Anand questioned on about his citizenship …

When I read about this in The Hindu today morning, I was like which moron has to guts to do this after Aruna Anand faxed his passport …

Kapil Sibal is one of the current breed of politician, I find refreshing. He is a politician but at least he   acts with common sense and talks or argues with some substance, how many ministers have you heard of apologise for a mistake their ministry committed …

Being a proud Chennaite/  Madrasi, I have been keenly following Anand since my schools day and when I lived in Hyderabad in 1994, I travelled all the up to Sanghi nagar to watch Anand Vs Gata Kamsky match, which Anand disappointingly lost after being in a commanding position … to this Day this ranks as one of the most disappointing sporting event that I participated / followed.

But I did get a glimpse of Anand a few feet away that day as he was getting into his car hurriedly! Anand was a trail blazer who has fought against Soviet and its satellite countries that where hell bent on winning championships by hook or crook …


Not Following traffic rules – I

Driving on the wrong side of the road

Folks who live in my apartment, to save about  50 meter drive around drive their two wheelers (sometime even cars) on the wrong side of the road. I keep wondering why people do this, often times they do this with young kids, they are not worried about setting bad examples to Children

I stopped driving more than 50KMPH inside city after my son pointed out I was driving more than posted speed limit ( I bargained with him on the fact that 40 KMPH in Anna salai is ridiculously low). I try and drive within the limit even when I drive alone.

Also whenever I drive past the stop-line on a traffic light my kids remind me I need to stop near the stop-line.

One of my Friends at work, Alex was saying that there seems to be a big chunk of folks who are like minded and frustrated with other not following rules on road but we are not doing anything to influence a change. I could not agree more with Alex but will I do anything about it ? Time should answer …

International School causing traffic Jams

Super rich and ex-pats in Chennai send their kids to International school in Taramani, there is literally a non stop stream of cars in the morning and evening that they cause lots of chaos in that area.

I sometimes wonder why this school does not offer premium transportation as part of it services. Air-conditioned, supper comfortable Vans  / min-buses which securely pick the kids from their homes or Apartment blocks and drops them back. Even in a conservative estimate if two kids travel in a car, a 16 seater Van / minibus can remove 8 cars from the road! My Guess is god chuck of these kids are resident in Adyar, Beasant nagar, Along ECR, Kotturpuram, Raja Annamalai puram etc, so easily number of cars can be halfed.

Most of these vehicles are driven by drivers, who park their vehicles in haphazard manner, so of them even wait near the school for the return trip !

Inner ring road project progress …

I after a long time cycled for about 90 minutes today and went and personally inspected the inner ring road work from Velachery MRTS to GST road (near North eastern tip of Chennai airport). I was able to cycle upto Thillai Ganga nagar subway! last 100 m of road upto Mount-Medavakam road is not completed (I was surprised that they do not complete the road before they raise the pillar for MRTS in the middle, which mean the road after its laid remains in good condition, some common sense at work!).

The low bridge over Adamabakkam lake is half complete but they have sand road along it which is ok to commute on cycle! I am looking forward to get to Airport using this road in early 2011 – I expect one side of the two bridges to be completed and all roads laid at that point. The other portion will wait for MRTS work to complete in the middle …

It baffles me why they are not planning on building a flyover at the point where the Inner Ring road intersects Mount-Medavakkam road, I can clearly visualize that spot becoming a choke point couple of years down the road.  I have been wondering how I can influence planning of these projects. It was very apparant when they Built OMR flyovers were required in atleast 5 or 6 intersections but they did not plan it as part of initial work (even after hearing horror stories of commute to Electronics city in bangalore)

Here is my long history of  fascination about Inner Ring road ( maybe all things Chennai …)

I grow-up in Ashok nagar chennai and I still remember there were times when we would go to vadapalani temple (in early 1980s) and my dad would point at some portion of road tell me  this is where inner ring road is coming  and its going to connect Guindy and Madhavaram. I think for most part City planning agencies stopped function in late 1970s and failed to provide stewardship for a metropolis that was waiting to grow.  Lots of projects (Inner ring road, MRTS, rail connectivity between Guindy & Villivakkam) that were planned at that stage was setting-up Chennai to be pretty organized  place.  But pretty much the agency MMDA went to sleep, what resulted was haphazard growth of sub-urban area.

Finally somewhere in early 1990 ( I was not living in Chennai between 1988-94, this got completed in that time frame) most parts of inner ring got laid out and bus service like 70A from Tambaram to Avandi got started. It was not until maybe 5 years back that I learned that  the inner ring road project was meant to be from Thiruvanmiyur to Ennore and the portion from Guindy to Thirvanmiyur was never completed ( But thankfully they had completed the Velacherry – Taramani Link road which was a component). My guess is by the time they were about to move the sub-urban area Adambakkam, Velachery became populate and people lacked political will to complete it. Since I live in velacherry now I track this project even more keenly.

I found a more details about Inner Ring road in Wiki,_Chennai

Homeless in Chennai

Whenever I pass thru mostly migrant constructions worker who live in streets of Chennai, I have wondered why cannot we do something about this but I could never come-up something I thought was a practical solution and would always get on with whatever keeps in occupied on any given day.

Then about month back some idea originated and I have been thinking about it more,  I think we can let them live more dignified if we can do the following

  • Basically Dormitory type of accomodation,  with minimal storage in one end (cupboard with lock)
  • These are long halls imaging twin beds stacked against wall on both sides with about 4 foot walking space in between and U shaped of shower curtain that can be drawn out to get some privacy during night.
  • Toilets  and bath and wash area adequate to take care of residents
  • Common community kitchen where breakfast is served and lunch is packed and dinner is also served – these need not be fancy ones but clean & simple food (that is prepared by folks who come from same region as workers)
  • During the day time the same area can be used as school for kids, basically community learning that prepares kid to attend more formal schools latter in their life
  • Government subsidy – PDS portion and employment assistance portion used to assist them and make this place run
  • There should be health assistant available to refer sick folks
  • There can be a micro saving booth that can be manned in the mornings and evening, that can  have simple saving account, accept deposits, do money transfers,  direct deposit of pay etc.
  • These folk live no more than 5-10 kms from their work place
  • There can TV in common place and also adult education for those who desire
  • There can be programs to figure out if these folks can be given more skilled training instead of being construction workers can they trained as pluming / electrical assistants, can women be trained to be tailors etc …
  • This can be thought of as holding place from where these folks can graduate to step higher in economic  ladder

I hope to think about this more and get back with update latter …


Yesterday was Friendship day, I have been wanting to write about what it means to be a Friend.

I generally hate commercialization of these days/events, so I have developed a healthy filter for these. If you respect your mother and father and make them feel special everyday, you do not need a particular day to celebrate.

here is my concept of “friend” –

  • Once you become a Friend, you remain a friend for the lifetime of person
  • Accept the failings, short comings but you do not have to support Friends (if it clashes with your moral grounding or otherwise) when they go amiss. At the sametime you do not to disown them.
  • Even if a friend  moves on or stops talking, they cannot take the shared experiences and your memories. they are yours to cherish for ever.
  • Everyone of us changes, so why do we expect our friends to be same for ever ? One has to remain true to self and not worry about what your friends do or do not do.
  • Difference between classmate and friend, sometimes folks confuse the two – classmate is a special but forced relationship, all classmates need not become friends …

I took more than a week to complete this post …