Published May 23, 2008 by Srikanth Eswaran with 0 comment

Vayu Vajra - the new face of volvo travel to the Bengaluru International Airport

By now you would have read about BMTC commissioning new volvo buses to take people from the new Bengaluru International airport to their homes and the other way round. I actually got a chance to have a look at one of these on my way back home. On perceptions this is more or less similar to the ones already ferrying people around the city, except for the luggage space in the front. This bus is a 30 seater with seating at back while all luggages are in the front of the bus. The only grouse is whether the buses would be able to handle luggage enough for 30 people at any point even considering each person may end up carrying atleast 2 suitcases (one big and one small).

New Volvo Vajra buses with luggage space in the front of the bus

My initial impressions is one of surprise since I think for 30 people this bus is gonna be very congested for the luggage section. The only succour though would be that the bus is airconditioned and people can feel good sitting and traveling in it compared to say a cab or even an auto. BMTC has started this initiative in the right earnest and one only hopes they add more to this fleet of Vayu Vajra’s traversing the city!

For more detailed information on Vayu Vajra volvo prices and routes, click here

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Published May 23, 2008 by Srikanth Eswaran with 0 comment

Bye Bye Beauties

My previous post had only pictures of the planes taking off. For my unfortunate luck it so happened that the wind direction was towards Marathahalli the day before, and hence all planes were landing from that direction. However luck smiled on me yesterday when the wind direction was towards inner ring road, and hence all planes were landing from this side. I was a bit disgusted that I could not get proper pictures of these planes for my last post, but lo and behold, this time I did it. With the imminent opening of the BIAL, these are the last few pictures I would have ever managed to shoot on my terrace for a long long time to come.So let the pictures do the talking! The sky was rather overcast yet again yesterday and I have adjusted my camera settings for maximum exposure level. I can only take aircraft photos, I can’t control nature

Jet Airways Boeing 737 : 5-45pm

Kingfisher Airbus A 320: 5-50pm

Go Air Airbus A 320: 6:25 pm

Spicejet Boeing 737 : 6-30pm

Air Deccan ATR - 6:40 pm

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Published May 22, 2008 by Srikanth Eswaran with 0 comment

HAL - a golden era in aviation

As I watching TV yesterday night, speaking with my dad, my mind was still afresh of my experiences with HAL - both as a company and as an airport for Bengaluru. I had also just returned from a photo shoot on my terrace on a rather overcast day with the clouds preparing to cool down the tempers of heated Bengaluru on the airport discussion.

Over just ten minutes of talk with my father, I realized atleast seven aircraft had crossed my terrace. Such was the progress of the city’s air traffic that it has now necessiated a more modern airport that can handle air traffic and passenger movements in a more coordinated and efficient way. Barring the few minor accidents such as the Kingfisher aircraft going nose down on its belly due to a mere small animal like a stray dog and a few technical snags (whatever that always means) that held up a couple of international airlines from taking off, the only major memory I have of any serious accident is the most infamous plane crash that happened in Bangalore city in 1990 which left 90 people charred and dead most of them being ladies and children who would all have perhaps completed their education by this time, had they been alive.

As per the eye witness reports the plane touched the golf club ground, rolled for about 100 m and then crashed to tank bund of challaghatta tank. Due to this impact, the engines and wheels disengaged from the plane. From there the plan, due to accelaration crawled in to the challaghatta tank area.

Picture courtesy : Karnataka Fire Department

The last I know of the Bengaluru airport when it started off is when I got a chance to go to the view deck and say "Bye" to my uncle who was on a flight going to Chennai. It was such a thrill just having felt lucky to see an airplane those days. The ATC itself was more of an extremely simple tower which had the "Oh-I-am-so-simple" kind of look with no sophistication attached to it.

Picture courtesy : Nitin M Nair

From those days when life itself was a simple affair, to these days, when even skies have been crowded, its been a 25 year growth of Bengaluru that has indeed left the people in need of something better. The sheer volume of the planes in the skies has made it difficult for HAL to handle the current traffic. The proof is in the pudding (my terrace)

Its always nice to welcome new developments (even if they are far away) and March 24th hopefully would see the gala opening of the new BIAL (Bengaluru International Airport)

It is but tough to comprehend that HAL is indeed closing down for now until some solution is worked out for the controversy on keeping two airports open. Moreso, since I was involved in a project at NAL (a related entity - National Aerospace Labs) ! I cant forget those days, when we used to take long drives to reach Belur - a little known place behind the runway and the chalagatta valley for our project work. It is during those times that we got to see many a plane land extremely close to our driveway scaring the wits out of us! It was such good fun and these precious moments would be missed for a very very long time to come. No matter what an international airport offers in terms of facilities for wearied travelers, the old charm of HAL will always remain fresh in the minds of those who have experienced it, including me.

