Travelogue, Nostalgic memories and more…

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Why did Reliance Industries shutdown its retail petrol pumps

This news was published in 2008, March.

I was going through the petrol price hike news & wondered it’s a golden goose for government & it’s so close with Ambani, how come Ambani is not in this business? I remember Reliance use to have retail outlets for petrol & they closed it 10 years back. I wanted to know what happened back then & why did they close this cash cow business.

I’m just sharing this news just incase TOI or ET decides to delete this news sometime (after 10 years?!, who knows!) Sharing this news, just incase if Reliance opens this business back & any miracle happens to petrol price.


Mar 25, 2008, 09.11 AM IST

MUMBAI: Reliance Industries, the country’s largest private sector company, has decided to shut down all the petroleum retail outlets owned by it directly as surging crude prices and the absence of government subsidies have made operations unviable.

We are kept out of the ambit of the government-sponsored survival package. We have decided to close all our company-owned retail outlets. It has become unviable to transport fuel from our depots to retail outlets as the throughput from our retail outlets has almost become zero.

We are not going to re-fuel any of our retail outlets and this will eventually lead to closure of such outlets till stocks last, a source close to the development told ET. A Reliance spokesperson declined to respond to an ET questionnaire on the issue.

RIL operates about 1,400 retail outlets. It owns most of these outlets after it decided to buy out several outlets being operated by the dealers. The source told ET that the outlets operated by the dealers will continue to function. RIL achieved a fair amount of success in the petroleum retail market, gaining a market share of over 14% in no time.

RIL’s outlets were selling almost four times the average sales of PSU outlets till May 2006. The sales volumes of RIL outlets fell significantly after the price increase. Over 50 lakh customers who had been patronizing RIL outlets known for their quality and quantity assurance switched to other outlets.

The price differential between private and public companies kept widening because of oil bonds for state-owned oil marketing firms and discounts from upstream oil companies. At present, RIL sells petrol and diesel at between Rs 6 and Rs 14 more than PSUs. This drove away customers, forcing the pumps to go dry.
Even with this differential, RIL is incurring substantial losses in retail marketing. Further, this in turn has affected the operations and consequent revenues of the company. Its market share, which stood at 14%, has dropped to nil after the price differential with PSUs.
Asked if the company would consider selling off its petroleum retail operations, given that the government cap on pricing continues, We remain committed to the petroleum sector and will not sell our retail operations. The lack of a level-playing field between the public and private sector remains an area of concern, and we look forward to the its restoration as soon as it is possible so we can to resume our retail petro operations, said the source.
RIL, along with other private sector firms like Essar Oil and Shell, is lobbying hard for equal treatment with OMCs, including access to oil bonds issued by the government to underwrite the subsidy cost of selling petroleum products at a concessional price.

(This article was originally published in The Times of India)


Got a call from (206) 922 0193?

Did you receive a call from (206) 922 0193 that reads Seattle, Washington & not sure if it’s a real or hoax call?

It’s legit & it’s the call from Amazon’s delivery people. Don’t panic, pick the call. They’re either at your door to drop your order or calling you to check if you want to pick the order immediately.



Dial 1 for Happiness :)

Eeeeeeeeeeee 🙂 🙂 This is how I smile whenever I think about the moments I’d enjoyed since my childhood 🙂 I know for sure my first smile must be when I looked at my parents 🙂 Every toys my parents had bought for me had made me happy. At childhood skipping studies and going out with parents  is what made me smile. I can remember the streets with very few vehicles but more people and lots of shops with are always crowded. It makes one to feel happy when there are lot of people whether we know them or not.

At childhood 3:25 PM was my happy hour 😀 Because that is the exact time my school bell rings to mark the end of last hour. It had bring smile all over my face the moment the outdoor air touched my face when I’d left class 🙂 I can imagine the day when I’d carried my school bag upside down at my back and a stranger corrected me 🙂 And the moment after I reach home, first thing I use to do is changing dress, freshen up and drink Bonus and then hit the streets with friends. The happy hours use to continue until I hear my mom’s sound from balcony, ‘dai… come and study, enough playing for the day’ 😦 😀 And the happiness had continued while keeping books in hands and sitting next to my sister and playing with her and talking to her while mom was at kitchen and when mom asks from kitchen ‘why are you calm, study loudly’ I use to read a few lines loudly and then back to playing with sister 😀

