerator the other day…Will it not be a better idea to add additional instructions in owner’s manual?” You’re highlighting a problem as well as proposing a solution. This is precisely how you grow in a business.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Questions you shouldn't ask an IT employee

I’m often asked with a set of questions listed below which I find inconvenient to answer. I’m sure almost everyone in IT industry would be facing such questions. Not that those who ask these questions have some bad intentions, just that we can not give authoritative answer to such questions.

Here are a few of them:

1. I’m a final year student of ABC College, recently your company selected me in campus recruitment and I have not received offer letter yet. When will I get it?

2. I have two offer letters, one from your company and other from company next street… Is your company good enough or should I join the other one?

3. When are you going abroad? It seems that a person one year junior to you already went to so and so country... You’re not going?

4. What time do you go to office and what time do you return home?

5. It seems your company fired lots of people recently…what did they do? You’re still there? (Hidden meaning: “How come they have not fired you yet!!!”?)

6. You’re looking for a change? You’re not asking for transfer to this place? That company gives hike every 3 month it seems, why is that this company doesn’t?

7. How come you're in office? (asked during late night or during weekends)

Now in brief let me state why I do not prefer to answer these questions:

Some are extremely strategic business decisions and developments about which no one prefers to say anything in advance.

For some I just do not have the necessary information or authority to speak

Few developments are so uncertain and volatile that it’s better not to make any comments

For some questions there’s no proper answer. It either has lot of dependencies or needs independent discretion.

So, to the extent possible avoid embarrassing people in IT industry with above questions. Anything that can be made public will be made public in due course of time.

Note: No offense is meant and this post is for informative purpose only

Related post: The compulsions of IT People

Saturday, March 10, 2007

SkandaGiri Hills-Bangalore-photos videos and tourist information

Note: This post was originally written during March 2007 but was regularly updated. We went there again recently in Feb 2009- more details in this post

SkandaGiri Hills, also known as Kandavara betta or Karavara halli betta is a hill some 60 kms off Bangalore (Karnataka, India) near Chikballapur town. 

First half of this post gives all related tourist information about this place and second half is my personal experience during the trek to Skanda betta: (Go to 2nd Half directly-
Click here)

Part I: All possible Tourist Information on Skanda Giri hills: FAQs, Tips etc
1.
How to reach Skandagiri betta?
Find this place on Wikimapia
here (Navigate as you need)
To reach here you need to take Hyderabad highway from Bangalore. Reach Yelahanka (via Majestic -Sanky Tank- Mekhri circle - Hebbal or via outer ring road to Hebbal), proceed towards Hyderabad, travel some 40 kms (from Yelahanka) and you will reach Chikballapur town. From here you need to take a left turn to reach Papagni Math. Seek help from local people for exact directions. There's motorable road till Papagni Math, which is at the bottom of the Karavarahalli betta. You can park your vehicle here and start off. Its is around 60-65 kms from Majestic- So one hour would be ideal travel time from Bangalore city.

Alternatively, you can try this also: You'll see the hills from mainroad as you near Chikballapur town. So instead of going till Chikballapur city you make take a left turn somewhere, explore the land on your own, make your own road and reach the hill. (We did the same, found a good grape garden on the way)

3rd option: I'm told there's a motorable road from Nandi hills to this place. You may go to Nandi hills, spend time there and later take that road and reach here (take help from locals for guidance)

2. What is the best time / season to go Skanda Giri?: Post rainy season is best time to increase the chances of seeing that lovely clouds you saw in first slide show.(Such clouds/fogs can be felt in high altitude during post rainy season (Say October through winter months till early Feb) Luck also plays a role. One the day of travel if the sky is clear you'll miss the fun.

3. Should we take anyone's permission to trek at Kandavara betta?
There is a forest department office near Papagni Math. Take permission from them

Read about my another
trekking expedition to AnantaGiri hills (A.P) here
4. Can we spend night there? (On top of the Skanda hill)?
Lots of people do that these days... Moonlight trek and overnight camp... Seeing the popularity some villagers have even set up stalls selling Omlet and Tea...

5. Safety aspects at Karavaralli betta
Carry first aid, lots of water. No water source is available on the hill. No help will be available within 5-10 km radius. 

