Monday, December 30, 2013

Do I Know You? Yes, May Be...

In this age of social media, concept of privacy has undergone tremendous change. Your life is an open book (or profile?) which can be accessed by anybody around the world. You share photos, you share your personal details, you make your relations public, you cheer the profit you made from your latest investment, you deo-tag your Instagram photos from your latest London trip...phew! This is your life for anybody to see!

Interestingly, you yourself are unaware of how much personal information you are sharing online. In that sense, you are living in a privacy bubble - totally unaware that the bubble is transparent!

Here is a video which demonstrates this thinning down of privacy in the age of social web...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

10 Awesome Things to Do in Frazer Town, Bangalore!

For the past month, I am living in the bustling, central Bangalore locality of Frazer Town. Frazer Town retains charm of an old city and also boasts likes of McDonald’s, CCD, Barista, KFC, and Pizza Hut!

Here is my take on top 10 things you can do in Frazer Town:

1.           Eat Dosa-Idli-Wada at Shanti Sagar: Shanti Sagar is a chain of South Indian eateries in Bangalore. A good way to taste South Indian dishes at very cheap rates! In Frazer Town, the restaurant is very easy to find and sits at cross between Mosque Road and Coles Road.

2.           Have a cup of Sulaimani at Taj Tea House: Sulaimani is my biggest discovery in Bangalore! A black-lemon tea, served in many tea stalls in old Bangalore, is extremely...refreshing and desirable and healthy! This cup of tea has arrived in Bangalore, probably, from Middle-East where it is called ‘ghava’. I couldn’t help but notice the similarity of name ‘ghava’ to ‘kahwa’ – a traditional green tea which is popular from Central Asia to Kashmir. This is a must-do in Frazer Town, because you will get one of the best Sulaimanis in Bangalore at Taj Tea House, in Frazer Town.

Sulaimani Tea Chai, Bangalore

3.           Eat delicious Punjabi food at Manjit Da Dhaba: What can I say about this one! This has become my favorite place to have my lunches and dinners. A modest Punjabi dhaba, it is at the exact spot on the map where train route goes below the Wheeler Road fly-over, in Cox Town. I was on cloud 9 while savoring the hot and fresh phulkas and Dal Makhani! Food is very cheap, and it reminded me of the equally delicious Punjabi food I once had near New Delhi railway station in Paharganj. A must visit, if you ask me!

4.           Buy leather goods at Leather Fetish: This is a small shop on Moore Road. It sells export-excess leather goods like shoes, belts, wallets, and leather jackets at very cheap rates. Don’t forget to bargain a bit for more joy!

5.          Have Biryani and Arabian food at Savory: Frazer Town is home to a large number of students and expats from Middle East. To serve them, many Arabian food joints dot area in and around Frazer Town. Most popular among them is Savory restaurant the Mosque Road. It is extremely popular among the lovers of authentic Arabian food. Savor many Arabian delicacies at this restaurant to treat your taste buds.

6.           Leaf through books at Justbooks library: When I came from Pune to Bangalore, little did I expect to find an outlet of my subscription library JustbooksCLC in Frazer Town! But there it is on Coles Road near Domino’s! They have a great collection of novels, non-fiction, and kid’s books. Visit it and just leaf through the collection, or if staying longer, definitely get their membership.

7.           Savor East Asian delicacies at Chung Wah: If you love East Asian food, no better place than Chung Wah on Saunder’s Road opposite Crossword book store.

8.          Visit St. John’s Church: A church and a magnificent building is a must visit to see the architectural beauty. Constructed in 1856, this church can sit about 350 people, and did cost only Rs. 6322 plus Rs. 1433 for all furniture!! It’s just a 5-min walk from Coles Road.

9.          Jog to Ulsoor Lake: If you are a jogging aficionado, Ulsoor Lake has a nice track to give your heart and legs a good exercise. Marked on the map as Ulsoor Lake Pathway, it is around 2 km from Frazer Town.

10.     Have a dash of Ginger Honey at Barista: Barista on Mosque Road is a pretty chilled out place. You won’t find large crowds and noisy groups there. A little wanting on ambience, this Barista outlet serves a great hot drink called Ginger Honey. Just chill out there, leaf through a book or listen to ‘Scarlet Town’ over a cup of soothing and refreshing Ginger Honey!