When my mom can no longer handle me at home and admitted me at a tuition, I was very sad at the beginning but later discovered that’s more fun, because there were more kids like me at tuition and when they are my age how can we study without play 😀 It was always a thrilling moment when I use to discuss with my friends at tuition without letting my tuition teacher notice me talking to my friends that I show gestures to my friends and call them outside 😀 One by one we slowly show the little finger and ask shall I go meeees (miss)? and haha what can she say except yes go? Those 10, sometimes 15 minutes break out of 3 hours tuition was the first bunk I’d ever done 😀 And I use to play or chase some dogs for which we are not afraid of and some dogs that had chased my for which I’m afraid of are the moments that I can never forget 😀

Toilet breaks were always a greater time for boys while studying at tuition and school 😀 The artistic and athletic talents can bee seen at toilet walls in upper kinder garden onwards 😀



Boys Peeing into Chamber Pots


The PT (Physical Entertainment) period day was always a smile generating day and such a fun filled hour on a school hour. When we start from class to ground when kids at other class looks at us the ‘veeeeee’ face expression with dancing head with twisted tongue had given happiness more than the PT hour itself 😀

The annual exam holidays spent at relatives house and the time spent with cousins were the best moments 🙂 Getting prepared to go to relatives house even before preparing for exams itself was always fun 😀 Now when I spend time with my niece and nephew… hahaha there couldn’t be a best moment than when the kids jump on me and pinch my cheeks and do whatever they want to do to me and enjoy and playing with them would be the happiest moments 🙂 🙂

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Similar to the break taken during tuition now taking time off from work and playing and taking pics at office is always fun and memorable 🙂

After all the busy weekdays playing games and meeting friends in the name of game had always gave happiness to me 🙂 The fun play which turns seriously and takes a U turn and becomes fun game again.. Such a wonderful moments with friends teasing each other and distract from game, riding bicycle like the good old childhood days  and the chatting hours after game at our railway station were the happiest moments which no other place can give 🙂 🙂


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Going out with dad in scooter just by choosing a random direction for 20 kilometers and drink tender coconut on return was the happiest on all weekends 🙂 Recently, When I was looking at my school group photo which was taken 20 years ago, I thought to see my friends as they look today in the same photo and the result is this 🙂 🙂


My school group photo 🙂


The same group now 🙂 Many are not in touch and not in FB too!

Being away from home, now the happy hours are the time I speak with my best friend and with my parents. I always dial 1 for happiness which is speed dial to my home 🙂


A road trip to oOty


This post was written for ‘The Perfect Road Trip’ contest conducted by

It was my long time desire to visit Ooty. I went to my friend’s house at Coimbatore during summer and on a Saturday morning Arulganesh and I have started to Ooty by bike, in his Unicorn. We started from Saravanampatti which is at outskirts of Covai (Coimbatore). The road that we started was very calm and beautiful, as it was just 6 Am. There were peacock screams everywhere until we reached Mettuppalayam main road & it was very nice to hear it along the ride.

As highway construction was going on from that road junction, for atleast 5 kms the road was full of mud the air was polluted. I Covered my face with handkerchief and was expecting the endpoint of this road construction. I was saying to him that this is how Bangalore looks daily as many area in bangalore is dug for Metro, Flyover, Underpass and what so ever is there to do on a road!

Now that the ‘mighty endpoint’ of the road construction have come, I took away the hankie and enjoyed the breeze. Slowly we started feeling hungry as we’d nothing since we started from home. By now we’d reached Mettuppalayam. Exchanged saying that you keep looking at the right side and I’ll look at the other side to find a hotel to have breakfast, meanwhile look at the road as well 

Just when the road to Ooty was about to start, we found a hotel and stopped there for breakfast. Had Idly, Vadai & Tea.  Meanwhile we were eating, we were able to hear the awesome whistle that the Nilgiri Mountain Train was blowing. And then we said to each other that we should travel in this train next time. Done with breakfast now & It’s 7:30 when we started from the hotel. I was excited as I’m going to ooty for first time, arul ganesh too was excited as he is going to ride on those 36 hairpin bends. Now we are ready to move on, to witness the Queen’s beauty.


