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Showing posts from January, 2008

Oasis opens up in Bengaluru - its special for me!

The OASIS shopping center opened to public today the 30th of January 2008 in Koramangala. This perhaps kind of completes Koramangala into a fully transformed floating population hub as compared to the wild jungle it was exactly in 1983 when we first settled down here. Since 25 years, what a metamorphisis it has been! From a layout which had only one bus plying towards the city bus stand every three hours once to now being called the center of the city, its been quite a journey. So much so that the city’c center of gravity now has become Koramangala. Starting with cool parks, mundane post offices, one big school, missing bus services and being constantly harassed by small time RTO policemen in yesteryears, the locality has now seen a great transformation and amalgamation of different services including IT companies, ITES companies, call centers, petty shops, road side push cart shops, hundreds of Darshini’s, atleast two dozen good hotels, Pizza corners, hideouts, huts and what not, dha…

Good morning Bengaluru

Pictures speak a thousand words, and as summer begins to set in, I caught this pleasant sunrise on my mobile camera just near ITPL. Good morning Bengaluru!



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India Celebrates 59th Republic day

India is celebrating its 59th republic day. It is on this day that the constitution of India came into effect way back in 1950. It also signifies the transition of the control from the British regime to the Indians. While we look back at these 59 years to see what effect the transition of the power and control has done to India, a lot of images flash through the mind immediately. A few of these are stated here to portray the situation better:
The PROS


India made significant progress in the way a democracy is run by bringing in an extremely complex framework to handle this country as years go by. This is called the Constitution of India.

Our country made dynamic strides in education and literacy

Economic progress was extremely fast especially since the last 10 years thanks to economic reforms opening up during each government’s regime

Almost every industry in India is now comparable to a similar industry around the world in terms of its execution, its profits or its sheer leadership prowess

Paperu, Sweetu in Bengaluru

I was in my office cracking some really irritating codebase when my friend Raja just came into office after his holiday in Telegu Desam. Oops I meant to say Andhra Pradesham. He thrust a box full of tissue papers into my hand and asked me to take one. Being used to the hot and wet face tissues that are given on flights I was about to take one and wipe my face with it. Its only then that he told its to be eaten. Yes you heard it right - EATEN!!!!!! I was a bit dumfounded at that moment wondering why is he making donkeys out of everyone asking them to eat paper. Its the he told me that it was a box of sweets.

Called as Pootha Rekulu, this is a coastal andhrasweet, made of starch and powdered sugar. Andhra is known for its many flavours, sizes and types of sweets and this one brought a smile on my face. Its been a while since I saw or ate anything like this one. It was too good and required an entire 10-15 minutes to complete one such sweet!
So here’s a cheers to Raja, for his Pootha Reku…

Google's Googly

I was casually running a search on google for "dvd ripper" and google delivered a googly as result to me and left me dumbstruck for a while! The rest is left to you to see and decide

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Did you meet yourself anytime?

Have you ever wondered how you would feel if you met yourself somewhere on the streets? Would you not have the curiosity of understanding who the other "you" is ? well, though this exactly did not happen to me, I however bumped into an identical pair of twins in a super market. And boy oh boy, were they exactly similar!? You betcha! To be a twin brother or sister to someone is perhaps an exciting thing in itself in life. Very few people are gifted with that combination. But though we feel that twins will have the same behavioral tactics always, that is not really true. I have two pairs of twins in my home, with completely different interests and behavioral themes! Well when you have had a lot of pressure at your work and return home to spend a quiet evening shopping around, what more pleasure can one get than a scene like this? - Identical twins!



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Pongal brings out the ultra cool winter in Bengaluru!

Today I was getting ready to drive out of my locality towards office and I was greeted by the most insane of foggy conditions just outside my home. The fog was so bad the visibility was less than 20 feet! The winter in Bengaluru has been greatly chilly this time alone which is again a climatic pattern change compared to couple of years back when it was more moderate. This is only a prelude to then what summer shall bestow upon our city ! Enjoy the pics






Here is wishing all the readers of my blog a very happy Sankranthi!




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(image courtesy : http://hsb.iitm.ac.in/~jm/ARCHIVES/Jan-Feb02/harvestfestivals.htm)
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The fiat 500, in India as a CBU for Rs.10 lac - doesnt it rock?