Adieu HAL, Bienvenue BIAL!

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Published May 17, 2008 by Srikanth Eswaran with 0 comment

Dance of Democracy - the cry of TOI

Finally the time has come with its own problems and solutions. The Dance of Democracy section has started appearing in our very own Times Of India which keeps raising a big hue and cry in every day’s paper on the various issues concerning Bengaluru. As though its the only one concerned. After the government handover debacle last November, its finally election time in the state. The state goes to elections on three days of which two are now over. Different television channels (again belonging to regional parties) are talking differently about the exit polls. So there is no clear clue on which party would make it. If my assumptions are true, then it would be definitely either the BJP or an unhealthy coalition of Congress and JDS again. While coalitions solve arithmetical equations, one cant say that they may solve the city’s problems. The real reason is that after satisfying the basic arithmetics of numbers, it then turns into another arithmetical sequence of "How much can I swindle in these 4 years?" kind of thing.

(image courtesy Culture Holidays)

If you ask me, I would say, for the past 50 years after independece BJP has never been given, or got a chance to rule Karnataka. Even if they were the absolute majority party last time. This is the irony of things in Karnataka when a majority party has nowhere to go. While there is lot of bickering and bashing within Congress and dissidence within the party itself, the JDS has lost all credibility after the last year’s misgivings. I am not asking people to favour BJP. But common, here is a party that has never seen the light of the day with respect to running the government and at the helm is a simple man (he may not be very political, but he has stood by BJP for a long long time since his childhood) who might mean god to the villagers and the poor. The election results would be out in ten days and the electorate is in no mood for another nonsense coalition drama. Though everything was in our hands, still there can be a situation where nothing is in our hands. And this is exactly what the parties might be waiting for to create uncertainties again. Its time going forward that we look at other parties that have people from the public with proper background and education enough to manage a state and we must be able to choose them by way of their proven qualities than by just some election manifestos. Also considering that there was only 40% urban turnout in Bengaluru and 60% elsewhere in the second phase of polling, it only shows people are getting more and more disinterested in politics and the way the state is run. This can be a ploy adopted by parties to screw the state for another 20-25 years. We must realize this and break this jinx some day. For all you know there may be elections just around the year end once more (and this time Mr.Misra would offer a to be a coalition king maker for all you know) !

Anyways, my one cent on these crazy game of politics:

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Published May 17, 2008 by Srikanth Eswaran with 0 comment

Trying out Zoundry Raven for blogging

This post is created using Zoundry Raven Blogging platform after my not so good experience with Post2Blog from ByteScout. However I find the Raven editor way too slow and consumes roughly 71MB of physical memory. That is is ridiculously high by all standards! The only other options I have that supports imageshack for image uploads is ByteScout Post2Blog. I wish atleast Windows live writer could support imageshack. As I wait in vain, atleast I have Raven working for now!

I am attaching a small image here just to see how it appears on the blog!

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Published May 11, 2008 by Srikanth Eswaran with 0 comment

Staples launches yet another outlet in my very own Koramangala

I had written a blog post about Staples, Marathahalli launch on this blog a while back. Well after that occassion, the store has now been opened in Garuda Mall, Margrath Road, and of late in Koramangala as well. I had a chance to visit the Koramangala staples store to check out on some stationery and on a few laptops, since its shopping season for laptops! I must say I was more impressed with this outlet than the Marathahalli one for some reason. Maybe its because of the number of people, or the varieties of things stored, or something else. The store looks huge, and is huge as well.

The number of things kept in the store is seriously going to give the creeps for smaller stationery stores to match upto staples! And if you are thinking the prices are unreasonably high, you might need to rethink. There are things that are affordable within Staples. From Files, to school products, to notebooks, to mobiles, to laptops, to label markers, to furniture to printers, to earphones, to vacuum cleaners to pens to erasers - you find everything here! I went in to check for laptops and their prices.

The real reason is tha I have an NEC Versa E600 laptop (anyone want to buy it at cheap price?), which has come of age. I bought it in 2003 and its now 5 years. The laptop still runs well with windows XP, I’ve increased the RAM to 780MB, the XP license is original, I’ve even managed to upgrade the CD-RW to a DVD-R, added a USB wireless dongle as well from SMC, and this has a 30 gig HDD. All said and done, I now want to have a laptop with everything inbuilt - webcam, mic, speakers, must run atleast windows xp, 2 GB RAM, Dual core processor, 160 GB hard drive, USB 2.0 ports, SVideo port, Wifi 802.11n , etc. Acer and Compaq fit my bill for these necessities now and I found these two to be interesting in Staples. However being unable to decide at the moment, I decided to come out of Staples with just some stationery purchases for the moment.

