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talk Volume 1 | Issue 26 | February 7, 2013 | Rs 10

the intelligent bangalorean’s must-read weekly

AYYOTOONS Shahrukh K-k-k-khan 5

CONTROVERSY Ashis Nandy’s castecorruption rhetoric, and what he forgot 8


AERO INDIA Fascinating specs of fighter planes at this year’s show 16

MINISTER You may have never heard of BL Santosh, but BJP insiders say he is more powerful than Jagadish Shettar. BASU MEGALKERI profiles the 44-year-old RSS worker who could turn out to be Karnataka’s Narendra Modi 12-13



BENTO BOX Japanese gourmet lunch dabba, now at a restaurant near you 22

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Maverick Holdings’ track record nothing new in B’lore After reading your cover story on Maverick Holdings’ dubious track record (Up for grabs, Issue 25), I thought I should add this: Educational institutions on subsidised land have swimming pools not for their children but for the public to pay and use. Clubs become housing blocks. Nothing new in namma Bengluru. Shylaja Varma via Facebook Great cover Great cover artwork on the Ejipura slum evictions cover story. Very clever, I thought. Shravanthi B by email

will escape from there if ever there's a fire (God forbid!) Ammu Joseph via Facebook Go Wooplr! Loved reading the article on the startup company Wooplr (The backstreet boys, Issue 25), I am sure they will be big soon. All the best to the founders. You guys are really doing a great job! Sheela Sharon via Facebook

Lots to read The first issue of Talk that I came across was your 23rd one. I liked the magazine very much, and found Garuda on the that it offered lots to loose read. Writer Suketu If I remember, Maverick Holdings misused land that Mehta's interview was to be used for a multi- ('Gujarat's quiet is that of a graveyard') tops, in storey public car park to my view. Also your profile build Garuda Mall. And that mall is a death-trap if of the activist SR ever there was one—I don't Hiremath. Champa Gopalakrishna, know how the fire by email department thinks anyone

team talk EDITORIAL


SR Ramakrishna Editor Sridhar Chari Consulting Editor Prashanth GN Senior Editor Sajai Jose Chief Copy Editor Savie Karnel Principal Correspondent Basu Megalkeri Principal Correspondent Prachi Sibal Senior Features Writer Sandra Fernandes and Maria Laveena Reporters and Copy Editors Anand Kumar K Chief of Design Shridhar G Kulkarni Graphic Designer Ramesh Hunsur Senior Photographer Vivek Arun Graphics Artist

Sumith Kombra Founder, CEO and Publisher Ralph Fernandez Manager - Marketing Aaron Jones Asst Manager Marketing Abhay Sebastian Asst Manager - Sales Mithun Sudhakar Asst Manager - Sales Kishore Kumar N Head - Circulation Vinayadathan KV Area Manager - Trade Yadhu Kalyani Sr Executive Corporate Sales Lokesh KN Sr Executive Subscriptions Prabhavathi Executive Circulation Sowmya Kombra Asst Process Manager

Printed and published by Sumith Kombra on behalf of Shakthi Media Ventures India Pvt Ltd FF70, Gold Towers, Residency Road, Bangalore -560025 and printed at Lavanya Mudranalaya, Chamarajpet, Bangalore-560018. Editor: SR Ramakrishna. Editorial Office: FF70, Gold Towers, Residency Road, Bangalore 560025 Email: Phone: 08040926658. © All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is prohibited.

Rooted in our milieu I would like to congratulate you on the excellent editorial work you are putting in to bring out Talk magazine. It makes for enjoyable reading and certainly is different from other English magazines. Its

freshness stems from its being rooted in our milieu. An example is your detailed profile of SR Hiremath (Giant killer, Issue 23), whose life and struggle should inspire our youth today. You are focusing on issues usually ignored

or marginalised by the mainstream papers. VS Sreedhara National Law School of India What do you think of this edition? Write to

tech pioneer

talk|7 feb 2013| RAMESH HUNSUR

SOARING HIGH Rao is currently chairman of the Advisory Committee for Space Sciences

If APJ Abdul Kalam is India's missile man, UR Rao is the father of India’s satellite mission. As the former ISRO Chairman is inducted into the Satellite Hall of Fame in Washington, Talk brings you the story of how he launched the country’s space programme from a women’s loo in Peenya

India’s satellite man PRASHANTH GN

ndia’s first ever satellite, Aryabhata, was UR Rao’s baby, in the words of former ISRO Chairman K Kasturirangan. “He is the man who initiated India’s satellite programme along with Vikram Sarabhai and Satish Dhawan. He was instrumental in not just formulating satellite policy, but also in kick-starting satellite design and fabrication,” he told Talk. Rao’s colleagues in the aerospace ecosystem in India are unanimous in their praise for his contributions, and they see his recent induction into the Satellite Hall of


editor talk As we go to press, the Jagadish Shettar government is again in jeopardy. BS Yeddyurappa has vowed not to rest until he has wrecked the BJP and its tottering government. His breakaway outfit, the KJP, is playing a reckless game. It has little to lose, in any case, and is enjoying its power to harass Shettar and his confused cabinet. Amidst all the drama involving the leaders of the BJP and the KJP, an obscure name kept popping up: BL Santosh. Yeddyurappa, Ananthakumar, Shobha Karandlaje, and several others blame him for the mess the BJP finds itself in. Yeddyurappa went to jail in the illegal mining scam, and party elders in Delhi subsequently asked him to step down. Today, he holds Santosh responsible for writing to Delhi and bringing about his downfall. Who, then, is this Santosh? Basu Megalkeri tracked down the reticent leader, said to be more powerful than the chief minister, and gathered information about him from his colleagues. Santosh moved from the RSS to the BJP in 2006, when he was made the party's General Secretary. Parallels between him and Modi are already being drawn. We bring you a profile of a leader who could emerge from the shadows and go a long way.

Fame, Washington DC, by the University of Texas, Dallas, USA. Society of Satellite Professionals He was working on experiments International, as a fitting tribute. for the American Mariner proHe joins the illustrious ranks gramme. He is the only Indian to of 40 space scientists including have worked on the American greats like Sir Arthur C Clarke, Dr Mariners 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. The Mariner program was James Van Allen, Dr William Pritchard, Dr Harold Rosen, Dr conducted by the American space agency NASA in Fredric d’Allest, Dr conjunction with Takayashi Yoshida, He joins the the Jet Propulsion Dr Peter Jackson Laboratory (JPL), and Dr Olof ranks of the that launched a Lundberg. world’s top 40 of robotic Prof Rao’s space scientists series interplanetary journey, after his probes designed to return from the US, is the journey of India’s satel- investigate Mars, Venus and Mercury from 1962 to 1973. The lite programme. In the 1960s, Rao, who had program included a number of finished his PhD under Dr Vikram firsts, including the first planetary Sarabhai in India, was already a flyby, the first pictures from visiting professor at MIT and another planet, the first planetary

This week, sociologist Ashis Nandy and actors Shahrukh Khan and Kamal Haasan have faced the wrath of caste and religious groups. Nandy's comments at the Jaipur Literary Festival sparked a debate on the perceived connection between caste and corruption. A breezy, heartfelt first person article by Shahrukh created a furore, prompting misguided Pakistani leaders to seek security for him. Kamal, pushed to despair by the Muslim right, is talking of leaving India for good. We bring you Bangalore perspectives on the Nandy controversy, and present Shahrukh's plight in Ayyotoons. Happy reading! SR Ramakrishna


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orbiter, and the first gravity-assist manoeuvre. Of the ten vehicles in the Mariner series, seven were successful and three were lost. “I was the principal experimenter for the mariner probes. After a good stint with MIT, JPL and NASA, I came back to India in the early 1970s. Dr Sarabhai called me and said India urgently needed to start a satellite programme and that it had already lost time. He immediately asked me to write a note on why India needed a satellite programme. I wrote a note to the government, explaining that satellites could prove useful in education, health, meteorology, and overall development. This explicit explanation was crucial because the question was raised—why waste resources on something we don’t know,” explains Rao. In the late ’60s and early ’70s, India had already begun conceptualising and building basic rockets at Trivandrum. That’s when Rao made a significant intervention: “I told people at Trivandrum and HUMBLE ORIGINS: It was from these industrial sheds in Peenya that ISRO built and tracked India's first in the government that development of satellite, Aryabhata, in April 1975 rockets would take time. Rocket and satellite technology were two different things There were more men than women and we were still in the process of learning and one of the women’s rooms was not being building rocket technology,” says Rao. and had to be worked on separately.” While Rao got things off the ground, At precisely the same time, the used!” Rao explains. The women graciously agreed. “We Sarabhai was the man pushing him. “He Russians offered to launch a satellite for India free of cost, provided we built the brought a lot of electronic equipment and was my teacher. I did my PhD under him. satellite. “That was a great fillip. fixed it inside with an antenna on top. The His management capabilities were terrific, Immediately the government decided to second receiving station for India’s first and he was a wonderful human being. All in all, I grew up in the company of a visionsatellite was ready.” start fabrication,” Rao said. The teams under Rao began work ary.” The next question was, where would Satish Dhawan, IISc director who it be built? The contest was between sometime in 1972-1973 on the first satelHyderabad and Bangalore. “But the choice lite, Aryabhata, named after the great took on ISRO chairmanship in 1970s turned out to be a spontaneous one— Indian astronomer, and got it ready after before UR Rao did in the 1980s, was anothBangalore. Bangalore had many advan- 33 months of work. The Russians came er man who influenced Rao. Dhawan was tages. HAL had very good mechanical facil- again to India and talks began on the deeply involved in Indian atomic energy ities, and BEL was already doing well in launch date. Finally, April 19, 1975 was and aerospace. “He was a specialist in aerovery good technically. fixed as the date of launch. dynamics, electronics, and there were The satellite was taken to Interactions with him meant one would large defence and electronChief Minister Soviet Russia, which then sharpen one’s own technical acumen. All of ics institutions,” recalls launched it from Kapustin us imbibed his rigour, scholarship and Rao. Devaraj Urs Yar on a Cosmos-3M administrative capabilities,” says Rao. ISRO’s satellite centre built a centre Rao was putting those lessons to good launch vehicle. India’s is now a familiar name on for space work satellite programme had use. Kasturirangan points out: “Starting Old Airport Road, but back from scratch, setting up the lab and contaken off. then, they were offered It was a moment of celebration all ducting experiments for the first satellite some space in Peenya when the present industrial estate was still in the planning over the country and at Volvograd, where was all done in a very short time, which stages. All they got was “six makeshift Indian space scientists were happy that meant Rao and his team had a very sharp sheds and a foundation stone for an estate their first baby was born. But the grasp of the constituents of a satellite and Karnataka chief minister at the time was satellite building.” to come up sometime in the future.” “I am not exaggerating when I say that There were other issues requiring upset. Rao explains: “Mr Devaraj Urs got to in terms of number and range of applicathought. While the Russians would launch the satellite, ISRO needed to track it. There know that we had set up the receiving sta- tions, there is perhaps no parallel to the was only one tracking station at tion in a lavatory for India’s first satellite. It satellite system initiated under the leaderSriharikota. If that failed, fingers would completely riled him. Shocked and upset, ship and vision of Rao. We are equal to any again be pointed at the scientists for he immediately ordered a new, big building space power in the world in communicaspending money on something they were be built for space work. That’s how we later tions and remote sensing satellite systems. not equipped to handle. Rao’s team then came to set up a full-fledged space centre The grid will stand up to scrutiny from any expert body in the world,” he added. decided to have a back-up receiving sta- at Peenya.” G Madhavan Nair, another former Rao got busy with building and tion. Where would that be housed? It had launching two other satellites, Bhaskara-1 ISRO Chaiirman (2003-2009), describes to be the sheds in Peenya! But there was a problem of space. and Bhaskara-2. Russia again helped launch Rao as “the father of India’s satellite pro“There were six rooms and all of them were these satellites. Then came the satellite gramme”. Nair recalls: “We were totally in the occupied. We decided rather dramatically Apple, which the Europeans offered to that we would use one of the ladies’ bath- launch for free. “We built the satellites, and dark at that time (1970s). Just as you refer rooms to set up the receiving station. Why? the launch offers came as a heaven-sent as to Dr Kalam as the man who launched


ISRO'S achievements

Over the last four decades, ISRO has launched more than 65 satellites for various scientific and technological applications like mobile communications, direct-to-home (DTH) services, meteorological observations, telemedicine, tele-education, disaster warning, radio networking, search and rescue operations, remote sensing and scientific studies of space. ISRO has established two major satellite systems, the Indian National Satellite System (INSAT) series for communication, television broadcasting and meteorological services, and Indian Remote Sensing Satellites (IRS) system for resources monitoring and management. ISRO has also launched many small satellites for experimental and security uses.


Aryabhata was India's first satellite, named after the great Indian astronomer. It was launched by the Soviet Union on April 19, 1975 from Kapustin Yar using a Cosmos-3M launch vehicle. It was built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) under the pioneering project management of Dr UR Rao, to gain experience in building and operating a satellite in space. It was built to conduct experiments in X-ray astronomy, aeronomics, and solar physics. The spacecraft was a 26sided polygon 1.4 m in diameter. All faces (except the top and bottom) were covered with solar cells. A power failure halted experiments after four days in orbit. All signals from the spacecraft were lost after five days of operation. The satellite re-entered the earth's atmosphere on February 11 1992. Its image appeared on the reverse of Indian two-rupee banknotes between 1976 and 1997. India’s rocket technology, we refer to Rao as the man who launched India’s satellites.” Nair puts Rao’s contribution in perspective: “His tenure saw satellite technology impacting the entire country. Satellites have revolutionised communications. The broadcasting, DTH, tele-education and tele-medicine revolutions are all the result of satellite development.” Rao, who retired from ISRO in 1994, is now over 80, and continues to serve in various consultancy positions. He is chairman of the Advisory Committee for Space Sciences and has recently picked the payloads and instruments for India’s first inter-planetary space mission—mission to Mars—to be launched by the end of this year.

fun lines

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political diary

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Tried and tested Sainika Forest Minister CP Yogeshwar said a few weeks ago he was tired of politics and wouldn’t contest the next elections. But no one is taking him seriously. Karnataka’s people have seen him act on the big screen as Sainika (soldier) and are now watching him act in real life too. First he contested as an independent, then from the Congress, and was also elected on a BJP ticket. In between he fought a Lok Sabha seat against HD Kumaraswamy in Ramanagara and lost. Here is a sainika who has fought four elections in five years. It is this “acting prowess,’ that makes people take his statements with a pinch of salt.

