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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Today’s Topic: Traffic Woes in Bangalore…The beginning

How many times have we all wondered, is there anything at all that can be done to the traffic situation in Bangalore?
Well after a lot of deliberation, I feel that the answer is NO… there is no solution.
After spending most of my life in the city of Bangalore, (am currently put up in Mysore… THANK GOD FOR THAT),I have felt that it is just not possible. Let us look at a few of the reasons for the traffic woes.

Scene 1: Saturday: 11:00 AM… MG Road.
Traffic jam stretching from Brigade Road junction to Trinity Circle. Why?
One reason: Useless people. (By this I mean, that people has no decency or knowledge of traffic rules or are extremely contemptuous about both.)
Who are these people? These are the same people you see around you (including you). They are the people who decide to cut into MG Road from near the Public Utility building whenever there is a gap of 5 mm, the people decide to take U-turns haphazardly in front of the Public Utility Building, the people who jump lanes to squeeze into miniscule gaps, the people who jump the traffic signals….

Yes, the very same people who would not give a second thought before cursing the government and the corporation for their woes…(I am not supporting the authorities here. Their bashing will come later.) Don’t they realize that half the problem is solved just by obeying the traffic rules? No, they don’t. Why? Because everyone is in a hurry to get somewhere. Leaving early not only helps the traffic but also your personal stress levels.

No everything has to be on the button and everyone already has the headweight that they would not be caught no matter what. You can escape today and you can escape tomorrow, but when you are involved in an accident caused by your negligence, you blame the authorities. Why dude? Can’t you change yourself first? Complain when you have imbibed the correctness and the right attitudes in your life.

Another reason for the same is population explosion. There is a lot of migration to Bangalore from other places in search for a brighter future. So what do the authorities do about this?

Scene 2: Road laying process near XYZ road (Name omitted as it occurs everywhere):
Contractor and crew block the road and lay the road. Demand commission from residents if the road is in a residential area. Complete process, pocket money and leave. Road is not of good quality as the first rain which falls after a month washes the road away with. Complaints to the authorities only results in flak. Blame is placed on the contractor who is currently absconding. Enterprising residents file PIL which runs in the courts for 15 years. END RESULT: Bad roads… Traffic jams…

Scene 3: Telephone cable digging, half constructed flyovers and proposed Metro Rail…

All the roads are dug up on the pretext of the same reasons above. They are not filled back properly or they are filled up very late, a few broken arms and legs later. Authorities are only interested if this comes up in a Minister’s or a MLA’s locality.

Why this negligence, minister saar? What is happening? Is no one concerned about the common man anymore? What is the need for earning that much illegal money? You are not going to carry it to your grave, neither are your children. All the talk is not going to result in any action. Just Do it. Make this city a better city. Don’t you ever feel frustrated about the traffic? Don’t you ever feel like doing something about it?

I want everyone to give a thought about this. Would you rather that your grandchild spends hours in a traffic jam because he decides to drive like you in an irresponsible manner? Would you rather that your future generations can never leave their homes in a vehicle due to traffic?

It’s up to each and every one of us to solve this problem. Do your part first and then make sure the government does theirs…

Good night … and good luck
May the Force be with you.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Today’s Topic: Facial Hair in Movies

After successfully and unsuccessfully watching a lot of good, bad and ugly movies, one point on the same has kept coming back to me. What is the significance of facial hair among male actors in movies?

Let us dwell first on the various types of facial hair encountered in movies.
1. None at all. (No comments coz I have a handlebar moustache. General category.)
2. A thin moustache, (though this breed is almost dead now. Was very popular in the era of B&W cinema and early colour movies)
3. A thick moustache, (initially created to signify the bad guy later caught on for the negative hero character and finally for the hero as well. This category was widely prevalent in South Indian movies)
4. A beard. (signifies people who have been in a lot of trouble, jailbirds, people who have had love failures. Though initially created for the rough vagabond type, the above is now prevailing extensively.)
5. A stubble. (initially created to signify a natural feel in the movie, for example, a guy who has been traveling for 3 days in the wilderness obviously cannot shave. But now it is more of the norm in Indian cinema. Apparently having a thick stubble is considered heroic these days, why, is totally beyond my comprehension).
6. Miscellaneous. (Includes Handlebars, Side locks, soul patches etc etc, entirely based on the character of the story)

Having analyzed the different types of facial hair in movies and their significance has made me realize that there is no significance in today’s movies on the relevance of facial hair. Gone are the days when they were used to communicate to the audience about the character himself. (For example a thin moustache signified a distinguished gentleman or a charming Casanova).
Now it is just whatever the makeup artist or the director feels like. No significance one bit.

It grieves me here because there is no more silent/hidden meaning to the moustache or facial hair, no more is the subtlety and the charm.

Good night…and Good luck.
May the Force be with you.