Sunday, October 16, 2011

The business called Telangana


If you have been to Gogo's – the blog before, read section (a)

First timers, jump to (b)

Those of you who have landed here by mistake, please continue at your own risk.

a) If you are a regular reader at Gogo's (glad to know you exist) or one who drops by once in a while (intentionally or accidentally), I’m pleased that you are here and I’m sorry about the inactivity; that is if you have noticed it in the first place. If you look closely, unlike the usual Chennai inspired titles about Tamil Brahmins, autos and Rajnikanth, I’m moving to Hyderabad’s burning issues. 

Yes, I have moved base to Hyderabad and so you will be hearing a lot more about Biryani, Reddys and of course, Telangana.

b) WELCOME! And don't think that I don't know that you read part (a) too.

Prologue ends! (You’re welcome)

The T issue is a rather sensitive one, one that evokes extreme responses, both for and against it. If you are looking for my opinion here, then I'm sorry to disappoint you. I'm not that brave.

When bandhs are made to become a part of one’s daily existence, then people have to come up with innovative and out of the box solutions to un-bandh their lives. Kolkata folks, you know what I am talking about ;)


Life isn't fair and has to go on and not everybody has the luxury or determination to be out on the streets fighting for a cause or sit at home supporting it. So in such a situation, how do people survive? Here are some of my observations,

The local bus service (the Bakras)

Now this is one group I really feel for. For years they have been the punching bag for all reasons.

We want water from Karnataka --- burn the buses;
We won't give water to Karnataka --- burn the buses;
Chuck water, give us Mallaya and his beer from Karnataka --- Burn the buses;

Relief bus?

For every goddamn reason, the buses are the first to bear the brunt of the agitators. How long can anybody tolerate this? So for once, they have decided to just wait out the agitations and boy are they doing it in style. Over 4 weeks now and no sight of buses. Too bad though that the government has decided against giving them their salaries.

For some people, the bad times just don't end. Nevertheless, somebody's loss is someone else's gain.

Educational institutions (Home delivery services):

Perhaps the worst hit group after the bus service. However, except for the teachers/lecturers and parents, nobody else seems to be complaining. It's not like the students are dying to get back to their institutes. Unfortunately, the exams seem to be following them home, quite literally. A news paper article says that some of the private schools have decided to conduct examinations at the comfort of the student's very home and guess who invigilates? The parents!

How does this work? The parents collect the question papers in the morning of the exam from the school and conduct them at home. How cool is that? Imagine giving exams in your pyjamas with a Frooti by your side and your favourite cartoon running on TV. You don't even have to beg for those extra 5 minutes at the end (otherwise you know whom to blame for the low marks). Nobody fails and everybody is happy.

The auto wallas (The fox)
Talk about opportunists and ways to exploit during a bandh, then these guys take the icing on the cake and the cherry with it. Then they come back and take the rest of the cake too. Some insatiable appetite they have.

This picture is for representational purposes only.
He is not an auto driver, even though you might like to believe so.

The auto union pledged their support for a separate state of Telangana by going on a two day strike. Well, they did live up to their word by showing their support by draping their autos in pink (the color of TRS party) and wearing a T – scarf and were out in full force looking for an opportunity to loot hapless travellers. 

A friend of mine who had the misfortune of travelling in an auto that fateful day had to shell out 5 times the normal fare. On trying to argue, the auto driver just had two words for him,

Jai Telangana”!!

It is often said that cocaine consumption can be addictive; ask them if they have tried fuel. A rumour is enough for people to leave everything else in life and stand for hours in queues outside petrol bunks. 

As expected, panic followed an official announcement and there were traffic jams reported from various parts of the city, thanks to Kilometre long queues waiting for the elixir of life. Henry Ford and the others, see what you have done.

Please repeat my drink

Almost every small PBC* shop had an additional item on their display; a bottle of diluted petrol and diesel in shrivelled, old plastic bottles sold at the rates of rocket fuel.