WRATH YATRA BS Yeddyurappa at a KJP event

Wages of anger Former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa is infamous for his short temper—and it is only getting worse

the wrong house in his horoscope, they said. Yeddyurappa was enraged and told them: “I am Shani to Shani. I will ride over his head. Tell Him that.” He sent them home without even paying them. That is the buzz around his Dollars Colony house.

it was unfortunate that he was suffering a political setback. Yeddyurappa reportedly grew wild and banished him from his presence, saying he wasn’t sure when this leader would also join the ranks of those opposing him.

Clearly, the anger, frustration and A group of astrologers close to humiliation is getting to him. Yeddyurappa reportedly told him his Whatever he did when he was in stars were not good at this time and power is now coming back to him, he shouldn’t take up any new say observers. Meanwhile, one of his project. Saturn (Shani) was transiting close associates, to pacify him, said

No one has kept count of how many, friends and relatives have suffered Yeddyurappa’s wrath. And now it is the turn of the BJP to endure it.


Saffron flavour Last week, all of a sudden, saffron-clad swamijis gathered at Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar’s house. They had come to bless him and request rebellious MLAs not to pull him down.

SEERED! The seers with Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar

There were about 15 prominent seers from different communities. Surprisingly, the way humble village folk might do, the seers vied with one another to shake the CM’s hand. But then, the same

seers had cheered Yeddyurappa on after he was released from jail and had even clamoured to have him re-installed as the CM, calling him unblemished. Today, when Yeddyurappa is trying to pull down Shettar, the same seers are standing next to Jagadish Shettar. The man who organised the seers’ visits on both occasions? V Somanna, the MLA whose loyalties keep changing!

ACTOR CP Yogeshwar

Two plaits! Two plaits can never stay together, goes a (rather sexist) Kannada saying. The idea is that two women can’t be together without quarrelling. But surprisingly, two plaits have stayed calm and sober in Yeddy’s KJP, raising wags’ eyebrows. It was expected that Shobha Karandlaje would stand by Yeddyurappa after he started the KJP. But many were surprised to see Bharathi Shetty with him first. Shobha has joined him only now. Does this mean Bharathi Shetty, a politician from coastal Karnataka, has gained the political upper hand? Shobha resigned from the cabinet only recently. The inside buzz is that she remained in the government, and silently controlled some of KJP’s affairs through her friend Bharathi.

FRIENDS Bharathi Shetty, Shobha Karandlaje

ejipura diary

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After the eviction



In Talk’s previous issue, we reported about the slum demolition in Ejipura. On returning this week, we caught these vignettes from the aftermath


t is almost two weeks since the BBMP evicted by force nearly 900 families living in the shanty town at the erstwhile EWS (Economically Weaker Section) Quarters site in Ejipura near Koramangala. The majority of those evicted were tenants who had rented shacks from the original owners. Visiting the site again, we found that more than a hundred of these families were still camped at the site. Despite continuous threats by BBMP officials and the police, they have WE’LL WAIT Siblings Prashanth and Pratibha still camp at Ejipura as they haven’t found a house where dogs are allowed erected small tent-like structures on the pavement nearby, many of which Help at hand Animal companions accommodate more than one family. Some individuals and organisations Dozens of dogs and cats abandoned How you can help have been plying evicted families with by their owners remain at the site. House deposits water, food, winter clothing, and But some families have stayed back Desperate times Since the evictees can only be medicines. Many volunteers coming just to be with their pets. On Tuesday, when Talk visited the supported temporarily, the Manjunath C, who works as a site, we were witness to a spat here are common people—corporate volunteers are now trying to help between some volunteers and professionals, teachers, lawyers and sand loader, shares his tent with four families find accommodation. evictees. Two women distributing students among them—who have families, and has eight dogs of his They are trying to raise funds for winter clothing to old people sleeping taken up the task on their own. Many own to watch over. He says even if he their house deposits, and need in the open, were arguing with some have joined in through the Facebook tries to leave the dogs on the street, help from generous citizens. evictees. “Haven’t you already collect- page ‘Relief for EWS Ejipura they always come back. The dogs now Those who are interested can ed clothes? Why do you come back Demolition Victims’. In addition, sleep in front of the tents. call Kaveri on 77602 35234 or Prashanth S, another evictee, again and again?” a volunteer asked, organisations like Iskcon’s Akshaya Siddharth on 9916676448. Patra Foundation and the hotel lives with his parents, two siblings angrily. Vivanta by Taj, apart from generous and four dogs, Princy, Tiger, Maxy Adopt a pet private individuals, are pitching in and Tappy. Even amidst the chaos, Self-immolation threat Aachala Paani of animal welfare with help. he’s thrilled that Maxy has delivered On Wednesday, some 20 construcNGO Let’s Live Together visited Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, a vol- seven babies, and Tappy is about to tion workers supposedly from the site after the eviction,and Maverick Holdings asked families unteer who serves breakfast at the give birth. He tried to move into a found people leaving their dogs site, says that a rented house, but the owners refused camping on the pavebehind when they were moving team of five or six to allow the dogs. Prashanth is findment to vacate. out. “I saw a family throwing Many families of them comes to ing it hard to let them go and says, Vijayalakshmi, one of their dog out from the auto as are now forced the area every “They are like our children, we can’t the evictees who has they had too many things and morning to supply leave them. We will stay on the footlived here for 22 years, into sharing a the animal didn’t have space,” breakfast before path until someone gives us a house confronted them with she says. Paani rescued the single tent the kids go to where they’re allowed.” He also had a jerrycan of kerosene, dog, and naming it ‘Eji,’ put it up school. two cats and a squirrel, but they went threatening to set herfor adoption on her A restaurant called Shalimar has missing after the bulldozers moved self on fire if they didn’t back off. The organisation’s Facebook page. mother of three works as a domestic also been helping with breakfast for in, he says. Eji has since found a new home. The volunteers have also been help and is the sole breadwinner of the evictees. “The restaurant owner Let’s Live Together intends to the family, as her husband is asthmat- grew up in the same area and providing food to stray animals and put up other rescued dogs for ic. The police constables posted at the empathises with these people, so he had even brought along a veterinariadoption. For details, call Achala site intervened, but only to side with has been supplying food continuous- an who treated some dogs injured on 80956 99181 ly,” Jayaprakash adds. during the eviction. the workers.


critical comment

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POINTING FINGERS? Ashis Nandy, one of India’s foremost intellectuals, is the author of landmark works in social theory

A time for introspection Sociologist Ashis Nandy's sweeping generalisation about caste and corruption should prompt the honest majority in the SC/ST and OBC communities to stand up and be counted

he Dalits and OBCs, outraged by Ashis Nandy’s remark that they are more corrupt than others, should try to understand calmly the spirit in which he made such a remark. What he said is sweeping, but it should inspire the majority of honest people among them to introspect. Since they are the majority, they should also treat it as an


Nataraj Huliyar Well-known shortstory writer and cultural analyst

opportunity to cleanse the system. They should turn the tide against the minority of corrupt people in their own castes. Instead, if they take up cudgels against Nandy, one of India’s finest intellectuals, they will miss the opportunity to debate the nature of corruption in the private sector controlled mainly by the upper castes, and the public sector, which has a relatively larger participation of the lower and middle castes. We could also discuss the problem in the context of the new ‘class’ and ‘caste’ categories emerging in postIndependence India. It is high time we accepted the fact that the corrupt in India are a distinct ‘class’ and ‘caste’ by themselves. Nandy misses a significant point when he says corruption is minimal in West Bengal because the Brahmins are at the helm. There appears no definite caste dimension to corruption in other parts of India. The degree of corruption in West Bengal may be low because of the awareness of citizen rights the Left has created over the years. The state also owes its relatively ‘clean’ image to its perennial

politics of agitation. It thrives on leaders who led the movement had a protests and demonstrations initiated clean image and they could never be by the different factions of the Left bought by vested interests. The Dalit movement in and the Trinamool Congress. People’s movements create an atmosphere in Karnataka was also concerned about which the corrupt are slightly afraid corruption in its early days, but it focused more on social issues. It was to practise their greedy business. In the Karnataka of the 1980s, well aware that corruption in the corruption in the taluk and revenue police department and the bureauoffices came down, thanks to ‘the cracy was a major hurdle in its strugdirect action’ initiated by Prof gle against oppression. Naturally, the founders of the Nanjundaswamy, the Dalit movement— tallest farmer leader D e v a n o o r a of India. Whenever The corrupt in Mahadeva, B an instance of corIndia are a Krishnappa and ruption came to their distinct ‘caste’ by S i d d a l i n g a i a h — notice, members of themselves have always had a the Raitha Sangha clean image. But, would barge into the paradoxically, some chambers of the official and insist that the bribe be leaders started depending on corrupt returned to the helpless farmer from officials to run their organisations whom it was extracted. This served as and in turn ‘protected’ such officials a warning to other officials. Several later. A couple of farmers’ leaders such instances were reported in those have also run into a similar trap in days. Corruption among politicians recent years. All said and done, corruption in and bureaucrats was one of the key issues of a mass movement. There India should be understood at anothwere boards in front of several thou- er level. The roots of corruption are sand villages that said: ‘No Entry for deep in its religious culture. Since Corrupt Officials’. The non-Brahmin religion controls the psyche of the

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Indian people, they are not genuinely opposed to the corruption they see around them. We live in a country where priests have legitimised the act of bribing gods. Dowry, another form of bribery to please the groom, is widely accepted and given. In the private sector, ‘commissions’ and ‘kickbacks’ are treated as a part of the game. You have the Vyshyas, the merchant class, who chant the dictum ‘Vyaaparam droha chintanam’ (‘Trade means contemplating cheating’) and are not concerned about ethics. Politicians swindle money, and bribe the voters. Later the politicians demand bribes from the same voters. They eat up money meant for roads, buildings and bridges with a co-operative bureaucracy. Private groups grab land belonging to

the people with the help of corrupt leaders. Everybody knows corruption is rampant in the legislature and the media, and some black sheep among the judiciary have recently been exposed. Then why blame only the Dalits and the OBCs for corruption? It is unjust to blame one section of the society for a chronic social and cultural malaise. And yet, the majority of the Dalits and OBCs should not lose this opportunity to alienate themselves from the bloodsuckers among them. After all, the corrupt class never discriminates: when a bribe is in sight, it will not help its brethren. The corrupt class should never be defended on any grounds, including those of social justice.

What Ashis Nandy said Following is the comment made by Ashis Nandy at the Jaipur Literature Festival, which kicked up a storm. The comment was made towards the end of a session titled ‘Republic of Ideas,’ in which Nandy shared the stage with journalist Tarun Tejpal, historian Richard Sorabji, TV anchor Ashutosh and writers Patrick French and Urvashi Butalia. It is a fact that most of the corrupt come from the OBCs and the Scheduled Castes and now increasingly Scheduled Tribes and as long as this is the case, Indian republic will survive. And I give an example, one of the states with least amount of corruption is the state of West Bengal where when the CPM was there. And I want to propose to you, draw your attention to the fact that in the last 100 years nobody from the OBCs, the backward classes and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes have come anywhere near power in West Bengal. It is an absolutely clean state. After a controversy broke out, Nandy clarified that his comment was taken out of context by the media. Here’s the full statement of his clarification:

This is not what I meant or what I wanted to say. This is what actually transpired. I endorsed the statement of Tarun Tejpal, that corruption in India is an equalising force. I do believe that a zero corruption society in India will be a despotic society. I also said that if people like me or Richard Sorabji want to be corrupt, I shall possibly send his son to Harvard giving him a fellowship and he can send my daughter to Oxford. No one will think it to be corruption. Indeed, it will look like supporting talent. But when Dalits, tribals and the OBCs are corrupt, it looks very corrupt indeed. However, this second corruption equalises. It gives them access to their entitlements. And so, as long as this equation persists, I have hope for the Republic. I hope this will be the end of the matter. I am sorry if some have misunderstood me, though there was no reason to do so. As should be clear from this statement, there was neither any intention nor any attempt to hurt any community. If anyone is genuinely hurt, even if through misunderstanding, I am sorry about that too.


Ashis meant that while corruption among the elite is invisible and well-protected, it gets exposed or becomes obvious among the oppressed. I believe corruption is so vast in India that it has enveloped every community and class. No one is outside it and

therefore it would be unfair to single out the corruption involving the oppressed classes as the only corruption. He has made a complex argument and it would be wrong to describe the argument and the man as anti-Dalit.

My initial view was that Ashis Nandy made a bad statement with good intentions, that he had committed a blunder. But the fact is that Nandy's statement reveals a certain mindset at work. For instance, take the case of women, who have been oppressed for ages, just like the Dalits and OBCs. They have now entered politics and other fields,

some have become chief ministers and we even had a prime minister. Many of them have been found to be corrupt. But would Ashis have made a statement like 'women are corrupt' even as a blunder? He won't, because they are within his own circle, whereas the Dalits are always the 'other.'

I think people may have misunderstood the complexity of Ashis Nandy's statements. He is a progressive thinker who has been in favour of Dalits and marginalised people the world over and he is known globally for this.

Knowing him and his positions well over years, I find it difficult to believe he made antiDalit remarks. I request people to put an end to this controversy.

What Nandy meant was that corruption has sucked in even the weaker sections and that ironically it has become an equalising force. He is not off the mark as we see the elite among the weaker sections going after power and money, and away from Dr Ambedkar's ideals. There

is no need to be politically correct all the while, though in the present atmosphere where writers, thinkers and artists are attacked, we have to be careful what we say.