I did find an interesting pen however, which in essence echoes the proverb "The pen is mightier than the sword ! "

For those wishing to see some useful stuff now avaialble in India at the same quality as anywhere else abroad, head to Staples, Koramangala. You wont be disappointed. I have the telephone number for Staples Marathahalli for now : +91-80-6699-0608 and their website is at If anyone can add the telephone number for Staples, Koramangala, I would be glad.

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Published May 09, 2008 by Srikanth Eswaran with 0 comment

Jooli/Dhooli - the great indian baby hammock

I wanted to put in this blog post long back, but something kept me from doing it. In the meanwhile my son has grown older and older and its really been a sweet time with him so long! The hammock has made many of the international travelers bask under the sun and sand and put them to sleep whilst they listened to the waves and the winds. In India, the Dhooli (Tamil) or Jooli (Kannada) has put thousands of babies to sleep regularly. The Dhooli is a simple saree cloth with both ends of the hammock tied to the same hook. Small babies are put to sleep within the enclosure thus created and this hammock can then be rocked to the far side and to the near side. This rocking motion instantly puts babies to sleep. The Dhooli also provides a cozy atmosphere for the baby to continue sleeping for long hours while at the same time perfectly balancing the baby with its center of gravity.

A few points to note if you use Dhoolis

  • Always secure both ends of cloth well at the top

  • Dont keep the bottom too high from ground, its not good for the baby

  • Ensure your baby is fully inside (head, legs) so as to maintain a slightly raised position at head level and sloping towards the leg

  • Ensure you wrap a mosquito net around the Dhooli to stop mosquitoes from going on

  • Ensure you are alert to find out when the baby wakes up

  • Dont use Dhoolis at night lest it becomes a habit, instead use them during the hot afternoons when kids arent so comfortable sleeping on the beds

  • Stop using the Dhooli when the kid is as old as a year or more.

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Published May 05, 2008 by Srikanth Eswaran with 0 comment

It happens only in India...

I was on my way to a function in Jayanagar this weekend, and my wife pointed out this hilarious hoarding at a shop in Jayanagar Shopping Complex. I could not help laughing at this

Its only a matter of time by when the moral police book this guy for his prostitutional racket of selling ladies and gents for just Rs.50 onwards, and for other brothels go up in arms for this guy to have ruined their business selling the same in thousands of rupees.This is called the "I too know English" effect !!

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Published May 01, 2008 by Srikanth Eswaran with 0 comment

Every Dog has its day

Well yes we have all heard this proverb over and over again and perhaps even used it on our friends and relatives while talking casually many a times. A fortnight back, I was the dog, and it was my dayI had been to the National Media Museum in Bradford to watch an IMAX movie called Lions3D : Roar of the Kalahari. After the movie, me and my friend were really hungry and after taking a couple of snaps (avaialble in my earlier post) at the museum, headed off to a nearby Pizza joint to have a huge big Marghareta pizza. We were so engrossed in eating the pizza and having a chat together that I understood my friend’s wife worked at the college where I studied. Continuing the discussion, the talk went on to cover all the lecturers we knew, and many things about the college itself. When our stomachs were full, we decided enough is enough for the day and left the pizza joint. On the way back to our hotel, about 5 miles away, I just sat in shock and sheer horror in the taxi as thoughts flashed in my mind.

I had forgotten to take my camera from the pizza joint, it was a sunday and there was no phone number of the joint with me, or any guarantee that the joint would be open even 30 minutes later or that he would have my camera stored for me. All I knew was that I was in deep soup having spent 500$ on that camera way back in 2003, and about 50$ more for a charger just 2 days back. The taxi took a U-turn and stopped at the museum. I just ran out of the taxi and up the road leading to the pizza joint. After some running, I noticed the shops ended there and there were no more ahead. Its when i really looked lost. I had actually lost my way and my mind. Somehow I gathered my wits and calculated and remembered the exact directions to the shop and found it finally. The door opened and I flew into the shop like a bird and perched on the counter crawing for my goods. The shop owner was considerate enough to have stored my camera for me, and you must have seen the relief on my face seeing my camera back in my hand.

Moral of the story : EVERY DOG HAS ITS DAY!.

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