Common Courtesy When Taking The Bus

One of the many things I have noticed while riding in the buses in the city. People, most people do not care about what sort of bother they do to others in the bus. From leaning hard with their backs on your hand when you are holding onto the post, to squeezing in to their “preferred” position at your expense so that now you have to move or stand awkwardly close to them (which they may not have an issue with but you will) to putting their arms or upper body as well too close to you. Again, being inconsiderate seems to be the norm here.

When moving away from the door towards the middle of the bus which has a lot of room might make sense to you and me, it seems to escape most of these morons. Standing near the door to get the maximum view and air and proving a nuisance to anyone who is trying to get into the bus at the next stops, is so common over here. As is talking loudly to their friend in the bus or on their mobiles. Another irritant is knocking your hand that is holding the bar above while you are standing and they want to move forward – what manners did their parents teach them? None, apparently!

Though falling asleep in their seats and becoming a bother to you as they move about involuntarily can be forgiven, a little consideration for the stranger next to you is not too much to ask. And keeping you hand up as you sit too close – none of us want to smell the stench of your armpit buddy! I know they won’t change, having grown up without a thought about other people cannot be untaught as easily as it is to raise ignorant and disrespectful people. But if you read this perhaps you will think about it the next time you take the bus.

We Built This City

What do you love most about the city / town / place that you live in? What do you like the least about it? If you were mayor, what would be the most important problem you’d tackle? How would you tackle it?

I don’t think one person can make that much change in a place like mine but I’d give it a go. The city can be bustling and crowded and alive but post 8:30pm-9pm the city goes dark and almost dead. Night life is almost non-existent over here. Yes there are some people still hanging around and going to bars and eateries but overall it is a sad sight to see. And that is because we do not have public bus services running past 8:30-9pm. Hence those who do not have a vehicle of their own will not venture out too late, especially not many women.

I would try and get that rectified. Increase the number of safe & secure public bus services running till 1 or 2 am. More people can safely venture out on the streets and have a good time. Seeing more people out at night, the shops, hotels and bars can also keep later hours. Increase police presence ofcourse but once this becomes the norm even that won’t be required as much, due to the fact that there will be a lot more people and families especially out at night and it will be a lot more safer.

I would also want more public toilets (port-a-lets), rest rooms, guesthouses for out of towners, safe houses for abused women, dog & cat shelters, homes for the homeless and all that. Food & soup kitchens for the homeless. I know it is asking for a lot over here. But we need this. Our people need this.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

……And The Power Goes Out, Again!!!

It was a frustrating morning. From 3:45 am the power has gone out 6 times today. Leaving me a hot and sweaty mess on the bed. I haven’t gotten much sleep since and I’ve been whining on Facebook, Twitter & whatsapp left, right & center. After the beef ban, perhaps electricity is the next to go on the chopping block! Here are some of my rants:

“Wonderful. Power goes out twice in the early hours of the morning. Once at 3:45 am and comes back at 5am and then again 30 mins later. Just got the power back on again. Haven’t been able to go back to sleep. Hot and sweaty and my sheets are sticking to my legs. My pillow is wet as is my head. Fucking humidity. Fucking KSEB morons! Fucking everything. And I am tired and sleep deprived!”

“Power goes out for the 4th or 5th time this morning and it’s only 9:05 am! FANFUCKINGTASTIC!”

“Waiting for the fucking power to come back on!” – on Foursquare!

“And the power goes out again! For the 6th time this morning!
Did the Indian government ban electricity too? I mean, electricity is not as per Indian culture right?”

“Pretty soon we will ban Western style toilets – #Breaking News, Indian government declares proper toilets are anti-Indian! “We only need a hole in the ground and a large leaf! Just like ancient Indians did!” was the statement.”

Night Sky Fireball Update

Here is an update on the ‘fireball’ spotted in the night sky on the 27th of February:

A suspected depression or an impact crater, believed to be caused by a ‘fireball’ spotted on Friday night in several districts of Kerala, has been located in Karimalloor village in Ernakulam district today. The disaster management team which rushed to the spot suspects the crater could be caused due to a meteorite fall. “The samples collected by the revenue department have been sent for further verifications to GSI”, said Sekhar Kuriakose, heading the disaster management team.