UR Ananthamurthy Jnanpith awardee

Kancha Ilaiah Dalit and OBC ideologue

Siddalingaiah Dalit poet and Chairman, Kannada Book Authority

S Japhet Director, Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, National Law School of India University


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‘The UID database can invite the wrong kind of attention’ New York-based anthropologist Arjun Appadurai feels that while the unique identity database may not create the much feared surveillance society, it could attract targeted sales and advertising, and ‘one of the things frequently advertised and sold these days is bad debt’ to social violence in all forms. I admit this is a dystopian view of life, but the conditions force you to see life this way. However, there is space for progressive social movements, enlightened intellectuals and critics. This ew York-based Arjun is what we saw in the Anna Hazare movement and the Appadurai is a contemporary protests against the rape of a young woman in Delhi. social-cultural anthropolo- That spontaneity in public response gives me hope. gist, currently Goddard Professor of Media, Culture What should the Indian state do to ensure everybody and Communication at New York benefits from new policies? University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Market reforms or market-based solutions have their limitations. Wealth generation is indifferent to other Education and Human Development. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts priorities. And then, ‘welfarism’ is not the entire soluand Sciences, Appadurai is co-founder of the tion. We need general empowerment of the people— academic journal Public Culture; founder of through RTI, literacy, cleaner elections. State needs to the non-profit Partners for Urban Knowledge, collaborate with people to aggressively reform the Action and Research (PUKAR) in Mumbai, and public space, to make it a space where people have a co-founder and co-director of Interdisciplinary greater say in determining the nature of politics, economy and society. Network on Globalisation (ING). He is now working on corruption and the new economy. Talk caught up with him after he deliv- Indian government says the Unique Identification (UID) ered a lecture at the National Institute of Advanced project will prevent corruption, and people will see benefits soon. Studies (NIAS) last week. UID is up against a lot of challenges in India. To get a Corruption seems at a high after liberalisation. Who is thorough picture of the population in three to five years won’t be easy, but it is not impossible either. UID it affecting the most? The bottom 50 per cent—the backward classes and will generate technological innovations in the public castes, dalits, tribals and urban poor—are the worst sphere, but I doubt it will create a surveillance society as people fear. What I worry about hit, even if the middle class too is UID is that it may create, while not forced into corruption in many ‘Inequality could intending to do so, severely indebted ways. Two things have been happenpopulations. What do I mean by this? ing in the last 20 years in India: the lead to social UID will create a large database about distance between the bottom 50 per violence in the people’s requirements. cent and the middle class is increaslong run’ When you have information in a ing, not to speak of the really database about what people want, it’s wealthy who are way above on top, and the poor and weaker classes are being subjected to possible to begin to sell things to them because you exploitation more than ever before because they aren’t have and get a population to whom you can advertise. paid the way the well-off and wealthy are in market And one of the things frequently advertised and sold these days is bad debt. When you’ve incorporated peoterms. ple into a certain kind of economic system based on information, you entice them, even with bad debts. What is the hope for the poor in a market-driven People will buy the debts, suffer, like in the mortgage economy? We have to hope that the state in its role of wealth crisis in the US. Financial inclusion, the honourable redistributor will become more effective than in its aim of UID, could end up as financial exclusion and role of facilitating wealth creation. Undoubtedly, exploitation. Also, in whose hands will data about the inequality is growing worldwide, and there’s also population be, what is the purpose of data mining and degradation of environment and ecology. In gen- what is data mining supposed to serve? eral, life conditions for the poor are worsening. The unequal condition in the long run could lead Nandan Nilekani has articulated a technological-tech-



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and responsive to democratic aspiranocratic vision for India to solve its tions. socio-economic problems. What Because of the new technology, would you tell Nandan? Nandan Nilekani is doing something if people don't get what they need — very important without doubt. He either because of faults in the techcould have continued to make nology, or because people haven't money like his peers do, but he is embraced it or when you make the technology cominto social good pulsory and eliminow. I congratulate nate people who him on that. He ‘Nandan should are unable to should look closely explore whether embrace it to at the downsides of the UID can lead receive benefits — UID and act to to financial there would be instal safeguards social trouble. Like against diversions. exclusion’ a person not getHe will have to ting pension or explore whether attempts at financial inclusion can wages just because he or she doesn't actually end up in financial exclu- have a UID number or because of sion and exploitation when a large errors in authentication technology, database is out there for people to which may not register fingerprints and thereafter eliminate the person advertise to and sell to. Databases all over the world are from benefits… this can be very dangood at inviting attention from all gerous and leave a whole lot of peosorts of people. Safeguarding against ple out. Nandan should get research database misuse and the selling of bad debts will be a challenge. teams to work out how it can slip Nandan will have to ensure that the into somebody else's hands and how technological, technocratic vision of they can misuse it. He should work the government being played out out a good anti-thesis to the misuse through him and UID is aligned with of UID, learning from the US experi-

ence where hundreds of people were given bad loans or debts and dragged into financial suicide based on the humungous credit rating database. Nandan is clearly intelligent enough to understand this. But can he deliver on the antidotes to the pitfalls of UID? What can Bangalore as a technology city give to the country? Bangalore has got great opportunities to show how technology can be incubated to build a healthy, sustainable city. IT honchos while spending time on building their companies will also have to spend time to build a vision for life in Bangalore. The government of course will have to help. How do we eliminate crushing, everyday corruption? Our problem is not a law problem, our problem is of compliance. India lives in endemic non-compliance, which is almost part of our faith and culture. People have learnt to live the jugaad life, people are afraid to revise the structure, people are afraid to attack the deeper malaise.

BUMP AHEAD UID Chairman Nandan Nilekani needs to put safeguards in place so it is not misused


puppet master

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OH SO SIMPLE Santosh sleeps on a mat, eats food meant for party workers, and lives in the party office

WATCH THIS MAN BJP workers in Karnataka shudder to even talk to BL Santosh, but party elders in Delhi trust him. He calls the shots quietly, and is said to be more powerful than Jagadish Shettar. Is this 44-year-old bachelor a Narendra Modi in the making?


and Ananthakumar, both bitter rivals in the BJP, his erstwhile party. Clearly, Santosh is someone the BJP and the KJP despise today.

of pawns on a chessboard. If you have watched Prakash Jha’s political drama Rajneeti, you might see Santosh in the mould of Nana Patekar. Santosh is the Chanakya of the state BJP.

ome of Karnataka’s most powerful politicians are pointing Sorry, no questions fingers at one man for the mess Talk set out to find out more about this 44- Nerdy engineer the BJP finds itself in today: BL year-old man, who, on first glance, you From all accounts, Santosh grew up with Santosh. Who is this mystery might mistake for a middle-class middle-class ambitions of doing a profesman? Basavangudi resident taking a walk to a sional course and finding a comfortable An RSS entrant into the BJP, Santosh temple. You wouldn’t suspect he holds career. In his manner and bearing, he is far is officially the party’s General Secretary more power than Chief Minister Jagadish from your typical neighbourhood goon ristoday. But few outside the party have heard Shettar. ing in the ranks to become a political big of him. Fewer still know about the extent For a political leader, shot. Hailing from of power he wields. Santosh is surprisingly retHiriyadka in Udupi, he Santosh’s office BS Yeddyurappa, disgraced former icent. He refuses to talk to studied chemical engiis referred to as chief minister and now leader of the break- the media, and party colneering at BMS College in away Karnataka Janata Party, is among leagues complain he is Bangalore. He excelled at the 4th floor of those now speaking out against Santosh. arrogant and inflexible. studies, winning a gold Vidhana Soudha He is telling people Santosh almost became When Talk got him medal. He was offered a chief minister some months ago. over the phone after good job in Assam, but “If I hadn’t thwarted his moves, he repeated efforts, he refused to answer any politics beckoned. would have usurped the seat,” Yeddyurappa questions. Would he answer questions The RSS provides the ideological edge says of him. The grumbling is getting loud- online? “You can send me the questions, to the BJP. Leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee er. In his diatribe against Santosh, but I won’t answer them,” he said, bluntly. and Narendra Modi hail from the RSS. Yeddyurappa is joined by Shobha Santosh, for MLAs and the party They worked behind the scenes for decades Karandlaje and Dhananjaya Kumar, both cadres, is a secretive man who strategises before foraying into electoral politics. his trusted confidants, and KS Eshwarappa and moves elected members in the manner Santosh shares many traits with them. A


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bachelor (like Vajpayee) and a hardcore Sangh Parivar idealist, he lives an austere life.

BJP’s super-CM Party insiders say Santosh runs the government, and chief minister Jagadish Shettar simply follows his orders. Legislators and MPs are scared of him, and do not dare question him. Among themselves, they jokingly refer to his office as the fourth floor of the Vidhana Soudha. The third floor of the Vidhana Soudha houses the chief minister’s office. Since Santosh is more powerful than Shettar, his office is called the fourth floor. Where does Santosh work from? His office is actually the BJP office in Malleswaram, just a 20-minute drive from the state secretariat. He also lives there. He eats the same food served to party workers, sleeps on a mat on the floor, and drives around in a Swift car owned by the party. He is wedded to the party, and inspires awe among younger party members; he is the sort of leader they have only heard about. In a party accused of large-scale corruption, with a chief minister and several ministers serving time in jail, Santosh could emerge as a clean choice for any powerful position. But he is not popular with the rank and file. Though appreciated for his ideals, most party leaders resent him for his authoritarian ways. Yeddyurappa is certain Santosh nurses high political ambitions, but other leaders, such as Girish Mattannanavar, declare he is selfless, and will not go after any post. Santosh rose in the RSS ranks as a Pracharak in Shimoga. This is a full-time position that involves interacting with people and spreading the organisation’s ideology. This role gave Santosh contact

SECRET STRATEGIST (Right) BS Yeddyurappa blames Santosh for his downfall. (Above) KS Eshwarappa and Ananth Kumar equally resent Santosh’s authoritarian ways

with the people, and also with leaders who visited the region to address rallies. In the early years of the new millennium, Yeddyurappa regularly consulted him on political matters and took his advice seriously. Santosh had already gained a reputation as a grassroots organiser. People heard him with respect. When Yeddyurappa formed the coalition government with JD(S) in 2006, Vamanacharya was the state BJP general secretary. Yeddyurappa pulled some strings in Delhi and brought Santosh in Vamanacharya’s place. Strategising for the party, Santosh oversaw Yeddyurappa strike a deal with the Reddys and get extra MLAs on his side. Without the MLAs, Yeddyurappa wouldn’t have been able to form a government.

Friend turns foe Yeddyurappa had everything going his way when he brought Santosh to the party’s helm of affairs. But perhaps he had not taken Santosh’s idealism seriously. Santosh puts the Sangh Parivar and the party ahead of all. When the time came, he did not hesitate to topple Yeddyurappa from the chief minister’s chair. The Lokayukta report against illegal mining and corruption put the party on the defensive. Yeddyurappa and the Reddys were indicted, and the Congress was badgering the BJP in Delhi, citing Karnataka as an example of the party’s corrupt style. Santosh reportedly wrote a secret letter to Delhi, suggesting Yeddyurappa be asked to resign. It was only after his letter reached party higher-ups that the BJP took a strong position against Yeddyurappa.

Santosh is my role model. No one works like him, and no one can work like him. He has no personal ambition, and lives like a saint. The only thing he owns is a cotton handbag. If he is offered new clothes on Guruvandana Day, he puts them into Wildcard entry his bag. Many unkind stories are told At this juncture, a big shock lay in store for about him, but I think they are born the party in Karnataka. Delhi leaders out of jealousy. It took Vajpayee one secretly suggested Santosh be made the minister. A panicky Yeddyurappa, full week to convince Modi to go to chief afraid that he would be sidelined for good, Gujarat and take charge. But here, no brought in Sadananda Gowda and made one is forcing Santosh to get into any him the chief minister. This was the same colleague Yeddyurappa had insulted and political position. Girish Mattannavar turned away when he had asked to be made Policeman turned politician chairman of the Karnataka Milk Chairman, Gulbarga Irrigation Zone Command Area Federation. Former union minister Dhananjay Development Authority

Kumar was to lead the team from Karnataka in Delhi to advocate the state’s case in the Cauvery issue. Being a Yeddyurappa loyalist, he simply didn’t turn up. Angered, Santosh expelled the senior leader from the party for six years. At a press conference in October, Dhananjay Kumar for the first time spoke of Santosh publicly. He alleged Santosh was not as idealistic and simple as he seemed. He accused Santosh of owning properties in benami names. A few days later, Yeddyurappa launched an attack on Santosh in public. State BJP President Eshwarappa said Santosh called all the shots, and gave him no say in party affairs. In private, Ananthakumar, Yeddyurappa’s No 1 enemy in the BJP, resents Santosh as well. Despite their internal fights, state BJP leaders agree Santosh wields more power than he should. They complain he treats them with scant respect, even though they are the ones who interact with voters and fight elections to bring the party to power.

Keshava Prasad, former MLA Nirmal Kumar Surana, and corporators Manjula Prakash, Shivkumar and Gautam. Santosh is said to be partial towards Manjula. During the corporation elections, he made sure, party insiders say, that Majula got a reserved seat from where she had a good chance of winning. He sanctioned extra money, assigned workers, and personally oversaw her campaigning. He made sure she won. He did not do the same, party workers complain, for other candidates. The larger picture is that Santosh could emerge as a political leader in his own right. He has the backing of leaders in Delhi, and a largely clean image. Party insiders see parallels between his life and Modi’s. In fact, Vajpayee had to use all his persuasive powers on Modi, then in Delhi, to get him to agree to go to Gujarat. But a major hurdle would be Santosh’s lack of rapport with the party’s ranks. In the last five years, Santosh has quietly established his hold over the BJP’s affairs. Though resented, he is respected too. Given his sharp mind, it will not be a surprise if he emerges as Karnataka’s A motley core group Santosh’s coterie comprises Ramapriya, Narendra Modi.

gadget gyan

talk|7 feb 2013|

Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos This latest in the very popular Galaxy series is being advertised heavily and is available for pre-order. The phone promises most of the features of the S III at a much lower cost. Some apps which have been exclusive to Samsung's high end phones will work on the Galaxy Grand. Priced at Rs 21,500 the Duos has dual SIM capacity. It will be among the few phones in the market which comes with Jelly

Karbonn S1 Titanium While Micromax is trying to compete with Samsung, Karbonn is trying to take on Micromax. It has come up with S1 Titanium which looks a lot like Micromax's Canvas HD. But it is priced much lower at Rs 10,990. It is available for booking on the company website and is expected to be in stores in this month. The S1 Titanium shares the same OS, processor, storage, and dual SIM capacity as the Canvas HD. The catch could be with the RAM, the details of which the company hasn't yet made public. The phone also lags behind the Canvas HD with regard to display and camera. It has a smaller 4.5 inch capacitive screen. It offers only a 5 MP camera, which is 3 MP lesser than Canvas HD. The front camera is VGA, just like its rival.

