Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The new generation

It was by chance that I stumbled upon an article in a Malayalam magazine at a relative's place. The article was about the so-called 'new generation' Malayalam movies. It was a lady who wrote the article, who seemed to be their in her sixties. She was comparing the old movies to the ones currently being released in Malayalam, with some of them being called 'new generation' movies. I will go over her thoughts while sharing my thoughts in this.

In the first place, I am not sure who gave the term 'new-generation' to a certain set of movies. Is it because it is directed by few young chaps? May be it is because it kind-of breaks the image or the expectation from a movie in the older folks. One thing I am sure about is - the term 'new generation' is not used very positively by our older folks.

But if you actually look at the generation of older folks, they too had their 'new gen' guys. There were movies which depicts some revolutionary stuff during their times as well. The lady who wrote the article which I read was referring to the movie Idukki Gold.  Yes, there are some scenes, dialogues which the older folks might bit too open. The fact is there were movies during their times as well which had these things, which was considered too forward and open at that time as well. Being too restricted in views and opinions about certain aspects in life has made the society harp at anything which even slightly deviates from the moral code it has set for people to follow.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Don't Underestimate The Power of A Common Man ! !

Well, I do not normally blog on core politics and this is my first one. I am an Aam Admi (common man, not a party member) of India :), who loves news channels at 9 for their shows by Rajdeep Sardesai, Barkha Dutt, Arnab and the like for their better comedy than 'Comedy nights with Kapil'.

Common Man of R. K. Laxman

Lot has been tweeted, shared, liked (sad that FB doesn't have 'hate', 'disagree', 'sad' buttons yet), blogged on the functioning of AAP, so much so that even if Arvind Kejriwal sneezes it becomes a sensation.

I remember, sometime in 2010, my neighbour inviting me for the Lokpal movement and march happening at the Freedom park in Bangalore. Anna Hazare was in news, and it was during that time I started reading and hearing about Arvind Kejriwal. After that I have seen the movement on-and-off with the events that followed. I did not follow the pre-election news and it was a surprise when AAP had won a good number of seats in Delhi. I am sure lot of others were surprised as well. This was not expected. A good job done by AAP. Winning these many seats for a party which is less than 2 year old is indeed a big thing, and that too a state which was ruled by Congress for ten years or more.

Two things, according to me, has made this happen. One, Delhi as a place/state had lot of issues which could really engage the activists. It did have burning issues in the past two years for which the previous government did not/could not do anything substantial. Here, AAP had a significant role in getting involved in social causes and gained people's confidence. Second, Delhi is the capital as well as a small state. So all the political buzz starts here, and as I understand it had lot of scams in hand, alleged corruption in govt. office etc., which again strengthened AAP's position.

I think even the AAP top team would not have imagined that they would win so many seats in the elections, forget forming the government. Now that they have, and this making lot of accomplished professionals joining the party along with lakhs of common men and women, AAP has really come into limelight. Sounds like a fairy tale, or Rajnikath movie. Previous year beaten by Police, this year Chief minister.

Now, coming to the controversies against AAP that they are friends of Congress, unclear about policies and governance, anarchists etc. Well, I feel certain things could be true, while others are speculations.

On being friends of Congress - I happened to see and read many posts and news items on this, and thought - 'Could be'. Well, we cannot rule out anything in today's world. I happened to see the interview of Arvind Kejriwal with Rajdeep and Barkha in their respective channels. From what Arvind Kejriwal was talking, the way he was responding, I think he has substance. His clarity of thought seems to be good, and he responds to the allegations quite maturely. He looks grounded and doesn't seem to be backing, or being backed by anyone.

About being unclear about policies and governance - Could be. But we will have to give it to AAP. Like I said, they wouldn't have imagined this state would come where they will form the government. So they would not have had discussed in depth on economic policies, national issues, and their stand on various other things in detail. Let us be fair and give them some time to come out with their agenda. With what they have done in 3 weeks, looks like we can expect something, while I do agree that they seem to be in a hurry. May be they are still transitioning from their activist role to governing role. Takes time.

