Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bollywood kinda scene...

Bollywood often portrays a hero as a one-man army, taking on the entire gang of the villain all by himself. Recently I saw a similar scene in a TV serial (रहना है तेरी पलकों की छाओं में...सोमवार से शुक्रवार रात ९ बजे, सिर्फ NDTV Imagine पे" . It's a very common scene in most movies, but still i would like to share it so that u can see for yourself how TYPICAL the scene is.

The hero(Kartik) and his entire family has gone out for some function. The heroine stays at home for some reason. The villain somehow gets her to come out of the house and kidnaps her. She is taken to a defunct, old mill. Hero and family come home and discover that the heroine is missing. Villain calls and "Muhahaha......Maine Suman ko kidnap kiya hai. Sari panchayat ke samne, mere paeer pakadke muzse mafi mango, thakur, varna tumhare ghar ki ijjat kisi galiyon mein ghar-ghar ki thokare khati rahegi". Then hero takes the vachan of saving Suman(the heroine), come what may. He leaves on his mission, all by himself. No police, no friends, no family to assist him.

During his search, the hero somehow gets to the villain on a phone. While speaking, the siren at the long defunct mill, where the villain has kept the heroine as a hostage, suddenly goes off (I wonder how the siren was still functional). The hero immediately knows the location of the villain and sets off to go there.

Meanwhile, at the defunct mill, the heroine has been tied up to the chair. But, there are some pieces of broken glass very close to the chair (as expected). The heroine somehow picks them up, cuts off the ropes and sets herself free, causing her hands to bleed in the process. By that time, our one man army reaches the mill and enters it. He comes across one of the villain's guards and kills him in an instant. Then he comes face to face with the heroine, who is trying to escape. Now, rather than escaping quickly, they hug each other for quite some time, long enough for the villain and his men to arrive on the scene.

The hero starts bashing all the bad men one by one, but alas! one guy manages to hit the hero on the head and he collapses. Then all the bad men hit him badly. The villain declares that the hero is dead, grabs the heroine's hand and starts to walk off. But, before he has covered even a couple of meters, our hero is back on his feet, with no signs of pain on his face, ready to fight again All bad men, who had left the scene, return to hit the hero. He successfully fights them all but now, the villain locates a knife nearby and threatens to kill the heroine.

The hero, with not even an iota of fear walks up to the villain. The villain, rather than killing the heroine attacks the hero. The hero defends himself, not by blocking the villain's hand, but by holding the blade of the knife (Holding the knife, rather than the hand adds to the effect) Now there is fear in the villain's eyes, seeing the strength of the mighty hero. The hero then hits the villain and rather than using the same knife, locates an iron rod to kill him. Man!... How well-quipped the mill was...broken glass, knife, iron rod, all in place...The hero swings his arms and just when the rod is near the villain's head, the heroine shouts "Ruk jao". Giving no respect to the momentum his hands had gained, the hero manages to stop instantly.

Suddenly, policemen rush in and arrest the villain and his men. Who called the police? No one knows  :(
The hero then takes the heroine to his home and announces "Maine mera vaada pura kiya" and then collapses. Sigh!!! And you thought, only bollywood heroes are macho??

Btw, the hero is not the lover or husband of the heroine. He is the elder brother of the heroine's dead husband :-p

Friday, February 12, 2010

Traffic woes

The Pune Municipal Corporation(PMC) is hastily implementing Pay and Park for all vehicles on most roads in Pune. The cost of owning a vehicle is increasing day by day. Lots of taxes and other fees are involved while buying a vehicle. Fuel costs keep on increasing. Vehicle maintenance costs are significant, chiefly due to the wear and tear caused due to rough roads at various places.Now add to this the extra expense that we will have to shell out everyday. Using own vehicle is now becoming a luxury.

Mostly when we go out for shopping, we need to stop at various places. The parking rates at various malls are already exorbitant. But, now even if you have to stop at some small shop in City area to buy some small item, which would hardly require 2 minutes, you'll have to shell out Rs. 2. Not that Rs.2 is very high for most of us, but  for some others, it really is. The cumulative cost of parking fees will easily go above Rs. 100 per month for most people.

The various reasons PMC gives is that they want to encourage people to use public transport,  de-congest the city roads and discipline the traffic. But, I think it has got all its calculations wrong. Now, since the public transport system was never good enough in Pune, I don't think charging for parking space will be strong enough deterrent for using private vehicles. People, who have already been used to travelling by own vehicle will prefer the parking charge, rather than use PMPML buses.