Residents of Thrissur, Ernakulam, Fort Kochi and Kollam tweeted seeing the ‘huge fireball’ between 10 pm to 10.30 pm. According to the residents, a flash was seen across the sky and few cents of land in 2 different locations of Ernakulam district where the crater was noticed were also found charred. The locals said they felt tremors and witnessed sounds with the passing of the ‘object’. However, authorities of the Disaster Management team dismissed speculation that the ‘fireball’ could be celestial debris, as the consortium of space agencies closely monitors any space related activities and would have notified the management of any such appearance.

Mr Kuriakose even dismissed the ‘object’ as anything related to ‘metal’ as Air Traffic Control radar system would have recorded it. Meanwhile, science author and cosmology researcher, Rajagopal Kamath, said that the ‘fireball’ could be “a rocket or satellite debris. It also could be stony chondrite meteorites as in many places people have claimed that they have seen a bluish flame, which is peculiar to any meteorites.”

Latest update : IT WAS a fragment of a meteor!!

Bills & Haircut On A Hot, Sweaty Day

Oh what a hot and miserable day it was outside. All I had to do was go to pay my phone bill, then to Palarivattom to pay my ISP’s bill and get a haircut and that was enough in this heat. Oh I must have sweated buckets as I went through the 2 hours or so. I left home at about 11:30 perhaps and took an auto to the Vodafone office just above Ashish supermarket. I paid off my bill and then walked over to the bus stop and entered a Kakkanad bus. It was crowded and stuffy and although I was standing near the windows, still hot. I finally got down at Palarivattom, after a delay due to traffic and the road work going on and walked up to the Asianet office.

I waited in line at the payment counter for a few minutes, long enough to heard one customer’s rant and complaint about his bill blah blah blah. The need to get their offices sorted out, things are so cramped there. Once I paid it I walked back to find the bustop and got a cold lemonade to quench my thirst and help me beat the heat before I took a ride on a Padma bus. I got down at Padma and went to my current barbershop and got my long-ish hair cut short. To see all that hair on the floor and the bald patch on my head – why the fuck do some of us men have to go bald? What the fuck is up with that? Anyways, I was on my way back when I started feeling hunger pangs and went to McDonalds and got me a Double Masala Grilled Chicken with fries and a coke. And then I came back home.

The “Kiss Of Love” Movement

It all started in the city of Calicut (Kozhikode in the local language). The “kiss of love” protest was planned after Hindu activists vandalised a cafe in Calicut city last week saying students were using the place to date. A disgusting report on a local News channel (who should be ashamed of themselves for creating a sensational type report) deploring the newer coffeeshops that have opened up near the beach area, a popular hangout for the youth of that city, secretly recorded young lovers (I assume that these are college age and perhaps just out of college kids) meeting in the private area behind the cafe “Down Town” and engaged in kissing and hugging. After the report was aired on tv, goondas from the Yuva Morcha group assaulted the cafe and it’s owners, causing damage to property as well.

Just days after that activists formed a small group and gathered massive support online via Twitter and their Facebook page. Their plan was to gather at the Marine Drive in Kochi (formerly Cochin) city on Sunday and kiss in protest. Dating and public displays of affection are still largely taboo in India. People of all ages, income brackets and ideologies soon joined in and supported the cause and made plans to meet up at Marine Drive. However, organizers failed to reach the proposed protest site after being taken into police custody as a preventive measure to ensure violence didn’t break out between them and hardline Hindus and Muslims. They were bundled into police vans about a kilometer away from Marine Drive, the proposed protest site. K.G. James, Kochi’s police commissioner, said 32 protesters were taken into police custody as a preventative measure and released a couple of hours later. They were not charged with any offence. Protests inspired by the event in Kerala were also held in other parts of India including Mumbai and Hyderabad on Sunday.

Meanwhile, organizers said their personal Facebook accounts were temporarily suspended and a page created to garner support was removed for several hours on Monday. The page has amassed over 74,000 likes since it was created last week. By late afternoon on Monday, it was accessible again. Soon after the original page disappeared, a replacement page was created and included a post containing a line by Chile’s Nobel-Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda that read, “You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.” Facebook said the page received a large number of reports for spam and that’s why it was taken down. Users can report any page created on Facebook and can select options including “It’s harassing me or someone I know”, “I just don’t like it” or “Something else” when lodging a complaint. The page was restored back in a few hours.

