This is about everything that is evolving around us with time .... the changing trends .... their highs and lows .... The changes that are making an impact on our lives .... From technology to social, economic and political issues ... Some books, some sports, some personal anecdotes.
Subscribe to this blog
Follow by Email
'Whistleblowers' of Bangalore Metro
Guess, who is the most insecure person in Bangalore Metro. Definitely not the passengers; it's the private security guards, who control the crowds at the stations. It may sound as an exaggeration, but their fears are all too real.
What the guards are constantly worried about is -- not if someone is sneaking in an explosive but -- whether someone will just fall off the platform on to the electrified rails, or if someone thinks Metro station is just like any other railway station and decides to cross over to the other platform by cutting across the rails.
The fear is writ quite large on the guards' faces. And, it takes an annoyingly audible expression in the form of frequent blowing of the whistle to keep people away from the edge of the platform. Quite irritated, and puzzled as to why they should do it even if there are only half a dozen people on the platform, and none of them are anywhere close to the edge, I have been trying to understand the rationale behind this exercise.
And, I have consistently got the same answer from the guards: "Sir, just imagine if one person just slips off the platform, falls on the rails and gets electrocuted... I will be held responsible. I will lose my job, and I don't know what all will follow... It's my responsibility to make sure that such a tragedy won't ever happen."
On a serious note, such responses have been an eye-opener. One, how much Metro values human lives; two, the commitment to work and the sense of accountability of people who are generally the butt of jokes and considered pushovers in the ranks of hierarchy.
A BETTER WAY
The dangers are indeed real. But I only wish Bangalore Metro went about this important regimen of securing the safety of the passengers in a better way. The only indication now anyone has about the lurking danger is a note on the rail written in thin, small, black letters in yellow background, which doesn't send any message to our normally milling, undisciplined and chaotic people of the need to stay away from the edge of the platform. So, let there be enough number of visible, sign-boards in bold letters at strategic points warning passengers about the danger.
Two, let the yellow line which people aren't supposed to cross, be drawn farther away, may be around 3 feet, from the edge. Now the gap is about a foot. On busy days, when the guards walk along the yellow line, pushing people back, there's the real danger of, ironically, the guard himself slipping and falling on the electrified rails. This is a fact some of them dreadfully realise.
Three, let there be a 'Do Not Cross' warning in big, bold, red letters in Kannada, Hindi and English written along the yellow line.
Four, and not the least, let us confer some amount of intelligence and common sense on the average Indian, who will surely follow the rules -- he only needs to be told why he should.
Body search and screening of luggage for explosives are not commonly done on the Metro in the US, Singapore, Japan and many other countries, except when there's a security alert, or as part of a security drill. Such screenings aren't done on train or bus stations in India either. But that's not to argue against the system in Indian Metro stations. Any process that makes our lives safer should definitely be practised.
But, many of the guards seem to be poorly trained in the way they go about their job. There are a few who actually rub the detectors hard all over the body. There are a few others, who stand just at the entrance and thrust the detectors on you, out of the blue, within a few seconds of you entering the station.
I won't blame them; they just need to be trained in non-intrusive ways of search. They also need to be trained in better body language and courtesies. The looks and gestures of some of them are as if we passengers are criminals. The security guards, who do the same job, at star hotels in Bangalore come across much better. They are far more courteous, and guests hardly even feel having been frisked.
This rant is not to paint Bangalore Metro in a bad light. The trains are punctual, the environs are spotlessly clean, the announcements are audible and easy to understand, there are plenty well-positioned signboards that ensure you won't get lost; and the personnel at the ticket counter and customer care are kind and helpful. Bangalore Metro is doing an excellent job, and it deserves all support. (Crossposted from Kaleidoscope)
Medical literature says that you must suspect dengue if you have fever accompanied any two of the following symptoms: severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands or rash. But she didn't have any of them; only fever.
Her illness gave me an opportunity to learn about the disease. Here are some points. I have sourced the following from doctors and web pages of recognized health institutions.
(A diary of my wife's case is below the FAQs)
What is dengue?
It is a viral infection caused by the bite of a mosquito (female Aedes aegypti mosquito), which has previously bitten a dengue patient. The disease is transmitted this way: patient-mosquito-healthy person. The symptoms surface 3 to 14 days after the bite.
When should I suspect it could be dengue?
If you have fever that doesn't go with paracetamol tablets within 2 days, go to a doctor. You may or may not have other symptoms like h…
Today is World Environment Day. One of the subjects commonly discussed is the loss of greenery.
We all feel bad when a tree, big or small, is axed to make space for anything -- be it a shopping complex, residential layout, railway or road bridge, Metro Rail or children's park. Opposition to these projects are instantaneous when trees have to be sacrificed. Protests are staged, roads are blocked, shutdowns enforced and litigations initiated in courts. It's almost made out that these development projects are merely an excuse to have the trees cut!
For good measure, parallely, alternative models of development are indeed discussed. But often it's too late to undo whatever has been initiated and bring in the alternative. Finally, these projects get the go-ahead, after enormous amounts of time, energy and money are wasted.
For a moment, look at it from this angle. The roads and railway tracks we travel, the apartments that we live in, the theatres where we enjoy the movies, the sh…
On November 8, just when a large number of Americans were queuing up to cast their votes in, what would turn out to be a historic presidential election, here in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise and unscheduled appearance on national television at 8 pm, in what would turn out to be a startling economic policy pronouncement that made as much as 86 per cent of India's currency invalid.
His aim was to wipe out the massive amounts of counterfeit banknotes in the denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 1000; and also to render invalid huge stacks of these currency that have been set apart to fuel unlawful practices like street protests, terror activities and corruption.
Modi, who has survived cataclysmic social upheavals in Gujarat as its chief minister, knows well not only the power of symbolism but also that for anything to have a lasting impact it has to be swift and strong. The November 8 'surgical strike' on people who are wrecking India's economy and finan…