GPS directions in ‘Madras tamizh’

I use GPS directions in two ways. I have a MapMyIndia ZX 250 which I forget to take most times, and during those times when I forget to take the GPS device, I use Google Maps.

Recently, Google Maps surprised me with an Indian sounding voice. Very nice. That set me thinking ofcourse, of how it would be if the Directions were given in ‘Madras Tamizh’ or Madras Baashai as it is sometimes called. For those not in the know, this is mostly the tamizh that the auto drivers use, and mostly made famous by ‘Loose Mohan’ in tamizh cinema.

Iruba .. Route pudikaren == Syncing satellites

Nera poyikine iru  ==  Go straight on

Rightla cut pannu == Turn Right

Leftla cut pannu == Turn Right

Leftla cycle gapla pooru == Turn Slightly left

Rightla cycle gapla pooru == Turn Slightly right

Vutla soltu vantaya == Navigating to home

Aprom paaklam ba == Shutting down

Dei Dei Kasmalaam Turning-a vuttaya dei behmani == Rerouting

If you have any more, let me know in the comments …

Fear factor


Quite contrary to what most of you might be thinking, this is not about any reality show, but is a part 2 of my previous post on random policing to deter minor traffic offenses.

I am originally from Chennai. My parents still live there and I make occasional trips to this beautiful city (Singaara Chennai, as we call it — beautiful Chennai). This post is about 2 observations and my take on how they could be connected.

First observation is the general talk (or sometimes lack of it) about the reduced petty level crime on the streets. I keep hearing that the police is also very sensitized to crimes like eve teasing, chain snatching, and the likes – which I shall term (very loosely, since I am not a law) petty crime on the streets.

The second observation is a more personal one – something that I have been seeing in the last 2-3 visits. Chennai Police seems to have procured a large number of interceptor vehicles. And no, I am not talking about the old ‘Police Jeeps’. I talking fancy Innovas, Xylos, and the likes. And these interceptors have the blue and red flashing lights mounted on top of them – very much like the Interceptors in the US have. Firstly, I am seeing a large number of them on the road – randomly policing, parked in sensitive corners (near the auto stand in Chennai Central and T.Nagar Pondy Bazaar are two examples). Secondly, these vehicles are standing there with their flasher lights on. This makes them visible from at least a km away.

cop1 cop2 cop3

So this brings me to the fear factor. When these police interceptor vehicles are ubiquitous and very visible from a large surface area, there is a sense of safety for the common man, and a sense of fear for the offenders. I believe this is probably the link between the two observations. I have also seen these interceptors ‘prowl’ areas – smaller streets, bigger avenues, you name it – I have seen them there. This probably also has an effect for petty crime – the fact that, at any time an interceptor might turn up.

As a side note, I am one of those who firmly believe that, if the Police Department is funded well (by means of equipment and salaries), the corruption would definitely reduce (note that I said reduce, for nature will also bring forward some bad apples to surprise you). When the corruption reduces, there is more respect for the police, and in turn towards the law. I really hope the governments look into this as well.

Net-net (as we say in tech circles sometimes), I believe this improve policing is step in the right direction towards a safer future. Kudos to Chennai Police. I really hope other Police Departments pick up the cue and take this to their cities too.


The culture that was PSBB

My dad recently gave me a file where he had filed a ton of school stuff. Wow. Nostalgic memories. In that treasure trove, I found this letter.

PSBB Chennai Letter Regarding Co-curriculars

Wow. This defined my schooling. Clearly outlines the importance of co-curriculars during schooling and the role of parents in encouraging it.

Proud to be a PSBB Alumnus.

1000 km in a week


Just got back from a 1000km roadtrip. Phew. That was one good road trip.

1. Bangalore to Kumbakonam: Took a new route this time. Bangalore -> Salem -> Attur -> Veppur -> Vridhachalam -> Jayamkondan -> Kumbakonam. Except for the last stretch, which was a little bad, the road is very good. Much better than the Kulithalai route that I took the last time.

2. Kumbakonam to Pondicherry: Never done this stretch before. Decent roads. It is mind boggling to see the number of wine (alcohol) shops on the sides of the road, right after you enter Pondicherry state. This, I am told, is because of the reduced rates – since it is still an Union Territory.

3. Pondicherry to Chennai: Fantastic stretch. Road upto Tindivanam is as good, if not better than the Golden Quadrilateral stretch from Tindivanam to Chennai.

4. Chennai to Bangalore: I have done this numerous times, but there was a twist this time. I was attending a family function in Pozhichalur (close to Pammal). I was told that there is a direct road from Pozhichalur through Kundrathur to Porur, and I can catch the usual Bangalore road from there. Right after Kundrathur and Anagaaputthur, I found a sign saying Sriperumbudur. I took a risk, and we took the route. Surprisingly awesome road. Takes you right to the highway just before Sriperumbudur bypass. The only bummer was the 100’s of speed bumps (and no, I am not exagerating with the number). Did Chennai to Chinnaar (A2B) in decent time – 4 hours. Chinnaar to Bangalore was just horrible. With the 6 laning effort that is happening, there are quite a few diversions, where 4 lanes become 1 lane. And with the ‘impatient’ bus drivers we have, these diversions quickly become a quagmire. It took us a good 3.5 hours to do what we usually do in 1.5 hours.

Anyways, in all, a good trip. The Skoda Fabia did a pretty darned good  job.

Cannot our health ministry please prioritize … ?

Gayathri has this heart-wrenching post (also named so), about her visit to the Stanley Hospital, Chennai. It is indeed gut-curling, to see the mass of humanity, who cannot afford anything more, be treated so badly. As she aptly says, rather than make media-arresting statements such as ‘stopping alcohol and smoking on screen’, could not our dear health minister (who happens to be from the same state of Tamilnadu), stop for a moment, prioritize, and see if anything could be done for our public health care system. It is going to dogs. If you read Gayathri’s post, you will see that, it is literally going to dogs.

An excerpt:

Another patient was lying down on one of the row cots that had a green sheet covering it. The sheet seemed uncared for and almost cursed. The green was just desperately clinging on to the sheet as if for mere presence. Just then, i saw a dog sleeping on the floor next to his wife and i knew it was not the sheet that was cursed.

Read the full post here.

And those readers who do own blogs, please do link to this article. Let us do our bit (however small it may be) to raise the awareness.