Monday, May 16, 2011

I am tempted to take sanyas.

I meant giving up on computers! Years ago I found out that Sanyas means retire in Hindi ! That is another story.

Just before I left for Bkk, my computer displayed a blue screen which meant danger! A techie came home to restart the computer but all the data on C: drive went missing. I know that disciplined users only save programs on C, but I had let most pictures and some folders occupy the C drive as at some point of time I forgot all about the partitioned D:

Eventhough I have an external drive, for some reason could not get it working in Bangalore and was too lazy to seek help! So it meant I had lost almost all the pictures uploaded in the last two years. Not really a big loss! Except I post some of them on my blog.

On my return I found out that the techie had replaced my hard disc drive and was also suspecting that the mother board would pack up any time. So the saga continued. My first computer was an assembled one and it failed in about 2 years! The next, made in Thailand, did a little better but packed up before I left for Bangalore. It did have a transplant of a hard disc drive earlier but when the mother board failed I was advised to go for a new computer! I bought a branded one this time and may be the reason I got a little careless.

Being a victim of failed hard disc drives over time, I do not store anything important on my computer. Also I blame all my earlier problems on a conflict of interest! I was a manufacturing engineer and a mechanical one at that. I thought no wonder all the electrical and electronic products fail on me and computer virus attack! But this time the techie said that the failure could be due to too much dust in the computer, thus a mechanical reason! While I am not jinxed anymore the end result seem to be the same. Hence my serious thoughts on taking a sanyas.

Not easy as a few are kind to tell me when we meet that they read and enjoy my blogs, eventhough they do not make a comment. Then out of the blue a comment from an unknown person appears and it feels even more worthwhile! Just one person out of the 7 billion makes a nice comment and it feels worthwhile to continue blogging! It is a hard decision but I may be forced in case the new hard disc goes the way of the others!

I also get paranoid when I think that most of our life is now dictated by computers! I keep hearing that systems are down and no one explains exactly what happens, I am sure many science fiction stories are written based on the day the internet goes haywire all over the world, possibly due to an alien invasion! Could be worth a blog!.

There you go:-)

Monday, May 9, 2011

About people who care!

This is the third time Tara and Desimagik have come together to do a charity show! The first was for Pakinson's Disease Society of Karnataka. The other two have been in aid of Socare Ind. After the very successful first concert for PDSK, they wanted to do one more. Tara knew of Socare as her father donates for a day's breakfast and lunch for the resident children on her mothers' anniversary.

Tara visited Socare to learn more and was inspired by the work done by them. The story of Socare is fascinating which can be read at their website. While she could not meet Mr. Mani at that time, he was in the hospital for a treatment, Tara and Rajini went ahead and held a concert last year in their aid and were able to collect Rs. 45,000. It was an unexpected windfall for Socare.

This year it was a bit different, Mr. Mani was able to participate. His simple speech was inspiring and it touched a donor so much that tears welled up in her eyes as she spoke about the impact of seeing Mr. Mani and hearing him speak. Donations were a little better and they were able to collect Rs. 51,000. I have a feeling that more may donate later as they are now aware of the organisation and have seen the frail old gentleman who has devoted his life to the organisation he has founded.

It seems Mr. Mani is so enthused with the way the program was organised and conducted, he has dreams of doing it in a much bigger scale. I hope it does happen and the organisation is able to collect much more. But there are many issues to be tackled before this can happen. There is a lot to think about as going bigger is very different from what it is now.

At the moment Tara and Rajini operate in a much smaller way. The air conditioned auditorium can accomadate about 120. I guess they contact about 100 families. So far the shows have been house full. The passes are actually priced low considering the quality of the program.

The entry passes mostly cover costs and the real contributions come by way of donations. The idea is to entertain the audience and make them aware of organisations which care about people with problems. Many who attend are repeaters. I guess they like bollywood music and as friends and colleagues are ready to pitch in. It is very challenging to enthuse the same set of people who participate. The artists Satish, Smriti and Nachiket try do things differently each time and they do a good job!

The way Tara operates is to talk to people she knows and get telephone contact of their friends and relatives and call them. I guess she makes about 500 -600 calls. Once, to tell them about it, next to ask them if they will come and last to thank them or ask them why they could not make it. Plus she practices with the group as she also loves to sing. Especially with this very talented and energetic young group.

