TATA Star Bazaar — good, but obnoxious

Been putting off writing this post for four months now. Better late than never, huh?

16-March-2008

Being a Sunday morning, we had planned to go out to Forum. Too early to eat at Gramin (wanted to post about this lovely restaurant too), we walked around a bit. Croma, the electronics store near forum had already caught my eye, and so did Star Bazaar. Though I am a big fan of TATA’s vis-à-vis Reliance (there’s a smart Reliance Mart that has come up on Bannerghatta Road (abt 2km past IIMB), that I liked a little better), what put me off (or drove me out) of this Bazaar was the obnoxious smell of meat cooking in the open. I have already seen my dose of non-vegetarianism in Bangalore and seen how it’s catching up across various quarters of India, but this was too much to put up with. It was even worse than walking across the Marry Brown corridor in Ispahani Centre (Nungambakkam, Chennai). Grrrr, why don’t people remember that there are still some (many?) vegetarians left behind in this nation? One thing the smell did was to drive me out, at least from the ground floor, which had a lot of provisions and groceries, to the first, which stocked more of clothing, as well as applicances and stuff. The clothing variety was good, but I would put Reliance Mart ahead, where you get decent looking polo T-shirts for 200 rupees! To give the devil it’s due, I did really like the way stuff was laid out in the first floor — and if I recall right, there was even a Landmark. But the moment I got back to the ground floor, the smell easily chased me out! All in all, I would not recommend STAR Bazaar, more as a retaliation, in principle, to their lack of respect for vegetarians!

That brings me to the whole issue of vegetarianism, an issue that requires much more discussion than I now have time for. I write this being provoked by the stupidest of Tamil magazines, which appears to be running a debate on whether vegetables are vegetarian [sic]?! The Indian concept of vegetarianism is quite different, from the Western viewpoint; it’s not just about animals and animal products. Food is only classified as saattvic, raajasic or taamasic — thus, while milk is classifed as a saattvic food, meat is classified as taamasic, as are onions, garlics or mushrooms (not that I even intend to equate anything with the himsa involved in producing meat). To add a point here, one must look back [and deep] into the rich tradition of our ancestors of atonement for killing (of microbes and tiny living beings, presumably) at the five places such as the cooking vessel, grinder/mixer, mincer etc (ammi, aattukkal, jalapatram etc) by the performance of the pancha mahayagnyas, and the vaishvadeva, to account for the ‘living’ vegetables etc. I am just giving a sketchy picture from the little I know here — do ask your [grand]parents for more fundaes :). Ok, have digressed enough. May vegetarianism be revived!

Another silly quip is the fact that they seal the plastic covers, as you leave the store! That’s disgusting, because it defeats the purpose of re-using plastic bags (postponing recycling or junking them outright), if you have to tear the sealed bag open when you get back home. Reliance was far better, using plastic wires to knot the bags.

Disclaimer: I am a bit intolerant towards molecules noxious to my olfactory system, but I believe this was too much. Nevertheless, pay a visit to STAR Bazaar — I hope they have improved, for their own good — and take your pick!

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India Rising…

My Sunday’s been wonderfully brightened by two posts on rediff:

I think all of us have been witness to the mobile phone revolution and the telecom revolution in general in this country. Village or city, the connectivity has improved drastically. The new expressways, improved roads as part of the golden quadrilateral project etc, have helped to facelift the roadways. With the advent of the low cost domestic airlines, air traffic has increased sufficiently and been extended even to the common man many times. And the railways silently keeps carrying efficiently, crores of people. It is really heartening to see the intelligent design of the new railway coaches, the e-ticket concept and all other railway improvements…

Just for a moment though, let’s not believe that the situation is all too rosy and get our feet back to the ground: Mumbai still struggles to live with its monsoon rains, Chennai still has sporadic water problems and Bangalore, as the PM Manmohan Singh just almost said has become the proverbial hare: just struggling to live up after a bright start, with pathetic infrastructure, esp. roads and traffic. Delhi remains the unsafest place in the country, esp. for women. If this is the scenario with the metros, where are we headed? It’s more or less the case of the proverbial drunkard who steps 4 paces ahead and falls back 3. At least, there is progress! However, the situation is not bleak and only a bright future for India seems to beckon! Companies like Reliance, TATA’s, Infy are all making big strides and the economy has been in a bull run (though with hiccups) for long. Let’s hope things only improve! JAI HIND!

  1. US, $12.46 tn
  2. Japan, $4.51 tn
  3. Germany, $2.78 tn
  4. China, $2.23
  5. Britain, $2.19 tn
  6. France, $2.11 tn
  7. Italy, $1.72 tn
  8. Spain, $1.124 tn
  9. Canada, $1.115 tn
  10. Brazil, $794.10 bn
  11. South Korea, $787.62 bn
  12. INDIA, $785.47 bn

    Though I am not a great fan of these numbers, I guess wealth/GDP is one of the important indicators to at least the quality of life. Of course, contentment should rank higher, and I do think such a study (of satisfaction) was done sometime back, though I fail to recall the results. The important goals for India should be the creation of a caste-free, reservation-free society, with sufficient social security and justice, with an emphasis of primary education and food for all.

    Let’s hope we can indeed become a developed nation by 2020 (or even earlier :D)

    Why Are Nails On A Blackboard Irritating?

    “Fingernails on a blackboard. Why does the very phrase send chills down one’s back? The question has annoyed scientists for at least 2,300 years. Aristotle mentioned “hard sounds”, but didn’t try very hard to explain them.”