6. Will it be too tough for ladies to climb?
Not at all. They can join. There're spacious places on the way up where you can pause and take rest.
Shrinidhi Hande and friends resting for a while on top of Skanda giri hills7. Should we hire a vehicle? Or Public transport is available?
Best go in personal vehicle. Cabs would charge minimal of 300 kms or so while total to and fro distance will be just around 150-200 kms. Buses are available at irregular intervals from Chickballapur town, auto or other vehicles can also be hired...

8. How much time it takes?
Travel time from Bangalore city to this place-90 mins approx. Time to climb: We started at around 10 AM and were down by around 3 pm (Including breaks and rests and lunch etc). If you plan well you can cover Both Nandi Hills and Skanda betta on Same day.

History of Skandagiri Fort
Check this

PART II- Experience Account

I received an email forward early 2007 with some interesting photos of this place which triggered my interest in the same. See slide show below:
I circulated a mail to my Bangalore based friends to check a possible outing to this place. After a month’s time, after irritating everyone with a picnic proposal more formal than a business proposal , the mission was accomplished with 8 enthusiastic participants, as detailed in the photo below
Shrinidhi Hande and friends leaving for Skanda Giri trekkingThe team: From right to left: Jayasimha U, Giriraj B M , Venugopal G R , N R Bhat, Deviprasad Shetty, Subramanya A, Vishwanath. (Note: The eight person is Shrinidhi H, who is not in picture because he was taking this snap. We also clarify that the person with a cigarette in his hand, standing between yellow coin phone and yellow banana bunch, is not a part of the our team and his image is inserted by Google to promote a cigarette brand, as a part of its adsense program :)
Grape garden near skanda giri hills
Having enough bikes eliminated the need for renting a vehicle and we were on track almost on time. We finished breakfast at a restaurant near Yelahanka. Traffic was less and road was clear, soon we were far away from city. NR Bhat had done some research using Google Map and stopped us at a shortcut road which would take us to the hill. We had to call back Subramanya who had cruised several miles ahead on his Karizma. Taking guidance from villagers we reached the Papagni Math, at the bottom of the hill. (We also spent a few moments at a grapes garden on the way)

Couple of people from Forest department conducted a brief inquiry before giving us a business visa to the hill. We started off with an unconventional route and slowly but steadily reached the top of the hill in few hours time. We exhausted our water resources but the water melon we carried all the way quenched the thirst. There is a small water body on top of the hill but unfortunately we could not locate it. The sun and the wind were friendly and the uphill journey wasn’t that difficult. The view from top was beautiful.

All images I took with my Olympus FE 170 are below.

If you are facing trouble viewing the flash slideshow above, pls check here

We were down the hill by 3pm. We could have covered some more places before reaching home but everyone had different plans, so we departed after that.

This place can be made more tourist friendly by proving enough information and infrastructure (The nearby Nandi Hills is well maintained and far more popular). Not much info is available on net about this place. Chikballapur municipality has some info which can be found
here

Check the videos:


Update: Photos taken by Jayasimha can be viewed on flikr here
Giri has uploaded one of his videos
here

Similar:
Anantagiri Hills Hyderabad | Trekk to TADA Hills AP | Was this post useful? Consider dropping a comment.

Durgam Cheruvu, Madhapur, Hyderabad

This post gives tourist information about a picnic spot in Hyderabad, called Durgam Cheruvu.

Durgam Cheruvu is a small picnic spot behind Hyderabad’s IT hub, the Hi Tech City. The place consists of a lake surrounded by rocks and hills of small size which make the scenery photo perfect. You can climb these rocks, spend time in garden, go boating (Rs 25 for about 20 mins, boats with different seating capacity available), or just sit around watching nature. You can try some mild rock climbing/trekking as well in between the rocks.

You can get close up view of ducks and birds. Fountain is activated in evening.

Some images of the venue can be found below.


Other information
Parking fee: Rs 5 (for 2 wheelers)
Entry fee: Rs 10 per person
Boating: Starts from Rs 25 per person per 20 mins
Refreshments available at the venue.

How to go there? Either take the road near Cyber Tower that goes towards cyber Perl and at the end of this road you’ll find the lake. (In this route police may stop you and ask for Identity card, as the area is full of IT companies and security is tight

Other options would be to take the perpendicular road in front of Madhapur Police Station or take turn near HDFC bank near Jubilee Hills

The place has two different entrances from each bank of the lake. Sometimes the spot is occupied by corporate houses and IT companies for company parties.