We’ve started from the hotel, a few kilometers away now we are at the foot of  the hills. To a visible distance there were many cars & vans, when we reached nearby it was the Black Thunder at the right side of the road. As it was not in our plan just smiled at the Black thunder board & just uttered the famous BT ad dialogue ‘Once more polaama daddy


He was riding bike very gently, not too fast or slow. As it was our first outing together in our 24 years we spoke about our school days. He then said about his first Ooty visit with his college friends that a sudden plan made them to ride at early morning 2 AM during a winter season to Ooty . When I was imagining how cold it would be and while he was explaining how cold it was during his visit; I started feeling the lovely climate! Yes, now we were somewhere 5 kms from the foot. Now many vehicles including bus, lorry were started coming from opposite side and many vehicles too following us. Some times needed to stop in the curves until the vehicles at opposite side have passed by. Arul ganesh managed to ride with ease.


We enjoyed the scenery and stopped at a place for few mins. The best part of traveling by bike is, you can stop anywhere, anytime. As it was my first visit there, the car parking at the Terrace of the houses looked strange to me. And for a while we tried to identify a building whether it was a Church or a bungalow that was usually shown in our movies. After some discussion assumed it a church & started from that place.

Reached Coonoor now and continued to ride. Looking at the houses, that are built step by step & a uniform red color that was sponsored by Vodafone added beauty to the greenish natural background. The railway track once again reminded us that we should travel by the Nilgiris Mountain Train. And on the we decided that we should have only fresh vegetables as our food for rest of the day.

Now the road that we were going on was so beautiful, tall trees at the right side and the top of trees at the left side. Ah! a vegetable stall! Fresh Carrots appeared to be waiting for our arrival. Stopped by and bought Carrots, went to the other side of road and enjoyed eating it. And the car, Maruthi 800 that was behind this Carrot seller was our topic. Is it his car, can we buy a car if we open a vegetable stall in Ooty and the discussion went on until we finished the Carrots and he bought a Radish that I have never seen, It looked red & like a beetroot. Tasted it with salt & it was so cool!

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Time to proceed further, as this trip was not to cover spots and to enjoy time at anyplace we wanted to stop by. Rode for another few kilometers, stopped at a place, It’s Kamraj sagar reservoir and Dam, as there was less water, we spent a little time there & left the place shortly. Within some kilometers we’ve now reached the Queen of Hills.  Wow! And the first thing we did after reaching Ooty was… Filled petrol 

There were many police force deployed throughout Ooty as it was 116th Flower show & it was grand as it use to be always. Started further and took a steep down from a roundtana. We were looking at both the sides and I said, ‘Dei… Stop… Turn around, I think I was a Museum‘. He turned after slowing down and went back for 200 mts & yes, it was a Museum. Initially looked like a Lodge, but the doorways was at the side, paid 5 Rs as ticket and entered the place. It was a 3 BHK which had occupied all this museum items. I could see the things that use to be there in every museum the same old rod, the broken mud pot, Processed Tiger’s skin etc…

Started from there and now headed to Tree park. Which was around 10 kms from the Museum. Enjoyed the bike ride in the awesome climate. Now that the Plums on the road side shops were pricking my eyes and it’s one of my favorite fruit. But we didn’t stop and headed to Tree Park. Yes we reached the Tree park. It was full of Casuarina trees. Bought a carrots again and wandered there for a while and took some snaps. It was too calm and not much crowded. Spent some time and started from there.

Now, Cinema Medu. The peak is named as Cinema Peak, as a result of all those ‘lalala lala lalala’ group dance songs and many other shoots. We climbed with a hot groundnuts in hand. It was a green valley. Some people competed with us in climbing and we know every place there is going to be same and relaxed in the valley. Came down from the Medu and we could see that some Monkeys had scratched our bike seat  We started from there now.

We could see hoardings that we are nearing Pykara Falls. On the way to pykara , we stopped for Plum & Radish. Hmm.. assume it as lunch  While we were talking, I ate most of the Plum  may be this is why elders say don’t speak while eating.

Now that we are very eager to reach Pykara. Rode for 5-6 kms from there & we reached Pykara falls. There was heavy traffic and luckily there was an organized bike parking. So went there and parked our bike, came out of parking and we could see Mariyamman Kovil (Temple) festival’s preparation was going on. We walked down from the checkpost and were able to hear the sound of the falls. The further chill climate made sure that we are close to the falls. And yes!! We reached the falls. Not too many crowd at one place, as it was distributed and prevention stakes were in place.