Did I leave your favorite place out? Tell me in comments...

Sulaimani Tea Photo: Drfiting Pappus

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Namma Metro!

I had been in Delhi for a few months in 2002, when Delhi's transformation to a modern capital of emerging India has already began. Under Sheila Dikshit's stewardship, Delhi's infrastructure has been transformed with Delhi Metro, new Airport terminals, and several other developments. This time, I am in Bangalore when Bangalore is charting Delhi's course with a lot of infrastructure development projects. The new Bangalore airport is world-class - perhaps one of the best in India. I was pleasantly surprised with the airport connectivity provided by the local government. I also boarded the Namma Metro (Our Metro in Kannada) - the local train service. It, too, was a very pleasant experience.

Trinity Metro Station, Bangalore
City's economic structures take care of themselves normally. Governments do not need to push economic activities, at least in Indian cities. What the government can minimally do is provide a strong infrastructure (along with law and order) which helps citizens do their business productively and efficiently. Infrastructure in cities like Delhi and Bangalore is a pleasant surprise in this regard. There must be many more challenges which these cities need to tackle, but what they have achieved so far is commendable. Credit goes to politicians, government, the citizens, and the businesses too (particularly in Bangalore).

In contrast, development in Pune is virtually stalled. Since I have shifted to Pune, some 6-7 years ago, the only new, noteworthy physical infrastructure which was created was Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) and some fly-overs - both of which have flopped. Former due to incompletions (or faulty strategy), and later due to faulty planning/design. The list of pending infrastructure projects includes almost every project a city needs - development of internal roads to BRTS to airport to a ring road to development plan to city metro and so on. On the other hand, the strain on existing dilapidated infrastructure is growing exponentially due to migration from all over Maharashtra in search of educational or employment opportunities. Don't really understand whom should the credit for this mess go...but any common man in Pune will tell you that Pune has both ingredients in perfect proportion for this mess - 50% hungry, corrupt politicians and 50% very vocal and near-arrogant civil society members.

In recent months, the hot topic in Pune is 'Pune's water for Punekars' (Punekars = Pune residents). All the most important topics are relegated to don't-know-where, and media and civil society is crying hoarse over parochial and utterly silly demands like these. (By the way, a question worth searching answer for is - how much rainwater falls within Pune Corporation's limits?)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

In India's IT hub, Bangalore!

This is a beautiful Sunday morning and I am here in Bangalore sipping coffee in Barista, listening to Rodriguez, and working on some stuff! It can't get better than that!!

A few days ago, I landed in India's IT hub - the southern city of Bangalore - a city of pleasant weather (a lot like Pune's own weather), of Idlis-Dosas, and a thriving cosmopolitan population.

Here, I am helping Double Sping Media, a young and promising startup from Bangalore in marketing their product - Blackmonk - to international markets. Blackmonk is a CMS framework which can be put to use for developing web portals of very diverse nature. Main focus of the framework is to enable young entrepreneurs to publish content, mobilize communities around the content by ensuring user engagement, and monetize their content on a fly! One of the key strengths of Blackmonk is the ability to integrate APIs from leading platforms to amplify content generation and monetization possibilities. Having worked on several web portal projects earlier, I am thrilled by the potential of Blackmonk CMS framework.

I am in Bangalore for at least a month or two now, and looking forward to exploring this city, learning a bit of Kannada, and visiting beautiful places around the city, especially Coorg/Kodagu.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Status of Smartphone Market Right Now [Funny Pic]

This intelligent pic was found on my Google+ timeline. Very funny and true. And note the absence of Windows Mobile.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

So What? Google Is Reading My Blog Too (and Paying Me Too) #Microsoft

It seems that Microsoft has suddenly discovered that Google puts contextual ads in emails. Cleverly, Microsoft is terming this as 'Google reads your email', and is making enough noise about this fact.
The question is Google's contextual advertising is not a new thing. This is how Google makes money. Then why Microsoft has woken up just now? Answer obviously is recent launch of by Microsoft.
This is the problem with Microsoft. All this is not about any principle. This is just a marketing campaign to sell its competitive product.
So this is just business.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Guide to Collars!

Never knew the collars have so much about them. A few months ago had read similar information about shoes too. Really interesting to know.