OK to walk

It has been a year since I was in India. In Bangalore, I have always had a two-wheeler (scooter) and a car. So I am used to driving everywhere. So when I came for the summer break to Bangalore, it was odd not to have the transport readily available (I sold one and left the other in my hometown). One thing that I have developed over the year of using public transport and walking as much as I can in London is that this time in Bangalore I have walked at least a km or two every day based on what work I have and where I have to be. For the past three days, I haven’t thought twice about walking around and I know that earlier I have had my reservations about it. It is still dusty, still very polluted, no proper footpath for pedestrians, still honking vehicles, but in spite of all that I am OK to walk around. It felt good. Since I had much work to do and it usually takes a whole day, I end up not relaxing or exercising. So I am using the walking as a form of exercise. It is not doing my sinus or allergies any good, but then my allergies have been there for a long time now and this isn’t causing any additional damage. If it is not the high pollen of London then it is the dusty roads of Bangalore. One way or the other it is going to affect me so I have decided to just take some precautions and leave the rest for my body to try and heal itself.

The one other main difference was the price of the autorickshaws. They have almost doubled over the year or so I thought. I nearly had a heart attack the first day when I hired one. I forgot how much internal damage these vehicles could do to your organs. I haven’t travelled in one for that long because of owning modes of transport. Thank God I had some light breakfast.

Hopefully after this week, after getting all the essential legal and financial work completed, I will relax and enjoy the vacation.

If I get good WiFi I will also try and post some photographs 🙂 Stay safe and Keep smiling.

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WPC: Repurpose

The best form of Repurpose I have ever seen (and a clever one at it too) is the Christmas Tree made of all the beer bottles from the Pub in Bangalore.

This is a tradition that they carry on every year.

repurpose2.jpg

It is always a Dangal.

[Dangal can mean competition, wrestling, or wrestling arena]

Recently we watched the movie ‘Dangal‘ (a Bollywood movie). We liked it very much, even though it was a bit longer than normal. The story is very uplifting, sometimes cliched, based on a true story of course, and it is about women in wrestling in India. Not a small feat especially in a very patriarchal society. I have been waiting to write about it, but then I stumbled upon this article in womenweb.in by a young writer. She portrayed my thoughts very well. It was as if she read my thoughts, my doubts and in spite of those doubts she still liked the movie, just like me. So I thought it best to share her views (not a review, she says) and leave it at that.

Last year, I happened to see three very good movies in Hindi. One was Pink, the other Dear Zindagi, and the third one was Dangal (Since we saw Dangal over Christmas Bank holiday, I am counting it in the last years account). And surprisingly they were all women related, more uplifting, more positive and did well at the box office too. Changing trends? If only these kinds of movies could prevent the kind of incidents like mass molestation and such. It is such a shame, really and very sad too. We still have a long way to go.

Drama filled journey

Yesterday I was traveling from Bangalore to Coimbatore to visit my sister’s by flight. It is usually an hour and a half journey from my home. So booked the cab accordingly. When the cab arrived at 10.30 am (for my 1.30 pm flight) I didn’t expect the excitement that was gonna follow.
Just close to my home the traffic jam started. Since I had a 2000 Rs note (finally got one when I had been to a bank), the cab driver requested me to give him the cash instead of using the credit card and he called up his friend at the airport to have some change ready because the travel was expected to cost around 1200/- Rs and he didn’t have the money to pay back the rest. That is when his friend informed him that there was some heavy security in the airport and that the traffic was too high on the roads. Now my estimated time shot from 11.45 to 12 pm. I asked the driver to ensure to drive through less congested routes and got my kindle out. We were hitting traffic every now and then and I tried not to check my time lest I get worried and anxious. But almost close to 1/4th of the distance I heard a ‘bang!’ sound followed by yelling and some cursing by my driver.

Looks like my driver tried to overtake a suddenly stopped car only to have that car not see us and come forward there by hitting our car on the right back side creating a dent. Now the other car driver(another cab) was chasing us and was trying to get us to park the car and sort this out. Both the drivers started shouting that each of them had heavy damage but the other driver was hearing none of it. He threatened my cab driver even though he (my cab driver) tried to convince him that the mistake was on both sides and that his car had the maximum damage and also he was getting late to get to the airport. When the other car driver didn’t relent, my car driver decided to give him a miss and went through some lanes trying to stop him from tailing us and merged to the main road. I was all the while wondering what happened to my day suddenly. Hitting, Chasing, Escaping and Hoodwinking… 🙄
It was already 11.45 pm and I wasn’t even half way through. Now I started to worry, because there is no way I could get in (along with an additional baggage to drop off) and get to the gate before boarding time. I also started to check for the next flight just to be sure that my trip to the airport will not be wasted. By about 12.10 or so, after very long waits every where and the frustration of the driver at having his car dented (which was pretty new by the way) we reached the highways by 12.20 pm. From there the route was quite empty when compared to the roads inside the city. Finally, after that tension-filled will-I-make-or-not moments, I landed at the airport at 12.40 pm and the boarding was about to start at 12.45 pm.
Ran to the counter which was about to close and that girl looked at me up and down, totally disappointed. I told her that I had been through some rough journey and I really can’t help that I am late. Got the boarding pass (which wasn’t necessary because I had it on my phone, but these airline people will give you one on paper anyway) and my luggage receipts and ran through the airport all the time wondering ‘how I will ever talk / comment about people who run through airport at the last minute from here on, when I am doing just the same’ (wonder why I was worried about that…but I was) Thankfully not much queue in Security line. After that when I reached the boarding gate at 1 pm is when I breathed a sigh of relief. And they hadn’t even started to get ready for boarding. The boarding started only by 1.25 pm for 1.30 pm flight and it was 10 min late anyways.
And the whole flight journey to Coimbatore was only 30 mins in air. Reached Coimbatore by 2.20 pm. For a flight journey of 40 mins in total, I had to endure the traffic filled travel of 2 hours, which was OK, but it could have been with less drama, tensions, and suspense. But the highlight of the day: My nephew was very happy with his Thomas and Friends train set which I got for his birthday and we ended up building the big set and play with it in the evening. All the drama was totally worth it.

After Effects –  Part 2 😉 

Nope, not the kind of after effects I was talking about yesterday. This after effect is related to photography 😉

Cosmic Photography Challenge’s theme this week is FreeStyle Effects. This photograph is a result of that. I used Snapseed and applied (let me see if I remember them correctly) Tonal Contrast, HDR Scape, Grunge and not in the same order to get this effect.

This is the original photograph, for your reference.

As you already know, I am lazy with photo effects and its takes some push to get me to do it. I hope that the one after effects is much better than the original one.

This was the photograph taken using my phone of the new ISKCON temple that is getting built in Kanakapura Road, Bangalore. It is supposed to be huge, but it is still in construction phase. So they have this small area where all the idols are kept and you are allowed to take photographs of them. In India, photography inside the temple is prohibited. Even the other ISKCON near Rajajinagar doesn’t allow photography inside the temple. So I took the advantage of the fact that they didn’t bother about it now.


Wanna join in? Here is how:

Create a post with ‘K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge’ in the title. This week, the prompt is : Freestyle effects
Post a photo to your blog, pingback to either Dale’s or K’lee’s post and don’t forget to add the tag #CosPhoChal to your post’s tags and that’s it!