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talk Volume 1 | Issue 22 | January 10, 2013 | Rs 10

the intelligent bangalorean’s must-read weekly

The science of the very small, nanotechnology conjures up fantastic visions of the future. Bangalore’s labs are leading India’s research efforts, and producing some exciting prototypes, discovers PRASHANTH GN 12-15

FIRST PERSON Gang-raped at the Cantonment railway station 5

EXOTIC PETS Iguanas, tarantulas and other new Bangaloreans 16

PULL-OUT 2013 planner with an all-star Ayyotoons cast. This week: Salman Khan 3


NANO KNOCKS SANKRANTI Three variations of the yummy huggi, true to tradition 23

talk|10 jan 2013|

team talk


Intelligence wing, and not CM Jagadish Shettar, gave me a gunman I read the article by Basu Megalkeri ('I fear for my life’, Issue 21) on the Lokayukta petition filed by me against Deputy Chief Minister KS Eshwarappa acquiring properties in the Shimoga area by misusing his position. It is wellwritten, but some mistakes seem to have crept in. For one, it is not Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar who provided me with a gunman for my protection, but the state's intelligence wing. Secondly, it was not a public interest case that I filed against BS Yeddyurappa, but two separate petitions with the Lokayukta under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The petition against Yeddyurappa allotting four sites to his daughter Arunadevi under the journalists' quota was

filed on February 21, 2012 at the Shimoga Lokayukta court, while the other petition, relating to the encroachment in Hunsekatte forest area, was filed on May 21, 2012 at the Bangalore Lokayukta court. Both cases are now being heard by the courts. Thank you for your effort in presenting the story in your magazine. Vinod B Shimoga Loved the Christmas recipes Thank you, Sandra Fernandes, for digging out the recipes for traditional Christmas goodies (5 ways to greet Santa, Issue 19). I don't remember coming across these recipes in the popular press

before, even though in the old days no Christmas table was complete without these snacks. Thank you also for presenting it in time for the festive season. These recipes added a nostalgic touch to our celebrations this year. Mary K Koramangala Love the mag even more After reading the first few issues of Talk, I was sceptical about the magazine’s future because I noticed you were producing sensible content. Going by the history of many such ventures, I wondered how long such good content could be sustained. But after reading your later issues, I feel Talk is here to stay. And to be honest, I like the content even better than before. Here’s hoping you guys manage to keep it going. Jayadevan R Kammanahalli Write to



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: 08049332100, 08040926658. © All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is prohibited.


fun lines

talk|10 jan 2013|


neta speak



T Ravi, Higher Education minister, is largely seen as a rabblerouser who stirred up an Ayodhya-like controversy in Chikmagalur district. Baba Budan Giri, named after a Muslim holy man who came from Arabia in the 17th century, is the site of a dispute that is now before the Supreme Court. A second-term MLA who became a minister for the first time when Jagadish Shettar took charge in July 15, 2012, Ravi was a Yeddyurappa supporter till recently. In an exclusive chat with Talk, the 43 year-old BJP leader opens up.

Just wait. Yeddyurappa's supporters will desert him

Muslims are welcome at Datta Peetha

I respect him. He worked for the party. He built the party. But my loyalty is to the BJP. He got a lot from the party. It is not right to blame the party now. His new party, the KJP, has no future. He may defeat the BJP, but he won’t win. Even if he wins, it will be on the basis of his personal charisma. People who go with him won't stay with him for more than six months. We are going to invite Modi to campaign for the BJP. He has emerged a leader acceptable to all.

Political parties behaved in a manner that hurt the Hindus. That is why we took up the issue. You in the media look at it differently. The local Muslims are with me. The Hindus visit the dargah. Similarly, the Muslims are welcome at Datta Peetha. We have no problems. We don't go to the dargah and demand they perform Hindu pujas. Similarly, they shouldn't come to the D a t t a Peetha and demand that worship be conducted in a Muslim manner. The property dispute is settled. What is now in dispute is the manner of worship. The case is in the Supreme Court and we expect a verdict in our favour. If the verdict goes against us, we have democratic ways of changing things, and that includes changing the law.


Regional leaders slowly become caste leaders

PLAYING SAFE A former Yeddyurappa loyalist, CT Ravi has decided to stick on with the BJP

‘Yeddyurappa’s KJP is doomed’ My wife has been accused of land grab. People also talk about the On the Baba Budan Giri row Let us look at history. There is evi- Karnataka Housing Board scandal, dence the shrine has been called and purchase of a quarry in Marle village. The quarry Dattatreya Peetha belongs to Shante since 1889. It came ‘I have never Gowda of the under the muzrai Congress. It wasn't department. In 1975indulged in illegal when he was 76, when the governlarge-scale quarrying. After my ment called it wakf corruption’ wife's cousin property, it gave rise bought it, it to questions. In 1978, the muzrai commissioner again becomes illegal! In any case, it does declared it muzrai property. We have not belong to me. never said there was no dargah there. But the shrine and the dargah are People come to me with all miles apart. It is not right to club the kinds of requests dargah with the Datta Peetha. The I haven't become corrupt. But it is case is in the Supreme Court. I hope it true people come to me with will consider people’s sentiments and requests, and I have to respond to deliver a judgment. them. Someone comes along and says


There is talk again of regional parties. They have no future in Karnataka. Devaraj Urs, Bangarappa, and Deve Gowda built regional parties. When they do that, they first lose their status as leaders of the state, and then go on to become caste leaders. And then they become family leaders. Finally, they disappear from the political scene altogether. Yeddyurappa will join this line-up. The Karnataka Janata Party is making a lot of noise, but it is the noise of the soda bottle. It will fizzle out. Deve Gowda was a leader acceptable to the entire state, My cousin bought land, but but today, he is just a leader of his I am blamed family. Even his caste, the Vokkaligas, After I became a minister, many don't accept him in the Malnad accusations are being directed at me.

he wants a gopura for the village temple. Another says he wants a kalasha. Something like that costs Rs 4 lakh. I can't pay from my pocket. They insist I help them. That is when I take money from one person and give it away to another. I have never indulged in large-scale corruption.

Why should India follow a Western model? I'm trying to understand the scope of my higher education portfolio. I have many dreams. I am trying to fulfill them within my constraints. Our education system is flawed. We try to follow the American, Russian or some other model. Why should it be that way? Education should not mean just issuing certificates. It should teach students moral values and enable them to face modern challenges. The problem now is that students are individualistic, and not committed to society.


Higher Education Minister CT Ravi takes some tough questions—about corruption and the Ayodhya-like controversy over Baba Budan Giri, among other things

talk|10 jan 2013|

first person

talk|10 jan 2013|

Every night was hell Tara, a homeless woman, was gang-raped almost every night for three months, and that too in the heart of Bangalore. A look at the extended nightmare that life is for voiceless victims of sexual abuse


eople are outraged at the death of a 23-year old student of physiotherapy, gang raped and brutalised in a moving bus in Delhi. Perhaps it was the horrific nature of the attack (her intestines were reportedly ripped out with an iron rod), and that it happened inside a bus passing through the busiest parts of Delhi that stirred the people’s conscience. But many incidents of rape go unreported, because the victims are too poor and in no position to talk to the police. That’s how it was with Tara, a 35-year-old whose experience could be that of any woman living on the streets. Here’s her story, in her own words: I was born near Tirupur in Tamil Nadu, into a Muslim family. I don't know the date, but I know I am 35 years old. Please don't ask me about my parents, I don't remember them. I don't even know much about them: they passed away when I was very little. Maybe that was the beginning of my tragedy. As a child, my aunt took care of me. Well, I don't know if I should say "took care," for I was a burden thrust on her, as she was forced to have me in her house. I don't think she loved me or had any attachment towards me. When I was in the fifth standard, she took me out of school because she didn't want to spend on my school fees. She then sent me to work, stitching quilts at a tailor's shop. She kept all my earnings and provided me with food. When I came of age, she did not show any interest in getting


TRAUMATISED Tara’s ordeal started after she arrived in the city in search of a job

me married, seeing it as unnecessary expenditure. She later relented because of the pressure from relatives and neighbours, but the way she went about choosing my groom was also like bargaining for vegetables in a market. She had figured that the cheapest way of getting me married off, without having to pay dowry or for the ceremony, was to marry me off as a second wife. So she found a mason, much older than me, who already had a wife and children. My 'husband' was a drunkard and a drug addict. He would come home sloshed and force himself on me. I didn't like it. His first wife also created problems for me. I used to work in a garment factory in Tirupur. After a year-and-half, I decided to be bold and moved out. I left my abusive husband and returned to my aunt's house. I thought it was home, like the way all girls have a mother's house to return to in times of distress. But I was wrong; she didn't want to have anything to do with me. She said that since I was married, I had to live with my husband, whoever he was. It was my duty to put up with him, she told me.

I couldn't stay, and couldn't go back to my husband's place either. Forced onto the streets, I took refuge in a temple. I would beg on its steps during the day and sleep inside at night. My husband and some of my relatives lived in the same town. They saw me begging, but didn't help. While I was there, a shopkeeper befriended me. He said he loved me and would marry me. Desperate for a home, I went with him. He kept me in a house behind his shop and used me for sex. When I got pregnant, he threw me out. I later found out that he had a wife and children. I was back to begging at the temple again. At first, the other beggars tried to chase me away. They feared they would earn less with me around, but when they found I was pregnant, they took care of me. They provided food and let me sleep in the temple. When I delivered my baby, a girl, they took her away. They said that I was incapable of taking care of the baby, and they would give her a better life. After taking my child, the beggars asked me to leave. I was once again a competitor. They chased me out of the temple premises. To this day,

editor talk Our launch edition, five months ago, featured a science story on the cover. We questioned the claim that scientists had found the 'God particle', and interviewed Rolf-Dieter Heuer, Director of CERN, the organisation that had announced the 'discovery' and prematurely earned the world's acclaim. In this edition, our first in the new year, we bring you another science story on the cover. Prashanth GN visited some of India's most advanced science institutions to find out what the buzz about nanoscience was all about. Some of what is happening is exciting: Nimhans is taking up the testing of a nanosensor that it hopes to use during sensitive brain operations a few months from now. But, at the same time, industry isn't participating enthusiastically in converting prototypes to products, and the fantastic dreams about what nanotech can do for the common citizen may not come true in a hurry. All of India is talking about the rape and death of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in Delhi. Here in Bangalore, Savie Karnel visited a shelter for the homeless, and found several women who had similar horrors to recount. Their stories have never made it to the newspapers, leave alone national television. We bring you a stark tale that reveals how defenceless a migrant woman became at the Cantonment railway station, right in the heart of Bangalore, when a gang of van drivers repeatedly raped her. The poor have so little faith in the police that they don't even consider lodging a complaint. On a happier note, Maria Laveena found Bangaloreans adopting pets that we hadn't even heard of some years ago. Prachi Sibal tracks the growing trend of people shopping online for vegetables and groceries. We also have some traditional Sankranti recipes, and a pull-out planner for you. Happy reading! SR Ramakrishna


first person night, I was raped by another group. I don’t know what happened to my daughter. I was tired of being treated like an object. All An old man who saw me wandering the streets told me I could find work in Bangalore, the men I knew used me just for sex. My husand that he could take me there. We boarded a band, the shopkeeper, the tempo drivers at train, and arrived at the Cantonment station. In Cantonment station, the men at Shivajinagar: the rush, I got separated from him. I kept waiting, they all used me to satiate their lust. I felt the only but he didn't turn up. As night fell, I huddled on way out for me was to make myself incapable of a bench on the platform. To my shock, a bunch of sex. So, in a desperate state of mind, I went to a men came over and dragged me to a lonely spot street food stall, and taking some kerosene, tried by the railway tracks and raped me one by one. to burn myself from the stomach downwards. There were five or six of them; I later found out Unfortunately for me, it began to rain, and some that they were tempo drivers who camped near people passing by too intervened, and doused the the station. After the act, they left me and walked fire. I still have the scars. One of the people who had gathered, a kind away. I was new to the city, and frightened. I did- man, then picked me up and brought me to this n't know where to go. So I decided to stay on at shelter. I have been living here ever since. It's been five years. I have recovered the railway station. The men and am at peace. I volunteer in came for me again that night. I the children's section of Home ran, but they chased and caught As one forced of Hope, which provides shelter me, and raped me again. They himself on me, for homeless children. were drunk, and while one of the others Sometimes I think of my daughthem forced himself on me, the cheered him on ter, I wonder where she might others stood by and cheered. be. I'm not in touch with anyone This went on almost every day I in my family, and this is my was there. Usually, it would be the same people, but at other times, they would home now. As for what was done to me, I have never get someone new, maybe their friends. I would be terrified as night approached, thought of complaining to the police. It is not and hide in corners and crevices, but they would even an option for women like us. In any case, the always hunt me down. After some days , I gave in. police knows what happens to women living on I accepted that I could not escape. Sometimes I the streets, but usually doesn't bother. We have to would plead with them for a break, promising just accept it as a part of life. When I was rescued that I would give in to them later. They weren’t and brought to this home, I thought myself lucky willing to let me rest. They would again come to find a place to stay and food to eat. I was simlooking for me. During the day, I begged at the ply relieved and didn't even want to look back at my past. station. Many women here are like me, raped and After three months, I had had enough. I was more familiar with the city, and one day found abused. Some have been rescued by the police the courage to move to Shivajinagar, where I and brought here. But they don’twant to go after begged outside St Mary's Church. I thought I had their rapists. That is the way life is for those who escaped, but I was wrong again. On that very live on the streets.

talk|10 jan 2013|

The refuge set up by Auto Raja Home of Hope, where Tara has been staying for five years, was founded by T Raja (also known as Auto Raja), a former auto driver. As a young man, Raja was disowned by his family because he was in the habit of stealing things. Forced to lived on the streets among the homeless, he was moved by their plight, and felt he had to help them. One day, Raja picked up an old Home of Hope founder woman and took her home. "I put her T Raja with an inmate where my father parked his scooter. They kept coming after that; some died in my arms, some got well and went back home," he says. What started off in a small way today shelters as many as 400 homeless people, 250 of them women. Most inmates have been rescued from the streets by volunteers or the police. Raja and some volunteers treat the sick inmates. "Many come with diseases, worms and maggots in their bodies. Some people even leave their elderly parents at our doorstep. If we catch them doing it, they lie to us they found their parents on the street," he said. James Devapaul, the home's manager, told Talk that 75 per cent of the women in the shelter have been sexually abused. "Women living on the streets are constantly abused. It's just that after the Delhi incident, people have started talking about it." He cites the case of the home's most recent admission, a raped woman heavily pregnant when she was brought in. "She has given birth to a boy and is doing well," he said. The home doesn't file complaints because its priority is to give a better life to the women, and not fight cases in courts. They get four to five new admissions every week, and there are also 25 deaths of sick people every month. Recently, the inmates conducted the 2500th funeral in the home. Home of Hope is located in Doddagubbi village, on the outskirts of Bangalore. Home of Hope: Call 9845281915 or email


political diary

talk|10 jan 2013|

The 'curse' of Chamarajanagar

G Parameshwar plays the Dalit card

Thanks to the spook, all official events of the district were being held in neighbouring Kollegal town. Even socialist leader JH Patel, a chief minister who did not set store by such beliefs, skipped the place and visited Male Mahadeshwara Hills in the district in 1997. Jagadish Shettar has only three months left to finish his term. Maybe he just does not see the prospect of coming back to where he is, in any case. KJP leader and former colleague BS Yeddyurappa has been saying he can topple the government any moment.

