Mistaken identity

Those who play golf will know the misery of having to lose golf balls either in jungles or lakes. On a particularly bad day, my shots unerringly land there. The caddie can spend hours to no avail.
While in Assam our troubles were compounded when we faced the added menace of crows. And how did the birds trouble the golfers you may well ask…
The crows usually kept circling over the greens and as soon as a ball landed, they would swoop down, pick it up with their beaks and fly away! Initially I thought it was restricted to the crows in our area but soon found out that most neighbouring courses to had the same problem.
That was a few years ago. Today we face the same problem in the city but eagles have joined in this activity as well. Is it a sport to them or do they mistake the ball for an egg?
The latter seemed more likely. I have recently come across the following article wherein another species too has suffered from the same problem but was saved in the nick of time.

Click here to read more…

I hope the birds treat is as a sport!

Is mere road widening enough?

Space challenged cities like Pune, need to resort to road widening to accomodate rising traffic. The Law College Road, an arterial road that witnesses heavy traffic in morning and evening hours is currently being widened.
Ace urban planner, Mandar Puranik has the following to say about road widening projects…

“In transport planing terms, it is really ineffective as it marginally affects road capacity. Traffic flow is more a product of

1. Number of cross streets or junctions and minimising it ( not flyovers) always helps. 2. Signal co-ordination 3. Discipline, lanes, specially followed by heavy vehicles or cars.

A widened road, left on its own even with double road widths will result in further traffic chaos, speeding of vehicles between traffic signals, pedestrian crossing difficult, haphazard parking. What PMC should immediately undertake is provide generous ( min 2 m) footpaths, street lighting, controlled parking bays within widened road sections. It will make life of pedestrian better and help to channelise vehicular traffic than freeflow movement. A good example of C.G. Road in Ahmedabad. Such 2 m + pedestrian space also supports informal uses just outside within private properties such as chai wallah, xerox etc.

Hope, road widening doesn’t stop at the stage as shown in picture. Pune needs at least one good street to begin with and perhaps Law College road can set the scene. There are well grown trees, Cafe coffee day,Barista, banks and other restaurants in place already. If walking is made safer and enjoyable, people / students, including regular tekadi goers will thank PMC. “

Anybody listening??

Mad ad world!

It is very heartening to know that our ads are making a mark at international ad forums. The ‘Happy Dent’ ad is said to have caused quite a stir a recent advertising award ceremony.

A supplement of the Economic Times has a very interesting section called ‘Best. Bekaar and Bewildered’. The experts analyse recent ads and put them into respective categories with a brief explaination for us ignorant masses. Do make it a point to check this section- usually on the last page of ‘Brand Equity’ supplement!

Yet, ads seem to coverge on us from every direction- at home- via TV, phones and door to door marketing. Once you leave the house advertisements are everywhere, hoardings, walls, radio, Internet etc etc.
How much do we register and does it really make a difference to our purchase decisions? Only the pundits will know….

My take as a hounded consumer has been selected at 4IW, click here to read on….


Think about this..

Today India is poised to make a mark on world stage! Every company worth its salt is itching to enter our markets. Our huge population is suddenly lucrative to boost company bottom lines. Money experts speak of GDP and other gobbledygook terms but all convey a euphoric feeling about the future.

Other than their 12 hours put in at work what are the same millions doing about progress? We are full of ideas about how the authorities must solve civic issues- roads, transport, garbage etc but what do we do? Break traffic rules and indiscriminately throw garbage without a blink of an eyelid. Any person who tries to do the ‘right’ thing is ostracised and ridiculed.

They say adults must set a ‘good’ example for children. With these actions what do we expect our next generation to learn? We ape the west in fashion; food and consumer trends yet conveniently ignore their self-discipline and respect for rules. Indians willingly follow rules when they go abroad then why not here?

Every one is eager to take the government to task with the RTI. However we get our act together before we can demand the government to do its bit. Ask not only what your country does for you but also what you are doing for it. Remember every right involves a duty on our part. We conveniently forget these basics learnt in school the moment we cross the threshold into adulthood.

The race for success must not dilute or erase our social duties. Its time we took some responsibility. Its one thing to talk of social change with a coffee cup in hand but quite a different cup of tea to actually have the guts to go out and take the first steps- alone if need be. Indians are an intelligent hard working lot so why do we find it so difficult to follow rules meant for our safety?

If even a fraction of our teeming millions resolve to make a difference I think we will see an overnight change in our country. True, infrastructure has to improve but till then the existing one has to be used effectively. Practising self-control is a good way to begin.

Can we promise ourselves to follow at least one traffic rule everyday? Is it so difficult? No more excuses. These are our roads. We too have to work to keep them clean and orderly.

Lets help this 60-year-old toddler to run. No more words and token gestures. Let our actions demonstrate our pride for India.

Jai Hind!

Puneri Tadka!

Just read an article in the newspaper depicting idiosyncrasies of Puneri’s.
Here is my own take:

Try praising any individual to any true Puneite and one always gets a derisive response, “Oh him” (or her as the case maybe), “I know him, he was in my school and always got the poorest marks” or some other dark aspect in the person’s life he would surely not want to include in his resume!

Shopping at any of Marathi shops reveals the ‘Take it or leave it’ attitude of salespersons. Try asking for something else but you may as well have asked for the moon. “Do you want this or not?” is a question you have to answer first. Some veterans have even been known to tell customers to try elsewhere!

The Peshwa’s have long gone but their traditions continue. The afternoon siesta is a must for shops so if you need something urgently after 1 PM then just too bad. You’ll have to wait till 4.30 PM before the shop reopens. No signs of any market progress here methinks!

No article about Pune can be complete without any reference to the rickshaws! Brangelina too could not resist a ride in one of these famed vehicles! But very sensibly they made sure to travel at daytime. Try asking for a ride after 8PM and every ricksha driver worth his salt will refuse a potential customer if it means having to go in a direction opposite to where he lives. Yet the same driver in his avatar as ‘rickshawale kaka’ who ferries school children is the most loveable and dependable person. I have personally seen many treating their group of kids to ice creams or cake on the final day of school academic years! Jekyll and Hyde?

Pune is soon becoming famous for its eating joints, top of the line, street side fare and everything in between, all full up with a long queue outside waiting for their turn at the gastronomic delights. Make a trip to the vegetable market and you will find hardly find space to put in a foot, everyone apparently stocking up for unforeseen difficulties! There are several providers who deliver freshly chopped vegetables straight to your doorsteps. Lets not forget the ubiquitous dabbawalas. In short food in all forms raw to cooked is brisk business here. My only question, in the above scenario how much food does an average Puneri really consume? No wonder the tekdi’s and yoga groups are a big hit here!

That’s sizzling Pune for you, love it or leave it!