Sameer Agarwal

His views, thoughts, introspection and rants

Archive for the ‘bangalore’ tag

Get on the fast lane

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Well, quite literally so! Get nitrogen for your car tyres and feel the difference for yourself. If you’re in Banaglore, you can get nitrogen for your tyres at the HP petrol pump on (Old) Airport Road. If you’re coming from Marathalli, then look for a Pizza Hut on your left. You’ll find this place immediately after the crossing. (Before Manipal Hosipta; Leela Palace across the road).

The guy charges Rs 30 per tyre for the first fill. The fill apparently lasts 6 months. Subsequent cost is Rs 10 per tyre. Following benefits:

  • Car drives smoother (can vouch for it)
  • You don’t have to worry about air pressure for six months (need to verify)
  • Less likelihood of a tyre burst (need to verify)
  • Better mileage (need to verify)
There may be other places in Bangalore offering this service. If so, please update those locations as comments on this article.

Written by sameer

February 9th, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Half of live bands’ income comes from extortion?

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Reacting to a story by Times of India here. Shankar M Bidari, police commissioner of Bangalore, very proudly says that before his predecessor Ajai Kumar Singh did not regulate live bands:

did business worth Rs 1 crore every day, of which Rs 50 lakh came through robbery, extortion and land dealings

Wonder what sort of study was commissioned to arrive at this data. Moreover, if the police has this data, then why not use live bands as a bait to catch the robbers, extortionists and land mafias?!

Now read on, this is interesting. These people have obviously no idea what they’re saying -

The commissioner said this was a clear indication of the reason for increasing crime. “We are not against music or entertainment but don’t want any activities which will increase crime in the city,” said Bidari.

Okay. So what’s the correlation Mr Bidari? I don’t see any. If the criminals are spending their money on patronizing live bands, does that mean that the relation is causal? I mean are criminals committing crimes because they need to spend their loot on live bands? Well forget all this, did you ever study economics?

Written by sameer

August 17th, 2008 at 11:08 am

Posted in Rants

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The face of terror

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Or does it have any? It was a Friday afternoon and I had come out lunch with my colleagues in East Bangalore (RMZ Infinity, Old Madras Road). It must have been around 1:45 PM when a colleague got a phone call from a relative asking if he was safe.

Safe he was, but the call brought anxiety to the table faster than anyone’s imagination. There was a bomb blast in South Bangalore! Even before we could rush to the closest TV screen, in retrospect, 9 bombs exploded in different parts of the city. Of course we didn’t know then – but we did fear that it can’t be an isolated bomb blast and that serial blasts are going to follow. No place was safe. My mother usually goes out in the afternoons for her ‘satsanga’ sessions and the first thing I did was to call her and tell her not to step out of the house. My wife is luckily in Delhi, so thankfully the anxiety was half of what it could have been. Then I went to office, picked up my computer and directly drove home. Not sure if that was a good decision or bad (since hypothetically the office premises were safer than the roads).

Thankfully the bombs were low intensity and not much damage was done – of course two lives were lost and some people injured which IS huge damage. Enough to shake everyone a bit though, and as if that wasn’t enough what followed a day after was Ahemadabad – which was much gorier than Bangalore. Even hospitals were not spared with some explosions in front of the civic hospitals.

Who is India Mujahideen and does it have a face? Will we get to see that face? What is their motive? It’s not as if terrorism is something new to India but I hate it when people like you and me become so casual about it. We say that life must go on. We go out shopping the next day because we think the traffic will be less. How insensitive can we be!

We need to bring a stop to this. Why should innocent people lose their lives like this? Who is it helping and how?

Written by sameer

July 28th, 2008 at 11:30 am

3 reasons why Bangalore-Chennai Shatabadi rocks!

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Before I boarded the Shatabadi on Thursday I was quite skeptical since I was traveling in a train after a really long time. But I was to be proved wrong!

It was 5:30 AM in the morning when I entered the Bangalore City Railway Station and saw a Bangalore-Chennai train parked on Platform 1. It couldn’t have been better, right? Wrong! That was not my train – the Shatabadi – and I like a jerk kept looking for my coach without realizing that it was some other train. When I did figure that, I had difficulty locating where the Shatabadi was parked, since the display unit showed the wrong platform number! I had to almost run for a couple of hundred meters to be on time. Of course I was cursing, and yeah panting as well!

But as soon as I entered Shatabadi (Executive Class), I knew all the reasons for cursing were over. The seats looked pretty decent – upholstery was quite OK and the leg room – as good/better than business class!  The servers carried a warm  smile on their face accompanied by several rounds of goodies – water, candies, tea/coffee, corn flakes, veg/non-veg breakfast and tea/coffee, and I promise the cutlery was definitely very decent as well!