Missing: Man with the foul tongue

Once, Yeddyurappa was fuming against HD Devegowda and his family, who he believes are instrumental in bringing out many scandals exposing him. He was looking for someone who could teach the Gowda family a lesson. When he asked Somanna about this, Somanna introduced him to Yeddyurappa. Thus, Puttaswamy emerged out of the wilderness and became close to Yeddyurappa. Puttaswamy went about exposing many scandals with the Gowda family at the receiving end. He liberally used foul language to attack them and made Yeddyurappa happy. His style took

The Congress held a conference of the scheduled castes and tribes in Hubli on December 30. Dalit leaders Mallikarjuna Kharge, KH Muniyappa and G Parameshwar sat on the stage to address a huge crowd. Though such conventions are common during election time, the Congress leaders were surprised at the huge turnout of Dalits in the MumbaiKarnataka region. G Parameshwar, encouraged by the numbers, said, “Whenever the Dalits have held the hand of the Congress, it has come to power. This time it is necessary for all Congress leaders to take Dalit leaders into account in all constituencies and give them their due.” But any mention of elections in the Congress tends to bring to the fore various other caste equations, and puts on alert the powerful ‘backward classes,’ who are large in numbers. SM Krishna of the Vokkaliga

HERE FOR YOU KPCC president G Parameshwar is leading the Congress effort to woo Dalit voters in the 2013 elections

community has come down to lead the Congress in the coming elections and Shamanur Shivashankarappa of the Lingayat community has been demanding he should be given the honour of spearheading the party. Siddaramaiah is hinting he is a chief ministerial candidate, and won’t be satisfied with

anything less. Clearly, Parameshwar is making out a case for himself by playing the Dalit card. Supporting Parameshwar, Kharge said, “There are many leaders in the Congress who want to subjugate the Dalits. No party has the magnanimity to give political power to the Dalits.”

Ananth Kumar, BJP chief? Conditions apply!

So all the visit will perhaps achieve is reinforce this superstition!

Where is BJ Puttaswamy, Minister for Co-operation in the Shettar cabinet? Still in the BJP or in Yeddyurappa's new KJP? No one knows.


Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar is visiting the constituency next week, in defiance of the popular belief that any politician doing so is doomed to defeat at the hustings A long-standing superstition: If a chief minister visits Chamrajanagar, he loses power within six months. And there have been plenty of examples -- Devaraja Urs, Veerendra Patil, Gundu Rao, Ramakrishna Hegde, SR Bommai, and HD Kumaraswamy, all of whom lost power within six months of visiting the town, about 60 km south of Mysore. But Jagadish Shettar has made up his mind to visit Chamarajanagar on January 9.


him places: he became the political secretary to the chief minister, an MLC and also a cabinet minister. BJ Puttaswamy Puttaswamy started chanting Yeddyurappa’s name everywhere. He once chided even Somanna, demanding to know why he was not visiting Yeddyuarappa's house lately. When Yeddyurappa quit the BJP and started KJP, Puttaswamy stood firmly behind him. He started criticising the government while being a part of it. Last month the BJP threw him out of the cabinet. Now, however, the question everybody is asking is, just where is Puttaswamy?

With Lokayukta cases being filed against state BJP President KS Eshwarappa, it has become embarrassing for the party to face the people under his leadership. That is why Delhi is scurrying about to appoint a new state president. That, as things go, may not be so easy. Advani has said the BJP can survive only if it puts up another mass leader like Yeddyurappa. The names of Sadananda Gowda, Ananth Kumar, Prahlad Joshi and Nalin Kumar Kateel have been proposed and are being discussed. But there are wheels within wheels. JD(S) boss HD Deve Gowda, who foresees a collaboration with the BJP, has proposed

Sadananda Gowda's name. Nitin Gadkari, the party’s national president, is rooting for Ananth Kumar. Keeping North Karnataka in mind Shettar is in favour of Prahlad Joshi. RSS state chief Santosh is pushing Nalin Kumar Kateel's candidature. Kateel is an MP from Dakshina Kannada district. But in the end many of the names were struck down and the only one that remained was of Ananth Kumar's. But he reportedly agreed to take up the responsibility only if he was given party funds to the tune of Rs 500 crore. This doesn't appear to be forthcoming, so Eshwarappa hasn't yet been disturbed.

Ananth Kumar


hello 2013

talk|10 jan 2013|


Bangalore’s favourite calendar goes online Bangalore Press, famous for the classic red-border wall calendar, has just released a calendar app for computers and smartphones. It was perhaps inevitable. Why not take all that information from the good old calendar, from nakshatras and rahu kalas to festivals and holidays, and make it available to users of mobile devices? TRUSTED HR Ananth , CMD of Bangalore Press, displays the 2013 editions of his calendars

Flapping calendar in the age of apps Young people may be embarrassed about those hanging registers in the drawing room, but HR Ananth of Bangalore Press says that doesn't mean the business is declining


nyone who has walked by Bangalore’s stationery shops this week will know the calendar business is booming. In fact, just one brand, Bangalore Press, sells close to 24 lakh print calendars over two months. Its classic red-border calendar, priced at Rs 20, sells 10 lakh in Kannada, and two lakh in English. These are huge numbers, considering how, today, you can just look at an app on your computer or mobile for days and dates. Not many who buy Bangalore Press calendars are aware of its illustrious past. In 1916, when print technology was nascent in India, the great engineer M Visvesvaraya court


realised Bangalore didn't have a press time in the 1960s. The family now that could handle prestigious, large- owns majority stake in the company, listed on the Bangalore and Chennai scale jobs. That was the time the Mysore stock exchanges. Ananth sits in a big stone buildking Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV was to marry a princess from a northern ing on Mysore Road, under the City kingdom, and the invitation cards Market flyover, a stone’s throw from had to be printed in London. the Idgah Maidan. He speaks with Visvesvaraya then mooted the idea of awe of Visveswaraya, KP Puttana setting up a big press in the princely Chetty (after whom the Town Hall is named) and Hayavadana Rao, an state. Visveswaraya and the Mysore economist and polyglot, who took maharaja travelled to London to pains to set up the press. An engineer choose a machine. Mysore was and MBA, Ananth, who gave up a job with Wipro two already known as a decades ago to run citizen-friendly Bangalore Press, princely state, and Bangalore Press never refers to the the press was anothsells 24 lakh king as anything er initiative that calendars as the other than ‘His won widespread new year dawns Highness’. praise. There is quite a Bangalore Press bit of gentle Old thus came to be established in 1916. It started func- Mysore in Bangalore Press. If lumitioning from the State Bank of naries of the Mysore court enviMysore (then Bank of Mysore) build- sioned its origins, today the press ing on Kempe Gowda Road. The bank sits on prime property near City perhaps still holds a small stake in Bangalore Market, Printing and Publishing Co Ltd, Bangalore's busiest comwhich is the official name of mercial area. Yet, the company hasn’t rushed to Bangalore Press. HR Ananth, chairman and man- 'monetise' the space. On aging director, took over from his the contrary, it has handed father H C Ramanna, who had picked over prime real estate to up stake in the company when the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan to run government started divesting some- a good, affordable CBSE school.

HR Ananth, managing director, told Talk he wasn't worried about his print business being eroded by the free app. On January 2, the day of the launch, he also unveiled a revamped website and Facebook page. The e-calendar is an attractive little app that sits in a corner of your computer screen and comes to life when you move your cursor over it. It retains the look and feel of the classic print calendar, and features events, alerts, to-do lists. Also popping up will be tithi, nakshathra, rahu kala and other information that the more religiously rooted look for. Ananth believes non-resident Indians, especially from this part of the world, will love these features since they provide cultural and astrological information not easily available. What if the e-calendars cannibalise the print business? After all, Bangalore Press enjoys a dominant position in the print calendar business. Ananth is ready. He says: "Control doesn't work anymore. If print is going to be eroded by e-media, we better go towards e-media rather than fight it." It is likely that Bangalore Press will sell some advertising at a later date, but for now, the app is completely free of promotions. The e-calendar is available for Windows (XP and 7), Mac and Ubuntu Linux, and the mobile version is available for smart phones (Windows, iPhone, Blackberry, and Android). Details at www.bangalore

hello 2013

talk|10 jan 2013|


Murugan and the Tamil tear-block rint calendars have well-established territories. The Tamils are fond of a daily tear-block calendar with a picture of the cherubic god Murugan. The Kannadigas prefer the Bangalore Press calendar with the red border. Marathi speakers show a fondness for the colourful Kalnirnaya, which combines elements of a women's magazine with its days and dates. Within a language, you have regional loyalties, too. Among the Kannadiga calendar-buyers, people from Mangalore and Udupi go in for the Udayavani calendar published from Manipal. The Old Mysore region loves the Bangalore Press calendar, besides calendars similar to it in style. Although no industry figure is available, shopkeepers estimate calendar sales go up by about 5 to 10 per cent every year. Avenue Road is where calendars are sold wholesale. Traders from across Karnataka pick up their supplies from shops here. P Sivaraman News Agency, in Tamildominated Halasuru, was established in 1953. It sells 2,000 to 2,500 calendars between mid-November and early February. Owner S Rajendran says, "I have been in the business for 35 years, and demand for calendars has never gone down." Besides the popular Bangalore Press and Rani Muthu, shops also sell Malayalam calendars produced by publishing houses Mathrubhumi and Manorama. In Halasuru, people prefer hanging calendars over table-top ones. That is because modern-day calendars provide no astrological details. The success of Bangalore Press and Rani Muthu can be attributed to their practice of judiciously presenting the Christian calendar with much Hindu and some Muslim detail. They combine a panchanga (traditional almanac) with the calendar, and provide both religious and secular information in one place. For example, you can find out the rahu kala of a particular day even as you are told it is the Republic Day. Aiyappa Stores, run by N Krishna, sells 300 to 500 calendars of each brand during the season. At Raghavendra Stores, also in Halasuru, people come looking for yearend issues of newspapers that provide a free pull-out calendar. Deccan Herald, Prajavani, Kannada Prabha, Dinakaran and Dina Thanti are among the papers offering calendars. Rani Muthu, with its head office in Chennai, was established in 1970. When


ALMANAC AVENUE At Avenue Road, vendors do brisk business in calendars at this time of the year

About 20 per cent of its students are red-border calendar, which is landscape Muslims from the less affluent pockets in orientation. The red border is a Bangalore Press design plagiarised by in the neighbourhood. The classic red-border design cal- many. The Mallige calendar sells about endar was first released in 1921. The four lakh copies now. Its English verbasic design was created by Srinivasa sion, preferred by non-Kannadigas who Rao, an artist of the empire, and fea- follow Kannada festival traditions, sells tured photos of the maharaja and the about a lakh. Eighteen years ago, Bangalore Mysore palace. After Independence, Press sold only eight freedom fighters products, including a appeared in those tear-block calendar. But slots. today, it boasts a much “We made wider array. When minor changes in apartments started the presentation replacing Bangalore’s to accommodate old bungalows, many more informafamilies had trouble tion. After that, hanging calendars on we found that a their walls. The neighlot of people bours wouldn’t allow were interested The 1946 edition of the Bangalore Press calendar. in the cultural Mysore luminaries are featured in the ear panels nails to be hammered into common walls, or side and wanted to know about festivals. We then incor- the younger people in the family would porated festivals along with the dates, object to the ruining of the décor. That and added the panchanga (almanac with is when Bangalore Press started publishastrological details) to the calendar,” he ing table-top calendars with spiral binding. These draw on the red-border recalls. For decades, Bangalore Press used design of the classic. Besides calendars, Bangalore Press to publish a fiction-focused Kannada magazine called Mallige, and decided to also publishes diaries with professionstart a calendar with that name in 1997. specific information. Its diaries The Mallige calendar resembles the designed for lawyers and engineers are Kalanirnaya calendar, with its vertical in great demand. It also issues ‘cultural’ design, and is unlike the Bangalore Press and ‘heritage’ diaries. The Bhagavad Gita diary, for instance, presents two verses from the holy book on each page, Ready reckoner with an explanation in English. In 2014, English Ananth plans to release a calendar with Bangalore Press Rs 20, Utility vachanas from 12th century saints such Calamanc Rs 24, Deccan Herald as Basavanna and Akka Mahadevi. Rs 16 Meticulous editorial effort goes Kannada into calendar production. Bangalore Udayavani Rs 20, Kalanirnaya Rs Press employs two in-house editors who 24 (same price in seven other co-ordinate with astrologers and writers languages), Ontikoppal (Mysore) from across the state. “Sometimes, the Rs 6. astrological inputs don’t tally, and we Tamil ask the experts to discuss their differRani Muthu Rs 30, Manorama ences and arrive at a consensus,” 16, Shakthi Vigadan Rs 15, explains Anantha. Bharathi Rs 14, Sathya Rs 45 (With inputs from SR Ramakrishna)