This event may have had met with a “failure” in reaching it’s meeting point and having the organizers taken in by the cops (while the violent activists were roaming freely) but it succeeded in lighting a fire in the belly of most free thinking people in the state and elsewhere. Similar protests and actions are being organized in solidarity and we will see a sea change in the nation. No one has the right to beat up people who express their affection by kissing or hugging and no groups have the right to enforce their so called “morals” on the rest of us. Disgusting comments by backward thinking people – “If it was my sister seen kissing in the cafe then we would kill her” – screamed on comment on Youtube! The rights of the girls/women in her own life be damned! What do these people expect – that their sisters are only to be kept at home, learn cooking and then marry & have sex & later babies with the guy that their parents choose? She is to have no say in the matter at all? Thinking like this should be left in the 16th century where it belongs. I can’t believe this nation came up with the Kamasutra!

The Supermarket Debacle

Well time for a mystery. I don’t know what the issue is but there is a problem with my area that it seems that supermarkets are doomed here! And I just mean a small section of Kacheripady which is an area in the city of Cochin. See I live in an apartment building about 5 minutes away from the main road and we have some shops in our junction and walkable area nearby. But the supermarket situation has always puzzled me. When we first moved here back in late 2007 there was a small supermarket two buildings in front of us. That was convenient! Now I mean a rather small supermarket, more like a small shop but they had most of the things that we’d want, except for fresh fish or meat and most vegetables but since we have door to door fresh vegetable delivery operating in the area as well as a small grocery store opposite the supermarket, it was quite ideal for us.

Then Varkey’s, a then popular supermarket chain in Kerala opened their store nearby and the supermarket started getting less and less business. 3 years later, it closed down as the owners, a couple in their late 60s were unable to keep a profit. A guy who used to work for them a few years earlier said that he would take over the lease and continue the business so they handed it over to him. He ran it for a year and a half before he moved it to a similarly sized store just a couple of buildings down the road. Still quite convenient so no one complained. But it was quite obvious that he was having trouble getting regular customers and hence also having trouble keeping the shelves stocked. A year or so later he shut the store down. By 2010, Varkeys began having severe financial trouble due to mismanagement and they started closing down several of their store including the one closest to me.

In 2011 the same guy restarted the supermarket again but at a smaller scale and continued his business at the first location. Yet the rental costs itself was very difficult for him and he wasn’t getting much business, plus his stocks were bare minimum, and he had to close it down yet again in 2012. Now the store has been split up into 3 to become a beauty parlour and a men’s barber shop and small stall that sells cigarettes, snacks and juice! I heard that the second guy who ran the supermarket is a partner in the combined 3 businesses. Meanwhile sometime earlier this year (I think 2-3 months back) a new supermarket opened up in the same location as the Varkeys and they seem to be doing alright. I myself have only been there one but will be using them more often. I shall even take a video of the store. But I wonder why the heck supermarkets have had such a big curse in a residential area that also has a few businesses and other types of stores nearby!

Welcome, Stranger

Think about the town where you currently live: its local customs, traditions, and hangouts, its slang. What would be the strangest thing about this place for a first-time visitor?

For a first time visitor, and for the purpose of this post I shall assume that he/she is a foriegner, there will be quite a few things that will seem strange or odd about Cochin.

  • The humidity. Yeah people, on a hot & sweaty day (mid February till late April or even June) you’re not gonna like it. Plenty of water is advisable.
  • The monsoon. And when it rains, it pours. And we complain that it’s raining a lot during the monsoon, which cools things down quite a bit but we still complain. And when it’s not raining we complain that it’s too hot and we need some rain!
  • Harthals! Most people outside India and even outside the state are puzzled with the phenomenon of the harthals – which is a general strike (no shops, no public transport and no business are allowed to operate). These years it lasts for 12  hours when it used to be 24 hrs earlier. Usually started by an opposing political party as a protest against a new rule or change in rule or some controversy.
  • On really hot afternoons, most of the people drink boiling hot tea! At 3pm! Even I am stumped at this!
  • The traffic and the roads. And how much filth we dump onto the sides of the roads.