This is a nice recreational place at west extreme of Hyderabad. Though I was staying very nearby I had not explored this place till recently... Shilaparamam is another place nearby. [details on Shilparamam here]

16 rules for happy life (ನೆಮ್ಮದಿಯ ಜೀವನಕ್ಕೆ ೧೬ ಸೂತ್ರಗಳು: ప్రశా౦త జీవనానికి ౧౬ సూత్రాలు)

We all claim we know what is better and what is not. But when it comes to practice do we practice good ones?

Below is a leaflet which I found as a newspaper insert recently. It lists 16 rules which if we follow we'll get a peaceful life(as mentioned in leaflet. No assurance is given by eNidhi India to this effect). The contents are in Telugu language, hence I'm giving Kannada and English translation of the same.

If you know Kannada then you might be able to read above text to some extent because of similarity between Kannada and telugu script. I have learnt some telugu words, hence was able to interpret most of the above lines and for some points I've taken my Telugu speaking friends' assistance for translation.

Below is the translation of 16 points mentioned in the picture above. This translation may not be word by word but conveys that these lines mean. If I'm wrong somewhere please correct me.

16 golden rules for a peaceful life...
----------here we go---------------
೧. ದೀಪ ಜ್ನಾನದ ಸ೦ಕೇತ,ಕತ್ತಲು ಅಜ್ನಾನದ ಸ೦ಕೇತ. ನಿಮ್ಮ ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಜನ್ಮದಿನದ೦ದು ದೀಪ ಆರಿಸಿ ಸ೦ಭ್ರಮ ಪಡುವ ಬದಲು ದೇವಾಲಯಕ್ಕೆ ಹೋಗಿ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಮಗುವಿನ ಹೆಸರಲ್ಲಿ ದೀಪ ಹಚ್ಚಿ ಜನ್ಮ ದಿನ ಆಚರಿಸಿ.
1. Light means knowledge and darkness represents not having knowledge. On your child's birthday go to temple and light lamps instead of blowing off candles and celebrating

೨. ಕೇಕು ಕತ್ತರಿಸುವುದು ನಮ್ಮ ಸ೦ಸ್ಕ್ರತಿಯಲ್ಲ. ಜನ್ಮದಿನದ೦ದು ದೇವರಿಗೆ ನೈವೇದ್ಯ ಮಾಡಿ ಪ್ರಸಾದವನ್ನು ಹ೦ಚಿರಿ.
2. Cutting cake is not our culture, during birthdays go to temple, perform pooja and distribute prasadam...
೩.ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಜನ್ಮ ದಿನದ೦ದು ಹಣವನ್ನು ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ಕೆಲಸಕ್ಕೆ ವಿನಿಯೋಗಿಸಿ. ಮೊದಲ ಬರ್ತಡೇ ಗೇ ಒ೦ದು ಸಸಿ, ಎರಡನೇ ಬರ್ತಡೆಗೆ ಎರಡು... ಹೀಗೆ ಎಷ್ಟು ಸ೦ವತ್ಸರಗಳಾದವೋ ಅಷ್ಟು ಗಿಡ ನೆಡಿ.
3. On Child's birthday, spend money for good cause. On first birthday plant one tree, on second birthday two trees...plant as many trees every year...
೪. ಪಾನು, ಪಾನ್ ಪರಾಗು, ಗುಟ್ಕ ಇತ್ಯಾದಿಗಳನ್ನು ಬಳಸುವುದನ್ನು ಕಡಿಮೆ ಮಾಡಲು ಪ್ರಯತ್ನಪಡಿ. ಎಲ್ಲೆ೦ದರಲ್ಲಿ ಉಗಿಯಬೇಡಿ. ಇದು ಇತರರ ಅನಾರೊಗ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ ಕಾರಣವಾಗುತ್ತದೆ.
4. Try not to use pan, pan parag, Gutka etc... Please dont spit in public places. This makes life difficult for others.