Bean, the latest version of the Android Operating System. The phone boasts a five inch display but on a TFT screen, with a comparatively lower resolution at 480 x 800 pixels. It has a multi window option where the user can browse through many windows on the same screen.

The phone is expected to be faster than its counterparts in the mid range segment. It runs on a 1.2 GHz dual core processer with 1 GB of RAM. It has 8 GB of builtin memory and is expandable up to 64 GB, through a micro SD card. It has two cameras—an 8 megapixel one at the rear and a 2 megapixel one in the front.

Android allure Hang on! Many smartphones with the Google OS are coming SAVIE KARNEL Google's Android smartphone platform is surging ahead of its rivals in mindshare and marketshare, reaching almost 70 per cent in 2012, leav-

ing behind not only Apple’s iOS at about 20 per cent, but other eager, laggard challengers like Microsoft and Blackberry. The battle rages on in 2013. So, if like many smartphone buyers, you are in the market for an

Android model, it might be worth your while to keep up to date on the several new Android offerings. Talk looks at some exciting new options rolling out over the next few months.

pixels and a pixel density of 294 ppi. It comes with a 1 GB RAM and 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 Quad-core processor.

The Xperia ZL has the same features as the Xperia Z, except for the body size. The ZL is smaller than Z. It supports only one SIM and has a dedicated camera button. The phone is expected to be priced at Rs 30,000. Both the Xperia ZL and Z may be released in late February or early March.

Sony Xperia Z This one is the first 'phablet' from Sony and is priced at Rs 35,000. The phone runs Jelly Bean too. It has a 2 GB RAM and is powered by 1.5 Ghz Quad Core Krait processor.

And can HTC be far behind? The Butterfly, when launched, will become the most expensive Android smart phone in India, with a price tag of about Rs 45,000. It has already debuted in Japan under the name of J Butterfly and is known in the US as Droid DNA.

This is the first phablet (phone plus tablet) from HTC and is similar to the Sony Xperia Z in many ways. The display, pixel density, RAM, storage capacity and operating system are the same as in the Sony phablet.

Canvas HD has 4 GB of internal memory, which can be expanded with a micro SD card to up to 32 GB. But Galaxy Grand offers Now, Micromax has come out with twice the storage with 8 GB Canvas HD, a dual SIM phone with internal memory and is expandable to 64 GB. a five inch screen. It has higher technical specifications than its The phone has an 8 MP predecessor and is similar in rear camera but a VGA many ways to the Samsung Galaxy front camera. Canvas HD Grand. The phone runs Jelly Bean does not have the multi and is upgradable to the next window option. Both the version of Android, while the phones have similar Galaxy Grand is not. It also scores batteries. The phone is on display over Galaxy Grand, with priced at Rs 15,000.

Sony Xperia ZL

HTC Butterfly

HTC India has been posting teasers of the launch, saying, "Guess what is flying into town?" The phone is expected to hit stores this month.

Micromax Canvas HD A116 a resolution of 720 x 1280 You can no longer ignore this home grown company. After the success of its Canvas 2 (A 110), Micromax is being taken seriously by gadget gurus as well as common users. The Canvas 2 is often compared to Samsung's high end S series, and is even considered better at the asking price of around Rs 10,000.


The Butterfly runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-center processor clocking 1.5GHz, It has the HTC sense user interface to boast of. boasts full HD with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels.

The phone has a 13 MP primary camera, which can record full HD videos. It also has a front camera of 2 MP. It provides 16 GB internal memory and is expandable to 32 As with all Sony phones, the GB. One other attractive factor in highlights of this phone too are the camera, video recording and display. favour of the Xperia Z is that it offers superior water- and dustThe Xperia Z has a five inch capacitive touch screen with a good resistance to most models in the pixel density of 441 ppi. The display market.

The phone has an 8 MP rear camera and a 2 MP front camera. It brags of an ultra wide front angle lens. You can also capture a 6 MP picture while shooting a video at the same time. Its price can be a deterrent though.

first person Here’s a lowdown on the Aero India experience. You forget all the inconveniences once you see the spectacular flying machines in action, but don’t forget to carry your caps

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Fun times at the airshow


t takes some effort to get to the precise point from where you see your favourite aircraft fly, but in the end it’s worth it. The sight of combat aircrafts doing aerobatics right in front of your eyes will justify your long ride to the Yelahanka air force base and then the walk. Be prepared to put up with the hot sun and long queues and any number of security checks from the parking point to the viewing area. Typically, the Yelahanka Air Force base in north Bangalore could mean a drive of up to 25 km, depending on where you live. On the days of the show, your drive may take longer because of heavy traffic on the BIAL road, with hundreds of cars and



UP UP AND AWAY The aerobatics show is the biggest crowdpuller at Aero India

two-wheelers heading to the air show. Then, expect to park at least half a km from the venue. Parking may not be a problem, despite the crowds. The police make arrangements under instructions from the Air Force. This is when you take out your caps and sunscreen. You’ll take 10 to 30 minutes and perhaps more on weekends to reach the viewing area from the parking lot. The fighter aircrafts are stationed bang in front of the viewing area and sometimes within the viewing area itself. If you’re lucky, one of the aircraft companies


will allow you to sit in the cockpit of a fighter aircraft, like they did in the 2011 show. The Euro-fighter Typhoon was a big draw because it let you climb in. The viewing area is fairly big even if hundreds of people are within it. The aerobatics will take your breath away and you’ll want to see more and more of it. The SU30 will perhaps be the most fascinating aircraft doing aerobatics with its menacing and powerful frame. Look out for its vertical flight upwards and downwards, snakelike manoeuvres, sudden “stops” in mid-air, and its loops and rolls.

People say they can’t take their eyes off the SU-30. Expect plenty of action also from the Rafale, F-16 and Light Combat Aircraft, all of which demonstrate highspeed fly-pasts, flip-flops, and breath-taking vertical climbs. Aircraft meant only for aerobatics (different from fighter aircraft performing aerobatics) will take your breath away— they fly so fast and close to each other, you’ll wonder every second if they will crash into each other. But they don’t (though in rare cases this has happened). Then there’s the exhibition area where you get to see the best of aviation technology—mock-ups of aircrafts, missiles, cockpits, simulators, a whole array of electronics. You will learn about the world’s best aerospace technologies in one sweep. Company representatives explain how each bit of equipment is made and if you want a career in aerospace, a visit to Aero India will open doors. In the middle of viewing the air displays and static exhibits, you can sip juices and soft drinks even if they cost you some. You shouldn’t miss the buffet. The IAF is systematic in its food arrangements. From chicken tikka to rumali roti to fried rice, and then ice creams, there’s no worry for the palette. In case you have a pass to visit the chalets (special rooms for companies), you may even get to imbibe a little!

Cramped space for the commander


hile an aeroplane resembles a bird, it certainly doesn’t look like a rooster. Then why did the pilot’s cabin come to be known as the cockpit? Actually, there is a connection with roosters. The origin of the term can be traced to the 16th century, when cock fights were a popular ‘sport’ in England. The fighting area for the cocks was a roughly circular enclosure with barriers. This arena was like a pit. There were rows of seats around it so that spectators could look down at the action. The place for cock fights came to be known as the cockpit. We can see this The Talk usage in Thomas column on Churchyard’s poem, word origins


The Worthiness of Wales, written in 1587. In it he compares the land surrounded by mountains to a cockpit. “The Mountaynes stand...In roundnesse such as it a Cock pit were,” he wrote. By the 17th century, the W term was used to refer to cramped spaces. William Shakespeare refers to a theatre as a cockpit. He uses the term to draw an allusion to the round crowded theatre and his inability to describe the tumultuous events in Henry V. The chorus sings, “Can this cockpit hold/The vastie fields of France? Or may we cram/Within this wooden O the very casques/That did affright the air at Agincourt?” In 1635, a London theatre also came to be called The Cockpit. Later in the next century, government buildings were built on the land once used for cock fights. These buildings too were commonly called cockpits. In the 18th century, the term entered naval jargon. The rear part of the lowest part of the deck of a battle ship was called the cockpit. It was usually below the water-

line and dimly lit. It was generally used as junior officers’ quarters. During war, the space was used to treat the wounded. During action, the space turned bloody, smelly and crowded. It reminded people of the orginal cockpit and so it got its name. In 1769, in the Universal Dictionary of the Marine, William Falconer explains the term used in naval parlance, “Cock-pit of a ship of war, the apartments of the surgeon and his mates, being the place where the wounded men are dressed.” In the 19th century, the steering pit of a sailing yacht came to be called a cockpit, since it was also small and cramped. The person in charge there was called a cockswain. Now, he is called a coxswain. It was this usage that went on to be applied to aeroplanes in the 20th century. Just like the coxswain steered the boat, a pilot controlled the aircraft from a small enclosed area. This place came to be known as the cockpit. During World War I, which began in 1914, the term became popular with aviators.



An engraving by William Hogarth depicting a cock fight in 16th century England

aero india

talk|7 feb 2013|




With its cobra-like canopy, the Sukhoi-30 has been a star presence at Aero India editions since 1996. India had then inked a deal to purchase the aircraft for the IAF. Veteran pilots like Viktor Pugachev showed off the cobra action, in which the plane seems to rear up and hang in the sky. In technical terms, an action is called a cobra if the angle of attack exceeds 90 degrees. (The angle of attack is not the angle of the aircraft with respect to the ground, as it is sometimes assumed, but the angle at which the airframe meets the airflow.) An extreme variation is the Kulbit or Kilbit, when the plane does a full backward somersault, which a Sukhoi variant known as the Su-37 famously demonstrated.

Skyfest over


Talk unveils the magnificent machines waiting to fly at Yelahanka between February 6 and 10 TEAM TALK While Aero India is an occasion for governments, air forces, defence manufacturers and R&D establishments to showcase wares, strengthen ties, strike deals and finalise purchases, for the lay air enthusiast, it is an opportunity to look skywards and take in the breathtaking displays of some of the most advanced aircraft in the world.



Bangaloreans can take special pride in this light combat aircraft, developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency of the DRDO and built by HAL, both in Bangalore. It has been a long time in development, and several prototypes are now undergoing flight and weapons integration testing, and the much awaited final operational clearance is expected sometime this year. Said to be among the lightest fighters in the world, it is still flying with a General Electric engine, as plans for an indigenous Kaveri engine have fallen through. The LCA is intended to replace the ageing and accident prone MiG-21 fighters in the IAF. The Indian Air Force is reported to have a requirement for 200 single-seat and 20 twoseat conversion trainers, while the Indian Navy may order up to 40 single-seaters to replace its Sea Harrier FRS.51 and Harrier T.60.

The cobra was seen less often in subsequent Aero India events. Our pilots may or may not be permitted to risk a true cobra, but you might still see cobra-like manouevres.


Lockheed Martin's F-16 Fighting Falcon is a multirole jet fighter which first flew in 1974. Designed as an air superiority day fighter, it evolved into a successful allweather multirole aircraft. About 4,500 of this much-exported plane have been built since production was approved in 1976. Although no longer being purchased by the US Air Force, improved versions are still being built for export customers. Pakistan was among the notable customers. A mach 2 fighter, it has a range of over 4,000 kilometres with drop tanks.


The French Rafale, made by Dassault Aviation, is the winner of the multi-billion Indian contract for 126 fighters for the Indian Air Force, with an option for an additional 63. The twin-engine Mach 2 capable fighter was designed for the French Air Force, and is the next generation fighter in Dassault Aviation's stables after the famous Mirage. The Mirage is still very much around in IAF service, as in many air forces around the world.

Sukhoi 5th Gen

The air show will display a model of the Sukhoi/HAL Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), a plane being developed by India and Russia. It is a derivative project from the PAK FA (T-50 is the prototype) being developed for the Indian Air Force. FGFA was the earlier designation for the Indian version, while the combined project is now called the Perspective Multi-Role Fighter (PMF). The completed PMF will include a total of 43 improvements over the T-50, including stealth, supercruise, advanced sensors, networking and combat avionics. Two separate prototypes will be developed, one by Russia and a separate one by India. The first aircraft will begin testing in India in 2014, with introduction into service expected by 2022. It will be stealthy, have the ability to supercruise, be outfitted with the next generation of air-to-air, air-to-surface, and air-to-ship missiles, and incorporate an AESA radar.

Rudra Aerobatic teams

Aero India, but this time the Russian Knights Aerobatic teams, many from air forces from around promise to be a brand new attraction. While many the world, are hugely aerobatic teams use fighter popular at airshows. Several aircraft participate trainers, both basic and in a dance of daredevilry in advanced, only a few use actual fighting platforms the skies, showing off the and the Russian Knights is skills of the pilots and the one of them, flying the capabilities of the aircraft. Sukhoi-27. IAF's Suryakirans have regularly wowed visitors at The precursor to the

expect the IAF's Suryakirans to perform, the organisers have confirmed the participation of the helicopter display team, Sarang, flying the Advanced Light Helicopter Also on the list, according (ALH) called Dhruv. to the Press Information Bureau, are the Flying Bulls The ALH was developed by Hindustan Aeronautics in of the Czech Republic several variants. (above). While one can Sukhoi-30, another Aero India favourite, the Sukhoi27 Flanker is similar to the MiG-29 but much larger with a maximum speed of 2.5 mach (two-and-a-half times the speed of sound).

Light Combat Helicopter HAL will also showcase its light combat helicopter, Rudra, and its intermediate jet trainer (IJT).

It is mandatory for visitors to carry an original governmentissued, valid photo ID (driving licence, passport, voter ID), details of which are provided at the time of online registration. Every visitor should register online at before coming to the show. General visitor tickets are available at select Axis Bank branches, FICCI’s Bangalore office and Air Force Station, Yelahanka. General visitors can visit the exhibition area between February 6 and 8, using a business visitor ticket, which costs Rs 2,000, available at the same venues. General visitor tickets for the air display viewing area between Feb 6 and 8 are Rs 400. For February 9 and 10, it is Rs 500. If you wish to visit the exhibition area on February 9 and 10, buy a Rs 1,000 ticket.

