Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Encounter with policeman at Inner Ring Road, Bangalore

So, it was yet another day in my life, or so I thought.

I work for an organization in Shivaji Nagar. I live near Dell Office in Inner Ring Road. So, the route I usually take is Shivaji Nagar -> MG Road -> Old Airport Road -> Inner Ring Road -> Home. Yesterday, 31 May 2011, I left office a little late, around 10 pm, not unusual in my profession. I got off the Domlur Flyover and was heading towards Eejipura at a normal speed, about 40kmph. About 100 m ahead past the flyover, a motorcyclist came close to me and asked me to pull over. I glanced at him and thought he needed help. I slowed down and pulled over. He was a police man, no, not a traffic policeman.

Me: Hi
PM: Where are you coming from?
Me: Shivaji Nagar (I showed my company ID)
PM: Your vehicle is wanted by police, right?
Me: No, I don't think so.
PM: You are riding a stolen bike, RTO has issued notice for this bike.
Me: No, this is my bike, it was not stolen.
PM: Where are you going? Where is the registration book and license?
Me: I'm heading home. I'm not carrying it but I can get it from my home, it's near by (my bad that I was not carrying the documents).
PM: No, no, it is an offense to ride a bike that is not registered.
Me: Err.. but my bike is registered, I have the documents.

At this point, he got off his bike, parked it at the pavement and told me that he would take my bike to police station. He got a call from his senior, asking him to get a veg biryani. In the meantime, I got thinking. What is he trying to do here? I did not break any rule. Yes, I was not carrying the documents but I can produce the docs and reclaim my bike. My plan to go home and cook chapathi and aalu curry were not going to work out. As soon as he dropped the call, he asked me for my bike's keys. As I handed it over, he asked me to go with him to the police station. Back to conversation mode.

PM: Get on the bike, you are coming to the police station with me.
Me (really annoyed now, that's what a long day does to you): I'm not going anywhere. You can take my bike if you want, I will come with the documents and claim my bike tomorrow. What's your name?

I got my phone out to note the details down.

PM: Mallappa, what will you do? Will you call the commissioner? Who will you call, huh? (he sounded really pissed)
Me (equally pissed): No, I'm just noting the details. Whats your badge number?
PM: OK, write it down. 3479 and I am from HAL police station.
Me: OK, can I see some ID (in "Catch me if you can" style, hehe)
PM: He pulls out his ID and shows me.

I took a snap of it.

The pic is not clear, due to the flash light reflected from the laminated surface. Bad photography.

PM: Take it, you want to take my pic too?
Me: Sure, thank you sir (smile please mallappa :), ok, im just kidding, i didn't say that).

PM: Now, you are coming with me to the police station.
Me: I'm not coming to the police station. I worked more than 12 hours today and I'm going home. You cannot take me to the station. Do you have a warrant? You are not even a traffic policeman. What right do you have to stop me? (I was shouting).
PM: I don't need a warrant. You are a suspect and you are riding a stolen vehicle.
Me: I repeat, my bike is not stolen. You can take it to the station. I will come and get it and pay any fine, if needed.
PM: You can't pay fine, you have done a crime. I will take you to police station.
Me: What crime? I will write about this on internet and newspapers.
PM: You are riding an illegal vehicle (it was no longer stolen, note the point). It is altered like a racing bike. It is illegal.
Me (I was shouting at the top of my voice now): What modification have I done? (the only mod I have done is adding a motocross kind front mud flap).
PM: Where do you stay?
Me: I stay in *******
PM: Are you related to the owner of hotel *******
Me: No, i'm not. I'm not that rich. I told him my landlord's name
PM: Oh, is it? He is my uncle. OK, you go home (smiling and trying to be friendly) and tell uncle that Mallappa stopped you and asked about your bike.
Me: OK fine. Thanks.
PM: Do not ride without registration book. Keep a copy of it. I will come to your house tomorrow morning to verify the docs.
Me: OK sir.
PM: Your vehicle is not stolen right?
Me: No.
PM: OK then.

This took around 5-10 minutes. Passers-by were staring at me and shopkeepers came out to check what was happening.

I was enraged at the way this cop terrorized me. Mind you, I was riding my bike, at a slow pace, when he asked me to pull over. He had a sort of nastiness about him and he was extremely rude, alleging that my bike was stolen and that I was wanted by the RTO.

I am also at fault, for not carrying the documents but hey, I do have the documents safe in my possession.

I'm writing about this to create awareness. This guy probably wanted to scare me and extract money from me. However, as I knew I did not do anything wrong, I put up a fight. I do not know what made him decide that he would let me go. I got home in five minutes and narrated the whole episode to my roommate. If you live in this area, please watch out for this officer. Do not bribe him. Do the right thing.

Yet another day in my life.

The bad cop: Mallappa, 3479, HAL Police Station (as mentioned by him)

Lesson learned: Staying calm helps.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The value of Hope

One should neither hope too much, nor too little. Like other things in life, it's finding the right balance that is difficult.

I realize how important it is to be optimistic, to not look at life without a twinkle in the eyes; and i realize it now, more than ever before. The past year was not easy, the past month especially. Of late, I've lacked imagination and most importantly, the spring in my step, which is the one thing I've loved about myself. Life had become monotonous and predictable, and I was happy with it.

Usually, you look at a thing in finer detail only when it stops working. And there I was, pushed against the wall, losing what I'd wanted the most all my life, forced to look at my life in finer detail. I had nowhere to run and nowhere to hide; noone to help me out, for only I knew best what my mind was upto. There were no miracles, no signs to show me the right path. Ahh how I hoped for one!!

A good, hard look at my life helped though. I'm not a changed man now but I've learnt a few lessons. You do not get to design your life the way you want to. You've got to do your thing and hope everything turns out the way you want them to. It doesn't really help if you are lazy and laid-back. The only thing constant in the world is change. You've got to keep changing; because with change comes hope and hope is what drives you forward.

Here I am, hoping the decisions I've made will take me in the right direction. I've accepted a job offer from a Pune-based company. I will leave my comfort zone and set sail to a new territory in a month or so. I wonder how well I will adapt to a new city and a complete set of new experiences. I am accepting change and I hope that my life will get better.

They say when you kill a man's hope, you kill him. I'm not ready to die yet because life is still beautiful.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Baba blog

No, no, I don't mean Baba, the movie. Southies may get me wrong here, hehe . Of late, I have been wondering what it takes to become a baba. There are so many examples around.

Sai baba, the serene baba
Nithyananda, the sexy baba
Amritananda Mayi, the hugging babi?
Desi baba.. err.. not that one
The list is endless..

One thing in common is that all the babas (and babis) are real rich. They get lands for cheap deals, donations in the form of cash, gold and what not. All of them are well dressed, mostly in robes - white or saffron and rudraksha. Babas grow their hair long, babis already have it long. And man.. they all look so cool.

The closest I have got to a baba (it was a babi actually) is hugging Amritananda Mayi. My cousins are sworn devotees and I had accompanied them. Well, yeah, she hugs her devotees and they feel relieved of their problems. I did't feel anything special after she hugged me. She told me just one word (pora = not enough), probably because I didn't hug her properly. One thing is for sure, most people who visit her return happier. I believe it's all in the mind. Everyone likes to be cared for and comforted. I believe a baba has to be strong enough to comfort anyone and hope that the comfort seeker's mind does the rest. It usually does, mine didn't. A baba also has to be a good actor, for he has to pretend that he knows everything and has an answer to everything. If he doesn't have an answer, he can say something like - look within yourself, and the devotee will go gaga about how baba said he has to put more effort. Ohm!! baba ki jai ho!!!

So, what really is a baba? A baba has to dress well, in white or saffron robes, grow long hair (sniff sniff :( i can't be a baba) and be patient. A baba probably has to listen to endless complaints and worries from devotees, who expect baba to snap a finger and solve their problems. Nothing comes easy. A baba will have to master a few tricks, to impress a gathering.

Check this out. Baba tricks1 Baba tricks2
Practice makes perfect, of course.

A baba has to be good at management; be it people, money or politicians. He will have to toil his way to stardom and once he is there, invest money in the right markets and promote himself. A star baba can sell pendants, start colleges, hospitals and get his organization registered so that donations will be tax exempted. There will be umpteen sources of income and fun, if you know what i mean ;). Baba just has to lap it all up. Nowadays, babas are catching up with technology. All famous babas have their official websites (courtesy: Murthy). Besides, they have trademark logos, quotes etc.

Sai Baba site Nithya site Amrita site
Pretty cool work huh? Just google their quotes. It gets more interesting.

Sexy baba's quote: Unless we reach the level of being we'll not be able to experience what is really life. By not entering into the space of being we miss the ecstasy of life - Paramahamsa Sri Nithyananda.
Ecstasy.. hmm he has got it right there.

All said, it is no easy feat to become a baba. For every devotee, there will be a hundred doubting Thomases. There will be numerous newspapers writing bad things about The Baba. But a baba has to believe in himself and in the destiny preordained. He has to surpass all the challenges (mms scandals, youtube analysis of tricks et al) but most importantly, he has to be absolutely shameless.

May be, if the aam aadmi was not a fool, there would not be so many babas around. Anyway, let's hope that we all attain nirvana. Baba ki jai ho!!

Interesting Reading:
Some angry guy's rant
Baba miracles
How to become a baba - Guide for dummies

I offer my apologies if i have hurt your sentiment. It is not my intention do that. You are free to believe what works for you.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Karting in Bangalore!!!

It was yet another long weekend and we, I and a couple of friends, were hungry for action. Two long weekends, back to back, ain't much fun. After brainstorming for a while, we decided to go karting. I had gone to EZone karting track at marathahalli quite a few times. So, I suggested that; but soon, I recalled a friend mentioning a karting track on mysore road. So, off i go googling. Thanks to google, I found what I was looking for - Grips karting, near Raja Rajeshwari Hospital, Mysore road. The reviews looked good. So, we decided to give it a try.

If you have been to the EZone club and liked the experience, you will find Grips way better, leagues ahead in fact. The track is beautifully designed, longer and there are trees to offer shade. The karts were in good condition. I went hard at it as I had some prior experience at karting. The assistants were friendly. I drifted a few times, trying to go fast round the corners. The assistants kept their cool. I found them very sensible. Attached are a few pics and the details. Give it a go folks. If you like life on the fast line, you are in for a treat.

Where: Mysore road, after Raja Rajeshwari Hospital, on the left side (when you travel towards mysore)
How far from bangalore: 50 km , we reached the place in about an hour, from BTM.
Rates: 150 for 6 laps (6.5bhp engines), they also have more powerful karts for 200 and 300 bucks. I tried the one for 200 bucks. It was awesome!!
Info: 9845011007, hours - 9.30 to 18.30

Have fun!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Googling with your eyes closed??

On a normal day, I take bath only once; brush my teeth once or twice and think of sex 13 times!! Now, that last bit is what Telegraph says. However, as a techie, I use google a lot. Now, how much is a lot? This month, for instance, I have done 3639 searches!! That's about 120 searches in a day. WTH?? I google a lot of non-technical stuff too, some of which I wouldn't really want to post on my FB wall. So, I did a little googling on how safe or secure my googling history is. My findings are fairly alarming, not that I didn't expect it. But some comments by experts do get me worried.

"Google builds up a detailed profile of your search terms over many years. Google probably knew when you last thought you were pregnant, what diseases your children have had, and who your divorce lawyer is."
-- BBC technology commentator Bill Thompson, Feb. 21, 2003

Hmmm, so google definitely knows a lot about me, definitely more than I want them to know (but I think of it more than 13 times a day, hehehe). Before I tell you how you can verify this, let me brief about two types of searches.

Signed in searches: Searches that you do when you are logged in to a google account.
Signed out searches: Searches that you do when you are not logged in to a google account.

Google can permanently store only the 'signed in' search history. We will discuss 'signed out' searches later in the blog.
Access this URL - https://www.google.com/dashboard/ You will be prompted for google account credentials. This is your google dashboard. All information related to your google account will be properly arranged here. Check out various sections. Towards the bottom of the page, you can spot a section - Web History. This is of extreme interest to us.

Here, your search history is categorized and listed. Access any of the links and revisit the sins of your past. Will google ever sell this info to a third party? I don't really think so; but, what if someone hacks your account. Hahaha, noone can hack my google account. Come on yaar, it is google eh? I have a friend who hacks google accounts with a fair amount of ease. He is not successful at every attempt though. There would be a lot of info in your account and in your search history you want to keep private. Well, that is why google gives you an option to delete it. So, if you are concerned, please use it.

However, if you do not delete the search history, be aware that google personalizes your search experience, by default. What does that mean? From 4th Dec 2009 onwards, google personalizes your searches. Read more
here. You can also opt out of the personalization feature.

Hope this piece of information puts you more at ease.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Do we know what we are doing?

Some of you may think this is yet another write-up about how screwed up the life of a software programmer is. Well, let me tell you it is not. I am only a fledgling in the industry, my life is not so screwed up as yet. I'm sure a couple of years down the line, I will have a very different opinion. :)

I never worked hard but was fairly good in studies. In school, when i didn't have to cover a lot of topics, i faired well, even when i crammed. But in college, with having to study books that could kill you if they fell on your head, i was just an average student. But i always believed in myself and performed well when i wanted to.

The only quality that i have is perseverance. Yup, i never give up. I sure am lazy. But, if i really want something, i will get it, no matter how hard i have to try. When someone tells me i can't do something, i see it as an insult to my persona. I do anything i can to prove them wrong and to prove to myself that i can do it. May be i am arrogant but hey, i love myself the way i am.

I want to do a whole lot of things. I want to work as a lorry driver for a while. I want to teach. I want to travel. I want to race. And maybe, i want to do a few good things to the society too. Like helping a few poor people build up their lives. But my master project lies rusty in the backyard of my mind.

Why do we do what we do? Who said you have to work and earn a salary each month? Who said you have to pay for food? Why are people living within the walls of their houses? I have always believed that what everyone wants in life is one and the same. Everyone wants to be happy. When they don't get what they want, they go the wrong ways. But if life is a movie, noone wants to be a villain in it.

My concept is simple. I hope some day i will have a hell lot of money, to buy a lot of land where i would set up my Utopia. Inhabitants will be handpicked but anyone will stand a chance. There, you will not have to buy food. You will not have religions. You will not have fights. No robbers. No murders. No bribes. No crap at all. Well, it is my dreamland. As long as it is a dream, i can say whatever i want about it. I like to dream. Dreams set my mind free. I think everyone should dream.

Rules in My Utopia
-People who live there do whatever work they want to do, but everyone works. Once in a while, everyone can be lazy (hehe, thats my loophole)
-Noone will be paid for the work they do. But everyone has access to all facilities. In short, everyone works for a common cause -To keep the place going.
-There will be all basic amenities - food, clothes, shelter, amusement.
-No vehicles (i want to keep the place green), mobile phones, television.
-Noone goes to bed hungry because food is free there.
-I am still debating on whether there should be electricity because i want the place to be as natural as possible. Same applies to wine and liquor. But definitely no cigarettes or drugs.

In my Utopia, everyone is happy. Partly because their desires will be limited and more importantly, because people will have time to look and amaze at life as each day passes by.

It is a place where every dweller will be happy. Everyone will be contended with what they have. And more importantly, people care for each other. I do not think a lot of people will permanently reside there. Because, we, as god created us, have a lot of desires. And when we have unsatisfied desires, we are not happy. But, i intend to build it as a place where people can come and stay temporarily, like once in a month or so. Away from the rest of the world, which races crazily faster each new day, which is ignorant that yet another day has passed between home, office and commuting.

I do not know if i will be able to do this. But that is the advantage of dreams. You can visualize anything.

As John Lennon said - You may say i am a dreamer but i am not the only one. I hope some day you will join us too and the world will be as one.