I was pleasantly surprised to see the FIAT India website updated with the cute and sexy Fiat 500. I also came to understand that FIAT has decided to sell this car in India as a CBU (Completely built unit) for about Rs. 10 lacs. Though the price looks steep it will be for those people who want to flaunt their style attitude on the roads. It will come with the same 1.3 MULTIJET diesel engine that is there in the swift diesel car today. Same power, torque but smaller car! Can you imagine how thrilling it will be to drive this car with such a zippy engine!? And oh yeah its a three door car meant for two people with plush seats and biege theme upholstery inside and with the usual safety features. The day FIAT decides to build this here in India, it would cost upto 5 lacs which is still a great price to pay for a car that has 500000 combinations of style possible (tyres, body, paint, wheels, colours put together!). Even if there are only basic options provided, it would still be the same f…

More city development charges in the making for Bengaluru

So have you been wondering why the updates on this blog have become slower? Well Happy New Year 2008 to all of you and I must say I’m just back from my one week full shutdown vacation. Got my batteries recharged spending time with my family and now ready to take on 2008. And what does Bengaluru have to give you this year? More levies and fees for each and everything that the citizen is involved in. Take a look yourself

This year the whole country seems to be talking big. After the climate change convention in Bali, stricter norms are in the making for all countries including India. Though we may not be immediately affected, India has managed to convince USA to reduce emissions, it being a developed nation. While this might mean more fuel efficient vehicles and lesser dependence for USA on fossil fuels, back home this automatically leads everyone (yes even if he is a politician) to think about the impact of climate change and accordingly self impose stricter rules and penalties to reduc…

Sun Direct DTH launches in Bengaluru

I had earlier written an article on the entry of SunDirectDTH into the DTH space, when they started off in Tamil Nadu. In that article I had compared various players in the DTH space as well. You can find more details about the various DTH players here
Today SunDirectDTH has started off their services in Karnataka, and particularly in Bengaluru, although they are now singing a different tune than the old "Free set top box + free installation" song! This time they are offering the service for Rs.1999/- (*****) with lots of "conditions apply" buzzword - the jargon meant to indicate everything is not what is indicated in there! If I am probably right, it would only mean an installation charge of Rs.999 extra putting the totals upto Rs.3000/- which is no different from the other existing players.



Interestingly earlier Tata Sky was offering their customers a million minutes free which they have now withdrawn. Instead now they are beginning to capitalize on the kids segme…

BSNL launches 8Mbps broadband in Bengaluru

So its about time we had some decent net speeds, and BSNL seems to understand our requirements as well. Yesterday, they have launched an 8Mbpsbroadband scheme in Bengaluru. Now you can be assured of simply blistering speeds. I got a chance to experience 8Mbps while I was at London, and it was simply terrific.
They have three plans, 2000, 4000 and 15000. While the first starts from 256kbps upto 8mbps, the latter start from 1mbps minimum and go upto 8mbps. Whats also good is the download limits. Instead of skimpy 1Gigs they now have 27GB in the starter plan upto 125 GB !!! in the last plan.They even have a free modem (rental, and without monthly charges, returnable on disconnection) for the last two plans which makes this a scheme to lap up immediately if you got the dough!



For more details you can call a toll free number of BSNL - 1800 424 1600 and be rest assured your life might change forever with respect to the way you browse!
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Repair your PCs, laptops and networks in Bengaluru - 24/7, online support and more!

Some decent support for all your computers seems to be finally in the making! Yesterday a website called itsupportdesk.com was launched in Bengaluru. Operating out of rajajinagar area, for about Rs.899/- ($23) they offer you unlimited software downloads onto your PC/Laptop, live chat 24/7 and one year’s worth of warranty for your PC. Stealing the punchline off HP’s ad blitz about the computer being personal, they go on to add, ’the computer is personal, lets treat it personally’For this price you get 4 free carry in services if in case something is wrong with your PC. While the price seems a bit steep for just four services, atleast you have someone reliable (hopefully) and someone you can reach 24/7online. This makes the price a bit attractive especially considering 24/7 work.