TIMINGS February 6: 2 pm to 5 pm February 7: 10 am to 5 pm February 8: 10 am to 5 pm February 9: 10 am to 5 pm February 10: 10 am to 5 pm Entry gates open an hour before the show. General visitors are required to undergo a security check. Children below 16 years are not permitted in the exhibition area on business days. Carry your registration ID and proof of online payment to collect your ticket. You are not allowed to carry food inside. The following items are not allowed inside: Firearms, weapons, knives (including pocket and Swiss knives), replica or toy weapons, laser pointers, and packets of any kind. Registration is not required for children below five. Children between five and 16 years can provide details of their school ID cards or accompanying parents’ ID cards for verification.

folk ensemble

talk|7 feb 2013|


DUTCH PARTY The red cubicle design is inspired by Amsterdam’s red light district, says Abel

‘They seduced me’ Superlatives abound when you encounter Roysten Abel and his folk ensemble Manganiyar Seduction, featuring a Rajasthani Muslim community of traditional singers


usic was not the art form of choice for Roysten Abel when he graduated from the National School of Drama. But today, it’s his unique musical productions—which he insists is ‘extended theatre’—that he is best known for among audiences across the world. Bangalore recently witnessed his latest work, Manganiyar Seduction, a choreographed ensemble featuring 42 artists from Rajasthan’s Muslim performing arts community of Manganiyars. The


show was part of the ongoing Attakkalari Biennial. After its premiere in 2006, the ensemble has toured extensively, receiving accolades and standing ovations everywhere. The Bangalore show was breathtaking. The stage was set up with 36 red curtained cubicles featuring the 42 Manganiyars awaiting cues, dressed in white traditional costumes and pagdis. A music coordinator sat upstage, lost in the sound of his own khartal (a rhythm instrument made from stone). The choreographed jugalbandi lasting an hour-and-a-half left the audience enthralled. The instruments included dholaks (drums), khartals, kamanchas (violin-like string instruments) and several others native to their region. The sound was raw yet coordinated. The colour, sounds and flickering lights had the audience react to the highs and lows of every phrase. The performance came to a close with a bhajan led by the only Hindu member in the ensemble, and a short introduction to the communi-

ty of Manganiyars. In a telephonic interview from Kannur, Kerala, director Roysten Abel talks about how he came to conceive the show, and about the Manganiyars and the life lessons they gave him. Excerpts from the interview.

get to know them and end up creating an ensemble.

How do the dynamics of theatre and music production differ? What did you have to learn and unlearn? I don’t treat the Manganiyar Seduction as a musical performance. Here it is part learning and part of it is a deep Why the shift from theatre to music quest to find something that I could performances? Actually I don’t take this to be a musi- not do when I did plays. cal performance. I When did you first hear treat it like an ‘In the US they about the Manganiyars extended form of and what was your theatre. What I detain us reaction to their music? used to do earlier because we’ve The first time I heard was just plays. got 42 Khans!’ about them was when Theatre is more I was in Spain for encompassing, so by treading into this form I am just another play. The play was for an trying to explore many more aspects NGO and there were two Manganiyar artistes as a part of the crew. That’s of theatre. when I found out about them. They played the whole day and they What attracts you to ensembles? You have previously done an ensemble with seduced me into their music and their lives. snake charmers too. I don’t get attracted to such groups or ensembles. In fact, it is their music Which of your performances with the that I get attracted to. That’s how I Manganiyar Seduction has been the

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What have you learnt from them? I have been with them for nearly seven years. The experience has been wonderful. They have taught me about the simple joys in life and about humility. There is so much that I have learnt that it is different to express it in words.

most memorable and why? Well, it is very difficult to pick out one memorable performance since there are many such. But one that I can think of is when we performed at the NH7 Weekender, Pune. In the festival, there are seven stages where artists perform. Most of the acts there were rock bands and we felt out of place. But once we started performing the response we got was wonderful. It was nice to see how the kids lapped it up and we were able to engage with such a wide audience. What about the language barriers while interacting with them? Yes, I have had language problems with them. But once you establish a rapport, language is a small problem. Even though our language is different and it is not spoSHOW MAN Roysten Abel, an NSD alumnus, turned from Shakespeare to grand musical productions ken, we have established a connection makes it sound genuine. Now whenever I can happen to any other Khan and we had which helps us overcome our problems. go back there are at least 100 artistes wait- 42 Khans in the group! I can’t help it because it is their internal security issue. At ing to be auditioned. Was it very difficult to convince the both these instances we were invited by the Manganiyars to work with you? Lincoln Institute and the Kennedy It was not. After I met the Manganiyars for We heard you’ve had problems when travelInstitute respectively. On both occasions, the first time, I went to Rajasthan and lived ling with the ensemble… with them. There I auditioned nearly 1,000 (Laughs) Yes, we have had problems when the officials had to call these places to conManganiyars for the Manganiyar Seduction. we go to the USA. We have been detained a firm that we were artists performing there. You do it in such a way where both parties couple of times. Once we were detained for work together. They saw my honesty and four hours and another time for eight For how long have you been with the must have thought here is a director who hours. If it can happen to Shahrukh Khan it Manganiyars? What was the experience?

Has the financial condition of the Manganiyars changed since their association with you? Yes, it has and many of them have bought houses and cars now. But they still perform for their patrons back in their community. They have big families and need to look after their children. Some of them perform concerts in smaller groups to this day. Where did the cubicle concept come from? What challenges do you face in executing it? The cubicle idea is taken from Amsterdam’s red light area. Since the Manganiyars seduced me into their music and lives, these cubicles are merely to show that they’re going to seduce you too. What can we expect from you next? My next project is called Kitchen of Life and it is what has brought me to Kerala now. It is about cooking and sharing. That’s about what I can let out for now.

Salman Rushdie: A fan's notes Ravi Menezes, who has read and argued about the novelist all his life, writes about meeting him in person, and how it turned out to be the highlight of his bookselling career y first introduction to Salman Rushdie was a disagreement with a lady at a bar about The Enchantress of Florence, which tells the story of a fictional relative of Mughal emperor Akbar, born of an exiled Indian princess and an Italian from Florence. At that point of time, I was a little cheesed off about all the publicity Rushdie had received after the fatwa for his Satanic Verses. Like many others, I was critical about the book even though I had not read it. But our little quarrel prompted me to actually read it, and I concluded that it was a work of fiction by a gifted author, and while it may have been offensive to Muslims, it did not in any way deserve a fatwa by


the Ayatollah, nor all the hullaballoo that surrounded it. Given that, it’s no wonder that I consider the event of actually meeting the man, getting to ask him a few quick questions and explain to him the meaning of Goobe’s, the book store I run on Church Street, as a highlight in my calling as a book seller. To top it off, I even extracted from him a promise to visit the store, which made my day. As a fan, I’m pleased that I now have all of his books signed by the author himself, and am delighted to add these to my personal collection, which is happily growing. For the uninitiated, a good place to start with Rushdie would be Haroun and the Sea of Stories which tells us that storytellers

WHAT FUN The writer with The Writer, at the Midnight’s Children promo

cannot be silenced. Books do wonders to expand your world view, and this one shows you why. Luka and the Fire of Life is another. It has all the trappings of a traditional fairy tale but is really a sardonic commentary on families, life, and the search for identity. The best part is that these two books are a treat as much for kids as for grownups. Moving along, East, West: Stories would be the next logical step in reading Rushdie. These

stories cover various aspects of life in the West as well as the East, especially the clash of cultures, the stereotypes and prejudices that affect people who, like Rushdie, have migrated from one “world” to the other. When reading Midnight’s Children, his magnum opus, care should be taken so that you don’t get stuck with every detail in the novel. Of course, a little knowledge of Indian history will help. The man does demand

respect for his lavish, elegant and rich prose, but equally, for his legendary status as a writer. Let’s not forget that Rushdie was also famously sued by Indira Gandhi for libelous statements in Midnight’s Children. Do you see a pattern over here? Come on, how many writers do you know have both faced death sentences from religious fanatics and law suits by prime ministers? Rushdie, that wily old man, is destined for immortality. And as a book store owner I feel it is a responsibility to encourage readers to explore works like Rushdie’s, which are not strictly part of the mainstream. I’m convinced that trashy popular culture spells the death of individual thinking, a precursor to a lemming-esque behavior which can only end in cultural catastrophe. Rushdie was in town recently to promote the film Midnight’s Children, based on his book. Ravi Menezes is ‘Chief Goobe’ and curator at Goobe’s Book Republic.

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Rewind The week that was  Korean Satellite: South Korea succeeded in its third attempt to put a satellite into orbit, in a high-stakes test of national pride after arch-rival North Korea got there first with a rocket launch last month.

Bangalore still pays best salary in Bangalore during 2012 stood at Rs 6,13,100, while in Pune it was Rs 5,42,432 and in Mumbai Rs 5,14,607. Not surprisingly, the average median salary for IT professionals was also the highest in Bangalore (Rs 3,96,935 to Rs 17,26,551) followed by Pune (Rs 3,28,412 to Rs 16,17,959). However, Mumbai offered the best salary to sales professionals in 2012 with median salary in the range of Rs 3,32,412 to Rs 16,13,510.

 Tibet appointee: China has appointed a hard-line politician, Losang Gyaltsen, 55, as governor and head of Tibet's largely rubber stamp regional assembly, belying expectations of a softer stance towards the region.  China smog: The haze choking many Chinese cities covers a total area of 1.3 million square kilometers, China's Environment Ministry has revealed.

A recent survey conducted by recruitment tendering platform and confirmed Bangalore's status as India's best-paying city for professionals, followed by Pune and Mumbai. The average

 Exile option: Actordirector Kamal Haasan said he is thinking of leaving Tamil Nadu for some other “secular” state in India, due to problems over the release of Vishwaroopam, including a court order banning the film.

Foodie web

 Cancelled: Author Salman Rushdie's visit to Kolkata to promote Deepa Mehta's film Midnight's Children, based on his novel, has been cancelled due to security issues.  Thackerays thaw: Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray hinted that his party was open to the possibility of joining hands with cousin Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).  Trouble for Shettar: The resignations of 13 MLAs loyal to BS Yeddyurappa on Tuesday have left chief minister Jagadish Shettar with two options—dissolve the assembly or prove his majority.  HMT scam?: A BJP corporator has alleged that a part of the 631-acre campus of the defunct HMT watch factory near Jalahalli has been illegally sold to builders in connivance with a few politicians, in a Rs 3,000-crore scam.

Social networking is now helping foodies connect with other foodies and creating an eating-out guide like never before. You can now simply type out the dish you are craving for and suggestions of restaurants and cafes serving what you want in your vicinity will pop up on your screen. and work on similar concepts providing you with guides like 'Bangalore's top 10 watering holes'. Pick your choice of cuisine and be part of food communities and connect with people of similar culinary inclination. You can follow fellow foodies on Twitter and rate the places you visited recently. Etable allows you to link Facebook posts, and updates your check-ins to listed restaurants even throwing in suggestions. The information on cuisine, specific dishes and prices isn't comprehensive yet, but food-driven social networking may not take too long to catch on.

The surprise addition to the top ten best salary paying cities in India in 2012 was Jaipur, which replaced Lucknow to occupy the tenth position. The report is based on a survey of 2189 employers across 18 major cities in India.

Coming: Norah Jones The Grammy Award winning artist will be doing her first ever performance tour in the country and is scheduled to play in Bangalore on March 8, headlining the festival 'A Summer's Day.' Jones bagged five Grammy awards in the year 2002 with her acclaimed album Come Away with Me and returned to the Grammy stage for two more in the year 2004 for Feels Like Home. Touring with her will be musician M Ward of the duo She & Him and member of indie group Members of Folk. For tickets visit or

Born to an Indian father and a

Puppy adoption centre Let's Live Together is organising a threeday drive to mark the World Spay and Neuter Day. Spaying refers to the surgical removal of ovaries of female dogs, and neutering to castration of male dogs. Owners of Indian dogs are invited to bring their dogs and get them

spayed or neutered—a procedure that would otherwise cost anywhere near Rs 2,500—for free. The drive is also open to puppies adopted from the organisaton. Owners are requested to bring a copy of their dog's vaccination and medical records. Let’s Live Together considers spaying and neutering a humane and effective means of reducing the number of homeless dogs in Bangalore. The organisation has found homes for almost 400 Indian puppies, and believes people adopting homeless puppies help solve the street dog problem sensibly. The drive will be held from February 8 to 10 at No 30, Karthika Clinic, 3rd Main, Devaiah Park, near Malleshwaram. You can call 9886784116/ 8971216126 to register.

A stunning debut He's the hottest publishing sensation you’ve never heard of. Prajwal Parajuly (28) has been celebrated as the youngest Indian author to bag an international book deal (and a double book deal at that), when UK-based Quercus Books signed him up in 2011. When he landed the book deal, he was still an MA student at Oxford University's Creative Writing programme.

Free drive to sterilise dogs

Nepalese mother, much of Parajuly's fiction is centred around his native Gangtok. The first of the two books—a collection of short stories titled

The Gurkha's Daughter —is now out, and the reviews say it is everything that was promised and more. For instance, the Hindustan Times' reviewer Manjula Narayan wrote: 'If the measure of a successful story is its ability to have an independent afterlife within the reader's mind with characters being revisited and fictional situations turning up unbidden to present insights into real life, then every story in The Gurkha's Daughter is a success.' High praise, indeed.