    Amusing that this is such a common phenomenon…. eeeeks… Check out the whole digg story.. quite interesting :D!

    read more | digg story

    पल पल है भारी (Pal Pal Hai Bhaari)

    One of the most extraordinary songs I’ve heard recently, not just the music but even the lyrics… Kudos to A R Rahman and Javed Akhtar…

    मधुश्री:
    आ… आ…

    मधुश्री:
    पल पल है भारी वो बिपता है आ‍ई
    मोहे बचाने अब आ‍ओ रघु-रायी
    आ‍ओ रघुवीर आ‍ओ, रघुपति राम आ‍ओ
    मोरे मन के स्वामी, मोरे श्री राम आ‍ओ
    राम राम जपती हूँ, सुन लो मेरी राम आ‍ओ
    राम राम जपती हूँ, सुन लो मेरी राम जी
    भजे सत्य का डंका, जले पाप की लङ्का
    इसी क्षण तुम आ‍ओ, मुक्त करा‍ओ
    सुन भी लो अब मेरी दुहा‍ई
    पल पल है भारी वो बिपता है आ‍ई
    मोहे बचाने अब आ‍ओ रघु-रायी
    विजय / आशुतोश:
    राम को भूलो ये देखो रावण आया है
    फैली सारी सृष्टि पर जिसकी छाया है
    जो जपती हो राम राम तुम क्यों लेती हो राम नाम तुम
    राम राम कारण जो ये तुमने है लगाया, सीता
    सीता तुमने राम में ऐस क्या गुण पाया

    मधुश्री
    गिन पा‍एगा उनके गुण को को‍ई क्या, इतने शब्द ही कहाँ है
    पहोंचेगा उस शिखारी के कौन भला मेरे रामजी जहाँ है
    जग में सब से उत्तम है, मर्यादा पुरुषोत्तम है
    सब से शक्तिशाली है, फिर भी रखते संयम है पर
    उनके संयम की अब आने को है सीमा
    रावण समय है, माँग ले क्षमा

    All:

    भजे सत्य का डंका, जले पाप कि लङ्का
    आ‍ए राजा राम करे हम प्रणाम
    संग ला‍ए लक्ष्मण जैसा भा‍ई

    मधुश्री:
    पल पल है भारी वो बिपता है आ‍ई
    मोहे बचाने अब आ‍ओ रघु-रायी
    विजय:
    राम में शक्ति अगर है, राम में साहस है तो
    क्यों नहीं आ‍ए अभी तक वो तुम्हारी रक्षा को
    जिनका वर्णन करने में थकती नहीं हो तुम यहाँ
    ये बता‍ओ वो तुम्हारे राम है इस पल कहाँ

    मधुश्री:
    राम हृदय में है मेरे, राम ही धडकन में है
    राम मेरे आत्मा में, राम ही जीवन में है
    राम हर पल में है मेरे, राम है हर स्वास में
    राम हर आशा में मेरी, राम ही हर आस में

    विजय:
    हो…

    राम ही तो करुणा में है, शान्ति में राम है
    राम ही है एकता में, प्रगति में राम है
    राम बस भक्तों नहीं शत्रु के भी चिन्तन में है
    देख तज के पाप रावण, राम तेरे मन में है
    राम तेरे मन में है, राम मेरे मन में है -२
    राम तो घर घर में है, राम हर आंगन में है
    मन से रावण जो निकाले, राम उसके मन में है -२

    All:
    आ… हो… आ… हो… हो… हो…

    मधुश्री
    पल पल है भारी वो बिपता है आ‍ई
    मोहे बचाने अब आ‍ओ रघु-रायी

    All:
    सुनो रामजी आ‍ए, मोरे रामजी आ‍ए
    राजा रामचन्द्र आ‍ए, श्री रामचन्द्र आ‍ए
    रामजी आ‍ए, मोरे रामजी आ‍ए
    श्री रामचन्द्र आ‍ए हो

    All:
    सुनो रामजी आ‍ए, मोरे रामजी आ‍ए
    राजा रामचन्द्र आ‍ए, श्री रामचन्द्र आ‍ए
    रामजी आ‍ए, मोरे रामजी आ‍ए
    श्री रामचन्द्र आ‍ए हो

    Happy Birthday, Dr Doyle!

    conan_doyle.gif

     

    147 years ago, on this day, was born the creator of arguably the most famous detective of all time, fictional though, Sherlock Holmes! 

     

    There are two famous lists of favourite stories: that of Conan Doyle himself, in 1927, and that of the Baker Street Journal in 1959.

    Conan Doyle's list:

    1. "The Adventure of the Speckled Band"
    2. "The Red-Headed League"
    3. "The Adventure of the Dancing Men"
    4. "The Adventure of the Final Problem"
    5. "A Scandal in Bohemia"
    6. "The Adventure of the Empty House"
    7. "The Five Orange Pips"
    8. "The Adventure of the Second Stain"
    9. "The Adventure of the Devil's Foot"
    10. "The Adventure of the Priory School"
    11. "The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual"
    12. "The Adventure of the Reigate Squire"

    The Baker Street Journal's list:

    1. "The Adventure of the Speckled Band"
    2. "The Red-Headed League"
    3. "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle"
    4. "The Adventure of Silver Blaze"
    5. "A Scandal in Bohemia"
    6. "The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual"
    7. "The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans"
    8. "The Adventure of the Six Napoleons"
    9. "The Adventure of the Dancing Men"
    10. "The Adventure of the Empty House"