EVERGREEN The Rani Muthu calendar is the absolute favourite for Tamil-speakers in the city

Talk called up its manager, he wouldn't provide sales figures, but spoke about the design. “In the last 40 years, we have only changed the colours of the calendar but it has always had the same God. Not many calendars have an attractive Murugan like we do, and perhaps that explains our success,” he said. Rani Muthu calendars are sold wherever Tamils reside, and that includes Bangalore, Mumbai and Kolkata. Manjula Devi, a teacher at Sharada School, hails from a Telugu-speaking Naidu family, but buys Rani Muthu because her Tamil friends swear by it. “That has been the tradition for 20 years. If there’s something I can't read or understand, I ask neighbours and friends,” she said. Nagamani Sudhakar, a development officer with LIC, combines the Onntikoppal panchanga, published from Mysore, with the Bangalore Press calendar, to plan her year. “Ontikoppal provides more detailed information about our festivals and practices. We buy Bangalore Press for the calendar and Ontikoppal for the extra details,” she told Talk. Fathima Mary, assistant manager at a private firm, is a Christian whose family follows the Hindu calendar to determine auspicious and not-so-auspicious hours. She has been buying print calendars for 25 years, but isn’t so sure the tradition will continue. “My children will stop after I’m gone. Middle-aged people mostly buy print calendars today,” she said. Her daughter warns her not to ruin the walls by hanging calendars in the drawing room, but going by sales figures, print calendars are still a long way from extinction.

lost city

talk|10 jan 2013|


The silence of the Bangalorean unscrupulous behaviour happens for just one primary reason: we have allowed it to happen. We have allowed them to treat the Vidhana Soudha like they would their dens at home, to watch porn in all comfort and ease. We have allowed them to s with all such pieces, I open with a set let all development slow to a of bulleted incidents that happened in creaking pace. We have the heart of Bangalore. Bangalore, allowed them to keep mind you, not Bengaluru, because the offering largesse to temfocus of this article is the quadrant of ples while we go without our basic necessities. the erstwhile Cantonment area.  A couple of young women are on MG Road We have sanctioned all around noon on a Sunday, having met for lunch. As of it. they stroll towards their restaurant, they come  Rowdyism is percoacross a group of young men, about their age, def- lating, infiltrating into initely people like them. One of them reaches out the body civic, the body and grabs the breasts of one of the women. The politic, up, down, sidefeisty kind, she reacts immediately and slaps him. ways, everywhere. CardHe hits her back. Hard. She raises her arm involun- holding rowdies hack each tarily and he hits her again. After which, the men other in busy marketplaces. The walk on, without a care in the world. There is no men in black coats, our saviours cop anywhere around. Passers-by watch silently, in the courts, frequently lose their cool and pick up stones. avoiding the victim’s eye.  Areas like Indiranagar have been buying water Men empty mouthfuls of paanfor a decade now. Complaints, written and oral, to laced spittle on to young women the area water board office meet with the standard walking down quiet roads. A couresponse. After every fourth visit you make, they ple of expat women I know gave send a man who takes a less-than-cursory look at up walking in the park after they the water meter/ lever and pronounces with sagac- noticed young men sitting on ity that there is an air leak / that you were stupid stone benches and taking their enough to build your house on a higher elevation photographs on their mobile so naturally the water flow has stopped/ your water phones. pipes all need replacing and so on and so forth.  Garden City to Garbage City, the Everything but the words that you so desperately transformation, the degradation, want to hear: that this afternoon, for an hour or so, has been relentless. Today most of they will open the valves and let some water flow our streets are dotted with litter, into your sump. Sometimes the man tells you that, sometimes a huge stinking pile just too. You wait all afternoon and evening but not a beneath a notice on the wall that drop falls. So you buy water and factor that into says ‘Do not dump garbage your household expenses. Come summer, the here.’ We used to have sturdy water mafia kicks into operation, so you end up iron bins at street corners but someone decided to do paying double the rate virtually overnight.  Overnight, speed breakers come up on almost away with them. We didn’t protest…did we even every street in your locality. A close notice…and so they vanished. In look will reveal even to the Our silence is their place came the intermituntrained eye, that these DIY tent garbage men and women. speed breakers are citizen’s initiaselective; we They were supposed to pick up tives, sharp-edged mounds created protest only the neatly segregated garbage just to have motorists avoid your when it affects you left outside your gate. lane and take the next one. us directly Except, they don’t come more  The SUV cab (it almost always is than twice a week. a cab) brushes against a BMW and the owners get out. Except, one gets out with a car  The Garbage City (and it pains me, as someone jack. It’s pretty clear how he intends to settle the who has ‘belonged to’ Bangalore for almost three matter. Other motorists avert their eyes and wait decades now) has an alter ego, that of Construction City. In most areas, there is endless construction for the light to change so they can speed away.  As for our so-called leaders, their brazen and activity going on, iron rods and heaps of sand, bags

The uglification of Bangalore seems well and complete. Our individual and collective silence has done us in


Sheila Kumar Journalist, travel writer and author of Kith and Kin, a collection of short stories

of cement encroaching on road space. There is a fine haze of cement and sand dust hovering in the air everywhere. Cement mixers and heavy-duty vehicles manoeuvre their way onto small streets. Mall upon mall comes up and no one talks of mall fatigue. Exclusive luxe apartments offer a swimming pool with each flat, and no one talks of the nearnil water tables in the area. This is zombified building. No prizes for guessing who the zombies are.  Forget the aam admi, we have had our captains of industry gently and not so gently pointing out that good roads are not a luxury but a basic necessity for any growing city. Their words too, have fallen into the Bermuda triangle of indifference, negligence and contempt. This Bangalorean silence is selective silence. We yell when someone hits our vehicle. We fight with our neighbours on points of encroachment. The more evolved and caring of us protest when trees are mercilessly and unnecessarily cut down. We protest at senseless murders, the withdrawal of our essential rights. But these protests happen in spurts. So those who are smarter than us wait for the protests to die down. After which, it’s back to business as usual for them. As with all cities that start to bulge at the seams accommodating ‘outsiders’ and becoming what the labelers like to call a ‘melting pot culture,’ something vital is lost in the transformation. In Bangalore, the list of things lost is a long one. Quiet roads, a quiet people, bicycles, Momand-Pop stores. The shade of many-branched trees down avenue after avenue. A certain innocence which let young men and women do their own things without always being on the lookout for attack. A disinclination to pull a number on your neighbour, a strong inclination to live and let live. Have we frittered our assets away in this hitherto lovely city of ours? Can we take back the city? I wonder.

talk|10 jan 2013|


Catch you if he can


t must have been a while since many of us called a man in khaki a policeman. If we notice one on the road, we now call him a cop. The term cop is not only popular but also considered fashionable, mostly thanks to Hollywood movies. Many of us may think that the word is American in origin, and is a recent addition to the dictionary. But its origin dates back to the 16th century. Since W then, cop has undergone several changes and evolved to mean what it does today. Cop traces its roots to the Latin term capere which means to take or to capThe Talk ture. It became caper in column on word origins Middle French, retain-


ing the original meaning. It entered English as to cap, a verb with the same meaning. It was used mostly as a verb when someone was to say ‘catch him.’ This usage can be seen in Richard Harvey’s Plaine Perceuall, the Peace-maker of England, which appeared in 1589: Cap him sirra, if he pay it not. Here it means, “Catch him, sir, if he does not pay it.” Over the years, the pronunciation and the spelling changed from cap to cop. By the beginning of the 18th century, to cop meant to catch and copping meant catching. The usage was not restricted just to the capture of a law breaker, but to seizure of any kind. You could say, "The boy copped the cat." In the 1704 book The Dissenting Hypocrite, Edward Ward uses the term with reference to a stork and frogs. He writes, "If the Cruel Stork should come, He'd Tyrannize and Cop up some (Frogs)." It was only after about 150 years that cop had anything to do with the police. The suffix -er was attached to it, making it copper, someone who arrests criminals; in other words, a policeman. The usage first appeared in print in 1846. In the following years, copper was



Thanks to Hollywood, we think of 'cop' as an allAmerican expression, which it isn't

again shortened to cop. This time, cop meant a policeman. In George Mastell's Rogue's Lexicon of 1859, we see policemen referred to as cops. In the meanwhile, the term had travelled from England to

America as well. In the 1867 book Brace of Boys by FH Ludlow, a character asks, "What's a cop?.. That's what the boys call a policeman." With the increasing use of cop for a policeman, several myths came to surround the origin of the term. The Americans said that the original copper was formed to represent the copper badges used by the policemen. Another popular myth was that cop was an abbreviation of Constable on Patrol. Etymologists refute these theories and support the origin from to cap. Though the word became popular, it was considered slang. It is only recently that the word has gained acceptance and not considered derogatory. An American reality TV series showing the work of the police is called Cops. In India, the newspapers too have been using the term without reservations. Unlike police, which inspires mostly fear, the word cop has a touch of contempt to it, and probably helps account for the word’s popularity in India and elsewhere. It also hints at a change in attitude towards authority among the educated lot, something that was well on display during the protests in Delhi recently.

nano tech

talk|10 jan 2013|


The science of small things Bangalore is pioneering nanotechnology research in India, and will be testing some new devices this year


his is what we hear about when we talk nanotech: tiny robots that travel through the bloodstream and clear clogged arteries, wonder materials like graphene that are as thin as paper but 100 times stronger than steel, advanced research centres on the brink of breakthroughs... Academic excitement around nanoscience has been around for a while. And we have heard some marketing noise around ‘silver nano particles’ and the odd ‘stain resistant shirt’, not to mention controversies over toxic ‘nanoparticles’ in cosmetics. Even that has now faded away, leaving the question of whether the institutional buzz is really leading to viable products. If this is a debate in the West, much further along the road, what is the state of Bangalore and its many nanoscience research centres? Dr VK Aatre, former head of defence research and scientific advisor to the defence minister, says work being done here is academically sound, but actual technology development is relatively slow. By the end of the year, Bangalore is likely to produce at least two products in bio-medicine and automobile engineering. Tests and trials are underway. “We need to give the groups in Bangalore a little time,” he


What is Nano:

Nanoscience, we know, is the science of the very small. How small is small? A human hair is one micron, or one micrometre thick. A micrometre is one millionth of a metre. (It will take a million

JUNIOR DOC Artist’s impression of a ‘nanobot’, a molecular robot that can repair damaged cells

told Talk. One of the products that Aatre is referring to as nearing fruition is a ‘nano-sensor’ to monitor pressure within the skull in patients undergoing treatment for brain injury. The National Institute of Mental Health

pieces of hair laid alongside to get to a metre.) A nanometre is one thousandth of a micron. Or in other words, one billionth of a metre! Now we are at the molecular level. A molecule of any material is made up of

and Neurosciences in Bangalore will soon test these sensors. The nanoscale device has been developed indigenously and collaboratively by the Indian Institute of Science’s Centre for Nanoscience and Engineering, Nimhans, and the

two or more atoms. Subatomic particles are of course even smaller. A pair of molecules making up a human DNA may be a couple of nanometres in size. Nanoscience therefore, studies materials and their reactions at the

Defence Bio-Engineering and Electro Medical Laboratory, attached to the Defence Research and Development Organisation. Dr P Satish Chandra, Director and Vice-chancellor of Nimhans, told Talk the institute was ready for trials

molecular level. Nanotechnology and nanoengineering work with these very small units and manipulates them to create functional systems and new materials of various kinds for diverse applications.

talk|10 jan 2013|



CUTTING EDGE Advanced research in nanoscience is in progress at the Indian Institute of Science’s Centre for Nano Science and Engineering, headed by Prof Rudra Pratap (above)

with the new nanosensor, and would start applications that could help people in their daily life. using it by December this year.

A device for brain surgery

Pollution sensor

Swelling of the brain or accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid creates pressure in the cranium, which will have to be monitored, managed and balanced in such a way that it does not damage the brain. The sensor is designed to provide a vital input for doctors. The device can be inserted either above or below the covering of the brain through a minor surgical process. It can later be removed. The sensor is made of an inert, non-infective nano-material that is fine and opaque, and the entire device is not more than an inch in size. “The sensor acts as an early warning system. It will tell us how much pressure is likely to build up within the skull and indicate the symptoms. The course of treatment would be very different from a context in which the pressure is already built up,” Dr Chandra said. Use of the indigenous sensor is expected to lower brain injury treatment costs.