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Malnad mela Vanastree, the Sirsi based forest garden and seed keepers' collective, is holding the 2013 edition of their annual Malnad Mela from February 2 to 3 (Saturday and Sunday). Malnad refers to the verdant, ecorich mountainous regions of central Karnataka. On display will be the range of seeds, foods and crafts that Vanastree has acquired a reputation for. Also present will be associates Namma Angadi, Small Steps, A Hundred Hands, and The Crafts Studio. This year there will be a food stall featuring a variety of ethnic Malnad foods prepared by Vanastree members. The mela also serves as a space for individuals and groups interested in organic farming, village crafts and industries and conservation. Venue: Golden Bead School (playground), off Richmond Road Time: 10 am to 6 pm

V-Day uprising

One Billion Rising, a global event, urges women around the globe to create a revolution against gender violence on February 14. The idea behind this comes from the fact that one in every three women across the planet is violated at least once through her lifetime, and if each would rise in protest, it would make it a billion women protesters, a number so large it could effect radical changes. You could stage a strike, dance, organise a flash mob or simply do something to make people take notice and be part of the One Billion community. The website features videos of women dancing in different parts of the world in protest. Look for events in your city, or create one through the site's resources which include a step-by-step guide to organising your own event, complete with play lists, invitation templates and press release samples. The community event also marks the 15th anniversary of V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women. Share your thoughts on the forum and while you are at it, read Rising, a poem by Eve Ensler (of Vagina Monologues fame), written in support of the movement.

Police patrol for women

A legacy in letters

Random House just released Legacy, a compilation of personal letters by well-known personalities, sharing their experiences and insights into life as parents. Edited by Sudha Menon, the book has in addition daughter to father letters by Deepika Padukone and Nandita Das. The book also comprises pictures from their private albums. The contributors for the book include names like: Narayana Murthy, Chanda Kochhar, Kishore Biyani, Zia Mody, KV Kamath, Ajay Piramal, Amit Chandra, Ganesh Natrajan, Renuka Ramnath, Pradeep Bhargava, Capt Gopinath, Mallika Sarabhai, Shaheen Mistri, Sanjeev Kapoor, Jatin Das, and Prakash Padukone.

Bangalore Police has flagged off Abhaya, a dedicated fleet of patrolling vehicles manned by women police officials to help women in distress. Each of the seven police divisions have been given an Abhaya vehicle. The 24-hour service, which is currently functioning on a pilot basis, also has a helpline which women can reach for assistance. The vans would have a woman sub-inspector and two women constables each, working round the clock in shifts. According to Joint Commissioner (Crime-East) B Dayananda, the women police officials deputed for the special squad would be equipped to respond quickly, and would also be trained in counselling and other related skill sets. He said that the vehicles would patrol the streets concentrating on places like bus stops, colleges, schools and deserted areas, looking out for eve teasers and stalkers. The Abhaya helpline numbers are 1091 and 10928

The 'care effect' The 'placebo effect'— where patients are given a harmless but ineffectual medicine which nevertheless improves their condition at times—is well-known in medical science. But findings from new research studies have prompted medical experts to talk of a 'care effect,' according to a Wired magazine report. In one study, conducted by Ted Kaptchuk at Harvard Medical School, patients with irritable bowel syndrome were told they would be given an acupuncture treatment, though the researchers

actually used trick needles that didn't pierce the skin. The symptoms of one group, which received the treatment from a friendly researcher who asked detailed questions about their lives, were markedly reduced, equivalent to what might result from any drug on the market. But another group, which received the same sham treatment—but performed brusquely—showed no signs of improvement. Kaptchuk concluded the empathetic exchange between practitioner and patient made all the difference.

In 2002, The New England Journal of Medicine had published a paper showing that arthroscopic knee surgery for arthritis worked no better than a placebo, though 6.5 lakh such operations were being performed a year. These and other such studies have helped initiate a major debate in the United States about the need for empathy in healthcare and the risks of overtreatment. A study by the US government's Medicare social insurance programme found that overly aggressive treatment kills some 30,000 people a year in that country. The study estimated that the number of US adults who die from too much medicine is now higher than the number who die for lack of it. Now that we are taking the American approach to healthcare in India, these are points that medical professionals and patients here would do well to ponder.

The week ahead  Kerry next: Veteran Senator John Kerry, known for his relationship-building skills, is all set to replace Hillary Clinton as the new US Secretary of State.  Egypt warning: Egypt's army chief Abdel-Fattah elSissi warned of the "the collapse of the state" if the political crisis roiling the nation continues.  Pressure on Lanka: The US will move a fresh resolution with the UN Human Rights Council in a bid to force Sri Lanka to deliver on promises to probe its troops for war crimes.  Troops to Mali: Britain might deploy more military personnel to help the Frenchled mission in Mali, amidst fears of the country becoming a base for the al-Qaida.  Mittal layoff: Belgian police is expected to continue clashes with steel workers who are protesting Arcelor Mittal’s plan to layoff 1,300 workers from its steel plant in Liege.  Interest cut: Banks are likely to cut interest rates on loans after the Reserve Bank of India cut the cut the repo rate as well as the cash reserve ratio (CRR) by 0.25 percent.  Relief: There is relief ahead for hospital patients in Bangalore as 450-odd nurses attached to the BMC & RI Stipendary Staff Nurses' Welfare Association are getting back to work after strike call.  On knife's edge: At the moment, in terms of numbers, Karnataka’s BJP government seems safe. But if more resignations follow the 12 that have been submitted, the fate of the government would hang in the balance. The 225member assembly presently has two vacancies. With 12 resignations, the strength has been reduced to 211. The magic number is 106. The BJP has 107 members.

food path

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Dabba for gourmets RAMESH HUNSUR

Likethatonly: 14/31 A, Hagadur Road (Behind Forum Value Mall), Whitefield Veg/chicken: Rs 499 plus tax Seafood: Rs 599 plus tax

The originally Japanese concept of a meal in a box has takers in other cuisines too. Sandra M Fernandes brings you the conventional and the experimental, price tags included

he original meaning of the Japanese word bento is ‘convenient.’ The ‘bento box’ repackages the traditional Japanese meal for the hurried office-goer, just as the Indian thali found its way to the dabba. Basically, the bento box is a quick fix meal with rice, meat and pickled vegetables, popular in several East Asian countries including Taiwan. In Bangalore’s Japanese restaurants, it is increasingly popular as a fine dining option than a working man’s meal, and not surprisingly, the concept is being adapted for other cuisines too, as Talk found out when we went on a trail for ‘meals in a box.’ Clearly, convenience is the driving force behind the trend, though we must warn you that price tag bears no comparison with the dabba. So here are restaurants that have joined the bento box club, but also those that have adapted the concept, minus the Japanese food.

Japanese restaurants in town like Harima, Edo and Teppan serve the traditional bento box, and offer both veg and non-veg options. Harima: 131, 4th Floor, Devatha Plaza, Residency Road Veg/non-veg: Rs 400 plus tax At Harima, the vegetarian bento box consists of soup, salads, egg roll (if required), tofu teriyaki with teriyaki sauce, vegetable tempura and yasai croquette. The non-vegetarian one comprises soup, salad, torino teriyaki, chicken with teriyaki, grilled beef, chicken dumpling and grilled fish.


The Japanese connection At likethatonly, Whitefield, the bento box is quite out of the box, taking inspiration from Japanese, Thai and Indonesian cuisines. We picked the chicken variant of the bento. The traditional miso soup which was served in small portions was light textured and came with a healthy dose of diced vegetables, a much needed concoction on the cold afternoon we stopped by. The meal itself consisted of a cold chicken salad, chicken and celery dimsums, chicken rendang curry, garlic noodles and chicken flavoured crackers. The salad was made up of diced chicken and an assortment of

vegetables. We would later realise that this preparation was perhaps the highlight of our afternoon meal. The dimsums came with minced chicken and a generous celery flavor. The main course in our box was garlic noodles, which paired quite well with the tangy red chicken rendang curry. Though the portions looked meager at first, the platter turned out to be more filling than we expected. Once done, it was time to move on to dessert. The chocolate lover in us ordered the five spice chocolate cake which was served with a dollop of fresh cream. Quite the satisfying end to our culinary adventure we would say.

The Continental drift Wheely Good Food, a Whitefield delivery outlet comes to the rescue for those who like their meal out of the box but won't go too far to get one. Here, you will be served your packed meal of choice- continental or an Indian on a five compartment meal tray (the idea was borrowed from the bento box). Both meals come in vegetarian and non-vegetarian variants. The continental meal consists of sandwich/ pasta/ steak for the main course, starters (chicken lollipops or wings for

Edo: ITC Gardenia Veg: Rs 1,450 plus tax Non-veg: Rs 1,850 plus tax At Edo, the veg bento box consists of vegetable salad, miso soup, fried green vegetables, rice or noodles, vegetable tempura and dessert. The non-veg one has crab meat salad, miso soup, fish or prawn tempura, rice or noodles and steamed custard. Teppan: 2nd Floor, 1/3 Ulsoor Road, Sivanchetti Gardens Veg: Rs 550 plus tax Non-veg: Rs 650 plus tax At Teppan the vegetarian bento box includes vegetable salad, soup, maki sushi roll, assorted bread, grilled mushrooms, sticky/ burnt garlic rice and dessert while the non-veg one offers chicken salad, miso soup with chicken, sushi roll with fresh fish, chicken or fish tempura and rice along with dessert.

non vegetarians and cottage cheese fingers or mushroom caps for vegetarians) along with a soup or a salad. The Indian meal comprises rice, parathas, gravy (vegetarian or non-vegetarian), and one dry accompaniment (vegetarian or non-vegetarian). Both meals also include cut fruits or a choice of dessert. Wheely Good Food 251/2, Shop 1, NR Mansion Kadugodi, Whitefield Veg: Rs 150/Non-veg: Rs 160

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The Vietnamese way Blue Ginger at the Taj West End goes a step ahead and serves the otherwise Japanese bento in its self-introduced Vietnamese way. The vegetarian meal consists of Haricot and tofu soup, a choice of salad and starters from Lotus root with basil and shallots, fresh rice paper roll with tofu vegetable and vegetables with lemongrass and chili. The main course includes both, options of rice and noodles and wok tossed vegetables or stir fried greens. The meal ends with a choice of dessert. The non-vegetarian one comprises chicken and asparagus soup, raw mango salad and starters (grilled chicken with lime leaf and chili or grilled lamb chops with sesame barbecue). The main course includes rice and noodles, braised lamb shanks or wok tossed chicken followed by dessert. The seafood meal starts off with a prawn in lemon-grass and chilli lime soup. For starters you can choose from fried prawns

and grilled lamb chops both flavoured with sesame. The main course includes spicy chicken cari, tossed soft shell crab with shrimp fired rice and noodles with mixed meat, followed by dessert. Blue Ginger: Taj West End, Race Course Road, Seshadripuram Veg: Rs 2,000 plus tax Non-veg: Rs 2,500 plus tax Sea food: Rs 3,500 plus tax

Simply Indian If cuisines world over have embraced the ‘box’, Indian cuisine wasn’t going to be left too far behind with the idea. Rajdhani , the quintessential thali haunt has opened up to meal boxes for both lunch and dinner. They have the special meal box, the elite box, the snack box and the working meal box. While the special meal box includes one portion of Gujarati farsan (snacks), two sabzis (veg-


etable), five rotis, one portion of dal and rice, starters and sweets, the elite meal box includes two portions of farsan, four sabzis, eight rotis, two starters, one portion of rice and dal and sweets. The working meal box includes four chapatis, one portion or rice, dal and sabzi each along with sweets. A special snack box makes sure you beat the smaller hunger pangs. The box includes two fried and two steamed farsan options each. Rajdhani, all outlets Special Meal Box: Rs 125 Elite meal box: Rs 145 Snack box: Rs 45 Working meal box: Rs 80

Demand the right to play Sport is a priority for cities the world over. Why do our authorities look at it as if it is a criminal activity, wonders Dev S Sukumar

complaint,” said the constable. “What complaint? Whose complaint?” they persisted. “I don’t know. You can go to the station and ask the inspector. All I know is, I’ve been asked to clear you out of here.” This was absurd. And yet, one has seen this behaviour—or its equivalent— many times. A peaceful group of players was being treated like a bunch of troublehat do we want our city to be? makers. Was playing at eight at night some That was the topic at a discus- sort of criminal activity? Ironically, this was exactly what we’d sion hosted by the Indian Institute for Human Settlements in been discussing an hour ago at IIHS. The Sadashivnagar. The round table (the forum ten of us panelists had each outlined, in was called ‘Urban Café’) had a few students, one word, our vision for the city. “It has to be inclusive,” said one. “It has to be clean,” an engineer, a techie, and IIHS faculty. Sometime after the discussion, I wan- said another. “It has to be green,” said a dered over with a friend and his four-year- third. “I’d like to see people play,” I’d said. Come to think of it, one rarely gets to old to a small ground next to IIHS. A clutch see people over a certain of players was absorbed in age at play. Play is meant a basketball game under The cop treated for school or college kids floodlights. It was a nice, with the time; to the peaceful time, perfect for the players like majority of our adults, nostalgic reflection of they were the city has shut access to what Bangalore used to troublemakers play and sport. Our cities be. are overpopulated, and to Suddenly, the peace was broken by an approaching constable, ask for a playground when many people who started shouting at everyone. “Clear can’t afford housing seems an elitist out!” he ordered. As we watched in bewil- demand. And yet, one could argue, sport works derment, he walked up to the players and against elitism; against gender bias. When asked them to go away. Once the initial surprise had worn off, players are on a team, it matters little what the players argued spiritedly. What was the class or caste of one’s fellow-player is. their fault, they asked. “We’ve received a Mixed-gender sports like badminton and


INACCESSIBLE LUXURY Play is a part of our natural instinct, but Bangalore’s grounds are shrinking

tennis breed players who have hardly been known to indulge in gender violence. Sport is a great leveller, and a strong antidote to several social ills. The lack of public spaces can be compensated through smart planning. Hong Kong’s population density is greater than Bangalore, and yet they ensure spaces for sport in every government building. Odense in Denmark pioneered a sportsfriendly policy because it knows that investment in sport means savings in healthcare. A boy who takes to sport is less likely to get into drugs and become a nuisance for his fellow-citizens.

Unfortunately, Indian cities are among the most non-conducive to sport and play. The few spaces that are marked for play are cordoned off for the majority, with only exclusive and limited access to a few. Play is part of our natural instinct, and to deprive the body of play is a sure way of inviting other kinds of trouble. I often wonder if violence towards women would be reduced if our young men had healthy ways of expending their energy. The demand for spaces to play should become a popular demand, along with the right to food, water and education.