There’s quite a lot of things we do that will seem strange but these are the ones I could think up right now.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

My Biryani Woes

A shame on the hoteliers in Cochin (I can’t say for the rest of Kerala) that the status of biryani in our fair city is pathetic. Once upon a time, which is just 10 plus years ago, you could be assured of being served a very good biryani at a lot of restaurants in the city. However the trend has become that what you get when you order a chicken biryani is cheap quality boiled basmathi rice with a few cinnamon sticks, a clove or two and chicken masala or chicken roast that has been cooked separately and then hastily added to your plate over the rice. Add in an egg and then they charge you a minimum of Rs. 130-150 for the dish! Highway robbery!

Back in the mid to late 90s I have tasted so many really good, well prepared chicken biryanis. There was a small restaurant in Ravipuram, which is where NIIT is, called Tima where a bunch of us would opt to have lunch at regularly. The choice almost every 4 or 5 days would be biryani and we would order Tima’s chicken biryani which they served with little chopped up pineapples to offset the spiciness of the masalas. Wow, they had a good biryani and yet there were a really small, low brow place. Many other places have good variety of biryani. But as I have stated early in January, what we get now is a bland mix of stuff.

Even Ceylon Bake house, once certain to give you good biryani paled in comparison to what they used to serve. Thin pieces of chicken that tasted like they were just dipped in boiling water and mixed with some gravy. I’ve tried them at Velocity & Coffee Beans – they don’t make the grade! Atleast Sea Park in Kalamassery had a decent Hyderabadi Dum Biryani which I really liked and had on many occasions during the 4 years that I worked in an office near it. I can’t remember the last place that I have had a decent biryani since 2006 other than Sea Park. It was so bad that for the last couple of years I have opted not to try biryanis unless someone else is also having it.

It is my intention to try out the biryani’s in a few places that people have suggested to try them out. I will go in with a little hope and wish for the best. There has to be some decent ones out there. Anyone in Cochin who is reading this, please give me your suggestions for a good biryani place.

Memories Of MTB

This pic my cousin shared on Facebook brings back so many nostalgic memories. The pic is of the Mattancherry Tourist Bungalow, a lodge and watering hole in Mattancherry (which is part of old Cochin). Why nostalgic? I have never had a drink from there. Not even a solitary beer. I have had food from there but never had food inside the place. The MTB is right opposite my mom’s parents’ house in Mattancherry.

From my earliest memories the MTB has been like a part of the family. The house my grandfather built for his family was done in the early 60s and the MTB followed a few years later. Over the decades, the tourist bungalow has been a center for drunken fights and especially during the holiday season. My cousins and I have watched quite a few dozen fight scenes from our rooftop terrace or the first floor balcony. At one time there was a Hindu-Muslim fight which started near the market area and ended up right in front of our doorstep.

From time to time my dad & uncles would buy beer or some other drinks from the bar and enjoy them in seclusion (away from my grandmother who although knew that her sons and sons-in-law drink, frowned upon the activity). Long before I started drinking or was of drinking age, I remember going to buy beer bottles from them for my uncles & my dad. As have many of my other male cousins. And although we never went to eat, we would on occasion buy some food from there – like a beef roast or some chicken curry.

One particular funny incident from my childhood comes to mind – my cousin Navin, who was probably 11 or so at the time, had a bet with some of the waiters of MTB that he could eat 10 porottas dry in on sitting. No curry, no gravy – nothing, just porotta. The bet was for a chicken biriyani. He won the bet and he was given a chicken biryani for free by them. His belly full, he walked the 10 steps from the bar to the house, struggling to loosen his belt, came back home and told his mother to keep the biriyani in the fridge as he was full at the time and would eat it later. She had some choice words for him

Ah memories of the good ole days!

Lil’ America (Panampilly Nagar, Cochin)

Looking for a good place to relax and enjoy some hot dogs with something cold to wash it down? Well if you are in the Ernakulam/Cochin area then Lil’ America is the place for you.