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As soon as we reached I rushed to the water and this guy was still at the point where we witnessed the water flow. Entered the water, aaah! haaa!! Too cold, like an ice berg.. Yes, might be ice… Wow! I loved it! Called him to the water, haha… he was not ready to enter the cold water. He’d missed to enjoy it. Spent there enough time and went up to parking. Now that my another favorite shops were at our site. Yes, Chocolate shops 

Bought 250 gms white chocolates and 250 gms brown chocolates and had it all within few minutes. Now time to move on. Just a few meters away was Ooty Lake. We were planning to take a boat, but it took 25 minutes to reach the lake as the narrow muddy road was jam packed with the tourist vehicles. We just reached the lake and admired the beauty of lake and started back as the queue was very crowded.


Now planning to visit Flower show at the Botanical Garden. Started back to town. On the way saw a raft of ducks and stopped by. Spent a short time there and rode back to Ooty. Enjoyed the bike ride again and enjoyed every sight. Reached town after an hour and parked bike in parking. As there were many counters there were not much crowd to buy entry tickets but it was crowded heavily inside. Now I saw the show that I use to see only on TV News all these years.

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Moved along the queue and enjoyed witnessing varieties of flowers, vegetables. Dance by the native tribes were going on and they were cheered by the crowd. Not just for Cricket, but the dancers too were cheered by the crowds participation in dance from the place they were enjoying the event. Bell rang at stomach for evening snacks. Turned around and there were printouts with varieties food, but we were too late for that. There was just two items available and no other choice, we bought it & enjoyed eating. Overall the Botanical Garden visit was totally amazing!

Now it’s almost 6 & time to go back home. Started from there halfheartedly & went to bike. We took a different route to go down. This road was quiet and not crowded at all. Little scared as well as there were no vehicles at all for some kms. Oh! This road and scenery was awesome! He was talking about some tea factory that he visited when he was in college, wanted to eat the fresh veggies again and stopped for Carrots. Had the fresh carrots again and bought some for home as well. Managed to get it soon as a person nearby was filling his car with all the vegetables at the shop.

Went ahead for just 2 kms and this tea factory was there! Decided to go and went in to the factory, it was our luck that as we entered the main gate was closed for any new visitors as it was time to close for the day. Bought the entry tickets (5 Rs) and went in the queue to see the process of making tea. It was very nice as it was hot inside. At the end of the process we were provided with a cup of tea  as well  There were eucalyptus stall and chocolate stalls as well. Bought chocolates for home and left the place.

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It was tough to ride down the hills. As I was counting the number of hairpin bends left, he was riding bike carefully. Slowly the dark started to cover the sky and it was dark within few minutes. Again stopped by some curves until the vehicles at the other end passed by and it was the same until we reached down. It took more time to reach down than the time it took to reach top.

Now reached Mettupalayam and stopped for a short break  Started again and the next stop was at the shop where he usually have his dinner at Saravanampatti. After the whole day journey without covering my face I looked like a chinese to this shop keeper and I understood by the way he looked at me. Had dosai & Upma and reached home at 2230 hrs while the screams of Peacocks were still on. 


Trip to Coorg

Hahaha… Well, After planning for about 5 years we went for a Trip to Coorg on 25th & 26th of May. This trip was with my college friends.

On Friday mid-night, After a one hour nap myself and Ashwin started from home at 2.30 AM; We were the only people at the street. Just when we entered a narrow street to pass-by, 5 dogs at the other end of street ran out and we were wondering that why is it scared about us, soon after that it bought 10-15 dogs at the other end! Somehow we managed to cross the street after pushing each of us back & forth in the street. Luck favored us by showing an auto, reached Bangalore cantonment at 2.47 AM. As expected we were the first at railway station and boarded Mysore express at 3:45 (delayed by 10 minutes as 3:35 is expected time of arrival).

Reached Mysore at 7.20 AM & our cab was ready to pick us from Mysore to Coorg. Had breakfast after 40 kms from Mysore  and headed to Bhagamandala (A pilgrimage place in Kodagu district.). Road was good and weather was moderate. And now several bend, ups and down started! (If you are weak, keep a tamarind-flavored candy to stop vomiting!).

After 120 kms drive we’d reached Bhagamandala. It was very calm place and it wasn’t crowded. Played and took bath in the sacred river (At this place, the Kaveri is joined by two tributaries, the Kannike and the mythical Sujyoti river) & worshiped god at Bhagamandala temple. It was 1’o clock there and we had lunch at the temple itself. Annathanam at the temple was good.