೫. ಸಾರ್ವಜನಿಕ ಶೌಚಾಲಯಗಳನನ್ನು ಬಳಸಿ
5. use public toilets instead of using public places as toilets

೬. ಸಾಧ್ಯವಾದಷ್ಟು ಪ್ಲಾಸ್ಟಿಕ್ ಬಳಕೆ ಕಡಿಮೆ ಮಾಡಿ. ಪರ್ಯಾವರಣಕ್ಕೆ ಪ್ಲಾಸ್ಟಿಕ್ ಪ್ರಮಾದಕಾರಿಯಾಗಿ ಪರಿಣಮಿಸುತ್ತದೆ.
6. To the maximum extent possible avoid using plastic. plastic is harmful for environment
೭. ಸ್ಕೂಟರು ಬೈಕು, ಕಾರುಗಳನ್ನು ಅತ್ಯವಸರವಿದ್ದಾಗಲಷ್ಟೇ ಬಳಸಿ.ಸಾಧ್ಯವಾದಷ್ಟು ಸಾರ್ವಜನಿಕ ಸಾರಿಗೆ ಬಳಸಿ. ಇದು ವಾಯು ಮಾಲಿನ್ಯ ತಡೆಯಲು ಸಹಕರಿಸುತ್ತದೆ.

7. Use scooter, bike, cars only in emergency. Use public transportation as much as possible. This helps controlling pollution.

< 8th point also speaks about pollution caused by private vehicles and need to conserve our environment >

೯. ಈ ಪ್ರಕ್ರತಿಯನ್ನು ಸ೦ರಕ್ಷಿಸುವುದು ನಮ್ಮೆಲ್ಲರ ಜವಾಬ್ದಾರಿಯಾಗಿದೆ. ಇದನ್ನು ನಾಶಪಡಿಸದೇ, ನಮ್ಮ ಮಕ್ಕ್ಳು ಮರಿಗಳಿಗೆ ನಿವಾಸಯೊಗ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಬಿಟ್ಟು ಹೊಗಬೇಕಾದ ಭಾಧ್ಯತೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಮೇಲಿರುವುದನ್ನು ಮನಗೊಳ್ಳಿ.
9. We need to preserve the environment. Please understand that we have an obligation to leave this earth in a good shape that our future generation will be able to stay here
೧೦. ರಜಾ ದಿನದ೦ದು ದೇವಸ್ಥಾನಕ್ಕೆ ಹೋಗಿ ಧ್ಯಾನ ಮಾಡಿ. ಮನಶ್ಯಾ೦ತಿ ದೊರೆಯುತ್ತದೆ.
10. If you have holiday, go to temple and meditate. You'll get peace of mind. (Some how I love this particular advice. But my colleague said "మనశ్యా౦తి లభిస్తు౦ది మరి భోజన౦ దోరకలేదు" (We'll get peace of mind for sure, but if you don't come to office and finish your work, you'll not get your food (i.e. salary)

೧೧. ಹಕ್ಕುಗಳ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಮಾತನಾಡುವುದರ ಜೊತೆಗೆ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಕರ್ತವ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ಅರಿತುಕೊ೦ಡು ಪೂರೈಸಿ.
11. When you speak and fight for your rights, also understand your duties and fulfil them
೧೨. "ಭಾ" ಅ೦ದರೆ ಪ್ರಕಾಶ, "ರತಿ" ಅ೦ದರೆ ಅರಿಕೆ. ಭಾರತೀಯರು ಅ೦ದರೆ ಜ್ನಾನವನ್ನು ಅರಸಿಕೊ೦ಡು ಹೊಗುವವರು ಎ೦ದು ಅರ್ಥ. ಪ್ರಪ೦ಚದ ವಿಜ್ನಾನವೆಲ್ಲಾ ಭಾರತದಿ೦ದಲೆ ಸ್ಪೂರ್ಥಿ...

೧೩. ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ ಹೊಸ ವಿಧ್ಯಾ ವ್ಯವಸ್ಥೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಭತವದ್ಗೀತೆ ಕಲಿಸಬೇಕಿದೆ.

13. Children should be thought Bhagavadgeetha in their education (instead of Java or VC++ ???)
೧೪. ಚಿಕ್ಕ ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ ಮಾತ್ರಭಾಷೆಯೆ ಗೊತ್ತಿಲ್ಲ. ಇದು ಎ೦ಥಹ ಪರಿಸ್ಥಿತಿ?
14. Our children do not know mother tongue... what situation is this?

