Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bengaluru a.k.a Bangalore

Recently I visited Bengaluru, the I.T. city of India, the Silicon valley of the east, the gateway to South India.
It was my first visit to this wonderful city and my first ever journey by flight.
The journey was really awesome. You get to have a bird's eye view of the earth...the buildings, rivers, farms, hills and all...look so small from far above. And then you are cut-off from this world and enter into another world...above the clouds. The cloud formations make you feel as if you are on some other planet. Since mine was an evening flight, I even got to see various hues and shades formed in the clouds as the sun set, which made it even more beautiful.

Pune airport is quite small, but its improving a lot. The new Bangalore airport, in contrast, is very huge. Lots and lots of planes can be accommodated here. Its very far away from the city. But you can't expect to get acres and acres of land very close to the city. The drive from airport to the place Kodihalli, where my brother is currently staying, was about 50min, which some people told me was pretty fast. I reached there at 8pm.
My brother had planned a tight schedule, so that I get to see almost everything thats worth seeing in Bangalore within the 2 days of my stay. He had also rented a Kinetic for that purpose. The only bad thing was that unluckily, it was raining. But we still stuck to our plan.
We started off with my brother's office ThoughtWorks. It was a pretty nice office with soft toys lying everywhere. I met most of his colleagues and then we proceeded to Forum mall, which is a huge mall with a 7 screen multiplex and lots and lots of shopping outlets.

We had dinner in its large food court and proceeded to UBCity, a mall set up by Vijay Mallya. It has nicely built structure. The mall and the items in it reflected Vijay Mallya's lifestyle. So obviously, it was good only for window shopping.

Then we proceeded to Kemp Fort which has a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has huge idols of Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha. It also has a small museum where you get to see the 12 Jyotirlingas and a short history of each.

So 3 places covered on the first night itself.
Most of the roads in Bangalore were one-ways and the two-way roads had very few crossings. It helps to somewhat check the already chaotic traffic. The ongoing metro train project may help in reducing the traffic problems in this city. But currently, the metro-work has affected some major roads, including the M.G. Road, one of the most important streets in Bangalore.

Second day started off quite late. We had a brunch which comprised of Idli-Dosa-Meduvada and some fruits. We then went over to E-Zone for Go-karting. It was a great experience but the cars were hard to drive than what I had expected. I took a lot of time for each lap, but I enjoyed. The cars were skidding a lot due to the rains.

We then headed off to have a look at my company's Bangalore Office. Its located on the 2nd Floor of Hotel Leela Palace. The hotel looked truly like a palace. The office was also quite beautiful. The hotel has three floored shopping center, which again was good only for window shopping. It also has a games parlor called Amoeba :).

We had a coffee at Barista located in the hotel itself and proceeded to have a look at the Tech park called EGL that houses big US companies like Microsoft, IBM, Dell, Yahoo, etc. The campus was really beautiful with nicely structured buildings and excellent landscaping. We had light snacks at the canteen there and went back home. Later that evening we visited Brigade road, which seemed to be a cool place to hang out. The crowd was also pretty nice :). I called over one of my friends who stays in Bangalore and we visited the other AMOEBA in Bangalore, situated here. It was quite huge with 12 bowling alleys and lots of other games. Even though it was so huge, we still had to wait for an hour for our turn to come, such was the crowd.

We then proceeded to Garuda Mall, the other huge mall in Bangalore. There we had our dinner and went back home.
Third day also began late. We skipped breakfast and then had lunch at an Andhra Restaurant called Nagarjuna. The lunch comprised of sambhar, rassam, curry, curd, some veggies and rice. No roti. It was nice though. After lunch we went over to Lal Bagh, which is a very huge botanical garden. It has 4 gates in 4 directions. The garden has a large variety of different trees. Within the garden is a hillock, atop which is situated the Kempe Gowda tower from which you get a beautiful view of Bangalore.

From the garden, we went to Bull Temple which has a very huge Bull cut out of rock

After that, we went over to Gandhinagar which is located in the older sections of Bangalore. The Majestic bus station is located here. One interesting sight here was the huge cut-outs of Southie actors. These actors are like Gods for these people. We then visited the Bangalore Palace and the Vidhan Souda. Both these buildings are magnificent.

On our return home, we went through the Cubbon park, which again is a park almost as huge as the Lal Bagh.
Later that evening we went over for shopping at Max and Lifestyle. We had dinner at the Mall itself. The tour then ended with a visit to the Amoeaba at Leela Palace where me and my bro had 2 games of bowling and 3 car races. He beat me in bowling and I took revenge in racing.
My brother had arranged for a car to drop me to the airport the next morning. I then returned back to Pune with great memories of a great trip, made even more special by my brother.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Wake up Raj

Recently, Raj Thackeray had threatened MLAs who do not take oaths in Marathi with dire consequences. His own elected MLAs even manhandled an MLA who took an oath in Hindi. The reason Raj gives is that "Karnataka madhe Kannada yet naslyamule eka minister la kadhun takla, te chalta. Ani ithe amhi marathit shapath ghyayachi mhanala ki chalat nahi". Wake up Raj...Is this why we elect people? Just to see that all elected people speak in Marathi? There's no need to copy bad stuff from other states. You should respect our Constitution which permits MLAs to take oaths in other languages as well. Raj, you had said that you'll be a very constructive opposition. Is this what you call constructive? We don't care about what language our leaders speak. We just want an output from them. If you really wants to fight for the Marathi Manoos, just see that your own MLAs and the others fulfill the promises they have made and seriously abide by their oaths....taken in whichever language the Constitution permits.
Your MLAs have now been suspended from the house for 4 years. Isn't it a loss for the people who elected them? Moreover, MNS supporters burned down around 21 buses in protest. Whose money is going down the drain then? The common man's or MNS'? Is this called constructive? What do you want to prove?
I am not saying that the guy, Abu Azmi, who took the oath in Hindi is any good. He had mocked the MNS men by showing them sandals. Such behavior should also be punished. If he can speak Marathi, he should have taken an oath in Marathi, rather than purposely speaking in Hindi to test MNS. Politics is really very dirty.
At the end of the day, its the loss of the Marathi Manoos only.