To de-congest the city roads, the traffic on those roads needs to be reduced. I don't think this issue can be addressed by charging parking fees. And if haphazard parking causes congestion, imposing penalties for improper parking should be the solution, and it is already being done. Moreover, improper parking is mostly a result of not having enough Parking space available. The PMC is not doing much to develop Parking lots in city area. The parking lots already developed are not good enough. The one near Mandai (at the place of Aryan Theater) does not have stairs for people to use before/after parking. The same route that is used by vehicles has to be used for walking up/down, meaning a lot of time and energy wasted. Moreover, its Entry and Exit gates keep on swapping. A big parking lot has been constructed near Modi Ganpati in Narayan Peth, but it is still not opened for the public, for dunno what reasons. Developing parking space should be the top most priority for PMC to de-congest the roads.

Unruly driving by rikshaw-men and PMPML bus drivers is also a major concern for the city traffic. Taking prompt action against them can prove to be useful for disciplining the traffic. Cars should not be allowed to stop on main roads for significant time, even if there are drivers waiting in them. Smaller buses should be used on narrow city roads. Public awareness camps should be held to imbibe proper traffic discipline in people. (But since no one cares for such awareness camps) high penalties should be imposed even on small traffic violations. Mass transport system projects (like Metros) should be planned and implemented at faster pace. Flop projects like BRTS should be scrapped immediately. Roads should be properly surfaced. Subways should be planned properly and implemented at suitable places(The subway at Goodluck chowk has already created lots of controversies due to improper planning). Flyovers should be built, wherever possible. Roads should not be dug up frequently. Timings for signals should be properly adjusted for smooth and continuous flow of traffic.

In short, a lot can be done to improve the traffic in Pune. All this needs to be done at a very fast pace, with proper planning, proper budgeting and by employing transparent means. But, this will be an almost impossible task for the corrupt and lazy PMC officials, so parking charges is the way to investment and lots of extra income.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Credit Cards

Credit cards, these days, are must haves for everyone. You don't need to carry much of cash with you if you have a card. Also, most online transactions happen only through credit cards. If used properly, you can get credit for upto 45 days without having to pay any interest.
But, it is generally advised to use credit card only when you need it . Moreover, one should not indulge in spending excessive amounts, so much so that you won't be able to pay back the amount later. But what if you can do away with the paying back part??
Recently I had a very funny (in fact an enlightening) experience regarding credit cards, or may be I was foolish enough for so many days for not understanding the trick myself. I was offered a FREE credit card by a particular bank. I said that I don't need it, since I already have a credit card of some other bank. But since the MADAM was insisting that it's free and that I have already been issued the card, I decided to take it. For verification, I needed to submit a few documents to a guy who was sent over to my office. However, later I again decided to decline the offer. I explained to that guy that I already had one credit card and did not need a second. But he kept insisting that a second card helps. His point was that currently I have to pay the credit card bill from my own pocket, but if I have multiple cards, I won't have to. HOW? Just pay the bill of one credit card from the other and vice versa and go on and on. No need to ever pay back in real money. Smart. Now I understand why most people and some Banks in US got bankrupt :)
One more thing that came forward was a nice marketing strategy that this particular Bank was employing. They call people saying that a credit card has been approved for them, but they need to provide contacts of at least 2 of their colleagues for verification. Once they get the contact numbers, they call them up and repeat the same thing, saying that a credit card has been approved for them, but they need to provide contact details of some colleagues for verification and the chain continues. Nice strategy I say, and more credit cards in the market...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Guidance [Part 2]

I am posting after a lot many days. Couldn't think of any decent stuff to write on. Even this is a very stale topic, but since I had written something similar to this and called it Part 1, having at least one more part was necessary :P.
I had written about people coming to me for guidance. Here I'll speak about people who gave me guidance, not to say, guidance I had never asked for. Here are some of my experiences...
My plans about my education were quite clear. 10th, 12th Science and then Engineering. But still, there were people who advised me all the way throughout my education.
Some said "Be a doctor. There's no doctor in our family." Come on, how is this a reason for choosing a career?
"BMCC madhe ka nahi admission ghetla 11-12th sathi?". Arey Science sathi BMCC madhe kon admission denar amhala?(For those who don't know, BMCC is a Commerce college in Pune)
"Amhi amchya XXX la javalchya school madhech taklay 11-12 sathi, mhanje abhyas neat hoto. Tumhi pan yala mothya college aivejit ashach kontyatari shalet ka nahi takla?" Pan tyanchya XXX la kuthe dusrikade admissionach milat navhta he nahi manya karnar.
"Engineering la kay jatos? Tu B.Sc. kar." When was B.Sc. a lucrative option compared to Engineering?
After getting admission into COEP, a guy even asked me "Bharatiya Vidyapeeth madhe ka nahi re try kelas?" Any sane person, with some knowledge of colleges in Pune must surely have understood why the above question is funny.
After Engineering, it became worse. Tu itka hushar ahes, MS tar whaychach. Engineering nantar MBA karavach lagta. Ata kay, GATE kadhi detoys? Arey, mala maza tharavu dya na.
Now, the latest and the most frequent advise I get is..
"Arey changla shiklays, changla kamavtoys, bhavacha lagna tharlyamule line clear ahe, ata tuza pan bagh" :P