IISc has developed sensors for monitoring environmental pollution. Prof Rudra Pratap, chairperson of IISc’s Centre for Nano Sciences and Engineering, told Talk: “The environmental sensors are currently being tested by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board. Once successful, the board plans to deploy the sensors across the city.” Other devices that the centre has developed include a gas sensor that can help monitor the health of plants in agriculture. It can also be used in mines to detect hazardous gases. While the sensors contain nano materials, the entire device in environmental applications will be much larger.

The Bangalore edge The Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research and the National Centre for Biological Sciences, both in Bangalore, also work in nanoscience. Prof GU Kulkarni of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre told Talk: “Nanoscience is an inter-disciplinary subject and requires a critical mass of people and institutions. That critical mass is best available in Bangalore, though there is good research happening also at IITBombay, IIT-Madras, Pune and Kolkata. In terms of a pool of faculty at one place, Bangalore appears to hold an edge over other cities in the country.” Nanosciences in Bangalore, theoretical research apart, are focused on the development of devices and sensors with medical, electronic and environmental

Focus on electronics IISc has also developed acoustic sensors. “These are small transistors within larger electronic systems that enable clearer communication by improving signal quality.” Pratap says the IISc centre is an electronics-focused one. “While the

The fantastic promises of nanotechnology Most nanotech experts say the extreme claims made for its potential are well outside the realm of possibility, at least in the foreseeable future. But they make for mindboggling speculation.

Reverse ageing

Reproducing diamonds, water, food

Additionally, nanorobots could change your physical appearance. They could be programmed to perform cosmetic surgery, rearranging your cells to change the shape of your ears and nose, and even your eye colour.

Molecular manufacturing, where the aim is to manipulate atoms individually and place them in a pattern to produce a desired structure. The first dream in the nano world is to develop nanoscopic machines, called assemblers, that scientists can program to manipulate atoms and molecules at will. Eventually, we could replicate anything: diamonds, water and food.

Fluids to target cancer cells Patients will drink fluids containing nanorobots programmed to attack and reconstruct the molecular structure of cancer cells and viruses.

Nanorobots could also be programmed to perform delicate surgeries that undo the damage wrought on the body by time.

Change ears, nose, eye colour

Rebuild ozone layer And while we are at it, why not programme these nanorobots to rebuild the thinning ozone layer?

Clean oil spills Trees, coal, oil—just nano-manufacture them!

Grow rice in the desert Design laptop batteries that last 40 hours, for a start!

JUST LIKE SKIN Prototype of the Audi A9, a hybrid car which uses nano material that can ‘repair itself’

nano tech

talk|10 jan 2013|


Nano products made in Bangalore  A scanning tunneling microscope (STM) developed by IISc.  Smart polymers, nanomaterials and nanocomposites, core materia for manufacturers in telecommunications, electronics, drug delivery, conductive films, lighting and energy industries, made by Quantum Corporation (QCorp).  Micromaterials (P) Ltd is a Bangalore company focused on developing innovative nano and micro technologies and material catalysts. The new generation catalysts are the result of a radically new patented process.

SEE IT? A nano wire seen through an electron microscope; scaly object in the background is a strand of human hair

devices, chips and transistors go into larger electronic products and make them work better, the sensors also have wide benefits in medical and life sciences. We are also working on sensors that help cancer detection and efficient drug delivery at specific places in the human body,” he said. IISc also has a ‘thematic unit of excellence’ (so called and funded by the Department of Science and Technology) in nanosciences as well as a physics group in nanosciences. Prof AK Sood of the physics department says IISc’s thrust areas include graphene (see box), magnetic memory in computing and quantum dots. More than forty faculty members at the institute are involved in nano research.

Counter-terror sensor

The National Centre for Biological Sciences near Hebbal is the third cutting-edge science institution doing nano research relating to biology. Dr Satyajit Mayor, a senior faculty at the Centre, says seven to eight groups are researching biology at the nano level. “A bio-molecular study is nano research. For instance, people study proteins and enzymes and the insides of a cell. There are also people who work at the synthetic level where they use biomolecules to produce structures or synthesise molecules to produce DNA devices. The results of all these studies have direct implications in medical and life sciences.” One such is a DNA device called the I-switch. Researchers led by Dr Yamuna Krishnan and Dr Sandhya Koushika have been able to build a nanodevice stitching together short lengths of DNA, which can be used to measure the acidity within cells and the organism. “This nano-device opens up exciting possibilities for structural DNA nanotechnology in biology, having a potential role in disease detection,” says Dr Mayor.

Another sensor developed by IISc helps detect explosives, a major contribution to national security. Sood said: “These can be installed at public spaces to detect the presence of explosives. We have demonstrated the working of this sensor in the laboratory. The next stage is to convert it into a realtime product for which talks are on. Meanwhile we have secured a patent for Great, but what next? the prototype.” While a good range of nano-devices and As for Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for sensors have been developed by Advanced Scientific Research, Kulkarni, Bangalore institutions, are they good illustration of quoted earlier, says it has developed a num- 3D‘nano enough to be products in the market? gears’ ber of nano material-based sensors. Pratap outlines his perspective. “Very “One is a sensor for measuring strain and broadly, it can be said that nano science and techstress in any structure ranging from buildings to nology research at IISc has resulted in the develthe human body. For instance, these sensors can opment of good prototypes. We now would like be attached to joints in the human body to mea- companies to transform them into products.” sure pain, stress and pressure. We have secured a Are companies forthcoming? “Indian compapatent for this and even transferred the know- nies are highly risk-averse. They move only if a virhow to industry. It is a matter of time before it tual blueprint of the product is ready,” he said. comes out as a product.” Pratap looks forward to a situation where The centre is working on bringing together even industry struggles with scientists to get the new nano material like graphene, analogues, final product out. In the West such collaboration organic material and nano composites to make is common. There are some encouraging signs, sensors, nano wires and tubes and devices. though. A few companies are talking, and the min“Ultimately it is in the applications that their sig- istry of communication and information technolnificance rests,” Kulkarni said. ogy is doing its bit to get companies on board.

 General Electric’s Global Research Centre in Bangalore has developed several nantech based products

Scanning tunneling microscope

Graphene and T-shirts that resist bullets Graphene is most easily visualized as an atomic-scale chicken wire made of carbon atoms and their bonds. It is very light, with a 1 square meter sheet weighing only 0.77 milligrams. Several potential applications for graphene are under development, and many more have been proposed. These include light-weight, thin, flexible, yet durable display screens, electric circuits, and solar cells, as well as various medical, chemical, and industrial processes enhanced or enabled by the use of new graphene materials.

of applications. “It is a key objective,” said Dr AK Sood of IISc. Graphene, made of pure carbon, is said to be 100 times stronger than steel, even as it presents itself in a layer no thicker than one single atom. The atoms are arranged in a regular hexagonal pattern.

So science enthusiasts are dreaming about everything from unbreakable smart phones almost as thin and flexible as paper to bullet proof T-shirts. Graphene also has potential applications in solar power, say as a panel moulded to cover the surface of Scientists at both the IISc nano buildings or vehicles, and in lab and JNCASR say that a key desalination of water, food packaging (to maintain objective is to research and freshness longer), and develop the new wonder electronics. It can make almost material graphene, which, if it anything strong and lightlives up to its promise, will be weight. revolutionary in a wide range

talk|10 jan 2013|


The dangers involved in the use of nano material— possible toxicity chief among them— mean it may be years before they can be used with 100 per cent confidence NANOTOXICITY Clean foot and leg of a fruit fly (left). After ingesting nanoparticles, its foot and legs are covered with carbon nanostructures

Risks not so nano PRASHANTH G N

ny technology comes with risks associated with sideeffects, possibility of misuse, and potential personal and environmental harm, and nanotechnology is no different. Already, the odd controversy has cropped up, prompting scientists, regulatory agencies and non-governmental bodies to strike a note of caution. IISc’s Prof Rudra Pratap says that the main hazard comes from the possibility of nanomaterials getting into the human body or the environment, including ground water. “The toxicity of the materials needs to be evaluated and assessed before they are used and put into devices,” he said, pointing out that the possible toxicity of all nano material has not been studied and studies are going on material by material. “What we do know is toxicity


depends on dosage. The higher the dosage, the higher the toxicity. So you will have to assess the nature of the material before deploying it. For instance, if a filter is used in filtering water, you must have an idea of the toxicity of the nano material in the filter. It would be risky to make the filter without such an assessment as the material may enter the body,” he says. According to Pratap, scientists in India are studying the risks. A research institute in Lucknow, for example, is involved in looking at the toxicity of nano material and puts out reports on materials it has studied. It has found out for instance that silver nano particles are not toxic and scientists could therefore work with them. These are used in water filters after they were certified as safe. Scientists examine such reports and make choices about the materials they use. “Since all material cannot be studied at one go, we will have to

study a range simultaneously. We would not know all properties of a material in the very first instance. As properties become known, you eliminate certain materials and retain others,” he says. Implantation of nano devices is also not possible in the very near future, Pratap says. “Implantation is one of the goals of nano technology if it aids better health by monitoring the body from within, but what effects nano devices have on the body and inside the body are not completely known yet. Toxicity is the biggest risk the devices carry and it will take a great deal of experimentation and trials before we can go ahead with implantation. It will be years before this can be undertaken with cent per cent confidence.”

Cosmetics and fabrics Products like hand and facial creams and other cosmetics claim they use nano materials for better results. Pratap cautions: “Companies claim

Nano products worldwide The overwhelming majority of commercially available nanotech products are in sports.

racquets (from Wilson)

Babolat tennis racquets using nanotubes

Antibacterial watch chain made by Nanocare Technology Ltd

 Longer-lasting nanoparticle tennis balls from Inmat/Wilson

Processed nano silver coating applied on metal products such as taps, locks, knives, forks, scissors, trays, etc.

Nano golf balls, footwarmers, athlete skin care to new tennis

A Yamaha cruiser FX SHO featuring hulls and decks using nanotech

nano material have anti-bacterial and anti ultra-violet ray properties. But studies have not yet completely established this. Companies go ahead because they want to make quick profits. They argue they can’t wait until studies get over. But there are risks in the use of nano material in cosmetics, too. The material can get into your skin and enter the body. They are smaller than the pores on the skin, so infiltration is easy. But more importantly, the nano material could enter the blood stream too. Scientists the world over have not reached definite conclusions yet.” In the case of fabrics, nanomaterials form a part of the top layer of coating. Many companies selling shirts claims the nano coating helps in everything from keeping the body cool to resisting stains. The effects will not last beyond a certain number of washes, though. “The technology to keep the nano material active for ever on shirts has not been evolved yet,” Pratap said.

animal matters

talk|10 jan 2013|

Hamster Hamsters are nothing but rodents in an elfin size, that have of late become hugely popular as house pets. Perilla Rai, who spent Rs 3,000 just for a single hamster, told us, "Hamsters are very friendly animals but the problem is they not just eat a lot but poop a lot too. So we have to change its water and bed every day." She also said that if people are busy and don't have enough time to change the hamster's bed very day, they can buy a calcium tablet that is available at pet stores which will help reduce their strong odour.

Green terror Shilpa Machado got this killer of a fish from as a Christmas gift from a friend. As her husband Anil puts it, they had heard stories of its ferocity, but did not expect what happened when they put in their aquarium. "We had a lot of other fish in the tank but the Green Terror ended up eating all of them," he says.

The fish is so aggressive, and dislikes having companions so much that they decided to let it have the run of the whole aquarium. According to Anil, its favourite food is other fish, especially shrimp and guppies. The price of these fish range from Rs 300 to Rs 500 depending on size.

For animal lovers in Bangalore, it’s no longer a choice between cat and dog

Turkey Though not so exotic as the others here, the turkey as a pet is still an infrequent sight in our city. Immanuel Gerard's pet menagerie at his Indiranagar home has white mice, pigeons, roosters and a squirrel, but his two turkeys are clearly the star attractions here. According to him, turkeys are just like hens, and he feeds them wheat and ragi. They also eat insects, seeds and other vegetation. Although, turkey meat is now becoming popular everywhere, Gerard has no plans to sell or eat them, he quips. Turkeys are relatively inexpensive, and prices start at around Rs 150.

Mountain tortoise Mihir Sharma, an anthropology student who had a 92-year-old mountain tortoise says, "My great grandfather received it as a gift from a mountaineer friend of his who had returned from the Himalayas. We had named it Kachchua Baba and had it for more than 92 years." Sadly, it died a month ago due to ill health. Sharma says that tortoises pose a great challenge for owners not just because of their size, but also because they mostly prefer to be outdoors. Kachchua loved eating vegetables like cucumber, carrots and gourds, he recalls. He said that they had to brush its shell often and would never play with it like other animals since it would easily get aggressive, and had a sharp bite.

How exotic is your pet?

White mice Sure, we all enjoyed Stuart Little, but a mouse as a pet at home? That's right. The milky color and the petite structure of these mammals have made them attractive to the Pereira family in the city. The siblings Sarita and Sharon, who have named their mice Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif say, "The white


mice are really gorgeous. They eat any kind of vegetable and fruit peels, and it's easy to take care of them. We also feed them tapioca, bananas, tiny fish and rice at times." According to them, the biggest advantage of having them is that they keep other rodents away from the house. The prices range from Rs 100 to Rs 300.

MARIA LAVEENA here was a time when only movie villains owned pet snakes, and one had to wait for the circus to come to town to see a macaw parrot. As for the iguana, it might as well have been a mythical creature, even the zoo was unlikely to have one. All that has changed now, as more and more people in Bangalore are opting to have these unlikely animals as pets. Given that they also often come with an exorbitant price tag, one of the factors driving their adoption is status, and the colourful lifestyle statement that owners of these exotic pets get to make. Talk spoke to a few people in the city to find out what it's like to live with these unusual animal companions.