A little cafe converted from an old home in Panampilly Nagar, Lil’ America is the place to go for the best hot dogs that you can get in the city and suburbs. A newly started fast food joint, they opened their doors on August 1st and have already deservedly attained a healthy fan following for themselves. Other than hot dogs, they also serve tosties, waffles (which I think is only for 2 weeks), ice creams, slushies and as of yesterday coffees & frappes.

Their hot dogs come in the style of the big cities in the US ; New York, Chicago, Atlanta plus Kansas & Coney Island dogs and the double dog! They have 5 varieties of toasties, 3 variations of French fries and corn on the cob. To wash them down you have refreshing & delicious flavoured slushies and as of yesterday they have launched their range of coffees and frappes.

The place is small & intimate and the total seating if perhaps 20 or 25 if you squeeze in to the tables, back less seats and benches. They have a big digital type jukebox cum karaoke machine which will surely enlive the evenings in Panampilly Nagar. It is a self serve style place with the counter in the interior of the place, which ironically is the only section that is air conditioned. The seating area is under a cover porch with see thru plastic sheets that allow the patrons to enjoy the sunshine but at the same time will protect them from the rains as it is monsoon season.

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My cousin and I decided to drop by yesterday and we ordered two hot dogs and 2 slushies. He had the New York style hot dog while I went with the second city aka Chicago dog. To quench our thirst in that hot afternoon we also ordered slushies – he had the blueberry flavoured one while I opted for the green apple. The slushies got a 10/10 from us while he rated the New York hot dog a perfect 10/10 and I gave my Chicago dog a 9/10. Only complaint I would say is that they should have been hotter.

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All in all a great place to sit with friends and munch on a few goodies. They launched the coffee & frappe section last evening and we will surely have to come back for more. Until next time, Lil’ America! I’m sure they will do good business and will soon have to have a bigger seating area.

Social Clubs In Kerala Face A Harsh Future

So as you might know by now, we have this rather idiotic & unnecessary decision of the Kerala government to ban all liquor in the state buy closing down all the bars and then reducing the number of BevCo each year until total shutdown in 10 years to make the state a dry state! Other than bars in Kerala the other main victim will be the 30 or so social clubs in the state that have bar licenses. There are about a dozen blue-blooded clubs in Kerala that comprise the cream of about 30 clubs with bar licences where the snob-value of membership comes at a cost of around Rs 5 lakh (or $8,333 plus change). About 40,000 members of these exclusive clubs are waiting with bated breath to see what the state government proposes to do with the FL 4 A licence clause under which these clubs also double up as watering holes, arguably the single-largest draw for members.

Gaming facility _ two each in indoor and  outdoor _ rooms, food and parking are some of the mandatory items in the list for affiliation to the the Association of Registered Social Clubs of Kerala (ARSCK). Gaming facility _ two each in indoor and  outdoor _ rooms, food and parking are some of the mandatory items in the list for affiliation. According to the office-bearers, each club used to cough up Rs 15 lakh per year for the FL 4 A licence . There are nearly 30 clubs in the state with bar licence and 25 of them are members in ARSCK. The total number of members would come to around 40,000. The clubs fear that their earnings will suffer drastically with the alcohol ban as members will not come as frequently as they used to.

My personal memories are mostly with the Cochin Suburban club, Lotus Club and just a little bit for the Rama Varma club. Suburban club in Thrikkakara was the one that was a firm family favourite as it was just minutes away from my former home. My dad took a lifelong membership with them in the 80s when they had just started and it was so much cheaper than what they charge now. As a result my folks, sister and I plus my cousins, uncles & aunts all had many dinners there, a few functions and for my sister’s wedding we even had to book a couple of rooms for relatives to stay in back in 1995. The club has a play area for smaller kids, a library, table tennis area and later added a swimming pool, badminton courts. For special evening like Onam, Christmas, New Year’s and a club annual day function, they would have games as well as live bands performing. The food was mostly really good and we all enjoyed going there. Heck when I was 14-15 I even volunteered to work at the token counter for drinks (I didn’t handle any alcohol, I just told the members how much and collected the money and gave out drink tokens) for one function. I’ve hosted a couple of my birthdays there and invited friends.

