Rant: Do you follow traffic rules?

The scene: I was waiting at the red to take a U-Turn at the BTM (Jayadeva) Flyover to head towards the Mantri building. It's red and I've my engine killed, enjoying a short break, clearing my head, before heading to work.

Now, people have this really bad habit at this particular signal: As soon as A turns red and B turns green, traffic at C has this urge to break their red. It's weird but that how's people behave.

| | |
| | | |
| | | {B} |
| |___________| |
| |_________________________|

Jayadeva Junction {A}
| ______ |
| {C} ( ) |
| | | |
| | | |
| | | |
| | | |

So, while I wait, A turns red, B turns green and C, of course, is still red. This gentleman (details later) starts honking. I point out the red to him. But why should that stop him. "The signal doesn't work", says he before zooming off to take a U-turn, risking an accident in the process. He must've been a real honcho and the 2 minutes that he waits for a red could cost his company (hold on, I will tell u where he works too) a billion dollars. So he zooms off leaving me boiling. When I get a green, I take my U-turn as usual, catch up with Mr. Honcho (I wish I had learnt his name) and ask him "Can't you wait for a b****y red? Aren't you educated? You s** ...". He merely waves me off and drives on. Yes, I agree that arguing was not the way to deal with it, but my temper was ruined and my peace disturbed. With all that going on, I couldn't stop the man and have a sane discussion on traffic rules with a man like that. Imagine my plight when I had to take the elevator with him. Aaarggghhhh!!! The agony of it all.

Why can't we wait at signals? Why can't we be patient and let a vehicle take a turn? Why can't we wait for a stalled vehicle to start or drive around it or help the stalled vehicle? Why do we have to honk and shout at a stalled vehicle? Why can't we cultivate a basic road sense? Are we that hampered by our limited civic sense?

Mr. Honcho drives a golden colored Santro, wears glasses, is thin and tall. He works for Tally in the Commerce@Mantri building on the 2nd floor. I wish I had gotten his name. Oh yes, let him sue me for defamation if he can.

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Firefox 2.0 RC1

Yep, just downloaded it. I have been playing around with the browser. Had to mini-hack some of my favorite plug-ins to work with the new version. Everything works so far and that's good, innit? A little inconvenient but should hold me until the extensions are updated.

Some very nice additions to an awesome browser. Read the What's New section for a rundown. Don't care too much about the visual changes or the web feeds. What I liked are

  • The auto complete feature for search engines. Yep, the search engine plugins can provide auto-complete. It did for Google.
  • built-in spell checker for web forms. it's brilliant and comes spelling suggestions and a add to dictionary feature. How hot is that? Now, your web mail can be spell checked on the go. BTW, I used it during this post.
  • Tabbed browsing improvements. History has a separate "recently closed tabs" list.
  • Built-in phishing protection. That should come in handy.
  • Some more neat features...
On the whole it is neat and I am waiting for 2.0 to be out. Can't wait to see what more they can do.

Do check it out. But beware, this install will overwrite any previous FF installs. Of course, your data will be safe.

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For years, I have always sported a really short crop, so short that it always looked like I was recovering from a recent tonsure. To speak the truth, I was scared of my hair. It was harder than coir and more unwieldy than the wildest weed. The barber must have cursed his luck everytime I stepped in for a hair-cut and this was pretty often. A little more than ground-level and there I would be getting my hair cut. I made sure that the hair was cut as short as the scissors could handle - value for money was definitely not the motivation. All this was until about a few months ago, when I stopped by the limelite salon (yes, it's a salon). My hair-stylist (yes, a stylist. I don't pay 200 bucks to call him a barber) cut my hair a little lesser than what I wanted. He didn't actually have to convince me to leave it just a little bit longer, though. Thus, I sported the "medium-length" hair for a while.

The devil, then, took me and I did the unthinkable. My hair "missed" a few appointments, three and a half months worth of them. Millions of gallons of hair gel and conditioner were used up during this period (Alright, that's overtly exaggerated!!). No, I did not want a ponytail. No, I couldn't even carry off the longer-by-a-few-centimeters hair. Nevertheless, I decided to soldier on and ignore the laments of my mom, the mocks of the others, the snigger of my friends and the "is that a new hair-cut?" jokes.

It felt nice to finally feel the wind in my hair. This happened during a train trip back to Bangalore. I was at the door trying to get chennai (no offense please) out of my system with a dose of the moonlit scenery, salty air and Bob Dylan singing "Blowin in the Wind" (No, I am not sure if it was that song but it would've fit in with the scene). There was a nice wind galloping right next to the length of the train. Without much strain, the wind could find my patch of hair and rush through it cutting through them like those guys always seem to do in "Lost". I found it immensely pleasurable to notice that the wind was able to mess with my hair. Yes, it felt nice. Hell, it felt great. So what if I looked weird with all that hair! Ahh, so this is what hair in the wind felt like?

Now that I had experienced the rebellious version of my hair, I was happy to fix up an appointment for my hair. I am back at medium length now. Yes, it still looks weird, but who cares!!

P.S: Don't get the wrong idea from my exaggerated use of the word "long". The word was used in complete relativity. The word "rebellious" was however used in the true sense. My hair is rebellious.

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Do you cook?