Till yesterday I was unsure about AAPs future. Thought that they will create this hype for few months, and fade away after that once they are out of government but still remain activists. After seeing today's interview, I am quite impressed, to be frank, the way Arvind faced the questions and the way he responded. If the same clarity drills down to the party ministers and office bearers then there is hope. Party members and volunteers can have their views and opinions but it is critical for the office bearers and spokespersons to have this clarity.

I do feel that they should have focused on Delhi now, not wanting to contest for Lok Sabha elections. All they can do is grab few seats, which otherwise would have gone to BJP as I do not believe Congress do not stand much chance this time. But again, it is better to ride the wave that is created now, take advantage of it to create a nation-wide presence, and grow the party. So may be it is okay.

I do not see a PM in Arvind for sure, and I see that in Modi, though I believe BJP is also tainted with corruption. I would say that if the necessities of nation are being met (curb inflation, generate employment, develop infrastructure, and control corruption) then who rules is not a big issue. Congress has proved that they can't. Now BJP can try. But with corruption it is again doubtful, but could be better.

My only wish for AAP is that while scaling up in number and spreading across the country, their core principles and value should not get diluted. After all, they are also human beings with minds. Power, position and money gives a better kick than anything else.

Jai Hind !

I will vote. Will you?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Kollur, and back to Bangalore

Continuation of my previous blogs Why this Kolaveri Di and Kolavara Heritage Homestay & Sringeri

Day 3: 27-October-2013

Today was supposed to be a relatively lazy day – with just 2 hours of travel, or max 3. That is what I thought.

We woke up leisurely at around 0700, and had our cup of tea. We had decided against coffee as the coffee served at Kolavera was little strong, and of a little different taste than what we preferred – and their tea was very good. So wife and I chose tea after first experience with coffee. Dad and Mom chose tea from the first time itself.

I had planned to wash my car today as it had got soiled in the past drives. There was a washing bay – to my curiosity – at the homestay. It was a proper one which we see at washing stations, where we could wash the under-body as well. I enquired with Nishchal (son of owner uncle), and he told that this is common in the planters' homes in that area. The reason being, they typically had few vehicles and could not take them to wash to the town every time. Moreover, if the washing guys say they are busy, then it could be a lot of waste of time. So, many of them built this at their homes itself. There was a water tap and a hose next to the bay, so I could wash properly and it was over in about an hour.

Breakfast was ready by 0800 which was a spread which included a different kind of dosa (batter mixed with beaten rice powder). I thought we could leave by 1100 and as per my estimate, Kollur will take 2 hours of drive, and we could reach by 1300 or max 1330 to have lunch there, or somewhere en-route.

By the time I finished washing the car, others had got ready and had breakfast. It was my turn to take bath and get ready. I took bath and got ready by around 0930 and had breakfast. We spent some time packing and loading stuff into the car. The owner uncle and autny had gone to a relative’s place in the morning. So, we had bid them goodbye in the morning itself while I was washing the car. We got ready to leave by around 1100 and bid goodbye to Nischal, wrote our comments in the guest-book and left.

We would be taking the Tirthahalli – Agumbe – Someshwara route to Kollur as advised by Nischal. The roads were good and we covered Tirthahalli in 30 min. I filled petrol from there and increased the tyre pressure also a bit as seen in the ford note while washing. It said that if there are 3-4 passengers the pressure should be 34 psi. I had been riding at 31 psi. After increasing the tyre pressure the ride quality increased. We continued to Agumbe, and the roads were excellent. It was full of plantations on both sides, or forests, or villages. It was a real pleasure to drive on that road. No wonder why Malgudi days were shot in that village. If this is feeling so nice now, how it would have been when Malgudi days were shot?

We stopped in Agumbe for a tea-break. There is a small lake there, near where the ghat begins. Not sure if there is any activity there, like boating or walk-way. I did not venture out into find out more. We had tea and checked out a store with few handicraft items, and left. The ghat section was not in very good condition, but doable. We reached Someshwara in another 30 min and followed the signages to Kollur. Road conditions deteriorated after that. I got worried a bit. But then it improved, but still not good. I continued anyways, there was nothing much to do. By now, it was almost more than an hour and Kollur did not seem another 1 hour away, it definitely seemed more.