Since our move to the city and that of most of my relatives in Cochin also to the city area the Lotus club became to de facto gathering place. Since 2006 this is the closest place to a lot of us and hence has seen family gathering, a couple of parties for pre weddings and reunion style functions for us. They have tennis courts, badminton courts, a large library, tv area for sports events, outdoor, balcony and indoor dining as well as a couple of halls that you can hire for special event if you want to. I’m not so crazy about their food but hey it’s fun when you have a lot of your cousins around for an evening. I prefer their alcohol selection and their snacks which are really good. By my reckoning we’ve had around 20 or so functions there in the last 3 years.

The Rama Varma club is one I’ve only been to a few times because only 2 of my cousins have membership there or affiliated membership which got cancelled and haven’t been there since 2007. But it is a nice place and I’ve enjoyed the few times I’ve been there drinking with my cousins. The drinking is ofcourse the main attraction for members in these clubs and now it could well be all gone in the next few days. Screw the government’s backward thinking. You paid good money for club memberships so you and your relatives/friends could meet and relax in a happy, homely atmosphere with a lot of space and the kids could play around and the men & ladies who don’t drink can still enjoy. You can’t meet your friends and drink at the BevCo lineup!

A Blessing For The Tipplers In Kerala

I wonder why it took me soooooo long to write about this as the event took place with effect on the 1st of April, 2014 (the beginning of the financial year). I only wrote a post in May about the temporary (hopefully) closure of one of them. Anyways, as per the ruling at took place earlier in the year, and that has been bubbling for a long time, and the new liquor policy in the state all bars that did not have a 3 star rating in the state of Kerala were not allowed to renew their license to serve alcohol and some which were found to be lacking were denied their licenses and hence around 418 bars in the state closed their doors – some forever and some hoping to reopen once they could improve on facilities and get their licenses renewed. 418! Which meant almost all of my favourite & affordable bars (Oberois on MG Road, Velocity near High Court, Malabar House in Convent Junction and Karthika Regency’s Kairali Bar in Edapally) have been closed since April 1st!

Since last October I’ve had alcohol exactly 3 times – on New Year’s eve and 2 beers each with a cousin and a friend and so I haven’t actually been to one of those bars (the beers I had on both occasions were at a family style restaurant that also serves alcohol) since October – this hasn’t really affected me as of yet! Due to financial situations I had chosen to avoid drinking as a personal decision until I get a full time proper & well paying job. But yes this decision did anger me a lot as this is purely pandering to the section of society that wants to get rid of alcohol drinking because one section of society drinks too much and abuses their wives/families and use most of their money for drinking. Those idiots ruin it for the majority of us who just want a few drinks with some good food in the company of friends once or twice a week. So now because of this, I or others like me have to shell out a lot more money if we want to drink in a more expensive bar or hotel. Or ofcourse go stand in the large queues at the BevCo outlets and buy the bottles and come home and drink them. However a good news has happened yesterday.

The State Human Rights Commission has ordered the closure of all open bars that do not have two-star facilities. Additionally, the Commission has ordered that 2-star level bars among the 418 closed bars should be allowed to operate. Commission chairman Justice J B Koshy further asked the government to roll out its liquor policy at the earliest. The Commission noted that there was discrimination in the allocation of licences to the bars and said this should be avoided. Which  means all the good ones will be allowed to reopen their doors. Which means probably Velocity, Malabar House & Oberois will be allowed to open. I am not sure about Kairali – it seems good enough! Oh well, 3 outta 4 is not so bad. Let it happen!

Frustrated With Stupid Impotent Reliance Broadband

I am frustrated. No, strike that! I am beyond frustrated. I am so fucking pissed off because of my worthless ISP. I am at my wits end because these idiots & asshole who are working at Reliance Fucking Bullshit Broadband Asshole ltd are not even able to provide me with connectivity for a single full day. 24 hours of service? Not on our capability – we will provide you with a few hours before our nuclear waste of a server conks out or our as fragile as feathers in a tornado styled cables get disconnected.

Incompetence, impotent, half-assed, incapable, lethargic and pathetic! That is what I would label Reliance Broadband’s customer care and their technical department. They cannot fix the problem, they have numerous outages a day and then no service for several days for over 2 months and yet I have to pay full charge on the monthly rent? Fuck you!

If they cannot fix this problem by mid week I am cancelling the connection and moving to Asianet.