However, it is my pleasure to acknowledge the hard work and commitiment shown by so many people. The persons like Mr. Mani and our own Mayura of PDSK who identify causes, people like Tara and Rajini, who try to help by organising charity shows and the young artists who give their time for such a good cause.

Mr.Mani of Socare

The children from Socare show case their art.

Smriti with Tara

Very staunch supporters Lakshminarayan and Raji on stage.

Satish and Smriti

Nachiket in his inmitable style

Satish with the audience

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Was this in reply?

It happened last Sunday! We went to the Malleswaram market as Tara wanted to buy flowers and such. I found a small niche between trees to park, right opposite the market bus stop and thought it was my lucky day to find a spot so close to the market. I then noticed half visible behind the tree the 'no parking' sign! I did not get the logic of creating a niche well clear of the two parallel lines delineating the lanes and the no parking sign.

I thought 'Oh well! It is the weekend with normal traffic flowing and Tara will be out soon'. I sat in the car waiting, the ploy to adopt when you park where you should not. First you try and negotiate a couple of minutes when the police appear and then move on, if they insist, with a sheepish smile or a grim face depending on your personal aura. Normally it is the later you see.

A few minutes later, a scooter which was parked a little ahead of me also moved out. 'I should go a little ahead and closer to the footpath' I reasoned. But the traffic was smooth and I was clear of the white line and I had also noticed the pavement was a foot higher than the road. No way I could open the door if I got too close. I got lazy and stayed where I was, a mistake! I could possibly have moved another 10 inches away from the traffic flow.

Tara came back with two boys in tow carrying stuff, got them loaded into the car and then she went missing again. I kept busy watching the activity and it was fascinating to see cars constantly being parked in the no parking zone, those with hired drivers parked right in front of the bus stop and right where commuters waited. The commuters were actually waiting on the road as there was a shrine on the footpath. Also it is better to be on the road as often the bus drivers will just drive on if the commuters are not seen.

This is the Indian dharma of the roads! The drivers park cars and buses halt wherever it is convenient for them. I wondered if the rishis with their supreme intelligence had envisioned the future chaos and had written shastras fixing responsibility and due punishment for the guilty. I hoped it was there somewhere only to be discovered. Our only hope.

I wondered whether even gods would be in the net. In this case it was Ganesha, who had blocked the footpath and had forced the commuters on to the road. What if one of the speeding buses who braked hard but did not stop a few inches from the commuters as is normal and knocked one of them down. Was God culpable or would it be the devotees who had built this shrine or the driver who should have known better?

As I was trying to reason out the dharma sukshma I heard a big noise, saw a flying motorcycle along with the helmeted driver falling alongside my car and my car had moved more than a foot even though it was, I think, on gear.

I got out with all kinds of fears in my heart when I saw the helmeted rider get up and noticed the whimpering woman down on the road. In a trice there were scores of people around the scene of accident and helped the woman to her feet. Luckily while she was hurt she was not bleeding and only complained of her shoulders hurting. An auto was hired and they were off with the motorcycle rider, who had lifted his vehicle from the scene of accident and had parked it a little away. He seemed a decent guy and was still in shock. No police was in sight!

As I examined the car for the damage, a boy who would surely be a lawyer or a politician or both, fixed the blame on me as I was parked in the no parking zone. I just ignored him. There was another witness who was philosophical and said: 'Thank god it was not serious, no one was hurt seriously and again it was not the riders fault. The woman just rushed past the bus as she panicked'.

I asked him, whether he had heard the loud noise and whether in his opinion, the rider who braked and skidded, was driving at a normal speed or he was too fast. He had no answer.

Anyway the crowd had cleared and I continued to wait for Tara and wondered whether I was answered!

Truly, we were all at fault, the woman who panicked, the impatient bus driver who did not wait for the lady to cross and speed happy rider who would have zoomed past zigzagging except I had parked where I should not have. Lawyers would call it a vicarious offense! It is called karma by others.

Another lesson: Beware when traffic is normal, expect the worst. Drivers go berserk in Bengaluru.