Archive | April, 2008

Days Gone By – Part Deux

28 Apr

The Pinball arcade turned from a curiosity to an addiction.

Saturday money would be gone in half an hour. So much so that in addition to the pocket money, I’d hit mom up for money so I could go play the machines.

All along my dad who suspected this would keep warning me… “Dont go to that place.. its a gambling den. If I ever catch you there.. you dont want to know what I’ll do to you”…

Things got to a head one day… it was Gowri/Ganesha festival. We lived in Jayanagar and as tradition vaunts, mom would invite ladies from the neighbourhood to come home for “Arishina/Kumkuma and Aarathi. Similarly mom would reciprocate by visiting the houses in the neighbourhood (there were quite a lot of houses). Part of the tradition when you visit someones house is to give you an offering of coconut or fruit and some money (dakshina). In those days it was 5-10 paisa.

I’d wait for mom to come back.. and then pocket the money…once I had enough, I’d slip out to the arcade and play. Come back home… collect some more money and go back…

Unknown to me, people at home became suspicious. Where was the money going? Dad told them “I know exactly where the bugger is”

I was really into the game. Already had several bonus points (which meant extra games for free). A large crowd was watching me. I was doing well… there was a lot of pushing and I kept telling the guys not to. After one particularly “bad push” I snarled at the person and looked up briefly… IT WAS DAD !!!

“Nadiyo Manege” (lets go home) was all he said. Somehow looking at him I did not think “Can I finish my game” would have gone too well with him.

We walked the short distance from the arcade to our house. Dad was livid. So livid that he could not finish a sentence. “You bloody…” he kept saying, but could not go further. At the same time, hes trying to land a slap on my backside.. being more agile, I manage to evade every attempt to strike my body… so all that he got was air… swooosh…

So heres the situation when we got home 5 minutes later. Dad had still not said any other thing other than “You Bloody…”. He was getting frustrated and tired of landing “air punches” and was looking forward to getting me into the confines of a the house so that he could land at least a blow…

Others were waiting for me as well… Mom.. who gave me “The Look”.. we had a cook at that time (Horrible lady. Will write about here later) who was probably looking forward to me getting shot.

So dad’s huffing and puffing… he’s finally able to land a really weak blow on my backside… so weak that I laughed… that made him even madder… mom desparately looking for a newspaper so she could hit me with it… the cook jumping up and down in glee (“I told you he took the money.. I told you…”). For a second I considered climbing on to the atta (the attic)…decided against it given my desire for a long life.

Dad finally cornered me.. instead of whacking me (he was not confident of connecting), he looked me square in the eye, “NO MORE POCKET MONEY FOR YOU… YOU THIEF!!!!” With this anti-climactic statement he walked out of the room (it was his room)… came back in and said “GET OUT OF MY ROOM !!!!”

Days gone by – Part 1

25 Apr

Somehow summer always sets me thinking back.

In 1975, the Jayanagar Shopping complex opened. Us kids were pissed because we were kicked out of our playground and forced to move to Madhavan Park a short distance away. But the elder folk were pleased. There were plenty of “kattes” (seating places) for the retired folk to sit down and gawk at different things.

Shops in the complex were (and till today still are) quite boring. So much so that the Janatha Bazaar and the vegetable market were the most interesting places. There was Poonam Theater which was one of the few Air Conditioned (meaning good cross breeze) places.

Other than that, the stores at the complex were a motely collection of Tyre Shops, Stationery Stores, and Stores that sold fake jewelery (called “Fancy Stores” here)…generally boring stuff. But for the honorable residents of Jayanagar it was a place to gather, meet friends. People would just walk round and round the complex.

Then came the pinball machines…Sometime in ’76 a guy decided to put up about 5 pinball machines in a small store…by far the most exciting place in the complex after the RTO office 😉

Games here cost between 25 and 50 Paise… the guy would be patrolling this place and anyone found standing around without spending money would be asked to leave…

It was a great hit with the kids (and the college guys at that time). However the grownups (including my parents) were convinced that this was a gambling den.

It was around this time that my Dad started giving me pocket money. One to teach me fiscal responsibility and two to stop me from asking him for money all the time. The amount was fixed at a princely Rs. 5 per week. Payable on Saturday after school (which incidentally got over at 11 am). The intent was to use this money, open a bank account and slowly accumulate millions.

But there was the pinball machine place 😦

To Be Continued….