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book launch

food Under The Mango Tree continental food, head here this Sunday and have a relaxed breakfast with your pets. While the pet owners can feast on some continental breakfast, the pest can have the doggie platter that consists of steamed chicken dimsums, ragi balls, mince meat balls and biscuits. Under The Mango Tree, #3. Laurel Lane, Richmond Town, February 3 9686601021

 Flavours of the world: You will be spoilt for choice as you dig into Afghani murgh, laksha, Luciana chicken sausages, Kabuli naan and other non-vegetarian fares. Priced at Rs 999 (without alchohol) and Rs 1,499 (with alcohol). Melange, Hotel Park Plaza, Marathahalli, Outer Ring Road, February 2 49094909  Craving for chicken? Head to Nando’s to try out some of their new offerings this weekend. The non-vegetarians can choose from Morroccan butternut and grilled peppers chicken burgers,

chicken livers and Portuguese roll and the butterfly breast chicken meal whereas the vegetarians can have paneer kebabs, veg paneer meal and cataplana algarve. Nando’s, Church Street and Park Square Mall, ITPB, Whitefield 25550707  Bring out the chef in you: Are you a big fan of pizza and want to learn how to make your own pizza? Head to this workshop where you will get hands on experience and learn to prepare the dough and fresh sauces. You will be given some recipes also.

Cilantro, 4th Block, 4th Main, Kormangala, February 2 41102200  Sublime foodl: Want to taste Singaporean food? Head to this ten day food festival where you can savour dishes like Hainanese chicken rice, char kway teow, satays, rojak, nasi goreng, laksa, rendang and more. Oko, The Latit Ashok, Kumara Krupa Road, Seshadripuram, from February 1 to 10 30412940

 Peppy coloured shoes: Ditch the blacks and browns. Girls can choose from a variety of Hello Kitty shoes. They are available in different colours like black and red, Hawaiian ocean, pink and white. Priced at Rs 2, 799 onwards. Vans store, Forum Mall, Kormangala and Phoenix Market City, Whitefield

 Lavish Sunday lunch: Enjoy a variety of vegetarian and non vegetarian food this weekend. There will be a buffet of Indian and international cuisine. Priced at Rs 1,000 Dot.Yum, Aloft Hotels 17C, Sadaramangala Road , Whitefield, February 3 66707777  Tasty breakfast: If you are hungover from the previous night and want to have a healthy breakfast head to The Biere Club this weekend. Choose from omelettes, bakes, pancakes and more. The Biere Club, 20/2 , Vittal Mallya Road, February 1 and 2 42124386

 Book launch: This weekend be a part of the reading cum launch of Jerry Pinto's Em and the Big Hoom. This is Jerry Pinto's first novel but he has other books to his credit. He is the author of Asylum, a collection of poems; and the editor of The Greatest Show on Earth, an anthology of writings on Bollywood. He is also the coeditor of Mumbai Meri Jaan: Writings about Mumbai. Watch him speak about his book, and afterwards in discussion with writer and critic Arul Mani. British Library, 23, Kasturba Road Cross, February 1, 6.30 pm 22100200

 Treat your pet: If you love spending time with your pet and love


retail therapy  Comfortable yet stylish: Bad fitted shoes hurting your feet? Then buy a pair of Crocs that are comfortable and stylish. Choose from sandals, flip flops and the trademark crocs. Priced at Rs 1795 onwards. Available at Crocs at Mantri mall, Malleswaram and Phoenix Market City, Whitefield

 Steamed surprise for your taste buds: Who says steamed food is not tasty? At this food festival you can relish steamed dimsums, rice cakes, steamed fish, string hoppers and more. GAD, Gateway Hotel, Residency Road, from

February 1 to 9 66604545

 Shopping galore: It's the sale season and you can make the best of it. Grab your shopping bags and head to Tommy Hilfiger outlets where you can avail flat 50 percent of discount on your purchase. Choose from jackets, ruffled shirts, plaid shorts cardigans, tshirts and scarves. Available at all Tommy Hilfiger outlets, till February 7  A reason to smile: Here's another reason for the ladies to smile. Add On retail has opened its newest store and you can go gaga over a range of purses, clutches, bags, hair accessories, belts, scarves, jewellery, footwear, bag charms, eye wear, caps, hats and more. Add on, Forum Value Mall, Whitefield

Chronic Blues Circus bFlat , 100 Feet Road, Above ING Bank, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar, February 2 , 8.30 pm 41739250

 Feel the blues: All the blues fans gear up for a musical night. Watch Ministry Of Blues perform some tunes. Their music is a mix of blues and rock. Catch Philipe Haydon on guitar and vocals, Rauf on keyboards and vocals, Vinoo Matthew on bass and Kishor Karambaya on drums. Counter Culture, 2D2, 4th Cross Dyavasandra Industrial Area, Whitefield, February 1, 8.30 pm 41400794  Jazzy weekend: Watch Barry and the Flat Cats all the way from Chicago live this weekend. The band is a swing jazz band and their music is an

amalgamation of swinging jazz, blues and contemporary music. Windmills Craftswork, No 331, Road No. 5B EPIP Zone, Whitefield, February 1 and 2, 8 pm 7259024652  Not an ordinary circus: This weekend watch The Chronic Blues Circus perform live. They are one of the oldest blues bands in the city and are known for their original tunes and tributes. John Mayall, Paul Butter field, The Climax Blues Band, Canned Heat, Cream, Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers band, JJ Kale, The Band and more are among their inspirations.

 Irish magic: Here all the way from Ireland for a performance this week is the Bahh Band. Their music is based on Indian classical rhythm and hence you can see them using the tabla and sarod while performing. They are popular at Irish festivals such as the Electric Picnic, Body N Soul and the Festival of World Cultures. bFlat , 100 Feet Road, Above ING Bank, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar, February 1 , 8.30 pm 41739250

 They are not fat: It's only the band name. All the Fat Children are going to perform this week. Watch them as they treat you to original numbers. Hard Road Café, # 40, St Marks Road, February 7, 8 pm 9243777970  Magic of Blues: Witness the magic of blues as Adil and Vasundhara perform this weekend. Their music is an amalgamation of jazz, fusion and acoustic. Opus, 4, 1st Main, Chakravarthy Layout Palace Cross Road, Sankey Road , Palace Orchards, February 8, 9 pm 23442580

Bahh Band


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film David revenge Parker tracks them to Palm Beach where his crew is planning the biggest heist ever. Directed by Taylor Hackford the film stars Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Micheal Chilkis and Wendell Pierce in the lead. INOX, JP Nagar- 1.05 pm Rockline Cinemas- 6.50 pm Q Cinemas, ITPL- 12.50 PM, 5.50

 Midnight's Children English Based on the Booker Prize winning novel by Salman Rushdie, the film is set in the backdrop of the independence era. At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947 two newborn babies are switched by a nurse in a hospital in Bombay. Saleem Sinai, the illegitimate son of a poor Hindu woman and Shiva,

the child of a wealthy Muslim family are fated to live a life that is meant for them. directed by Deepa Mehta the film stars Shahana Goswami, Satya Bhabha, Rajat Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Ronit Roy, Seema Biswas, Shriya Saran, and Rahul Bose in the lead. PVR, Koramangala- 10 am, 1 pm, 4, 7, 9.10 PVR, Orion Mall- 10 am, 12.50 pm, 6,

9.10 INOX, Malleswaram10 am, 3.55 pm, 7.05  Parker English The movie is about a thief, Parker who lives by a rule when he steals, don't steal from people who can't afford it and don't hurt people who don't deserve it. But on the latest robbery his crew steals all the money and leaves him alone. Determined to take

 Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters English Directed by Tommy Wirkola, the film has a spin as opposed to the fairytale version. In the film Hansel and Gretel are a team of bounty hunters who track and kill witches all over the world. It stars Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton and Famke Janssen in the lead. Rex theatre- 1.20 pm, 5.40 INOX, Malleswaram-12.50 pm, 5.10, 9.55 INOX, JP Nagar- 11 am, 4.05 pm PVR, Koramangala- 10 am, 4.30 pm, 10 Q Cinemas, ITPL- 3.20 pm, 7.50  David Hindi The movie is a tale of three men from different parts of the world timed in

three different eras. In London, a 30-year-old David is a protégé of a mafia don, whereas another David in Mumbai is a musician and the third one is in Goa. Directed by Bejoy Nambiar, the film stars Vikram, Tabu, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Vinay Virmani and Lara Dutta in the lead. INOX, Malleswaram- 10.15 am, 3 pm, 9.05 INOX, JP Nagar, Central- 6 pm, Gopalan Cinemas, Mysore Road- 9 pm PVR, Koramangala- 12.40 pm, 9.05 PVR, Orion Mall- 10 am, 7.05 pm Q Cinemas, ITPL- 10 am, 3 pm, 10  Listen Amaya Hindi The film is about Leela, who runs a library and a coffee shop. Her daughter Amaya, is witty and an extrovert. The mother daughter adore each other a lot. Amidst this Jayant Sinha, a retired photographer becomes friends with Amaya and helps her co- author a book. Listen Amaya is a contemporary film about relationships and family dynamics. Directed by Avinash Kumar Singh and Geeta Singh it stars

Deepti Naval and Farooque Sheikh in the lead. PVR, Koramangala- 10 pm  Bangari Kannada This romantic film is directed by Ma Chandru and stars Yogi and Ragini Dwivedi in the lead. AM Neel has scored the music for the film. Sagar- 10.30 am, 1.30 pm, 4.30, 7.30, Uma- 10.30 am, 1.30 pm, 4.30, 7.30, Navarang- 10.30 am, 1.30 pm, 4.30, 7.30, Veeresh10.30 am, 1.30 pm, 4.30, 7.30 INOX, Malleswaram10 am, 6.30 pm Gopalan Cinemas, Mysore Road- 10 am, 1.30 pm, 7.15 Gopalan Mall, Sirsi Circle- 10.15 am, 4 pm Rockline Cinemas10.40 am, 3.50 pm, 9 pm

 Kadal Tamil The film is about the Christian fishermen who believe that faith can sometimes lead to the triumph of humanity. Directed by Mani Ratnam the film stars Gautham Karthik, Thulasi and Arvind Swamy. The music is by AR Rahman. INOX, Jayanagar- 12.35 pm, 8.55 INOX, Malleswaram- 10.05 am, 3.50 pm, 8.55 INOX, JP Nagar- 10 am, 3.25 pm, 6.30 Innovative Multiplex, Marathahalli- 10 am, 4 pm, 10 pm Q Cinemas, ITPL12.45 pm, 10 Rockline Cinemas, Jalahalli Cross3.40 pm, 9.30



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theatre PS I Don’t Love you

 Narnia: Based on the book by CS Lewis, The Magical Wardrobe, the play is about human nature relationships. The play has characters, dance, music, lighting effects, rich costumes and interesting sets. Directed by Ashok Nittur the play features Nagesh Joshi, Kabir Nittur, Manjunath Tumri and Poornima Ashok. Sankula 3G theatre, 1515,


19th Cross, Police Station Road, Kumaraswamy Layout, February 1, 7 pm 64562349  Accidental Death of an Anarchist: This comedy play is based on a real life incident that took place in Italy in 1969. The play is set around a police station where the main character, the Maniac, investigates the case of an anar-

chist who fell from the fourth floor of the police station during interrogation. Directed by Kishore Acharya, the cast includes Shashank Purushotham, Anirudh Acharya , Naveen Kumar J, Nikhil Bharadwaj, Kishore Acharya and Indumati Manohar. Chowdaiah Memorial Hall, 16th Cross, Malleshwaram, February 1, 7.30 pm 23445810

 PS I Don't love you: Presented by WeMove Theater group, the play is a romantic comedy. It is about a couple who have everything and they are envied by everyone. They are a match made in heaven. They have the perfect marriage, a good honeymoon, when suddenly hell breaks loose. Directed by Abhishek Iyengar the play has Nagashree DM, Anup Shenoy, Sushanth Shandilya, Ajit Vishwanath, Prachi Jain, Anirudh Mahesh,Divya Dev and others. Chowdaiah Memorial Hall, 16th Cross, Malleshwaram, February 2, 7.30 pm 23445810  God of Carnage: Directed by Preetam Koilpillai, the play is about a patch up mission between two set of parents whose sons had a tiff in the playground. But things do not go as planned. The play featuresSharanya Ramprakash, Deepika Arwind, Kanchan Bhattacharyya , Rajeev Ravindranathan and Yasmina Reza. Jagriti theater, Varthur Road,

Ramagondana Halli, Whitefield, February 1 to 3, 8 pm 41248298  Gasping: This comedy is sure to tickle your funny bone. What happens when air is up for sale? Find out more while you watch it. Directed by Ashish Sen the play features Sandhya Kamal, Nandhini Manjunath, Manasi S Joshi and others. Chowdaiah Memorial Hall, 16th Cross, Malleshwaram, February 3, 7.30 pm 23445810  Indian Tempest: Performed by the troupe Footsbarn, the play has a lot of props, a collection of drapes that are fixed as well as mobile, dance and music. Ranga Shankara, #36/2, 8th Cross, 2nd Phase, JP Nagar, February 5 and 6, 7.30 pm 26592777

To get your event listed, write to us at

 Dance away: Witness the magic of dance at Odyssey Complex. Choreographed by Felix Mathias Ott, this dance drama is an experiment to explore this infinite object, a myth, with which we all have multiple connections. Ranga Shankara, #36/2, 8th Cross, 2nd Phase, JP Nagar, February 1, 7.30 pm 26592777  A New Style: K-Style tries to explore body movements and sounds as the oldest and most basic tools for human beings to express themselves. Here there is an attempt to look into the sounds made by the body and movements made from this sound. Ranga Shankara, #36/2, 8th Cross, 2nd Phase, JP Nagar, February 3, 7.30 pm 26592777

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So what is true knowledge? roadly speaking, true knowledge is the realisation that one is a part of the universe. How do you arrive at this realisation? I did not strive towards it. In retrospect, I attribute my realisation to training in budo (way of the warrior). It is budo, not formal education, that taught me life. An education aimed at understanding and treating the mind can make you a psychiatrist. But a psychiatrist can end up with a mental breakdown. But budo is different. It keeps you stronger and happier than most people. Training in budo has the amazing ability to transform a person. I have loved animals since I was young but only training can account for the depth of love I feel today. Nothing in my life is as valuable as feeding a hungry cat or dog. I can happily give up my life to save an animal. And this is no exaggeration. Training reverses the measure of what is worthy and what is