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As it was already 2’o clock we headed to the next place Talakaveri which is 7 kms from Bhagamandala. Talakaveri… 1,276m above sea level and it was very nice. Worshiped Goddess  Kaveriamma, Agasthiswarar & Maha Ganapathi.

The legend goes that the Kaveri river was held in a Kamandalam (a container of sacred water) by Sage Agasthyar. Vinaayakar  took the form of a crow and perched on the kamandalam of Agasthyar when Agasthyar was meditating. When Agasthyar realised this, he shooed away the crow. But the devine crow tipped the kamandalam and toppled it. Out poured Kaveri which started flowing. The crow disappeared and in its place stood a small boy. Agasthyar thought that the boy was playing some prank and clenching both his fists, went to pound the head of the small boy. But the boy escaped and Agasthyar gave chase. Finally the boy vanished and Vinayakar showed himself to Agasthyar. Agasthyar was aghast at the realisation that he had just tried to knock the head of Vinayakar himself. As atonement, he knocked his own head with both of his clenched fists. This is why we do it knocking on head at Vinayakar temple.

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After our worship was over, the climate turned Wow! It was completely mist all around! Couldn’t leave the place for a while & spent some time there and moved from the place halfheartedly.

Next visit is to Raja’s Seat. A pleasant spectacle of greenery & chain of mountains. Moderately crowded and good time to be spent at the evening. We missed the artificial musical fountain as it was shutdown for maintenance. There is an attractive toy train for kids and grown kids as well 😛

Now, the plan is to reach our resort before 6 for some activities there. But time is already 6! meanwhile purchasing some snacks and Et cetera it started raining heavily. An attender from resort came to Coorg in his Jeep, to guide us with the route to our resort. Just when we started within 1 km the attender stopped his jeep and came out & spoke something to a car driver which was behind ours. (Probably he was asking them to follow us!).

It was 15 kms from Coorg and at some unimaginable height at western ghats. After one hour of travel in the hills at late 6 o clock, we were able to see a two floor house at a 300 mts distance and were prepared to get down. But the Jeep just kept going! Oh.. no.. that was not our resort. Now after 10 minutes a decent looking building was nearby, but wait… the Jeep just took a left there! Again… This is not our resort. Just looked out of the window and realized that we should be traveling approx 1300 mts.

Now the climate is Wow! Covered by mist (Tough time for driver!) and the Jeep stopped, but no house in the surrounding! Jeep driver was waiting for the 2nd car that was following ours! Ah…! Come fast… Shouted all of us, only among us! Yes, the 2nd car was visible for all of us and the jeep moved forward.

Finally the 15th kilometer came! yes, we’d reached our resort! Alpinia. It was 7.50 PM when we reached and all are hungry! As we’d already ordered for dinner the cook said he’ll bring it shortly. Meanwhile we took a look at the resort! The room was awesome. As the ladder lead to the loft had 10 beds and it looked awesome!

Reminded me Josh Hutcherson taking Dwayne Johnson to take the two different mysterious books from his Loft.

And now time for dinner! Dinner at the open space was an added taste to the food! A 5 minutes walk outside in the dark just 10 make call to home! And back at the resort for sleep!

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Day 2 added more beauty to the place, in the sun light. Soon after finishing the breakfast & playing the adventurous games we headed to next place Dubbare. Reached Dubbare within 1 hour and way to Dubbare from our stay was splendid! Reminded those mid movies with estates.


We were ready to cross the Kaveri river. There was rafting and boating to cross the river as the water flow was less we chose to cross by walk. Now mission started! Holding hands of 8 of us each other started to cross the river bank. It was exiting.


Other bank of river was the Elephants camp. There was elephant ride. But it was not that exiting for us to go on. But we went nearby a Elephant that was left alone with chained on front legs. We’re so close to him and a small elephant (Probably it’s calf) followed by. All of a sudden without no ones expectation the first one moved it’s head and trunk towards us ‘Baaaah’, ‘Some claps (Our guys claps when they are scared!)’ etc… that was our reaction when it tried to scare us!

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Moved from the spot planned to bath in the river. Amazing two hours spent at the river! Never wanted to come out of it to the mobilistic (I don’t think there is such word! But using it to describe the world where Mobile is everything!) world!

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After wonderful bath at kaveri, We headed to Bylakuppe, Namdroling Monastry the Golden temple. It is a Tibetan colony. The temple was very nice and it was prayer time when we reached there. