Thursday, October 11, 2007

The flip side of the IT-boom... RoadToHell

The flip side of IT-boom in Bangalore

1. Roads inundated with chartered vehicles or the so called office cabs. Always in a hurry for no apparent reasons, with absolutely no road sense, these cabs are a BIG headache for fellow road users.
  • Solution:
  1. Recruitment procedure should be very strict.
  2. Deterrents for errant drivers in the form of temporary or permanent cancellation of license.
  3. Deterrents for the agencies providing the cabs in the form of black listing.
  4. Well maintained vehicles.

2. Untamed exuberance of youth. When software engineers (like us) are out of colleges and away from the eyes of parents, with load of money; bike becomes the ultimate symbol of virility. And faster the better.
  • Solution:
  1. Steep fines. When salary is Rs. 50,000 per month, a fine of Rs. 100 sounds ridiculous.
  2. Even a fine of Rs. 100 is not imposed if the rider agrees to give Rs. 20 or 50.
  3. Strong enforcement of road laws.

3. Roadway buses. They stop anywhere and everywhere.
  • Solution:
  1. Drivers to be fined if bus is stopped at non designated stops.
  2. Let the bus driver concentrate on driving. Multitasking like vending tickets, keeping track of coins, along with an eye on the road is an explosive combination.

4. Jay walkers who think a highway is just an extension of the home corridor.
  • Solution:
  1. Dissemination of information. Pedestrians should be made aware of the hazards of jay walking.
  2. If caught let them attend a one hour coaching. For nonvolunteers this can be a real headache.

But last and certainly the least too... who cares

Monday, July 16, 2007

Never let me go

It was always there in the library, only I never bothered to borrow it. Then last week while browsing through the library catalogue I saw the book again and picked it up, and no I was not disappointed.

Never let me go by Kazuo Ishiguro.

I have read God of small thing by Arundhati Roy, and ever since felt these booker prizes are like (in Indian context) Presidents award for movies. The more incomprehensible a movie is the better chance it stands to win the award. In my limited "literature appreciation faculty" found that book boring, and ever since tried to keep a safe distance from these award winning novels. But how wrong I was.

The story is told in a flashback mode. Right from the onset it seems like any school days reminiscing story, but some where there was a disconnect, craftily created by the writer, but not at all decipherable until towards the end.

The story revolves around three primary characters Kathy, Ruth and Tommy, with Kathy being the protagonist, who leads us through the ups and downs of an unnatural or para-natural gripping life and times of growing school kids. The growing up of small children into adults, a life beyond school, a world where dreams are bought and sold, love, hate, self-doubts, the trepidations and a rainbow of human emotions have all been craftily worded.

The people Kathy, Ruth and Tommy are clones who along with several others have been reared to serve the human society in the form of donors as Ishiguro calls them. The word death has been renamed complete and very aptly too.

The story is touching because it so wonderfully captures the double-standards in the contemporary society. Simply replace the clones with the have-nots and what we will find is a true reflection of our times.

On second thoughts may be Never let me go didn't win the booker because it was too easy even for me to understand, nay, feel.