Cutting a long story short, below are the 3 reasons why Banaglore-Chennai Shatabadi rocks (over a flight):

  1. Save Money. An executive class ticket on Shatabadi comes for around Rs 1000. An air ticket will not cost anything less than Rs 4000 one way for economy class. That makes it a cool saving of Rs 6,000 on a round trip without compromising on the total travel time or comfort.
  2. Spend more time traveling to Chennai rather than traveling IN Bangalore. Shatabadi takes 5 hours, from station to station. Add an hour max for travel to railway station, locating your platform etc. That mkes it 6 hours (>85% time traveling TO Chennai). Here’s the typical time you’ll take if you fly:
    • Travel to the Bangalore airport: 90 mins
    • Check-in and Boarding:60 mins
    • Flying Time: 40 mins
    • Congestion Time (since it happens almost always): 20 mins
    • Baggage Claim at Chennai: 20 mins
    • Total Time: ~4hrs (>80% of time spent traveling IN Bangalore).
  3. Get better service (compared to economy air). Have you even heard of leg room in economy airfare?

You need more reasons, huh?!

Written by sameer

July 20th, 2008 at 12:53 pm

Posted in Thoughts

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Faltering Commitments

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It’s a Saturday morning, actually noon now and I’ve been waiting for the carpenter from Big Bazaar to come and install our dining table. The appointment was for 10 AM and they have still not arrived. Not sure why people can’t respect time. My cousin is in Bangalore and I need to show her around. I’ve given away my old dining table already and so can’t even afford to just go and let the carpenter come at some other day…

Why can’t people respect time? Other’s time? This is not about Big Bazaar, or Bangalore, or South India, or India. This is a standard behavior across India I guess – that’s why the IST (India Standard Time) is sometimes also known as the ‘Indian Stretchable Time’!

Is it just about time, or about keeping commitments? We as Indians are very vocal (and often righteous) about keeping some commitments, like marriage – whether or not they are convenient. Why can’t we keep other commitments? Time commitments? Verbal business commitments (like “I agree to buy/sell at this price”, or “I agree to give you a raise if you do X” etc)? Why?

Written by sameer

May 24th, 2008 at 12:59 pm

Posted in Rants

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Nothing beats the real thing!

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Watching a sport on TV is like watching pornography. It’s not the real thing. Now come on, I’m not suggesting that watching  a sport can ever equal ‘playing it’ (or did you read ‘doing it’!), but I think it’s much better than seeing it on TV. Even though you don’t get such a good view of the ball/players (one can hardly make out who’s who even from VIP seats) and the analysis that you get on TV, still in my opinion nothing beats the live experience for the energy, the madness, the magnanimity and the scale!

Sakshi and I watched the IPL match in Bangalore yesterday. Of course the Royal Challengers lost, but since they were playing Delhi Daredevils it was not all that bad – after all I’m from Delhi and spent almost all my life there! The cheerleaders were really rocking. On TV you miss the real action (cheerleaders dancing) that happens between the overs due to advertisements! And. There was beer and food (for a Rs 2,725 ticket). What else could you have asked for?

In fact Shaan was also performing yesterday, but we missed him by an hour or so it seems. We had booked the tickets online and I had no clue what time he was performing. The match had to start at 8 PM, so I planned to reach by 7, and I did, but Shaan was gone by that time. Parking was of course a pain. And then we had to walk down almost half a kilometer to pickup the tickets (wonder why they couldn’t courier the tickets in advance) and then walk back the same distance to enter our box. It rained between 4 and 6 and we were keeping our fingers crossed. Thankfully the rain stopped just in time, saving the match and our 5.5k!

We had originally planned to take our camera and shoot some, but were told that it’s not allowed. However we saw a lot of people with cameras and wondered how they managed to get their little things in! The match was not so interesting, but we were anyway not expecting any fireworks given Bangalore’s performance in the IPL. Sehwag and Gambhir played really well and so it was some ‘paisa-vasool’!

Net-net great experience.

Written by sameer

May 20th, 2008 at 6:28 pm

Powereless and Dry in Bangalore

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The IT City, aka Bangalore, still grapples with electricity and water. While there are scheduled power cuts for almost 18 hrs in a week (thanks to Bangalore Mirror for publishing) an equal number or more hours of cut are unscheduled. Well that’s a routine now and I guess I’m not cribbing yet! After all my apartment complex has a generator backup which lights up 1 tube-light and 1fan after “it’s dark” and I pay a hefty ‘maintenance fee’ for the little pleasure. And then I of course pay tax – direct and indirect, and yeah short term and long term and octroi and levies and this and that. So what if the total tax I pay is several times over the per capita income of the country. After all if I have the money I should manage everything on my own, besides paying tax of course!

The trigger of this rant is that there was no electricity and guess what, no water for two hours in the morning today. We do not get water from the government. We buy our water from private bodies who ‘supply’ water through their motorable tankers to our overhead water-tanks. Now this means that we need electricity to have water as well (electric motors pump up the water in the overhead tank)! Today there was no electricity. Nothing unusual. Typically the generator is switched on in such cases but today that conked off as well. So we were literally powerless and dry in Bangalore today for a couple of hours!

Wonder when we as a country will tackle such basic things in life!

Written by sameer

May 18th, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Posted in Rants

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