Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Bangalore traffic : a reflection

I have ranted about this in the past too. But today's incident made me ponder about this in a different way.

During my commute today, the same thing that has happened for so many times happened again. Airport Road got jammed and I got stuck in it. I had to miss a meeting because of it. While waiting patiently for the jam to get resolved, I reflected upon my current frame of mind and the same a year ago.

A year ago, I would have cursed the traffic to no end and nobody would be spared. All the officials, ministers and other motorists would get the choicest rebukes from me.

Now, it is not that. I look at my co-roadsters and sympathize with them. Of course, there are other people honking away - but I am not with them.

A year ago, I would deny any wrongdoing on my behalf. The system was to be blamed. "These ?&@#^% roads ! How dare they not give way to me ! To ME!!!", would be my typical reaction. The reaction would also result in wistfully remembering my Bay Area commute times of 10 minutes (for 6 miles) and long for such commutes again.

Now, it is not that. I blame myself for not having considered possible traffic jams on my way to work. I have begun to expect the worst road conditions before leaving home. That way, I get a pleasant surprise if I manage to negotiate the commute in 90 minutes. And a more pleasant one if I finish it in 60! My then frequent reminiscing about the US has also reduced. Now it is more like "The US! Hmm....sounds like an interesting place. Was I ever there ?"

A year ago, I would have frowned at people randomly cutting in front of me and flouting traffic rules.

It is different now. I cut in front of others and if they give me a glare, I don't even have an apologetic grin. I go about my way as if nothing has happened. I mentally tell them - "swalpa adjust mADkoLLi"!

You know what ? I have become a Bangalorean!! Again !!

What is up with this?

It has been a long time since I blogged. Really.

Anyway, this is about something that has been irritating me for a while now. This is about advertising for liquor on Indian television.

For example, the Smirnoff ad has the usual tagline "The world is calling. Where are you?" but at the end of the ad we find that it is actually for Smirnoff CDs and cassettes. Can you imagine Smirnoff selling CDs and cassettes? What if someone actually wants those CDs? This is not just with Smirnoff but with many other liquor companies.

The other usual method is to sell club soda of the same as a hard liquor. For example, if Bagpiper is the name of a malt whisky, a soda of the same name is advertised.

What is the Indian government trying to achieve by having such silly rules ? Won't people be able to recognize that what is being advertised is liquor?

Now, the health minister is going overboard by banning cigarette smoking in movies! Why can't he ban smoking in public places for a change? And enforce that change?

I've written about this in one of my previous posts - but the liquor ad bit really did it this time.

There are many such silly rules in the Indian government. I hope some government realizes how silly these rules are, in spite of noble intentions behind such rules.