೧೫. ಗ್ಲೋಬಲೈಜೇಷನ್ ನಿ೦ದ ನಮ್ಮ ಸ೦ಸ್ಕ್ರತಿಯನ್ನು ನಾಶಪಡಿಸುವ ಹುನ್ನಾರ ನಡೆಯುತ್ತಿದೆ. ಜಾಗ್ರತರಾಗಿರಿ.
15. Verbalization's is here to destroy you. Please be careful.

16. This mahashivarathri, stay awake all night and get lord's blessings...

See if you can follow all these...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Bangalore BMTC Volvo City Buses- Timetable, route, airport transfer

This post tells you all you wanted to know about BMTC Volvo city buses.

Quick Notes: To see the route maps between a given origin and destination pair or route map of a given route number, check this.
For route numbers and timing details click here [Post on Chennai Volvo City bus here]
New: Try this quick photo Quiz on BMTC Volvo

BMTC Bangalore B7RLE volvo city bus front view
When I showed the photos of these city buses to some of friends in Hyderabad who had not seen these buses, their initial reaction was something like “is it in India?” “It is a city bus – a??” “In Bangalore all city buses are like this??!!!”

Indeed, the comfort looks and performance a Volvo offers is not met by any of its competitors in the luxury buses segment. After huge success of Volvo B7R inter-city coaches Volvo launched B7RLE transit buses in late 2005 and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) was one of the pioneers to use them.
inside view of Volvo B7RLE city bus
The Vehicle body design is that of Volvo 8700 which is its European counter part. The 7 liter rear engine is probably too much for Bangalore’s roads and I feel Volvo could have considered B6R instead of B7R for intra-city buses (Both to restrict over speeding and increase fuel economy). The 38 seated coach has 50% of its seats at extremely low level and rest at an elevated position. The AC is nice and melodious radio complements the ambiance.
Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation BMTC Volvo coach another view
The driver has a rear view LCD screen with live feed from a camera. I believe this is an additional equipment incorporated by BMTC as this is not a standard fitment with B7RLE. The console has an LED screen which shows both system generated messages as well as messages relayed by control tower. A mike and an Ahuja audio system are obviously added additionally.
image of Bangalore city bus B7RLE volvo outside view

English speaking conductors are employed for these buses.

The ride quality is good. The price is obviously very high. (Minimum fare is Rs 15; say for Majestic to Corporation that’s 3-4 times non-Volvo buses). People have lots of money circulating in their hands these days and don’t mind shelling out in the name of luxury and comfort. BMTC is cashing on that very well.
ads displayed on BMTC volvo city bus Bangalore

BMTC’s full window advertising on some Volvo buses (See image) is fully transparent from inside.

Timings, Availability and Time Table

You can find the time table for all the Ordinary and REDboard buses here in the link below.:
http://123.236.244.54:8080/bmtcinfo/jsp/
and Time tables for Vayu Vajra(Volvo Services with City) in the Link Below:
http://www.bmtcinfo.com/english/volvo.htm
and finally for Airport Services you can click on the Following Link
http://www.bmtcinfo.com/english/bial.html
also you can book for Airport transfers with Four flat Fares of Rs. 200/-, 150/-, 100/-, 80/- . http://www.viaworld.in/bdo

(shared by a reader)
Update: Route 356C Timings (from KBS and Electronic City) here (Thanks VKT for the info).

BMTC Website has route numbers, number of trips and departure timings. There is also a SMS based locater service. Because of Bangalore’s traffic and other constraints it is probably difficult to give a precise time table as to this bus will be at this point at this hour this minute. You can use SMS based locater service (YI: Yelli iddira???) to predict how much more time a given bus may take to reach your boarding point. Despite the odds they are operating with reasonable reliability. Regular commuters will have a better idea on this.

You can avail BMTC’s elli iddeera (Where are you?) SMS based service to know the current position of various buses. To use this service you should know the route numbers and send an SMS to 9945634666 with YI routeNo direction. Route Numbers: V356C for Majestic (KBS) to Electronic City, V335E for KBS to Kadugudi, ITPL, V402B for KBS-Yelahanka,V500L for Banashankari to ITPL, V500K from Vijayanagara to ITPL, V2 for Majestic to J P Nagar etc. Direction can be U or D, for UP (towards city(KBS)) and DOWN (from city to far). Sample: SMSing YI V402B U to 9945634666 should return you location of Volvo that started from Yelahanka and heading towards Majestic Bus Terminus. Full list of all route numbers here. Some more details here and here.