Power Cuts – Scheduled & Unscheduled

For those of you who don’t know for us over here we have Scheduled Power Cuts – every years just before the monsoon starts the Kerala State Electricity Board runs short of power due to (a) overuse (b) mismanagement (c) unpredicted consumption (d) water levels lower than expected and usually (e) rains not filling the reservoirs enough. Take your pick it’s usually a combination of 2 or 3 of the five. So this year as well we started running short of power and hence they announced that we’d have power cuts again. I think we started in May and we had a scheduled power cut of 30 minutes in the evening every alternate day to conserve power. That seemed fine and they announced that they would stop it after 2 weeks. Ok, but then it was brought back again but instead of 30 minutes every alternate day KSEB says it has to be every day for all over Kerala. Ok and then a week or so later they increased it to 45 minutes every evening. They would changed the timings for you so that you don’t lose power at the same time every week.

And then the rains came and although initially it was plentiful it started trickling off in a few days and it was just a few hours during the week. But June 12 the World Cup started and ofcourse the government listened to the cries of the people and ensured that KSEB wouldn’t schedule the power cuts post 9:30 pm (usually it’s between 6pm to 11pm) and they complied. So that’s about scheduled power cuts, this week we have the scheduled time of 6:30 pm to 7:15 pm while last week it was 8pm to 8;45 pm. But KSEB in all these crooked bumbling fucking idiotness fucks things up for us. Rather than stick to the scheduled power cuts they have random unscheduled power cuts. And that can happen at any time of the day! Last week we had power failures for an hour at 2:30 am on two consecutive days. For no reason! And then it goes out in the day. Today we lost power at 3;30 pm and it came back only by 4:45 pm – and you’d think that they could skip our area for the 45 minutes scheduled power outage right? Oh no, KSEB with their collective fucking cocks in their hands have to stick to their schedule but guess what ? Instead of 45 minutes it was one whole FUCKING HOUR again!Motherfuckers!

Fuck you KSEB, you lying sonsofbitches! Stick your cocks into a live socket and die!

Two Different Hospital Experiences

The last two Tuesdays I’ve been with my mother as she had to go to two different hospitals for her medical issues. Both times it was very different experiences.

Last week it was to Amritha Medical Institute in Cheranellur for a scan on her right knee as she has been plagued with rhematism for a while. She was seeing an ayurvedic doctor but as she wasn’t finding much relief they suggested to go and see a well reputed doctor of western medicine in Amritha hospital. To see this doctor is very difficult as he has an excellent reputation and he gets patients coming to see him from all over South India and hence getting an appointment fixed to see him is difficult. Anyway we had to get the scan done first and had to leave at 7 am from home via a taxi to reach the hospital at 8 am. When we reached there we found out that the booking for the scan was mixed up and we had to register again. It would take us till evening just to finish the scan and then get the report. So we were forced to make a day of it, having breakfast (just a bite and a drink of bottled mango juice) from the hospital canteen and waited till 1pm for them to call my mom and have the scanning of her knee done.

As it would take 2.5 hours to get the report we left for my uncle’s house in Thrikkakara and bought some biriyani along the way and had lunch at his house with him and my aunt. We spent some time visiting and then came back to the hospital by 4pm and by 5pm we were outta there with the report in hand. The follow up with the doctor will take place on the 30th of June.  Compare that to this week when she had to go to her oncologist for a regular visit & check up which is done every couple of months. That was at Krishna Nursing home which is a much smaller hospital about 20 minutes away from where we live. We went there and the waiting room was empty except for a handful of people. She was #16 but we didn’t have to wait long. As two other doctors were on leave there were no patients to see them as well and hence that section of the hospital had a deserted look. I went to get a coke and a bite to eat as I hadn’t had any lunch and that took about 20 minutes. 10 more minutes and her check up was done and we were on the way back home. No hassle, hardly any waiting time and hardly any crowd making a lot of noise.

Compare that to Amritha – 2 hours in a large waiting room just to pay for the scanning and another 3 hours till the scanning was done. Then another hour in the waiting room for the report to get to us. Lots of people, kids running about, sick people being taken in beds or wheelchairs, people on the phone speaking loudly, doctors, nurses & orderlies rushing between wards & floors! Totally different experiences.