(image courtesy : times of india)
They have quarterly, annual, and pay per visit plans while they have managed to keep their onlinesupport free forever. They would perhaps be able to solve most of the problems by…

Rammurthynagar underpass finally ready

The BDA officially inagurated the Rammurthynagar underpass yesterday. With six lanes (3 on each side) this underpass will enable smooth movement of traffic from Hebbal towards KR Puram and vice versa. The BDA completed this in record time as scheduled. but the main bottlenecks still seem to be the Lingarajapuram signal and the Nagawara signal. Assuming the BDA does up these junctions with two more underpasses the road then must be sufficiently free enough for smooth traffic movement.



dImages courtesy: Deccan Herald and Times of India.
This is something that BDA must have thought about long back, which they did not, and thankfully they are now proposing something like this for the 8-lane peripheral ring road - still to be one of the best ring roads in Bangalore. For now they can either use the precast underpass blocks (which they are now using for the international airport connectivity) elsewhere too at places like Nagwara for example. Only time will tell how the congestion will look li…

The good old Bengaluru cigarette lighter

Yes we have seen thousands of cigarette lighters of all jazzy types and prices and sizes in both the domestic and international markets so far. But how about the good old indian beedi and cigarette lighter? It has withstood the test of time, and has lit many billions of cigarettes and beedis for the customers since time immemorial and continues to do so.



Except that if its electricals arent so right, it could even light you and your clothes in flames too
This the real raw deal - two probes connected to a 230 volts 50Hz AC supply and a small spring connected inbetween them, much as a filament rests between the leads in the tungsten lamps. When you pass electricity through this spring, it lights up and becomes white hot (not red hot!) which you can then use to light your puff. Though dangerously exposed, this still is the cheapest, to the point concoction that simply works till date! And maintenance is super easy too! Just replace the spring or better still each component that goes into t…

Chilly season still persists in Bengaluru

I had posted earlier about the onset of winter in our Bengaluru, well the season seems to be still on, with temperatures going as low as 12 degrees this time. Add to that a cyclone in Tamil Nadu, and the shivers only crept up more faster than ever. The fog was so thick that it had engulfed the whole of the KR Puram hanging bridge. Proof of that is here:



Its there in the first snap, and missing in the second! With this being the only hanging bridge (other than the ones that well …. sort of hang precariously), it always makes me stare at it in awe everytime I pass through it each day.
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Apple cutters for Bengaluru, my day is always made

So how fast can you eat an apple? Well, perhaps in five minutes or even lesser depending your hunger level. But If I were to tell you to cut the same apple in the same two minutes, would you be able to do it without the seeds being there?

I can thanks to my new apple cutter which I bought from the London M & S store (marks and spencers). It cost me about 7 pounds, but more than compensates for that price with the many apples it has sliced for me since a year now.





So there you go then! Easy to eat apple. There is also another product called the apple corer, where you just push that instrument right into the middle of the apple until it reaches the other end, and the entire seed portion is cored out like drilling a hole into a wall

This brings me to a parting joke for this post


An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but if the doctor is beautiful, keep the apple away!
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Staples comes to Bengaluru

Staples Inc has finally made it to our very own Bengaluru, at Marathahalli! Opportunity knocked I would say. Staples was the store that invented the office supplies superstore concept way back in 1986 and has over 74000 people working for the store all over the world! Staples 2006 sales alone was $18.2 billion, can you imagine how much that is in Rupees? It is 18.2 x 1 000 000 000 x 40, which is a mind boggling figure of Rs. 728000000000 !!!!!


Today as they step into Bengaluru, consumers never had it so good with respect to choices for stationery. Move over William Penn, Staples is here! As I was driving down the Airport road towards Marathahalli, I finally caught up with this poster!


So people what are you waiting for, bring your kids along and splurge on some great stationery for yourself! I am sure you wont regret it
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Gmail launches AIM integration in chat

I am not sure why Google thinks AIM is so important that it has integrated AIM buddies into its own chat, but perhaps they foresee a potentially lethal alliance between themselves big enough to screw other players with their chat application going places. One thing is sure, Google is sure upto lot of things this Christmas!
For more details on AIMintegration, click here!
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Gmail adds more functionality to labels, and new colours too!

Google seems to be doing new things with Gmail. First it was emoticons, then it was IMAP, then it was a slight change in UI, then it was group email chat. And now labels and options on labels. For starters, google is now adding colours to labels, and you can set colours to your important labels to spot them easily on the screen.



Not only that, you can also access emails or conversations based on labelsmore easily than ever before. One can easily notice its AJAX at work efficiently on the google mail. If your conversation has a label, you can now click on that label and it will open that conversation in a much bigger better view showing all labels associated with it.






You can then click on the labels in view to search for all messages with that label. You could also delete a label off this conversation by clicking the small close ’x’ button next to label. Pretty neat eh?