Related links: 2 Other blog posts on Volvo experience can be found [here] and [here] | Media report on Volvo city buses | Volvo official website | My other post on Volvo Buses | BMTC Official Website| My Report on Volvo India plant in Hoskote| Full technical specification and other details of these Volvo B7RLE city buses (on Volvo official website)

New: Try this quick photo Quiz on BMTC Volvo


Also read: Another hot review: Hyderabad Bangalore by Bus-Comparison of various operators
Read Why BMTC is performing better than its counterparts in TN and AP in this post

Update: KSTRC and BMTC have increased fares recently to collect money to increase infrastructure facilities and introduce more buses. Expect to see more volvos around. Happy riding...

Update: Starting 17th September 07, Chennai City will also have Volvo City buses. More information in this post.

Feb 2012 Update: Internet services inside Airport bound Vayu Vajra Buses
Above Photo sourced from internet

Check this: Video coach Local buses in coastal Karnataka |

Monday, March 05, 2007

Why Spiderman can't work in India...

Recently eNidhi India was secretly commissioned by top bollywood production houses recently to conduct a feasibility study on a probable bollywood remake of Hollywood blockbuster “Spiderman”

This study, carried out extensively at several Indian cities, concluded that it is not at all possible to make such a movie in India. The final report which we submitted to our sponsors in this regard consists only of a set of photographs and is now made public.

Here’s why Spiderman can’t work in Indian cities.
hanging cables

Nothing strikes your mind? Focus on the loosely hung wires in the photo…
hanging cables
Ok. Before you get frustrated and leave my blog let me tell you why.

If Spiderman tries to fly in Indian cities, the way he used to in the movie, he will get stuck between these electric, telephone and other sundry wires that are carelessly hung around in all our cities. The additional effort involved in rescuing him from these wires every time makes it not worth considering.

I can provide hundreds of photos similar to the ones above but thought two are enough.

Now, coming to realty, don’t we have a better, sophisticated and decent way of laying these cables? How electric and telephonic cables are set in other countries? Why is that all our streets are full of these carelessly hung cables and wires?

How can we make our cities "Spiderman Ready"?

Leave your thoughts and suggestions in comments...

The primary idea behind this topic was derived from a statement made by my flatmate Prasad and the credit for concept goes to him

Friday, March 02, 2007

Writing about dreams

Recently my cousin Sandesh Karanth mentioned in his blog [link here] about his dream and invited few other bloggers, including me to write about our dreams. Another good post on dreams can be found here

Thinking about dreams and what to write about it, I’m penning down some key points here about dreams. I’ll write about my dreams at a later time in some other post.

“Dream”, “My dream”, “the most interesting dream I ever had”, titles of this kind are extremely popular topics for high school essays. Reason being, you can write anything and everything you want to write about and call it a dream. This provides room for creativity and allows writer’s imagination to work at its best.

To elaborate above paragraph a bit, in a dream you can assume any character (Spiderman, Tom Cruise, George Bush… anyone) and narrate any sequence of activity you can imagine… (Like Angelina Julie came and kissed me… I became a CEO of my company; I won one billion dollars… whatever) and when you have to stop (if you exceed word limit; or if you have nothing else to say or if you’re out of time etc) you can stop the story at any point with statements like “I just woke up and realized that it was just a dream” or “It was my mom who was shaking my hand to wake me up” or “I screamed in horror and my dad asked “What happened”.

No one will question your logic, story, sequence and climax if it is a dream because anything can happen in a dream. So no other topic offers this much freedom and flexibility.

I don’t dream much in sleep. I dream in broad daylight when I’m fully awake.

Thinking further, I feel dreams occur only after you get enough sleep. For example, if an individual needs 6 hours of sleep and if he/she sleeps for 8 hours, chances are that dreams will occur in 7th or 8th hour and not earlier. If you sleep for only 4 hours and force yourself to wake up (by alarm etc) you don’t get any dreams (That’s my observation and opinion, haven’t researched further on this). You never get dreams in your afternoon nap because your body and mind makes full use of this small break it gets to relax.

Dreams are necessary to have an ambition and achieve something. But I’m sure all leaders who made such statements did not mean everyone should go to sleep expecting a dream. We have no control over the dreams we get and usually these dreams are soon forgotten. To achieve something in life dream when you are awake and supplement your dream by necessary vision, strategy and action.