Skip to main content

Posts

Bengaluru's connectivity is on the cusp of a tectonic shift

During peak hour, crowd-levels in Metro train systems in Japan become unmanageable such that they employ what are known as ‘train pushers’ to pack in as many commuters inside the compartments. Closer home, the Delhi Metro has always been synonymous with coaches packed with commuters, much like sardines in a tin can.

Bengaluru’s Namma Metro could very well be the anti-thesis to the above two examples. For, this describes best the public patronage that it has elicited by far.

Be it during peak-/ non-peak hours; public holidays or weekends, crowds on the Namma Metro have always been sparse. The trains on its nascent network run virtually empty most of the time. Nothing short of an outlandish gimmick, including hiring the ‘pushers’ from Japan, could draw the crowds here.

Now this is a situation that is virtually begging to be expressed in the form of anecdotes, or even trolled at. Consider, for instance: a betting racket might hedge on the beleaguered businessman Vijay Mal…
Recent posts

Jon Stewart and his significance to Indian media

When the most powerful citizen in the world makes an appearance on your TV show seven times, and makes special efforts to cultivate you, rest assured that you have made it as a showman. In fact, Barack Obama, on his last appearance on this show had quirkily commented to its host, “Can’t believe that you are leaving before me.”
Little wonder, then, that when Jon Stewart bid adieu to The Daily Show, the US late-night talk-cum-satire show that he had anchored for 16 years, news organizations from around the world — Bloomberg and The Times of India included — chose to chronicle his career. Every news organization worth its salt compiled “when Jon Stewart made us look back at serious moments” videos. His contemporaries and rivals alike have been busy penning eulogies that have swamped the virtual world. Needless to say, social media and the internet have been awash with tributes and brickbats, depending on one’s political allegiance.
Like Oprah Winfrey and David Letterman before him, it was …

The thin line between desperation and success

After years of blogging, I have decided to make a transition to short-stories. Here's my first shot at it...

The hangman’s noose dangled from the ceiling.
He placed a chair beneath it and climbed, wearing it around his neck, like a garland. Life had to end, prolonging it meant little sense. Although the urge had been at the back of his mind for a while, the catalyst was a newly-arrived e-mail.
“We at Polar Bear Books deeply appreciate you for expressing interest in us and sending us the manuscript of your work. However, as we are beset by financial difficulties…”
“… We are constrained to reject it,” he muttered as he clicked ‘delete’ and swore under his breath. The pattern was getting all-too familiar. Initial messages or mails of solicitation were invariably followed up with that of regret.
By now, he had sent manuscripts to every publication house worth its salt. From the industry’s biggest and most influential, to the ones at the bottom of the heap, it was as if everyone had a simil…

Let’s stop talking about sex, honey

Bittu (Tamil slang for porn) movies in Tamil Nadu may have finally found a worthy competitior: TV programmes doling out sex advice.

Prior to the advent of internet, titillation in TN would have meant ‘record’ dance bars – where women in skimpy dresses gyrate to item numbers in front of raucous crowds– or theatres screening dubbed movies of the soft-porn virtuoso Shakeela. Today, it might mean turning on the tube late at night to watch a sexologist hearing out woebegone callers and advising them on everything related to sex – from intercourse to periods and masturbation.

What could have been a healthy trend gets reduced to a caricature, and even worse, a misinformation campaign. And that – for a state that has made remarkable progress in curbing the incidence of AIDS (remember, it was once bracketed with the likes of South Africa) and showed the rest of India how welfare schemes for transgenders could be implemented – is a blot of gargantuan proportions.

The “professional” opinion becomes…

Tamil Nadu’s Thala-Thalapathy conundrum