After Someshwara the roads are patchy, with certain bad sections, okay sections and good sections which came alternatively in cycles. We passed places like Halady, Sankaranarayana and finally reached Kollur by 1430. It took 3.5 hours against my assumption of 2 hours, due to 2 main reasons. One, the distance was more than I expected. I expected around 80-90 kms, but we drove around 140 kms. Second, the roads were not good throughout. 50% of the roads were in not-so-good or bad condition.

The question now was - where to have lunch? I did not stop anywhere on the way though it was lunch time and I had seen a couple of okay-types hotels. This is the problem with me. In eagerness to reach the destination I somewhat forget these little comforts or breaks that I should be giving my fellow-travellers and myself.

To our pleasant surprise Vasudev Adigas has opened an outlet in Kollur. They are in the premises of Hotel Mookambika Palace. I had read reviews about this hotel. Being a new hotel, it had good reviews. But tariff was on the higher side – 2k for a double bedroom per night. This was the starting as they had only A/c rooms. They seemed good. But I decided against. We had lunch at Vasudev Adigas, and proceeded towards Lalithambika Guest House managed by the temple. We normally stay here, and we get rooms for 300-350 for a double room. So spending 7 times that amount for one night was hurting the mind. So I decided to take this risk. I saw the rooms and seemed okay, though in mind I was not so okay. My review about this place can be read in Tripadvisor here.

We took rest for a while. Well, with the kid, it is not rest actually if the kid is not sleeping J Wife and I normally venture out to take bath in the stream nearby. This time also we stepped out, not sure of whether we can take bath or not. Dad and Mom also came along with us, with Samyu. The place was little away from Lalithambika guest house, and normally deserted. This time we did not venture out into water but gave Samyu a bath. She was so fascinated in playing with water that she cried and howled while she was taken off from water. We also would have jumped into water but could not get a right spot where we could do so. 

We came back to the room, took bath, got ready and left for temple. The temple was not that crowded, may be because it was a working day. Had a good darshan, did our offerings and spent some time there. After darshan it was around 2030, and we proceeded towards Vasudev Adigas for dinner. I can confidently say that this place is one safe bet to have food in Kollur. I cannot guarantee any other place. Meanwhile, I had enquired about the road condition to Shimoga via Nagara. The feedback was negative stating that it is in shambles, and in some areas road never existed. So I had made up my mind to retrace the route which I took while coming. Retired to our rooms by 0900 thinking of tomorrow. It is going to be a long drive.

Day 4: 28-October-2013

We woke up by 0400 and got ready by 0500. We could not sleep properly as there we lot of mosquitoes. In fact the sleep was very bad. Luckily Samyuktha was sleeping well, and we ensured that she was covered properly. That really helped. But the sleep that I lost did affect me during the day while driving.

The temple opens around 0500 in the morning. The plan was to start immediately after the morning darshan. We were on the road by around 0545 after the darshan. The roads were empty except few vehicles once in a while. I drove with less anxiety as I knew the road conditions. Reached Someshwara by 0730, and I stopped for breakfast. Had a pretty good breakfast of Neer dosa, vada and Poori. We bought few snacks as well from here and started by around 0800. We crossed Agumbe and Tirthahalli without any stop. I wanted to stop at Sakrebylu elephant camp if possible. We reached there by around 1000 and it was open. They are open from 0830 to 1130, and it was a good experience.

There are elephants in captivity, they do bathing and feeding from 0830 to 1130 and then they are let into the forest for roaming till next day. The next day morning, the caretakers go into the jungle to bring them all back. Quite strange and unbelievable. But they do it daily, sometimes these elephants will be with other herd and it takes a hell a lot of efforts to bring them back.

So bathing time was over this time when we went, but could be near elephants. We did not do a ride though. Samyu was quite excited. She often imitates elephant and we are supposed to be acting scared when she does that. So she got to see some real elephant buddies, from 3 months old to 95 year old. 

I took Shimoga, Arsikere route to Bangalore. We took a break at CafĂ© Coffee Day for lunch. The drive was getting little heavy as I had not slept properly before. But I managed to keep the head cool and continue. We passed Tumkur, after filling petrol, and after a small break where wife wanted to buy vegetables saying it will be fresh here. Reached Bangalore by 1815 and was very tired. Luckily Samyuktha seemed fine, apart from the fact that she had been restricted into the car’s space for her movements.

Well, a vacation that was very good had come to an end.