That's a de-facto question when people learn that I live alone in a house equipped with a stove, LPG connection and a myriad of utensils. My reply would always be, "Na. Used to cook, then didn't one day and the next and the next...." Truth be told, I rather enjoy the cooking part. What I don't enjoy is the painstaking brutal butchery of the vegetables. If only the veggies come in shapes that are suitable for cooking. Strips of carrot, quartered potatoes, sliced tomatoes, sliced onions. I have heard you can buy pre-cut vegetables, but I didn't bother to learn more about them. The biggest excuse I had to avoid cooking was the fact that I had to cook for one and I did not have a refrigerator to stow away extra portions. I hated the smirk that invariably bejewelled the veggie-wallahs face when I asked for "50gms of onion, 1 (exactly one) chilly, 1 stalk of curry leaves, 100gms of potato and 50gms of tomato". I am sure they found it funny. I didn't.

My cooking experience ranges across a number of 1-month periods. Some excuse or the other would save me from it and there I would be, back at the take-away. What did I make during the 1-month periods? Potato sambar, potato sagu, fried potato, potato stew. Yep, you guessed it. It was almost always a starchy potato meal. Did you guess why? Bingo!! Potatoes are easier to store. No refrigeration required.

So when the new fridge arrived most of my excuses had to be binned. In a way, I was glad that I made the buy. The curries I had to have everyday were killing me with their untasteable flavours. That's one thing I hate about the food here, every flavour tends to come in the way of the other and at the end of the meal all you can taste is a certain numbness of the taste-buds.

Now my kitchen is stocked with extra-virgin olive oil, brined olives, veggies - tomatoes, green peppers, baby corn, potatoes (can't ditch them, can I?), beet-root, salad dressings, cheese (no, I don't love cheese too much), milk (good milk in carton!), frozen fish, tomato puree, penne pasta. Yep, everything you need to whip up a great salad or dish out a nice fish. Not in fist-sized portions anymore!

So do I cook? Yes, I do. I don't know for how much longer, because first-and-foremost I am pretty lazy.

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Pandhikari, Coffee and Peace

That's Coorg for you. Had a wonderful ride to Coorg and back. For ye B'Loreans that head towards Mysore, do try the NICE corridor from Kanakapura Road to somewhere beyond the dreaded Kengeri traffic. That is one marvellous road, smooth asphalt, trimmed in white, stretching and snaking away into the horizon. If I could, I would dedicate this entire post to the NICE corridor. Sadly, I didn't stop to take pictures of the road. I should do it someday. The route we took was B'Lore-NICE-Ranganthittu turn off-Kushal Nagar-Madikeri-Cherumbane-nice resort in a mindblowing location. Yeah, i forget the other places that came and went in between. :)

The entire stretch was quick, smooth and heavenly to ride on. Except for some sections which are being laid afresh and should be done up soon. With a start time of 6:20ish we reached our acco around 11:30ish. And what an awesome place to stay in. It is a resort that is still being developed and once it is completed, I am sure you would want to be there. The view is worth killing for and the 80 acres the resort is on is worth all the money. It's a rain forest in itself. It even has a "canopy walk", that's a wooden bridge suspended really high up and strung from tree to tree. The walkway would extend an amazing 1/2 a kilometer. Yeah, that's right!

It was festival time in Coorg. The rest-after-the-sowing festival. I forget its name. It's kayal-something. Well, it was a time of celebration and every Tom, Dick and his friend Harry was walking lop-sided, thanks to intoxication. The entire town except for the three of us (Sameer, our host Satya and I) was merrily drunk. It was pretty funny. It wasn't even lunch time, mind you.

The afternoon turned out a very adventurous outing for us. First, we saw a 4WD Mahindra use its 4WD. At one really slippery and steep part of the track, the 4WD was outdone and we had to use an additional 5 MP (that's Man-Power) to get it out of the rut.. Dirtied jeans and grinning faces! Then in the evening, we decided to eat pandhicurry by a river. Guess what? We managed to ditch another Mahindra into a hole in the ground. :D And 4MP applied, pulled it out of the hole and on the drive. :) We were drenched in the rain by then and settled down to steaming pandhi-kari inside the jeep with the river looking at us through the windshield (or the other way around, if you please).

It didn't stop there. We had a huge spread of fried chicken, chutta pork (BBQ pork marinated in a lip-smacking, hot green-chilli sauce), pork chops, mutton, roti and tomato curry. The meal was huge, I tell you. Enough to put us to sleep by 9:30.

Next morning, after a hot cuppa tea (thanks to the guy from Darjeeling) we were on our way. This time we tried a different route.

The first leg: Sad-to-leave-it-behind Resort-Somwarpet-Shanivarasanthe was at its usual brilliance. The early morning weather, the negligible traffic and tons-and-tons of twisties after twisties put us in excellent spirit. We were so floating in the air, by then, that the second leg, Shanivarasanthe-HoleNarsipur-Channarayapatna, couldn't dampen our spirits with its negliglible road and the stand-on-the-pegs dunes. Yes, the second leg was a motocross like track. Sameer and I positively love the off-roading and it was no big deal. Not for the weak-hearted though. Avoid this second leg. Instead take Shanivarpet-Sakleshpur-Hassan-Channarayapatna. Longer but a lot more roadly. The third leg was NH48. Fun, fast dear-old NH48. Until you reach Nelamangala though. Once you get there, it's good-bye sweet freedom. Welcome to the chaos of civilisation. The congress rally didn't help one bit. After a fruitless but valiant attempt to get onto the Hebbal flyover, we turned back and took a half-circle around Bangalore on the Ring Road towards Mysore Road. The best decision ever. The RR took us to Kengeri and then we decided to go a very little way down towards Mysore and take the nice NICE road again. And then at 14:00 it was sweet home, some lunch and deep slumber for two hours.

Pictures here: http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictures.html?id=2102279287&mode=invite

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