Iguana Bhavani (name changed), who calls herself a "huge" animal lover, has been taking care of an iguana for more than two years now. Though she has many other pets at home, it is 'Godzilla,' the iguana, gifted by a friend, that is her favourite, she says. This large lizard is a native of the tropical parts of the American continent, and for its proud owner, "the most exotic animal on earth." Bhavani says that it has been a very friendly pet till now, but she has had to cage it quite often as it's not really comfortable with outsiders. "Initially, even I didn't know how to take care of it but I saw tutorials on YouTube and then asked a nearby veterinarian to help me take care of it," she says. That’s how she first learned that it has sharp vision which allows it to detect food even if it's far away. According to Bhavani, its diet includes all kinds of insects, leaves, flowers and fruits. Though you will never find them in a shop, iguanas are sold in Bangalore by dealers who price them according to length: a 25 inch one could cost you as much as Rs 18,000.

A snake as a pet? Might sound creepy for most, but that's certainly not the case with herpetologist Sanjeev Pednekar, who has been granted a license by the Forest Department of Karnataka to rescue and keep snakes. So, strictly speaking, they may not be 'pets', but Pednekar has seven of them at his rehabilitation centre, including a red sand boa and cobras. "I keep rescuing all kinds of wild animals from urban areas and releasing them back to the jungle. But since I am a snake expert, I get to keep snakes at my rehabilitation centre so I can demonstrate their characteristics to others, especially children," says Sanjeev, who also runs an adventure company called Into the Wild. He regularly gets students from city schools visiting his place to gain more knowledge about snakes. Sanjeev says that since not all snakes are harmful, people who find them should inform organisations like his own so that they can be saved.


Tarantula Jinso (name changed) a student, has been taking care of his pet tarantula Ozzy for more than 10 months now. Jinso, who also has other exotic pets like an iguana and pythons says that not many people keep tarantulas at home as they are venomous. Jinso has created a coco peat, made from coconut husks, for Ozzy to stay in. He feeds Ozzy all kinds of insects and flies, and keeps


it caged always. Interestingly, male tarantulas live only four years while the females live for nearly 12 years. He says, “Male tarantulas are more attractive than the females. I don’t mind it if they won’t live longer.” Jinso says he bought Ozzy for Rs 6,000 from a friend, and adds that many people get them from Calcutta and Delhi and sell them for a higher price in the city.

This 'super-parrot', also a native of the tropical Americas like the iguana, occupies pride of place at Pets Planet, one of the city's best-known pet shops, located on Infantry Road. The owner Sharif himself has one of these fascinating birds, which he calls Lucky. "We have had him for the last fifteen years. He has always been lucky to us and that's why we have placed him right in front of the shop." But for poor Lucky

himself, the name has proven to be an unfortunate choice. Since macaws generally tend to be aggressive, Sharif keeps Lucky caged most of the time. A good precaution, since the shop also has a whole crowd of smaller birds and animals. Lucky however gets to enjoy a well-chosen diet of fruits, nuts, seeds, leaves and flowers. A macaw can set you back by as much as Rs 5,00,000, depending on the particular species.

Geese It was the huge lawn at their house that first put the thought of having pet geese into Anitha Eraiah's mind. The housewife is today the proud owner of two geese, who lord it over her Hennur home. "They are normally very shy creatures and never like to be caged. They eat all kinds of food, from palak to fruits. They are also very friendly with my children. At the same time, if someone passes by my garden, they start honking immediately. They never allow outsiders inside my house even if the door is open. In fact, I'm happier with them more than my dog because I find them more caring." says the former IBM employee. She says her geese produce three to four eggs every month, which are very popular among her neighbours because they are a great source of protein. Interestingly, she says geese can lay (unfertilised) eggs even when they have no male partner! Geese come at prices ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 2,000.

biz trend

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Business has picked up for stores selling veggies online, but is it just a few shoppers opting for convenience or a major retail trend? EASY PEAS A customer receiving her month’s supply of vegetables and provisions ordered from a website

Veg vendors click on the Net PRACHI SIBAL

n her 60s, Usha Muralidhar, like most others her age, likes her veggies fresh and handpicked, and wouldn’t have the joy of shopping for gardenfresh produce taken away from her. Yet, trips to the vegetable market were turning exhausting, and she was looking for an easier way to shop. She had heard of online groceries, but actually placing an order required a not-so-small shift in attitude. She would no longer be able to touch and feel the food she bought and couldn’t even rely on the smell to test freshness. Nevertheless, the return policy sounded encouraging, and she decided to take the plunge. Pleasantly surprised by her experience, she has since permanently traded in her grocery bag for the mouse. Stories like Usha’s mark a change in the Bangalore shopper’s attitudes that few could have foretold, especially when you consider that as much as 80 per cent of their orders include perishables, such as fruits and vegetables. The entrepreneurs behind these ventures are confident this is a sign of


bigger things to come. Tracing the “When they start shopping with us, evolution of the sector, Debdulal people opt for safer vegetables like Ballabh, founder of MissNOT, which onions and potatoes, and then move has been in business for a year and a to other, harder-to-preserve items.” Choudhari says it is the hassle of half, says, “The online market in the country saw its first breakthrough in shopping in supermarkets that is drithe form of Flipkart, and then IRCTC ving customers to the web, but (the Indian Railways website) MissNOT’s Ballabh points to some removed other inhibitions. People are other reasons as well. “Some 80-90 looking for convenience, and are now per cent of items in monthly grocery open to buying fruits and vegetables purchases remain the same, which is online, though it will take time before why people opt to order them online. they start ordering products like Besides, we source from wholesalers as and when we get orders, which meat.” While MissNOT has not yet ensures the products are fresh. Even started delivering perishables online, with packaged food, the manufacthere are several others who have. tured dates on our stock tend to be closer to the date Sushant Junnarkar, of purchase when founder of Online grocery compared to what shopping is they get in physical says when it comes to stores,” he says. ordering vegetable or popular in gated The trend of fruits, it is usually only communities shopping for growith the first order ceries online is that customers have apprehensions, and the quantities definitely catching on, but what do automatically go up later. The ‘no the numbers say? Most businessmen questions asked’ return policy that Talk spoke to were reluctant to reveal most such websites offer also helps, daily and monthly delivery figures, but assured us that there has been a he added. Abhinay Choudhari, co-founder, big increase in the past one year. Big, traces the shift in a Basket, which launched in Bangalore first-time customer's attitude thus, a year ago, claims to be delivering

around 1,000 orders a day on an average, as against the 100 they were doing the same time last year. Choudhari attributes their success to the large number of people who have newly moved to the city and who don’t have a regular neighbourhood store they are accustomed to. He says a good 80 per cent of his client base resides in eastern and southern Bangalore and they hardly get any orders from the northern and north-western neighbourhoods. Online grocery shopping is also popular in gated communities in the outskirts of the city, where amenities are not available close by. While online grocers are hopeful about their prospects, with some even seeing it as the future, others like Amar Krishna Murthy, Managing Director of, are more sceptical. “I don’t think Bangalore is ready yet for the big shift to online shopping of perishables. There is a trend towards online shopping, but a small group of trendsetters buying their veggies online hardly accounts for anything when compared to the millions who enter the local grocery store or supermarket every day,” he says. He considers the trend a natural progression, but a slow one at that.

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One of the biggest worries for those in the business is the challenges dealing with supplies and stocks. “Though we have been in the business of supplying to hotels and had a supply chain in place, keeping vegetables fresh can be quite a challenge and demands a lot of expertise,” says Krishna Murthy. Bigbasket’s Choudhari’s biggest problem is the differing perception of quality that customers have. He says, “Everybody has an opinion on good quality and that is the reason why people prefer to handpick perishable items. One person is looking for large tomatoes, but another complains about them. There is no standardised definition of quality in this business.” Botched orders are another concern, but interestingly, that does not stop some customers from going online for their veggies. Manoj Jindal, a software engineer, who took a reluctant first step and ordered groceries online, found that his order was a complete mess. “They didn't give me the proper time of delivery and got the address wrong. They later figured out there was a mistake when they noted the address down. The veggies

weren't great either,” he says. But despite his initial reservations and that first disappointment, he resumed shopping online from other websites, finding the convenience too much to let go. Complaints like Jindal’s are common enough on social networking websites and online forums, and when we asked Krishna Murthy of about how they handle complaints, he admitted customer expectations were high. “We do try to address complaints and offer to exchange products, but often no steps are enough to bring a customer back. When things go bad, you are ruining it not just for yourself but for the larger online business,” he says. But others are skeptical about the very model. Arjun Zacharia, a web entrepreneur himself, confesses he does not shop online much. When he does, it’s mostly restricted to items like books or shoes, which he says can be returned easily if there’s a problem. “Online shopping of perishables may be catching on but I would still like to go to the market to buy mine. Online stores can hardly give me the sort of inventory I am looking for,” he says.


HERE’S WHERE YOU LOG ON TO BUY YOUR TARKAARI Delivers in areas surrounding Whitefield and Marathahalli. Lets you pick set quantities or buy a weekly vegetable or fruit box that contains enough for a family of four consuming a standard balanced diet. Delivers to most locations and sells vegetable and meat. They offer same day delivery if the order is booked before 1 pm, but do not allow you to specify time of delivery. Delivers to most locations. You get to choose time of delivery from four slots. The last slot extends till 10 pm, something many find convenient. However, they have fewer quantity options when ordering. Orders can

be made for set quantities like 500 and 250 gram.

Delivers to most locations and lets you pick veggies and fruits by the piece. Delivery convenience however has to be discussed by phone.

Payment: All the online grocery stores accept cash-on-delivery and online payment. has the unique option of letting you pay through a credit or debit card at the time of delivery.

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Rewind The week that was  Fiscal cliff: US avoids fiscal cliff, House passes budget bill avoiding taxes across the board and a cut in government spending that would have triggered a recession

Why are rapist netas still in office? Thirty-six other MLAs face other charges of crimes against women. Of these, six are from the Congress, five from the BJP and three from the SP. Uttar Pradesh has the maximum number of MLAs (eight) with charges of crimes against women, followed by Orissa and West Bengal with seven MLAs each.

 Killed: A photographer was killed by another car while trying to take photographs of Justin Bieber's Ferrari; the 18-yearold Canadian star wasn't in the car when the accident took place near Los Angeles  Not for India: India is not among the 46 countries that have been permitted to travel visa-free to China for 72 hours in Beijing and Shanghai  Anti-rape law: Parents of the 23-year-old girl gangrape victim in Delhi have said they have no objection to an anti-rape law being named after their daughter  No tickets: Mayawati has said the BSP will not give election tickets to rapeaccused, and has asked all political parties to follow the principle  Bonds: The Income Tax department stumbled upon a 45-year-old financial consultant near Tirupur in possession of US treasury security bonds worth Rs 28,000 crore  Upheld: Supreme court upholds appointment of Justice (retd) RA Mehta as Lokayukta of Gujarat after Narendra Modi opposed it on the grounds that the State governor did not consult him  Education: Nearly a quarter of schools in North Bangalore are not part of Right to Education even as authorities moved to issue orders for reservation of seats for under-privileged children  Mowed down: Speeding trains mowed down two youth at Whitefield in the space of 12 hours; angry residents blocked railway lines demanding a skywalk

Several MPs and MLAs have been charged with rape and other crimes against women, but their parties continue to field them at the polls. In the wake of the recent Delhi gang rape which led to the death of a 23-year-old girl, the NGO Association for Democratic Reforms has released a report listing their names to put pressure on parties to bar criminal politicians from contesting polls. “By giving tickets to candidates who have

been charged with crimes against women, especially rape, political parties have been in a way abetting to circumstances that lead to such events that they so easily but vehemently condemn in Parliament,” the NGO says. Excerpts from the report: Six MLAs have declared they have charges of rape against themselves in affidavits submitted to the Election

Teens join rally for new law to protect women After the death of the Delhi gang rape victim, women took to the streets in Bangalore. Last Saturday saw approximately 3,000 of them at Freedom Park holding a candle-lit vigil and forming a human chain. Bangalore members of the Blank Noise Project, an initiative to counter street dynamics hostile to women, too carried out a silent protest near the Mahatma Gandhi Statue on MG Road on Tuesday. But here, even before the

protest could begin, two policemen arrived on the scene and asked them to leave. The protesters refused to budge and an argument ensued. The policemen threatened to bring in lady constables to disperse the (mostly female) protesters. Still determined to make their statement, the protesters moved to the entrance of Cubbon Park where they were left alone by the police. Teenagers, both boys and girls, had turned up, an unusual sight at city protests.

Commission at the time of their election. Of these, three are from Samajwadi Party (Shri Bhagwan Sharma, Anoop Sanda and Manoj Kumar Paras from Uttar Pradesh), one from Bahujan Samaj Party (Mohd. Aleem Khan from Uttar Pradesh), one from the BJP (Jethabhai G Ahir from Gujarat) and one from the Telegu Desam Party (Kandikunta Venkata Prasad from Andhra Pradesh).

