The Strength of a Man

The strength of a man isn’t in the deep tone of his voice.
It’s in the gentle words he whispers.
The strength of a man isn’t how many buddies he has.
It’s how good of buddies he is with his children.
The strength of a man isn’t in how respected he is at work.
It’s in how respected he is at home.
The strength of a man isn’t in how hard he hits.
It’s in how tender he touches.
The strength in a man isn’t in the hair on his chest.
It’s in his Heart . . . that lies within his chest.
The strength of a man isn’t in the weight he can lift.
It’s in the burdens he can carry.

–Sermon Fodder

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Toast to the Traffic Jams of Bangalore

Over these last few years of living in Bangalore, I have slowly grown to like the jams, which this city provides in abundance.

These jams do build your patience and character. Is it a coincidence that India’s most patient cricketers, Dravid and Kumble, hail from this city of jams? (Dravid is even nicknamed “Jammy”). Does it tell you something? Sri Sri Ravishankar oes he get his daily dose of spiritual inspiration while in a jam?? And will I also get a halo after a few more years of this “character building”?? There are, I am sure, thousands of future software engineers is stuck in the Adugodis and Anand Rao circles, who are plotting their moves against future Kramnik those poor little Kramniks stand no chance. And if you see a professor-like guy prancing around the Palace road jam, you can deduce that a postulate in Physics has just been proved.

A few days back, I had a thought – If we can have reviews of movies, which occupy only a few hours of our life in a month, why not reviews of traffic jams, which takes up significant hours of our day?? So here is my review of some of Bangalore’s famous and not-so-famous jams (in no particular order).

But before that, a general comment – As they say, the taste of food in a restaurant is dependent on the ambience ; similarly, the way I see jams, cozy inside the office shuttle or public transport, is different from the way the owner of the swank new SUV sees it. (btw, if you are the owner of the swank new SUV, don’t run me down).

*1. The Hosur Road Jam* – Unarguably, the mother of all jams. We (ex-) Infoscions are proud of being (once) associated with a great company. We are equally proud of contributing in no small extent to this jam. This jam gives a great glimpse of the Other India – colorful music-blaring interstate buses, garment factory workers, highway trucks, smoke spewing lorries and such. Provides ample food for thought for socialist minds. (Rating: ***1/2)

*2. The jams around K’mangala/Forum mall* –
Definitely the best jams in town. PYTs (Pretty young things), fancy cars, and fancy restaurants; this has it all. But you can’t afford any of those. Never mind!! Your sadistic brain can take pleasure in the fact that the guy in the fancy car next to you is cruising around for a parking space, feasting his eyes on the PYTs , while his family is having dinner in one of the fancy restaurants. (Rating: ****1/2)

*3. The KG Road jam* – To be experienced in the evenings before a long weekend. Every auto/taxi in town seems to be stuck while going towards the City railway station – your hair stands on end, you start sweating, the heart beats faster, and you get the rush that a Michael Schumachaer gets on his last lap. And just as the auto moves, a movie show ends and a few hundred more vehicles pour out�c Which was the train that hooted just now?? (Rating: ***1/2)

*4. The Jayanagar jam* – The puzzle-lovers jam; Jayanagar is maze of bylanes, one-way streets, no right-turns, no left-turns, traffic signals and whatnot. It is an establised fact that Point A to point B, in Jayanagar, can be reached in 6436 distinct ways. But whichever way you take, you are left with a hollow feeling that another route had a better and bigger jam?
(Rating: **1/2)

*5. The jams around Marathahalli/Whitefield -* The IT professional’s dream jam; As she sits in the office shuttle looking at other office buses, she can make her career plans. A typical evening in this jam goes thus:

*Voice from Company A bus : “Any J2EE developers in your bus?”. Three guys from Company B bus respond “Yeah” and get down. By the time, the bus crosses the Marathahalli bridge, the first guy is hired as a J2EE developer. The second guy, who didn’t know what J2EE meant, is hired as a project manager and the third guy is rejected as he realised late that he has already worked for Company A last year. (Rating: ****)

* 6. The Airport Road jam -* Similar in taste and character like the Koramangala jam but has socialist twist. This jam treats the rich businessman, who will later travel business class on Jet, the same as a poor programmer, who had unusually come to office early in the morning, 3 months back, to buy one of those cheap airline tickets. (Rating ***)

*7. The BTM 7th Main x 7 Cross jam -* Close to my home, so close to my heart. But alas, the spoilsports at BDA finished the flyover at the Jayadeva circle and brought an end to this jam. But for a couple of years, this jam used to give me pure joy as vehicles of all types created a tangle in the small bylanes of BTM layout. The BDA is now planning a new flyover at the Udupi Garden junction; so there is still hope (Rating ***1/2).

We jam lovers – currently this club consists of only me – have petitioned the government to protect and preserve traffic jams as a cultural asset of Bangalore. Just so that traffic jams are not endangered in the future, we have these suggestions:

1. Build more flyovers – Flyovers do not reduce jams. They just transfer it to the next junction. And in the 2 years that it takes to build them, you are assured of some joyous jams. I am drooling…

2. No public buses – If everybody goes by buses, where will our culture go?

3. Make Tata’s 1-Lakh car cheaper by making it tax free – Imagine every two wheeler replaced by a car…The prospects are mouth-watering.

Author unknown.
*Another creative work from a jobless s/w engineer… *