Bartender pappu

Personally, I wouldn't want any of that diluted petrol in my vehicle because you never know what the diluting agent was, considering that there is a free availability of similar coloured liquids. And I'm not referring to mountain dew or whiskey.

The restaurants (The social service)

At such troubled times, the local Biryani and pizza place have been a real support to the people, almost a shoulder to cry on. With most of the city crippled and in pain, they were the real heroes. They kept their backdoors open and served people selflessly just to see that smile of satisfaction on their face and to hear that pleasant sound of their cash registers ringing. 

To their credit, unlike the autos, they kept their rates the same because they know that keeping a Hyderabadi away from his Biryani is akin to asking Sachin not to adjust his guard in a match. It's unthinkable! Probably uncomfortable too.

The IT crowd (The Immortals aka the dogs):

This group moves around the city with impunity thanks to their protective shields which is hung around their neck. Once you agree to wear these tags, then nothing else matters. Life and death are secondary concerns, the project and client requirements come first. 

These are just a few groups and their unique ways of un-bandh-ing their lives. There are many many more who are facing a genuine threat to their subsistence because of the complete paralysis of the city and the state. This is probably the last thing a government, which is being attacked from all quarters for various reasons, needed. In its quest for retaining power and taking the right decision (hopefully) life is going out of control. This post is written amidst 7 hours of power cuts in a city which once boasted of being one of the fastest developing in the country.

As a Hyderabadi, all I can do is hope that this doesn't cost us too dearly.

Jai Hind!


Gayatri Ravindran said...

yaaayyyy !!! Gogo's s back :D :P
fa da first tym m readin abt telengana n kinda smilin(laughn shhh )blame it on u :P
atlast i get to read abt telengana frm a common man's perspective...Gawd temme abt da autos...!! tey wer rapin !!! :O
i rly hpe all tese dosn screw up tat awsomm place and evrytn ends well soon !!!!

Ashish Kalsi said...

@G -- :D :D I'm glad you enjoyed it...and there are a lot of Hyderabadis out there who hope so too

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! It was so much fun reading this:-) Thanks!

kvsmohan said...

Welcome back to Hyderabad, Ashish ! It was good to see the Prodigal Hyderabadi back after a stint in sambar land ! As a Hyderabadi, you got the details of the Telangana issues right. You have left out a few bakras who are most hit by this issue, the poor daily wage earners for one. Like the IT sector guys, we PSU & Central Govt. guys have to put in our attendances, no matter what the situation outside. High time we rename Hyderabad as Hyder-a-Bandh ! Any takers ??

Swati said...

AWESOME way of describing our bandh lives in a hilarious manner.

Maneetha said...

Lol.. The auto story (my sympathies) had me in splits.. But yes.. very delicate issue.. and yes, you did NOT make your stand clear :):)
Pretty neat writing.. and the captions too.. heh.
Do you take requests on articles? :P None as such for now..

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Anonymous: Thank you!!

@kvsmohan: Ha ha ha thank you. You are too generous with your compliments. Totally agree with you, this was just the tip of the iceberg. And totally with you on the idea of Hyder-a-bandh.

Thank you Swati :)

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Maneetha: Aaah you actually did write nice things. Thank you :D Glad you liked it. Well, I'd love if I get requests; my blog isn't that popular yet I suppose. But it's more than welcome.

karthik s said...

brilliant! its amazing how u've handled such a sensitive issue in such a light manner. kudos man! :)

Rohit said...

Nice to know that they spared the Biryani .... ;) ... But i would say that a stand for or against it would have been much more interesting and debatable....Funny Practical read thoe....:)

it support essex said...

You have left out a few bakras who are most hit by this issue, the poor daily wage earners for one. Like the IT sector guys, we PSU & Central Govt. guys have to put in our attendances, no matter what the situation outside. High time we rename Hyderabad as Hyder-a-Bandh ! Any takers ??

it support london said...

Thank you :D Glad you liked it. Well, I'd love if I get requests; my blog isn't that popular yet I suppose. But it's more than welcome.

Blogger from the Philippines said...

The last update is 2011? Why are you advertising this blog???