In the last five years, parties gave state election tickets to 27 candidates charged with rape, and 260 candidates charged with crimes against women. The maximum number of such cases are against candidates from Bihar (nine), followed by Maharashtra (six), and Uttar Pradesh (five). The report calls for candidates with a criminal background to be barred from contesting elections. It also wants cases against MPs and MLAs fasttracked. To read the full report, log on to:

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Forward The week ahead

Birdwatching challenge

Call of the wild A forthcoming wildlife production requires a young, sincere and hardworking wildlife enthusiast looking for a comprehensive hands-on opportunity in international wildlife filmmaking. The role entails working for six months (tentatively from January to July 2013) with the crew on a project being undertaken on tigers and other wildlife in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, the Western Ghats and Assam, intended for international broadcast. The successful applicant, male or female,

will be trained in high definition camerawork and post production, and will gain insights into the research and planning involved in international wildlife film-making. For a nominal cost (borne by the applicant), accommodation, food, forest entry fee, transport and other expenses will be covered. The applicant should have some formal training and/or work experience in documentary or wildlife film-making. Write to

The Bangalore BirdRace, the annual winter event where bird lovers huddle into teams and engage in a dawn-to-dusk frenzy of spotting and recording bird species in and around the city, is here again. The BirdRace culminates at the end of the day with a grand function for the distribution of prizes to

the top three teams that have sighted the most number of species and also for sighting the rare bird of the day. The gathering at the end of the day provides an excellent

To register, log on to www.birdrace.dhaatu. com

Learn contemporary dance For those looking for professional training opportunities in contemporary dance, Bangalorebased Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts is a good place to start. Applications are now open for their Diploma in Movement Arts and Mixed Media. This full-time training programme, which features a unique curriculum and excellent faculty, is now completing its sixth year, and is still the only one of its kind in India. The one-year certification offers training in Indian physical traditions, contemporary dance, ballet and other movement techniques. The course lays emphasis on body conditioning and technique classes, safe movement practices, balance, strength and flexibility. Body conditioning classes

Happy birthday, Internet! The computer network we can't live without officially began functioning 30 years ago, on January 1, 1983, when it substituted previous networking systems. It was on that day that the Arpanet, the US Department of Defence-commissioned computer network, fully switched to use of the Internet protocol suite (IPS) communications system, a new method of linking computers. Originally based on designs by Welsh scientist Donald Davies, it started life as a military

opportunity for interaction with some of the renowned experts in the field as well. The 2013 edition of the event will be held on January 20, and birdwatchers can register in teams of four members each.

Donald Davies

Tim Berners-Lee

project in the late 1960s. It was jointly developed by leading American universities like the University of CaliforniaLos Angeles (UCLA) and the Stanford Research Institute. Later British

computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee used it to host a system of interlinked hypertext documents in 1989, known as the World Wide Web, the form in which we use it today.

 Obama’s plan: US president Barack Obama is expected to initiate measures on social spending and is set to seek approvals from the House for new policies after winning the fiscal cliff vote  Raids: Conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is bound to flare up after undercover Israeli agents disguised as vegetable vendors conduct a raid in West Bank  Egypt arrest: An Egyptian satirist may go to jail for making fun of President Mohammed Morsi on a television show; worries deepen over freedom of speech  Gold duty: The Indian government is mulling higher import tariff on gold as it battles high current account deficit; says demand for gold has to be moderated

combine kalarippayattu, yoga and sports training strategies and are supported by classes in basic Anatomy. Auditions for the course have begun. For more information, and to download the application form, log on to

Jaipur lit fest, here I come

As part of this year's Jaipur Literature Festival (to be held from January 24 to 28), publishers Random House India are holding a contest that offers readers a chance to be part of the excitement. All you need to do is send them a photograph from any of your travels, and add a note of less than 200 words describing what book it reminds you of and why. Winners will get to interview a Random House India author and attend a party with the literati at the festival. Email your entry to: before January 10

 Power price: The Indian government will examine a review of price of power as part of a larger plan to reduce subsidies and push reforms; an expert panel has suggested reforms in power sector on the lines of reforms in the natural gas sector  Taking charge: Economist Urjit Patel is expected to take charge as RBI deputy Governor after securing clearances from various government departments  Compensation: An air traveller may receive compensation of Rs 14,000 from Kingfisher Airlines for misplaced luggage after a consumer court issued an order to the effect  New norms: The Karnataka government is planning to ease norms for industrial clearances raising the approval limit from Rs 20 crore to Rs 250 crore for the State High Level Clearance Committee  Garbage: Bangalore's garbage will be taken to the Mandur landfill until negotiations begin on alternative sites for garbage disposal.

book excerpt hen an enterprising Captain Gopinath started Air Deccan, India's first low-cost airline, he thought he was doing the Indian middle class a favour. But he underestimated just how demanding (and ungrateful) his customers would turn out to be. An excerpt from Absolutely Nuts, a recent book by his former colleague, Vijaya Lukose, which follows a fictional Dyna Air and its eccentric promoter SK, whose trials mostly come from none other than his own self-centred customers:


Vijaya Lukose Senior aviation industry executiveturned-writer

During those early days I traveled on a Dyna Air flight to check a trainee cabin crew and happened to sit with a first time Dyna-mic traveller. As the aircraft lifted into the cottony, clouded blue sky, the passenger sitting next to me pressed his face into the window pane beside his seat. He had a look of excitement and anxiety as he gazed outside the window. After the aircraft leveled off he introduced himself as TK Mohan. He was clad in a cotton kurta-pyjama with a cloth jhola slung across his chest containing his purse. He would not let go of it when the cabin crew told him he could put his jhola underneath the seat in front of him to be more comfortable. He chatted excitedly with me. He had joined an IT firm a few months ago. This was his first flight, and no one in his family had ever seen an airport, nor flown in an aircraft before. The cheap fares had allowed him to take the flight that day. He asked me all kinds of questions about the aircraft and how it flew, the knobs he saw on the panel above his seat, the life jacket under the seat; what happened to the waste in the toilet, was it dumped in the atmosphere when someone pulled the flush, and myriad other curious questions. He spent most of the flight with his face pressed against the window. When we landed and the aircraft door was opened, he called his brother on his cell phone. 'I felt like I had sprouted wings and was flying like a bird,' he said in Kannada to his kid brother, his face breaking into a smile. 'Thamma, Thamma, it was like sitting in a hot air balloon as I could see the topography too,' he told his brother excitedly. Such instances were common in the first six months of operations of the Dyna Air flights. I had been on flights where families had traveled by bus from Mangalore to Bangalore and then taken a flight back to Mangalore, all to experience air travel for the first time. Middle class and lower middle class Indians were finally taking

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Mile-high chaos A thinly fictionalised account of the birth pangs of the original Indian budget carrier

advantage of the booming economy and low fares and experiencing air travel for the first time. Dyna fares started from Rupees 50 to attract everyone to book early and avail of cheap fares. The early birds definitely got the worm here. Only four seats were available at this price per flight, on a first come first served basis. As it got closer to the date of travel the fares kept going up. Those were heady days when dreams were big for everyone at Dyna Air. Like the Wal-Mart and Sam's Club philosophy, large volumes of ticket sales would drive the price down and make it affordable for everyone to fly, mused SK. From the year 1998 Rupa & Co the Dyna-mic Man was an Rs 195 elated and happy man. He got to travel by air and also travel cheap around south India. He was grateful to SK and thanked him for what he had done for the traveling public. SK was very popular now with the traveling public, and they met him at airports, in hotels, on the streets, outside his home and congratulated him for his effort. Soon this bare-bone flying was not enough for the Dyna-mic Man. As he experienced his first flight and

then a few more, he wanted more than a cheap ticket. He had heard from passengers who had flown other airlines in India that those airlines were offering food and drinks for free on board. So he began to demand the same with Dyna Air. But SK would not give in to their demands. Cheap fares were the only charity this missionary was willing to give. 'Do you get free water when you travel by train or bus? Don't you buy food and drinks when you travel by train or bus? This price even beats train and bus tickets,' he said angrily and impatiently during press meetings when the media posed questions about free food and drinks. Indians can never be satisfied, he thought to himself. They want everything for free or they are unhappy and irritable. He stuck to selling everything on board. But the Dyna-mic man had selective reasoning. He insisted on free water, free juice, free coffee, free snacks and even free hot meals. He threw a tantrum when he did not have his way. He abused the cabin crew who did not serve him free food. If a mosquito bit him when the entry door was open, he demanded free food and beverage as compensation.

When the flight was delayed he wanted free food. When the air conditioning did not kick in on time in the turbo prop aircrafts, he threw a tantrum and demanded free food. When there was air traffic congestion and the flight took off late or arrived late, he demanded free food and water. This same Dyna-mc man would wait quietly at a railway station if the train arrived late by one, two or three hours. He would wait quietly at the bus station if the bus to Mangalore, Cochin or Chennai arrived late. He would perhaps walk over to the closest Udipi restaurant and purchase his dosa and coffee. But he wanted free food and drinks when he flew for Rs 50 on Dyna Air! The Dyna-mic Man was impatient and irritated if he had to wait in line for the toilet on board the aircraft. He was angry with the crew if there were no free newspapers or magazines on board. He was very angry if announcements were made only in Hindi and English, and demanded announcements be made in regional languages too. He would write to SK, the Marketing Head, the In-flight Head, and the Communications Head, of all the things that were irritating him about his flight.

festive food

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Heavenly huggis



This Sankranti, use these recipes to treat yourself to delicious spiced rice, a must-cook seasonal treat all over Karnataka SHRIDHAR G KULKARNI he annual harvest festival is celebrated across many parts of India. A ‘sankranti’ is the transition of the sun from one ‘rashi’ (moon sign) to another, and takes place 12 times a year. The Makara Sankranti in January is special, marking a significant transition, and the date holds steady for long periods —January 14. This is the time when the northeast monsoon withdraws in parts of the country and the day begins to


grow longer and warmer—it is after all the winter solstice. In South India, this is when the north-east monsoon withdraws. The harvest season is a festive time, and what better way to celebrate it than with delicious food? In Karnataka, we make the delicately spiced huggi (similar to pongal of Tamil Nadu), and savour it with gojju, a sweetish sauce made of tamarind. Talk brings you some traditional flavours from an orthodox Madhva Brahmin kitchen. These recipes were provided by Malathi Sabnees.

Sweet gojju (sauce to go with the huggi) 2 tbsp ghee, 50 gram tamarind ½ tsp cumin seeds, 1 pinch asafoetida (hing), 8 black pepper seeds, ½ tsp sambar powder, 1 cup jaggery, 2 cups water. Salt to taste. Fry cumin seeds, pepper, cloves and asafoetida in ghee. In another utensil, soak the tamarind in water. Squeeze it to powder. Boil till the mixture make a juice. Add the tamarind becomes thick and gets the juice to the fried mixture. Now add salt, jaggery and sambar consistency of soup.

Sweet huggi 1 cup rice, ¼ cup split green gram, 1 cup ghee, 1 cup jaggery, 5 cardamom pods, 25 gram raisin, 25 gram cashew, ¼ cup grated copra

Fry the gram in 2 tsp ghee till they turn reddish. Boil water and add rice to it. When the rice is almost cooked, add the gram and continue cooking. When the rice is fully cooked, add jaggery and ghee and mix well. In another utensil, fry cashew and raisins in 4 tsp ghee. Add this to the cooked rice. Also add the cardamom and grated copra. Mix well and serve hot.

Hesarbele (moong dal) huggi 250 grams rice, 250 grams split green gram 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp cumin seeds 10 cloves, 1 Copra, 10 cashews, ½ cup ghee 1 cm ginger, 1 pinch turmeric, 4 cups water, Salt to taste Fry the green gram in ghee and keep aside. Boil water and add washed rice to it. When the rice is

almost cooked, add the fried gram and mix. Add turmeric and ginger. Cover the utensil and simmer till it is fully cooked. Heat 2 tsp of ghee in a vessel and fry cumin seeds, black pepper and cloves. Add this to the rice. Add grated copra and salt. Mix well. Serve hot with coconut chutney or sihi gojju.

Godi nuchchina (broken wheat) huggi 1 cup broken wheat, 1 cup jaggery, 25 grams raisin, 25 grams cashew, 6 cardamom pods 1 cup ghee, 2 cups milk

jaggery and the rest of the ghee. Keep it on fire for about 10 minutes. When the jaggery has blended well, keep the mixture aside. Fry raisins and cashew in 1 tsp ghee. Mix it with the cooked broken wheat. Cook for 2 minutes.