Movies and Me

23 Apr

Was tagged by Xylene on Movie Quirks. Didnt realize I had so many…

Here goes:

1. Dont like going to movies mainly because of the crowds.. I hate jostling with strangers…

2. I hate it when people saunter into the hall after the movie starts AND THEN stand in the middle trying to find their seats.. AND THEN have an argument about who gets which seat…

3. I want MY OWN pop corn. No sharing. Even with junior.

4. I eat pop corn by the fistfull

5. I don’t like movies that make me think and/or analyze.. give me slapstick anytime…3 Stooges, Marx Brothers

6. I always analyze any stranger who comes and sits next to me.Corrolary… do not like sitting next to strangers… prefer middle seat… link back to point #1

7. Nowadays I think that the people behind me are staring at my growing bald patch…

8. I go to the movies mainly to eat…a point that my wife does not agree with… (fortunately son does).

9. Mobile Phones @##@$$@!%


First time pictures

22 Apr

Nikhil is now the proud owner of an Olympus Digital Camera. In a moment of rare weakness I agreed to publish his first pictures on this blog. Theres no theme… just pictures.

Modern Tiffin Room is one of the oldest restaurants in the Gandhi Bazaar area. Well known for its Onion Dosa. (notice how all our “wanderings” start with food?)


The Fruit and Avarekayi Market on Kanakapura Road (very colorful in summer)

Finally whats a drive without a nice procession (the Bramhotsava of the Devagiri Venkateshwara Temple in Bsk 2nd Stage)





Sony Set Max Still Sucks

21 Apr

I had bleated about this one before (Can someone tell SET Max that their timing sucks)

SET Max are the official channel of the IPL…. AND THEY STILL SUCK at cricket broadcasting.

Looks like they want to milk ad revenues so much so that they still cut off the commentators mid way.Looks like the “Einstien” in charge has told his guys that the IPL has 5 ball overs. So many times we don’t see the last ball.

Plus I think SET Max has hired ex-Doordarshan camera folk. The camera swings to the boundary even when the batsman has played a defensive shot.

Last time I had ranted about the dancing tiger who came and did a jig everytime there was a boundary. This times theres an Ad from Vodafone that appears as a ticker and some loud Bhangra music…RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF PLAY… I can understand the ticker (need to milk airtime revenue)…. BUT WHY MUSIC ????? !!!!!

Learn from ESPN/Star Sports  $%^&**$###

 UPDATE: Someone else has similar views on the advertising.

Bangalore Driver Avatars

18 Apr

Heading into the weekend, heres my take on Bangalore’s driving population who contribute to the chaos with their unique driving and honking skills. Here are some “avatars” of Bangalore Drivers:

  • The “Honkalator” – The driver who has his horn attached to his accelarator. The faster he goes the louder the honking gets.
  • Hearbeat Honker – The nervous honker aka the road runner (beep beep) – Has to keep honking every 20 secs.
  • Musical Moron – The musical horn (pappara-bam-paraaam)
  • The “L” Boarder – Restarts the car at every junction. Tends to slide backwards when stopped at an incline
  • The “Inadequate” driver – Has all kinds of things attached to his car – fancy fenders, expensive rims, gaudy lights
  • The Boom-Box Man – Blares music loud enough for 3 cars
  • Basketball wannabe – Drives through free lanes even though it means snaking across the road. Finally ends up behind the car that he overtook (example.. MY DRIVER)
  • Mr. Vaccum in the Brain OR “I need to go to the toilet badly” – Honks his horn as soon as the light goes green (even though hes the 20th car from the signal)
  • Face to Window Guy – Loves his windshield so much that he sits with his face pressed against it. He wants to look at the ground in front of him.
  • Directionally Challenged – Goes right with the left indicator turned on.
  • Absent Minded Professor – Leaves the indicator on for his entire drive.

You need a voters card… but how?

17 Apr

Voting might be your fundamental right. However getting on the voting list isn’t.

Veena Shivanna has this to narrate:

It’s been almost 6 months since I moved to Mysore. My regular habits of going through news paper, browsing blogs have been helping me to know more about Bangalore in a daily manner.

 Well, who doesn’t know about the elections and all the woes around it. This is been the third time we are submitting Form 6 for getting names added to the voter’s list in Bangalore. Finally downloaded the form from the website ( and got them submitted to the corporation office ( my husband got to go there for the first time for the whole of his life and he had to discover the route this time)!

Finally the first list of the voters had our names. More than that was I could check it on the website. That was fantastic.

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