Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Yeh hai filmy chakkar

Once upon a time Hindi was at the most the third language for most kids who attended schools with state syllabus here in Bangalore. Kannada was either the first language or second depending on the medium of the school. But these days even the neighbourhood school that runs in the 2-storey crumbling building with 5 teachers for a student population of 300 has Hindi as the second language! No I am not about rake up the issue of Hindi vs Kannada here. Not yet anyways :P I have been wondering why it feels so bizarre to be surrounded by Hindi speaking population in Bangalore. 8 out of 10 of my neighbours speak Hindi. I am surprised to hear children scream at each other Hindi. Of course the obvious reason is the migratory population from up north. But I thought I should've got used to it by now. But no.

Everytime I hear a child scream "tum apne aapko bahut smart samajhte ho" or an adult say "breakfast mein alu ke paranthe tho bahut healthy hote hai ji" I am a bit taken aback. And here's my theory on why that happens. For me Hindi was always the language of television and movies. All through 80s and a large part of 90s Hindi was the language of what was not real (I am resisting the temptation to say "fantasy language") One romanced in Hindi or one cracked surd jokes (now considered politically incorrect of course) one even made up silly poetry or rattled dialogues from Ramayan and Mahabharath of DD fame to entertain one another (Oh c'mon I know you loved speaking words like "vats" and "hey nath") At the most one had to struggle to get some decent marks by byhearting answers worth 50 marks for the final exams. But never had to speak or heard someone speak. It seriously sounds all too filmy to me! Come ot think of it that is probably why I took to speak the language in the first place :D

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Last few days I have been blog hopping madly. Some known some absolutely random. I am pretty amazed at the level of participation in some of the blogs especially the ones about cooking. People participate in scores if not hundreds. I cannot figure this out. We couldn't get people to participate at Justfemme at all. Is it the lack of personal touch or is it that the topic is way too serious? Or that very few people want to spend time on something that's not"fun". I don't get it!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Are you like a house wife?

No call centre employee has bothered me with some brilliant scheme in a while now. I didn't miss them thank you very much. But today I got a call from IRCTC yes yes Indian railways fellows. They have been after me for over 2 years to get some railway card with lotsa brownie points for every ticket I buy and boy I have donated quite a bit of my money to them! But my problem with the scheme was that I had to pay for the card. Now why on earth will pay for a credit card (even if it is the railways) when every single bank is giving it away free. Of course these cold calling call centre employees have no rights to waiver the fees so they end up mumbling something and hang up, only to call again in six months time.

Today's call I knew would go the same way. But we didn't even get that far! Here's what I happened.

Call Centre Chap (CCC): Is it Mrs and so and so?
Me: Yes

CCC: Ma'am we are very happy to see that you have spent Rsxxxxx on your railway tickets in the last x years. so we are offering you a card.
Me: (Very surprised at the big number but recovering quickly say) ok....

CCC: Madam do you work for a company?
Me: No I don't work for one company. I work...

CCC: So you are like a housewife or something?
Me: (Very irritated) yeah something like that...

CCC: Then can I talk to your husband? Is Mr R your husband? (referring to my lastname which is my maiden name)
Me: No it isn't my husband.

CCC: Then who is your husband madam? Can you give me his number? We only talk to people working in a company.

It took all my energy to not shout abuses at the chap and I knew it was futile to explain how this was very offensive to me. And so I said "You find out who it is and call him" and hung up.

Where do these guys come from?

I agree that you cannot give credit cards to people with no cash flow in their bank statements. But to make an assumption that I cannot afford a card because I don't work for a "company" is something else. And come to think of it out of the zillions we have spent on railways more than half of it has come from my travels, that was paid for by not one "company" but many of them!

At my age I seriously have no time for people who refuse to use their brains!

And I wonder at this time of economic hardship when jobs are are so difficult to come by how such creatures survive?

UPDATE: This CCC is something else! He called me again next morning and this time V picked up the phone and CCC promptly asks for Mr R! V says wrong number since no Mr R lives with us! Then CCC brightens and asks for me. To me he tells, I called you yesterday. And I say yes you wanted to speak to my husband. So he says yeah so give it to him I want to offer him the card (exact words) I say I don't like the way you talk to me....He hangs up!

I hope someone's listening to this conversation (for QC they say right?) Again...JUST WHERE DO THESE GUYS COME FROM? grrrrrrrrrrrrr

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


After a very very very very very (you get the point right?) long time I am feeling inspired. I think with all the inaction one was getting restless anyways and then came along Anthony Bourdain. Yes the same bad mouthing, alcohol abusing, tongue in cheek chef who's so popular that he has his own page on facebook - Anthony Bourdain. I am reading his book "Kitchen Confidential" and only 1/3 through and I am inspired. Not to be chef or cook better in my kitchen kinda inspired but to go after what I love most. I have never been fortunate enough to have mentor at any stage in my life. I have had to figure it all out (if at all) on my own. Somehow mentors either never came along or chose more prodigious souls (HUMPH) to mentor, leaving me tottering around.

Coming back to the book it is all about cooking only. Mr Bourdain isn't pretentious enough to claim the book is to inspire all and sundry or inspire at all. He's clear his book is for those from that line. He says it is all written in "kitchenese" and it is...half of the stuff I read didn't make sense. But it is inspiring nevertheless. And Big Foot reminds me of a certain professor in college. I don't think I was ready for K** then but now I am. Even if it is in a very Ekalavya and Dronacharya style (Corny I know :)

I will write about the book in my other blog shorlty and probably announce my inspired plans on this one hopefully not very long way from now. Till then long live the power of words.

Long pending post...The women won't take it quietly!

I was to do this post last to last weekend but due to various technical problems I couldn't. Anyway here it is the pictures of the protest in front of the IGP's office in Bangalore about all the attacks on women in Bangalore. There was a good turn out. Media was present in full glory. The DG Mr Sharma promised action in five days, I am not sure what came of it. Will it have the desired results? I don't know. But it sure felt good to take some action. And I know I am not alone and I know I am demanding my basic rights to be restored and not some exotic thing that makes no sense (although a a friend of mine from the media who was covering the event was sure this was all a bloody farce since most of the women were wearing coolers and sipping coke while protesting!!!)

Here are some pictures from 7th March 2009

Monday, March 02, 2009

SITA Sena from Mumbai

Go here for details.

And women when in trouble make noise, kick, scream, yell, whistle. I know there isn't much hope of help but at least it might baffle the attackers enough and back off, giving you some space to get away. And yes I do hope some bystander does wake up and help you out. But don't give up! We can't stop living lives for the fear of some goondas can we?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

One more girl attacked near Mount Carmel college

That's 5 in a row if any one's counting. This time it was a journalist from Tehelka who was returning late from work. Here's The Hindu report on it.

All those people who are out there who've been screaming hoarse about this being a trivial issue, you still think so? This is not some class based issue that the elite (which basically means independent women with means to wear western clothes and probably own a bike or a car in this context) women are facing. This could be any woman on the street! And you still think it's too small an issue? WOW! How frustrated must that soul be by the progress of women? Seriously!