Fry broken wheat in 3 tsp ghee till it turns reddish. Boil milk, add the fried wheat to it and simmer. When it is Serve hot. cooked, add


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music Adrian D’Souza

 Ga ga over sweets: If you haven't had your share of sweets this season, worry not. You can choose from different hampers consisting of plum cake, plum pudding, cookies, molded chocolates, truffles, dry fruits, wine and candles. Gift hampers are priced at Rs 1,200 to 4,000. The Pastry Shop, Ground floor, Kumara Park, till January 5 30527777  Spicy soiree: This weekend sink your teeth into some pepper chicken fry, mutton vellai korma, kozhi melagu

curry, Chettinad meen curry, meen pal curry, chicken kozhi kara kolambu Chettinad poriyal, arisi pal paniyaram and others. Lunch is priced at Rs 375 plus tax whereas dinner is priced at Rs 425 plus tax. Isys, The President Hotel, 3rd Block, Jayanagar, January 5 and 6 9980909069

Priced at Rs 549 including tax. Little Italy, 100 ft Road, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar, January 6 25207171

ences. Counter Culture, 2D2, 4th Cross Dyavasandra Industrial Area, Whitefield, January 4, 9 pm 41400794

 Say Balle Balle: Savour some Punjabi cuisine this weekend. You can choose from dishes like Jalandhari seekh kebabs, bhatti da kukkad, macchi Amritsari, murgh seene de pasande, Punjabi chole di tikki, paneer Lahori tikka, moong dal halwa, jalebi, phirni, rabdi and more. The Great Kebab Factory, Mantri Mall, #1, Sampige Road, till January 10 22667360

 A lil bit of masala: This weekend witness Penn Masala perform in the city. This South Asian acappella group was formed in 1996 and is a known name across universities. They have released seven studio albums. Hard Rock Café, St Marks Road, January 10, 8 pm 41242222

 Grilled to perfection: Celebrate the festive spirit by feasting on delicacies and from dishes like peach whiskey BBQ chicken, chicken with mustard crème sauce, grilled chicken with roasted red pep-

 A taste of Italy: Are you a fan of pasta? Then this is where you should be heading this weekend. Choose from salads, lasagna, an array of pasta and desserts like chocolate bomb and more.

per, stuffed turkey and sticky ribs. Mangrove, 5th Cross, 9th Main , Kalyan Nagar,HRBR Layout, till January 6 9886028118  Treat yourself: The first weekend of the year treat yourself to dishes like sushi, maki rolls and dimsums. Main course consists of chicken, prawn, beef, fish and vegetables. Desserts include chocolate sushi, Japanese cheesecake and more. Priced at Rs 2,200 inclusive of tax. Shiro, UB City,Vittal Mallya Road, Januray 6 41738864

 Hide and Seek: All the way from Sweden, performing this weekend is the band We Hide You Seek. The band's music mainly comprises of pop. The band also consists of a jazz drummer, a bassist and a guitarist. Counter Culture, 2D2, 4th Cross Dyavasandra Industrial Area, Whitefield, January 5, 8.30 pm 41400794

 Not just jazz: This weekend lend your ears to Jyotsna Srikanth as she performs in the city along with her band Fusion Dreams. Jyotsna has performed across Europe and India and is well known in world fusion, Indian jazz & experimental music genres. The music of Fusion Beats is on the lines of hip hop and jazz with some Indian influ-

 Heavy dose of jazz: This weekend head out to listen to some contemporary jazz featuring Sharik Hassan on the piano, Harmeet Manseta on key bass and Adrian D'Souza on bass. bFlat , 100 Feet Road, Above ING Bank, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar, January 4, 8.30 pm 41739250  Feel the Blues: Watch Ministry of Blues perfrom some bules and rock numbers. Take 5, 54, MSK Plaza, 100 ft Road, Indiranagar, January 5, 8pm 25217191


performance Shubha Mudgal

 Bikhre Bimb: Directed by Girish Karnad and KM Chaitanya, Bikhre Bimb has seen more than 100 shows in the country. It brings together theatre personalities and actors Arundhati Nag and Girish Karnad. The play is about an English professor, who has had an unsuccessful stint as a Kannada writer. It is a journey of this professor, who later on goes on to be a bestseller writer. Ranga Shankara, #36/2, 8th Cross, 2nd Phase, JP Nagar, January 4 and 5, 7.30 pm 26592777

 Classical night: This weekend witness the magic of classical music as Shubha Mudgal performs live in the city. The Ab Ke Saawan singer started singing in the 80s and slowly became popular in the music industry. Apart from classical, she has also experimented in the pop and fusion genres. Some of her popular numbers are Mann Ke Manjeere, Seekho Na, Ali More Anganaa among others. She has composed and sung the title track of the daily soap, Diya Aur Bati Hum along with Kailash Kher. The singer has recieved many awards including the Gold Plaque Award for Special Achievement in Music in 1998, National Award for Best Non Feature Film Music Direction for Amrit Beej and also recently the Padma Shri in 2000. Chowdaiah Memorial Hall, 16th Cross, Malleshwaram, January 6, 6.30 pm 23445810

 California Suite: The play is a set of four short plays that have one thing in common, Suite 203 and 204 of the Beverly Hills Hotel. British actress Diana Nichols is nominated for the Academy Awards best actress category. She knows that she has no chance of winning. At the same time her marriage is turbulent. A visitor from New York, Hannah Warren is here to get her daughter back who is

Bikhre Bimb living with her screen writer father. The divorced couple is left to decide what is best for the girl. Conservative businessman Marvin Micheals is all worried after a prostitute is unconscious after consuming vodka. Trouble mounts as his wife is on her way to the suite. There are also two couples from Chicago; Stu Franklyn and his wife and Mort Hollender and his wife who are visiting and stay in the hotel. Things go hay wire when Stu's wife hurts herself during a tennis match. Alliance Francaise, # 16 Thimmaiah Road, Vasanthnagar, January 5 and 6, 7.30 pm and 3.30 pm 41231340  Rabdi: The play revolves around Saavantri and her mentally challenged child. Though her dreams of her child having a bright future remain unfulfilled she does not lose hope. In order to enroll him into a special school she offers to be a surrogate mother for an IT couple. Directed by Nithish S, the play delves into the characteristics

of motherhood, love, societal issues and human emotions. Ranga Shankara, #36/2, 8th Cross, 2nd Phase, JP Nagar, January 8, 7.30 pm 26592777  Shaalmala: Adaptation of the play A Streetcar named Desire. The play is about a culture clash between Shaalmala and Bhargava. Her poise seems to be an illusion that she uses to shield others but mostly herself from her reality. This is because she wants to look attractive to new visitors. Directed by Nithish S, the play has Greeshma Srujan, Sri Raksha, Vallabh Suri, Prajwal Gowda, Ashwini Joshi, Sanjay Kumar, Sparsha and

Akarsha Kamala. Ranga Shankara, #36/2, 8th Cross, 2nd Phase, JP Nagar, January 9, 7.30 pm 26592777  Can I Play God: Directed by Venkatesan Vaidhyanathan, the play is about two men who are fighting for what they believe in. It is a representation of a social issue. Taking somebody's life is punishable. In that case how does one justify war? The play tries to bring out the loopholes in the judiciary and tries to question the system. Outlaw Dance Studio, 4th Floor, Shambhavi Complex, 60ft Road, 6th Block, Koramangala, January 5 and 6, 7.30 pm


talk|10 jan 2013|

art & dance


retail therapy Bollywood tunes but want to learn salsa? Then head to this workshop where you can learn salsa and dance to Bollywood music too. Professional trainers will help you perfect those dance moves . Hipnotics Dance Studio, # 18 Lido Mall Road,GK Plaza, 1st Floor, Ulsoor, January 6, 11 pm 9611118939

 Humour in painting: Admire some humour and art together. This exhibition titled Humour in Art brings out the subtle satire in juxtaposing kings and animals, oneness and exhchange and shows us the everyday life of a society. Crimson Art Gallery, The Hatworks Boulevard, #32, Cunnigham Road, till January 5 65379223

Infinity, a solo art show by Hyderabadi artist Sachin Jaltare. In his latest paintings he blends both figurative and non-figurative elements skillfully and he is also seen mixing media by exploring the dance of form and the formless. Kynkyny Art Gallery, #104 Embassy Square,148 Infantry Road, Above Ganjam Jewellers, till January 10 40926206

 Infinite tales: Are you an art lover? Head to the Tales of

 Put on your dancing shoes: Fond of dancing to

 Dance all the way: Learn some dance moves from choreographers Bosco and Caesar, the duo which has made a name in Bollywood. They have choreographed for movies like Mission Kashmir, 3 Idiots and many popular music videos. Oakridge International

School, Sarjapura Road, Domasundra Circle, January 6, 1.30 pm 9164261111  Fun and controversy: Famous cartoonist Shankar Pillai’s cartoons will be showcased this weekend. The cartoons have been in the news for many reasons but mostly political. He likes taking a dig at the country’s political system. Some of his cartoons that have also appeared in school textbooks and sparked off debates. Indian Institute of Cartoonists, No 1 Midford House, Midford Garden, Off MG Road, till January 10 41758540

 Warm and comfortable: Feeling the chill? Buy yourself warm quilts this year to save youself from the cold. Choose from printed quilts or single coloured ones. On a purchase you can avail up to 10 per cent discount on one quilt or 20 per cent on two or more quilts. Available at all Shopper’s Stop outlets till January 6  Fashionable this season: Spark a trend this season. Choose from optical, abstract or geometrical printed tunics, dresses and tops. Team them up with a pair of heels and a fashionable bag and you are all set to go. Available at  Glittering New Year: This New Year bring a smile to your loved one as well as your-

self with some diamond jewellery. Don't fret because on purchasing diamond jewellery you can

avail a discount of 20 percent. Gitanjali Jewels, 31, Ranka Chambers, Cunningham Road, till January 6 22371835  Goodie bag: Buy this gift hamper consisting of freshly baked cakes, warm puddings, moulded chocolates, handmade candles, liquor and more. You can also customise your own hamper and decide what goes into the hamper. Priced at Rs 4,500. Available at Vivanta by Taj outlets MG Road, Whitefield, till January 6

To get your event listed, write to us at


talk|10 jan 2013|

adoption drive

film The Impossible

 Chinese Zodiac English An action film, Chinese Zodiac is the sequel to Armour Of God II: Opearation Condour. The film stars Jackie Chan who reprises his role of Asian Hawk. The movie is about Asian Hawk bringing back the bronze head statues of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals that were disowned by the French and British army from the imperial summer palace in Beijing in 1860. The film is directed by Jackie Chan himself.


Mukunda Theatre - 11 am, 2 pm, 8.30 Vision Cinemas- 10 am, 2.30 pm, 9.45 Anjan Theatre, Magadi Road- 10.30 am, 1.30 pm Innovative Multiplex, Marathahalli- 12.45 pm, 7.45 INOX, JP Nagar Central- 10.30 am, 9.40 pm INOX, Magrath Road, Garuda Mall- 10.05 am, 6 pm INOX, Malleswaram, Mantri Mall10.10 am, 6.10 pm Manasa Digital 2K Cinemas- 11 am, 2 pm Q Cinemas, ITPL, Whitefiled- 10 am, 6.30 pm Sri Srinivasa Theatre- 11.30 am, 2.30 pm Gopalan

Cinemas, Mysore Road- 2.50 pm PVR, Koramangala- 10 am, 3.55 pm  Table No. 21 Hindi The film is about a couple who live a simple life. They are ecstatic to have won a vacation to Fiji. Their excitement doubles when they learn that they can win loads of money by playing a simple game of telling the truth. As the game begins they realise that they are not just playing for money but are actually playing for their lives.

Directed by Aaditya Dutt, the film stars Rajeev Khandelwal, Tena Desae, Paresh Rawal and Asheesh Kapur. Rex Theatre- 11 am, 7.45 pm INOX, JP Nagar Central10.05 am, 12.25 pm, 2.45, 5.05, 7.25, 9.45 Innovative Multiplex, Marathahalli- 11 am, 3.30 pm, 7.45, 10 Fame Lido, Off MG Road- 10.10 am, 12.30 pm 2.50, 5.10 7.30, 9.50 Gopalan Mall, Mysore Road - 10 am, 3.05pm, 7.45  Rajdhani Express Hindi The film is about Keshav, a middle class man who wants to break free from the shadow of a gun runner who is also his godfather, and wants to lead a normal and dignified life. In order to do so he steals a bag of arms and boards the Rajdhani Express from Delhi to Mumbai in the hope of leading a better life. Little does he know that this is a trap set for him. The film marks the debut of tennis player Leander Paes and stars Jimmy Shergill, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Puja Bose, Sayali Bhagat and Gulshan Grover in the lead roles. Innovative Multiplex, Marathahalli- 12 pm, 2.30, 7.30, 10 Fame Forum Value Mall, Whitefield- 10 am, 3.35

pm, 9.10 Fame Lido, MG Road10.55 am, 3.55 pm, 9.15 Q Cinemas, ITPL, Whitefield10.10 am, 3.20 pm, 7.10 Cinepolis, Bannerghatta Road1.15 pm, 9.45 Gopalan Cinemas, Mysore Road- 2.40 pm, 9.45 INOX, JP Nagar10.45 am, 9.40 pm INOX, Mallehwaram, Mantri Mall9.25 pm  The Impossible English The movie is based on the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Maria and Henri along with their three sons are looking forward to spending their vacations in Thailand. But on December 26 morning, as the family is relaxing a huge wave rides up to their hotel. Maria and her family face the darkest hours of their lives. Based on a true story, The Impossible is the unforgettable account of a family caught in the mayhem. Directed by AJ Bayona, it stars Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland and Samuel Joslin in the lead. Cinepolis, Bannerghatta Road10 am, 12.20 pm, 2.40, 5, 9 INOX, Magrath Road- 10am, 2.50 pm, 6.25, 9.35 INOX, Malleshwaram Mantri Mall- 10 am, 2.40 pm, 7.25, 9.45

 Care for puppies? Start your year with a good deed and adopt a puppy. As many as 25 Indian puppies will be up for adoption this weekend. You will be required to carry documents showing your address and age proof. An adoption fee of Rs 500 will be collected from those who adopt a puppy and this will help the organisation foster more pups. Walk in empty handed and walk out with a smile on your face as you give shelter to a homeless pup. Sankey Tank, Malleshwaram, Opposite Ayyappa Temple, 6 am to 2 pm 9986413916

talk|10 jan 2013|



When you ‘lose’ love Way of Budo 15 In the budo view of life, love cannot fail, simply because its unconditional, says Sensei Avinash Subramanyam

efore we talk about a lost love or ‘love failure’ how many of us really understand what love is? Often, what goes by the name of love is a fleeting sentiment between two people that fizzles out once the initial excitement is over. If you have been in such a relationship and experienced a break up, here are a few things you ought to know. * All too often, the tendency is to blame the other person; don't. Ask where you went wrong. Introspect, but in the light of truth, and not with your ego. If it was you who were at fault, then accept the fact that the other person deserved better. Be graceful and pray that all goes well for the other. * Know that a break up is better than a bad relationship. Let go happily-it is better for both of you, and always preferable to having a psychological breakdown. * If your partner is thinking of another person, let go. Don’t be possessive. Remember, what is not yours is not yours. Love is a matter of the heart, and not subject to rules or propriety. If you still find the breakup


painful, don't hesitate to discuss it with friends and family. Be with people, try not to be alone. Have fun (eat, drink, watch movies), even if you have to force yourself in the beginning. Pray if inclined to. Remember there’s no healer like Time.