So more label related features coming onto gmail now! Google is now ensuring that people drift more and more away from t…

The leaning tower of Bengaluru - the silicon city of India

As usual my evening drives always provide me with interesting insights into what automobiles can be used for in India, and today was no exception. There was this truck with a huge set of container type loads, of which two of them were dangerously leaning on the verge of collapsing onto vehicles nearby. In fact in all glory it resembled the leaningtower of Pisa. I could not help marvel at the angle at which this load was balancing itself. I am not sure when I would get a chance to see the leaningtower of Pisa, but for sure I would perhaps get many chances to see such leaning towers of Bengaluru, the SiliconCity of India!




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PR #2, 10000 visitors and two blogs - thanks Bengaluru!

One of the aim of this site was to create content that my visitors would like and to enlighten them about life in Bengaluru. With my many posts I have managed to convey this information in pictorial ways to make you enjoy and see Bengaluru city through my blog! With encouraging comments (good and bad) from all of you, I shall continue to go foward with this venture to measure up to your expectations. Just to let you know, the website today crossed 10000visitors since its inception and a record 4000 visitors since just six months.



Not only that this website now has a page rank of 2/10 on google, which in itself is an achievement. As I go foward, I intend to make this blog a PR4 blog with my contributions and I look forward to all your support to make the Bengaluru blog the most liked blog about Bengaluru!
Shown below is the statistical data about this blog, with data got from www.siteranks.net



So do keep visiting and happy reading the Bangalore blog and the Technology Blog!




http://blog.c…

Google introduces group email chat!

I was browsing through my google mail when this menu item caught my fancy:



Upon clicking it, it showed me a new feature launched by google, groupemailchat!



For more information, google says:

About groupchat
The groupchat feature lets you chat with many friends at once. There’s no limit to the number of people you can chat with, and any participant can invite others to join. To get started, follow these steps:
1. Start a chat with a single person in your Contacts list.
2. Once you’ve started the chat, click Options at the bottom left of your chat window and select GroupChat.
3. In the field labeled ’Add a person to this chat,’ enter the name of the contact(s) you want to add to your groupchat.

To end your chat, click the X at the corner of the chat window. Others in the groupchat will get a message saying that you’ve left the conversation. If you want to rejoin, you’ll need to be invited back by a contact who’s still in the groupchat. The groupchat will continue until all participants have lef…

Gmail chat now has smiley icons!

Recently while chatting with a friend on google email chat, I noticed the following support for icons in google. It was a long desired feature, and now that its there its time for you to be emotional with your chat partner! So go ahead, frown at him, smile at her, do what you feel good doing, with emoticon support in google email chat!








There seems to be support for text icons, round icons and square icons, pick your choice!
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Chowchowbath - sweet, sour, spicy, bland - all the things you need to know about Bengaluru

The time has finally come to explain why this website is called chowchowbath.com - why this name and what it signifies. From the day I began to understand life, about 25 years ago (a silver jubilee of sorts!) I slowly began to be associated more and more with Karnataka, Kannada and our very own Bengaluru. In these 25 years, Bengaluru has seen so much of metamorphism that no other city in India would have probably witnessed. From the days of having no TV or telephone, until the present day Tata Sky’s to DishTVs, and to Reliance free mobile to mobile calls, so much has gone in between like you would find a burger from Mc.D’s! We have come across sweetthings, spicythings, sad moments, sour moments and bland moments. In essence this represents Karnataka’s favourite dish, Chowchowbath. From the day I began to build my website since 1997 until now, it went through different stages until I reached a juncture where my blog became my shoutbox and the site itself attained this name - Chowchowba…

South Indies, Bengaluru, a one-off experience

A friend who dropped down from the USA to Bengaluru, wanted to meet up with me and another pal, at a ’decent’ restaurant where we could spend some time chatting away. We were thinking of the usual Ebony Restaurant at Barton Centre, MG Road, when one of them pointed me out to SouthIndies, at Indiranagar 100’ Road. The idea appealed to me as it was South Indian food, and they also had a menu that looked like a travelogue which highlighted important aspects of the four southern states of India (Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh)

So after having a concurrence from all friends, I booked a table (this is a very important step to get there!) at 7pm (early dinner!) and we reached there. Though there was valet parking, I hated to give the keys of my Swift VDi (rocket as I call it) to anyone in Bengaluru to handle. I hated the concept of valet parking as the last time I did it in church street, I ended up having a scracth on my precious asset - my car. Luckily since I was one of t…