Way of Budo 19 Budo reverses the measure of what is worthy and what is worthless in life, says Sensei Avinash Subramanyam

worthless in life—it makes the most worthless aspect of worldly life the most precious, and vice versa. I don't need any material possessions for myself. Yes, I need money for the people and animals I love, but personally, I am happy with close to nothing. The transformative power of budo must be seen to be believed. I have witnessed remarkable changes in my students. A youthful student who was abusive and used four-letter words when drunk is one of my gentlest companions today. Another who was in misery and depression is now a cheerful person. One more changed from being conservative and orthodox to being open to new ideas of life. There are others who entered training with a bundle of negative energies—morbid jealousy, inflated egos and insecurity. Today they are people who share and care, and are grounded in life. Budo is about a way of life that combines dynamic physical movements with thoughts of

"bettering oneself" on the path of true knowledge. This generates qi (life-force) that is capable of rewiring our brain and behaviour. Since the energy generated in training is positive, it only makes you more loving and magnanimous in the universe's scheme of things. You may have noticed that over time, boxing or police work can make some men more violent than they were before. When professions can redirect your energies, imagine how dramatically and positively persistent training in budo can change you. You needn't go to a class to train in budo; it can be practiced by anyone, anywhere. Engulf your senses with the energy of love. Tell your eyes to see only with love even what seems dirty and ugly. A man might have bad skin or a contorted face, but how is he responsible for how he was born? What if you were born that way? When you smell something unpleasant, don't make a face. Remember the times you were

sick and throwing up. You didn't smell like Chanel No. 5 then. Don't expect your maid to smell good; know she might not even have water to drink. Touch with love and care. Don't say 'Dirty dog!' and refrain from touching. Know how wonderful it is to experience touch. What if Florence Nightingale or Mother Teresa had said, "The sick are dirty, We will not touch them"? What if your dentist says, "I will only treat people with clean teeth and nice breath?" The power of love can be felt through experience. Personally, I am extremely clean and hygienic. But I have lived with martial arts trainers in China who wouldn't bathe for days. They would spit in my room and dirty my sheets. When my teacher's father once threw up, I collected it all in my hands. What was beautiful was that I never felt a thing. I only felt proud of my hands. I only loved my teachers more. Know the amazing power of love, and fuel the automobile of life with it.


Starting posture: Stand erect with feet shoulder width apart and parallel to each other. Back straight and body relaxed.

Bring hands in front of your chest with fists closed as shown in the picture. Bring elbows together to touch each other.

Pic 3, 4 and 5: Open arms to your side with fist facing inward, front and then side. Inhale as you open arms. Close your arms and bring them back to posture shown in Pic 2. Let your elbows touch. Exhale while closing. Do the entire sequence (open and close) 15 times. This technique helps strengthen and relax the chest, rib and shoulder region.


The circus fire that killed 200 children This horrifying incident from 30 years ago reminds us yet again of how we end up describing mass murder as 'tragedy' hat day, I had argued a murder case in the court. I had insisted the murder was not intentional, and the accused had committed it out of anger triggered by a grisly incident he had witnessed. It is a strange experience to defend a person who can’t justify why he committed a murder. When the accused is silent, it is left to the lawyer to speak for him. Experience has taught me to distinguish between those who plan and commit a murder and those who kill in a fit of rage. The first variety of killer is usually so well-versed in the



law that he even guides his lawyer on legal points. He tells his lawyer how he committed the murder without leaving a single clue. On the other hand, an impulsive murderer is likely to depend entirely on the lawyer and remain silent. Professional killers have many escape routes. For one, they threaten the main witnesses and ensure there is no testimony against them. They don’t bank heavily on an ace lawyer to fight their case. But an accidental murderer knows no tricks, and needs an expert lawyer if he is to be saved from punishment. A lawyer needs to look at things from his point of view—to wear his hat, so to speak—while arguing in his favour. However, a certain kind of organised murder is the most dangerous of all. Those who commit it are more elusive than those who commit premeditated murders. An analogy would be how petty thieves are easily caught, but not black-mar-

keters. In 1984, Bhopal witnessed the ‘gas tragedy’, where thousands were killed, while in 2006 Dhanbad saw the deaths of 50 workers trapped in a coal mine. Yet, those responsible for these deaths were never considered murderers. Instead, we have a strange convention of referring to such incidents of mass murder as ‘tragedies.’ Such massacres often involve government departments such as labour, police, health, and environment. These departments collude with the villains, and help them find escape routes. The villains sometimes even use these very departments to hatch and execute their plans. These thoughts occupied my mind as I made my way home that day. The auto I was in had just crossed the railway underbridge to enter Rajajinagar. Still preoccupied, I was startled by loud screams and wails. I could see people running,

crime folio

talk|7 feb 2013|


Fabled ranconteur and Bangalore’s top-notch criminal lawyer brings you moving, sensational and bizarre stories from 40 years of his practice


leaving their two-wheelers by the road. Thick black smoke was rising from a spot not far from where I was. I felt afraid, but managed to ask one of those running what had happened. “A circus tent caught fire, and some school children were burnt alive,” he exclaimed. What I witnessed then was a scene of utter chaos. Lions were roaring, and elephants trumpeting. Half-burnt circus animals—monkeys, horses, and camels—were scampering about in panic, obstructing rescuers. Some from the public that had come voluntarily to help the victims got scared, and started running helter-skelter. People were stopping autos, cars, and buses and pushing the injured into them so that they could be taken to the hospital. I took some

memoir children in the auto I was travelling in, and without asking for details, headed straight to a hospital. Later, I returned to the spot and saw the fire brigade at work. The thick clouds of smoke blurred my vision, and I felt choked. Four boys came running with some children with burn injuries and asked me to rush them to hospital. They were engineering students, and in their attempt to save the children, their eyebrows, eyelashes, hair, and moustaches had been singed. The children were worse: their eyeballs had suffered burn injuries, and rendered them blind. They were related to two of the engineering students. I was moved by their plight, and accompanied one of them, along with the children, in an auto. The rest went back to save the other children in the tent. When we reached the hospital, the engineering student who came with me thanked me for my help. I gave him my phone number and once again returned to the spot. This time around, there were no injured children being carried out. Instead, corpses were being lined up, as their parents stood around crying. Many bodies were so badly burnt it was difficult to identify them, and parents were trying to

talk|7 feb 2013|

recognise their children by looking for the thought. Professor A Lakshmisagar helped citiornaments they wore. The atmosphere was zens file affidavits against various governlike that in a cemetery. I felt giddy, and started for home with ment departments. Many petitions were filed against the departments of electricity, a heavy heart. More than 200 children were killed municipality and railways, but there was that day, February 2, 1981. A majority died no petition against the police department. in the stampede that followed the fire. The then police commissioner was BN That day, the circus company had offered a Garudachar. I filed a petition against the discount for school children. The whole police, and was supported by the likes of tent was filled with children, some accom- MR Janardhan. The owner and manager of Venus panied by parents and relatives. The next day, the tragedy dominated Circus Company were the main accused. Advocates CV Subba Rao the newspaper headlines. and CV Nagesh More horrifying details fol‘If you agree, we appeared for the managlowed. Wild animals like er, while Ratan Lal, a tigers and lions were roastwill kill the lawyer from Kerala, ed in the fire. circus manager,’ argued for the owner. An inquiry commisthe student said The hearings took sion was formed under the place over a one-and-achairmanship of the high court judge NR Kudoor. The then sessions half month period. The government judge BN Krishnan was appointed its sec- departments had issued no-objection cerretary. An investigation revealed that the tificates (NOC) to put up a circus tent high-tension electric cables overhead were beside the railway tracks and just beneath the high-tension cables, despite objections the cause of the fire. I felt the then chief minister, R Gundu from the public. Railway officials had taken Rao, had no heart. He could smile during a bribe to give an NOC, ignoring rules his public appearances even when hun- against erecting tents close to railway stadreds of children had died in a fire, or tions and railway tracks. One morning, the engineering stuwhen many farmers had died in a police firing. His smile only reflected his cruelty, I dents came to my office. They were dis-


turbed. Before they tried to introduce themselves, I told them I recognised them. I asked them how the injured children were. One of them said, “Two of my sister’s children died.” He then pointed to his friend and said, “His brother’s only son also died. The daughter survived, but has lost her vision.” His eyes welled up with tears. It was not out of sorrow, but anger, I thought. Another student said, “The government has thrown the report of the inquiry commission into the dust bin. This investigation is a farce. We can’t get justice this way. We must not beg for justice, but have to snatch it. If you agree, we will kill the manager of the circus company.” He was seething with anger. I was moved by the news that three children out of the many I had tried to rescue had died. I consoled the engineering students and sent them back after offering them coffee. After they left, I found myself pondering what pushed people to commit murder. The reasons are strange as they are various, I thought. But is killing the only answer to killing? No, it need not be. “Sir, time for court…” My reverie was broken only when my junior alerted me. Translated by BV Shivashankar


talk|7 feb 2013|


talk the intelligent bangalorean’s must-read weekly

How do advertisers talk to Bangalore’s most intelligent readers? They call these numbers Abhay 95388 92618 Mithun 98864 69787

T I M E P A SS 1st Cross

1 2


DOWN Students of this college were recently given bike riding lessons (5,6) Public works department minister who recently handed in his resignation (1,1,5) Bangalore based scientist who recently won the Dr Kalpana Chawla award for Young Scientists (7,10)

Last week’s solution Across: 1 Nagarathna, 6 Nurses, 7 Mandarin, 8 BTC, 13 Blank, 14 U R Rao, 17 Football, 18 Ejipura, 19 Minority, 20 Vijayakumar.

9 11

Across Our PHL team (2-6) Movie theatre in Gandhi Nagar (7) ____ Parade Grounds: Venue of the recent Republic Day celebrations (9) Field Marshal whose birth centenary was recently celebrated (8) Pub with a Goan touch at Chakravarthy Layout (4)


Talk’s weekly crossword for Bangaloreans who know their way about town 18 The State Government recently urged the Centre to withdraw the ____ price hike (6) 19 Former World snooker champion who resides in Bangalore (6,6)

3 5 7

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12 Staple food item whose price was recently hiked (4) 13 Agriculture minister being probed for allegedly spreading enmity between various groups of people (5,5) 16 Train which got derailed on 27th Jan at the City railway station (8) 17 Flyover which was closed for repairs last week (6,4)

Down: 2 Twenty, 3 Karwar, 4 Anna Soubry, 5 Lalbagh, 9 Columbia Asia, 10 Cinepolis, 11 Tirupati, 12 Jaitley, 15 Retro, 16 BBMP.

6 8

Kamal Haasan movie in the news (12) Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly (1,1,7) 10 Metal band who will perform at the upcoming Fly Music festival (7) 14 Two railway employees were recently run over by a passenger train near this station (7) 15 Residents of the recently demolished Ejipura slum were given ___ thousand rupees to vacate (4)

Prof Good Sense  I am an 18-year-old college student. My elder brother is 27, and has this strange habit of talking to himself. My parents are old and have their own health problems to worry about, so I can't tell them. Nor can I tell my friends. How do I convince my brother that he needs professional help? Madhu, Jayanagar Try talking to your brother without any delay. I think what your brother needs is someone to share his feelings and thoughts with. He needs unconditional trust. Being a good listener is difficult, and if you can win his trust, at least some of his problems are likely to disappear. I suggest you and your brother go out often and that's when you can get him to confide in you. However, if his self-talk persists, consult a psychiatrist. Till then stop worrying. Best of luck. Prof M Sreedhara Murthy teaches psychology at NMKRV First Grade College. He is also a well-known photographer. Mail queries to

talk|7 feb 2013|

Iyengaaru veettu azhage…

Serves them right It was surely the panic of the month. It started when rumours first spread somewhere in the US of A that those deep-fried, chewy rings of calamari that foodies everywhere were ooh-ing and aah-ing about, were actually made of—hold your bile—sliced pig rectum. It was supposedly leaked by someone who worked in a meat-processing plant, and became a source of nationwide foodie anguish after it was broadcast by

the radio show This American Life. We know what you're thinking—it serves them right, that insufferable lot which goes by the name of foodies, folks so kinkierthan-thou that they swear by any dish as long as it sounds weird. Unfortunately, it isn't true —or at least, those who set out to find evidence for it couldn't find any. If it's any comfort, know that we share every bit of your disappointment.

Victoria's marketing secret Imagine paying nearly 2.5 million dollars (Rs 13 crore) for something you can't even show off. But that would be to miss the point of the 'Fantasy Bra' that has been released by Victoria's Secret. And what's the point, you ask? Well, the lingerie maker hopes a chance to marvel at the jewelencrusted bra up close will draw customers to their brand new outlet on London's Bond Street. According to the company, it has been created by a bunch of 'master craftsmen,' who took

a simple push-up bra and handset it with gold and precious stones, topped off with a centerpiece studded with a 20 carat white diamond. The result, as you can see, is one of the ugliest ornamental creations in recent history. But then, what vanity project


designed to lure the nouvaeu riche billionaire class can afford good taste? That would be to miss the point, again. While there are any number of such billionaires who have the assets to buy it for their wives, where are the billionaire's wives who have the assets to carry it off?

O beauty of the Iyengar house, as the song goes. And Kareena Kapoor is a beauty, even if in a slightly horsey way. The Dabangg 2 star has now taken to Iyengar Yoga after being criticised for gaining weight. It seems the few kilos she gained for the item number Fevicol se have not gone down well with Punit Malhotra, the director of the upcoming Gori Tere Pyar Mein, perhaps because she's paired with the boyish Imran Khan. But just in case the news provokes an anxiety attack among her fans, who are supposedly legion, Kareena has clarified that she won't be ‘doing anything extreme’. She said: “I will still be voluptuous, but the difference will be that my appearance will be more toned and fitter." That we cannot wait to see. For if things turn out as promised, it would be the first instance in recorded history when Iyengar Yoga actually made someone voluptuous.

TALK FEBRUARY 07, 2013  

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