The budo view of love In budo, love cannot fail simply because it is unconditional. It is only a giving, and not a taking. Love can find no fault, and knows no jealousy. It is not subject to the mood or the time either. For instance, you have organised a birthday party for your lover with much effort, but at the last moment she says she has to go somewhere with a friend. But the next day, she's ready and wants to go out with you, and you feel the same exhilaration with which you looked forward to the party. Only this is love, something which only a few are capable of. Love remains, irrespective of everything, even if the other does not love you. In this sense 'love failure' is an oxymoron because love can never fail. If its failure it's not love. Does this sound idealistic? Perhaps, but only that is love. If you love and

feed stray cats and birds, do you expect them to reciprocate? Only that is true. The rest is mixed up with interest, security, ego and pride. There are no inhibitions in love. You give all you have to offer, and accept all that comes your way. And because the act of giving makes what's given beautiful, you do not even twitch at the 'unpleasant' or 'ugly.' Think of all those true stories about love during war times; there's nothing pretty about the circumstances of those people's lives; and yet it's all beautiful and true. But in a world that is too materialistic, and which insists on give and take, such love is difficult to fathom. Love is a free fall. It is like sky diving, where you know there's a chance the chute might not open, but you still do it for the pure exhilaration. Love can make a mechanic working on a greasy oil-spilt floor love a job that otherwise seems a drag. It can make a soldier take 20 bullets and die with a silly smile. Inevitably, love is onesided because no two people can love each other equally, no two human beings are alike. Hence, to extend the sky diving analo-

gy, love is knowing that the chute may not open. To love is to accept that the other person might walk away, and still continue to love. Only then is it real. Love is the flip side of death. Paradoxically, when you move closer to death, you get to know love better-it's like the yin and yang. Both are acts of surrendering; both require you to cross worldly barriers; both are ultimate truths but lie on opposite sides. They represent the balance of life through opposites. Whether it was the great swordsman Miyamoto Musashi or other great martial artists I have known, at the end of their life journeys—which earlier involved injuring or killing others—they always gave up the sword up to embrace love. That was also the time when they moved closer to death. This love-death that comes from great strength is not to be confused with suicides committed for love. Suicide comes with ego, weakness, insecurity and not understanding the depth of life. The former is akin to a saintly disregard of the body that can only come with a great understanding of life.




Recall starting posture from earlier columns—stand erect with feet shoulder width apart and parallel to each other. Back straight and body relaxed. Bring left foot to centre of body in a movement to lift the 2 & 3: Kick with your left leg ensuring its at the body centre. Lift only as much as possible. Stretch your foot and toes. Exhale while kicking. left leg in a circle.


Tuck in the knee as you bring left leg downwards. Inhale while tucking.


Bring left foot downward. Without touching the floor repeat the above steps 9 times. End in the starting posture with feet apart.

Perform the same movements 9 times with the right leg. This exercise relaxes the hip, stomach, thigh, knee and ankle joints. It also tones the thigh and leg muscles.


Mayhem at the city court halls


When assailants chased a man into the courtroom, even the magistrate took to his feet. An episode from the early days of the Bangalore underworld

t wasn't even half an hour since the court had assembled. A man rushed in, screaming, "Help me, save me. They are going to kill me!" The magistrate, who was till then conducting proceedings in all seriousness, ejected from his seat like a weak commoner. He was dumbstruck, and shivering. Three assailants wielding choppers came chasing the man. Lawyers stood up, many of us screaming. Thinking I should protect my senior Devadas, I went looking for him. He had already disappeared. The man seeking protection took shelter under the magistrates' bench. The bench clerk crawled under the table to protect himself. The magistrate was sweating. He was clueless how to stop the assailants from charging towards the bench. The public prosecutor, standing in


front of the magistrate, jumped up like a frightened little boy and fled. The magistrate followed him. We lawyers scampered to escape through the door. I suspected more attackers stood outside the court hall, and the other lawyers also thought the same. The magistrate was desperately knocking the doors of his chamber. The prosecutor, who had beaten the magistrate to get there, had latched it from inside. The magistrate was darting in every direction to find a safe place. Amidst the din, screams emanated from the court hall. I thought the assailants had committed a murder. Some young lawyers stood in the corridor. As I peeked into the court hall through a window, I saw the assailants hacking the man huddled under the bench. They were landing their choppers on his back and buttocks. The man was holding on to the bench clerk firmly,

crime folio

talk|10 jan 2013|


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


and the blows were landing on him, too. Their screams rent the air. We were in no position to protect them as we were unarmed. I was disgusted with my helplessness. "How civilian culture makes us impotent!" I wondered. For three assailants, we were more than 30. But even if we had been 300, we wouldn't have been able to face them. Trembling lawyers, not aware who the assailants were and why they were attacking the man in court, were busy protecting themselves. The magistrate must have locked himself in a fellow magistrate’s chamber. Suddenly, screams were heard from another court hall. I was mortified. "Something is going terribly wrong in the building," I thought. As we ran towards the fourth court hall, we saw lawyers scampering out. A man was brutally assaulted in front of the hall. The assailants, after the may-

memoir hem at the second and fourth court halls, jumped the compound wall and escaped into Cubbon Park as we looked on mutely. The office of the Director General of Police (DGP) is just a stone's throw from the magistrate court. Yet, despite the racket, not a single policeman had appeared on the scene. Soon, the lawyers assembled in a corner. All the judges had fled. Two lawyers came running towards us. "We went to the DGP's office, and told him about the incident. He was cold, as if this was no news," one of them said. On hearing

The terrified judge was knocking on the doors of his chamber, but a lawyer had latched himself inside this, the lawyers got annoyed. They started discussing the government's inefficiency. Some of us rushed to help the victims. By then, J Chandrashekariah, magistrate of the fourth metropolitan court, was recording the statement of a severely injured victim. Chandrashekariah was brave and honest. He was angry about the incident that took place right in front of his court. There was no other magistrate in sight. We made arrangements to send two of those injured, from the second and fourth halls, to the hospital. And we asked Chandrashekariah to take their statements in the hospital. None of those assaulted died. But no one remembered to sympathise with the bench clerk, who was also seriously injured. There were debates among lawyers over the lack security. What was the guarantee that what happened to the bench clerk would not

talk|30 jan 2013|

happen to a judge? How safe were the lawyers? What kind of security is the government providing? These were points we discussed. Someone told us that the magistrate and the public prosecutor were quarreling. We ran towards the second court hall. The magistrate was shouting at the public prosecutor: "How dare you lock yourself in my chamber? I was asking you to open it for me, and you didn't respond. What if those rowdies had attacked me? Why did you enter my chamber in the first place?" The public prosecutor was silent, happy he was saved; he didn't seem bothered about the scolding. Some lawyers came up with the suggestion that we boycott the courts till the government gave us proper security. Some senior lawyers were cynical, and they said, "The times are bad. People like us must not continue in the profession. This is a time for people who won't stop at anything." But who were the assailants? Why did they want to kill? Why were the police silent? The facts came out as we discussed the incident. The assailants were mercenaries hired by the underworld don Jayaraj. The victims were the members of a rival gang led by rowdy Vasu. There were no dons in Bangalore before Jayaraj set foot here. Petty rowdies, thieves, and robbers were all there were. Jayaraj had established a system parallel to the government. How was it possible? The then chief minister Devaraj Urs's son-in-law Nataraj was Jayaraj's godfather. And Urs was Nataraj's godfather. The police were helpless when it came to dealing with Jayaraj as he enjoyed political support. When the police had no guts to question Jayaraj, Vasu had taken him on. Theirs was war for supremacy in the underworld. The clash between

Jairaj and Vasu was in the air. They had booked cases against each other, and the cases were pending in the fourth magistrate's court. The neighborhood opposite to the Bangalore Corporation building was their battleground. Jayaraj had appointed his men to control neighbourhoods across the city, and they were the pillars of his empire. A majority of the gang war cases

between Jayaraj and Vasu had been registered at the Ulsoor Gate police station. The underworld attracted young men in those days, as it thrived under political patronge and had developed a strange aura. Misguided young boys believed that it was a great achievement to become a rowdy, and they strutted about like war heroes.


Urs supported the rowdies with his silent endorsement. There is no doubt Urs contributed immensely to the development of Karnataka, but at the same time, he allowed gangsters to thrive. This split personality of Urs remains a mystery to me to this day. (Translated by BV Shivashankar)


talk|10 jan 2013|

30 Prof Good Sense

 My husband and I were classmates. We have been married for eight years and have a five-year-old daughter. Last week, during dinner, he received a text message. He went up to the terrace to answer. Later I found that he had deleted the message. When I asked him about it, he told me that he has been helping a colleague who has a problem with her husband. I feel insecure. Shree, Mysore

Ask your husband about it gently. Simply fretting about it won't help. Many men often enjoy lending a shoulder to friends and colleagues, but that doesn’t mean they are planning to break their marriages. Don't panic. If your husband is evasive and you feel you have real cause to be suspicious, consider talking to the woman in question. Prof M Sreedhara Murthy teaches psychology at NMKRV First Grade College. He is also a well-known photographer. Mail queries to

talk the intelligent bangalorean’s must-read weekly

1st Cross

Talk’s weekly crossword for Bangaloreans who know their way about town __ ____ Basilica caught fire on Christmas eve (2,5) 17 Over one and a half tonnes of adulterated ____ made of urea was seized from a shop near Wilson Garden (6)



4 6

DOWN The high court has directed the state government to permit holding of marriage ceremonies at this venue till Jan 23rd (6,7) A doctor operating out of a hospital in this area was recently arrested for selling a 22 day old baby (11) ___ Waste: Recent health hazard for the city (8) Satya Sai Baba Ashram at Brindavan

(10) 7 ___ Restaurant : Rather upmarket restaurant on MG Road (5) 8 Area recently in the news when a 20year-old boy murdered his alcoholic mother (9) 10 Union Minister from Karnataka facing charges for allegedly misappropriating funds from Amanath Cooperative Bank (6,4) 12 BJP recently sacked ___ BSY supporters (6) 14 According to a recent report nearly ____ thousand constables are wasted as orderlies in the state (5)

How do advertisers talk to Bangalore’s most intelligent readers?

Last week’s solution Across: 2 N Rangaswamy, 5 Rockline, 8 C Manjula, 9 Coorg, 14 Eshwarappa, 15 Siddaiah, 16 Gudavi, 17 A S Murthy.


4 5

Across A security guard was found murdered in the room of a pizza outlet in this area recently (10) The city will host an international ____ film fest from Jan 9th to 13th (8) According to a recent survey every ____ th Bangalorean owns a four-wheeler (5)


State on our north-west border (3) 9 Theatre at SG Palaya (9) 11 Market near Brigade Road (7) 13 Beach in South Karnataka (9) 15 Home & Transport minister in the Karnataka Cabinet (1,5) 16 Thousands of worshippers had a narrow escape when a chariot at

Down: 1 Power cuts, 2 Nandini, 3 Goonda Act, 4 Mandur, 6 Gopalakrishnan, 7 Agumbe, 9 Chinnaswamy, 10 Pattalamma, 11 Cariappa, 12 Mallige, 13 Madira.

They call these numbers Abhay 95388 92618 Mithun 98864 69787

talk|10 jan 2013|

Phuge! The man with the golden shirt

Desperate measures

The stereotype of the shady real estate baron with a more-thanordinary love for gold is common, but Pune-based Datta Phuge has taken it to another level, by acquiring a gold shirt made of 3.5 kg of gold for Rs 1.27 crore. Dubbed 'Gold Man' by the local media, 42-year-old Phuge says he was attracted to gold since he was 20 and has acquired gold ornaments since then. He says his jeweller suggested the idea first (naturally). The glittering 'shirt' was created by 15 goldsmiths from West Bengal,

Till this week, Suzanna Reddy was just one among Bollywood’s many NRI hopefuls, but overnight she has transformed into a crusader against rape. At least, that seems to be the plan, going by a series of stills from her recent photoshoot doing the rounds. In them, the modelturned-actress can be seen wearing placards that carry prominent antirape slogans such as these: ‘You rape. We’ll chop’. The pictures also carry the title of her forthcoming debut movie, The City That Never Sleeps, and not very subtly either.

Meat-eating harp Well, not exactly. It may look like a delicate musical instrument, but is actually a nasty piece of work that loses no time in making a meal of tiny crustaceans unfortunate enough to cross its path. The bizarre deep-sea creature was unknown until a team of researchers discovered it recently off the California coast while exploring the sea bed with a remotely operated submersible vehicle. Scientifically called Chondrocladia lyra (not a very musical name for something named after a lyre) it has since been dubbed the 'harp sponge' after its shape.

These creatures practise their villainous ways by clinging to the muddy sediment on the ocean floor and letting ocean currents wash their hapless prey into their deceptively kind-looking limbs. We must say that as adventurous armchair naturalists who have seen all there is to see in Mother Nature (or on National Geographic channel, at least), we were impressed to find that the Old Lady still has some tricks up her sleeve.

engaged by the jeweller, who worked for 18 hours a day for two weeks to get it ready. As ordinary buttons wouldn't do for such a shirt, the jeweller used Swarovski crystals. The shirt also comes with a 325-gram gold belt. Phuge's profile is all too familiar: he has a significant 'land bank,' runs a 'co-operative credit society' and 'non-banking financial institutions,' and his wife is a municipal corporator. In other words, everything you'd expect of a man who owns a gold shirt.

Cheap stunt? Yes. Very. Is anyone complaining? No.


TALK JANUARY 10,2013  

The intelligent Bangalorean's must read weekly.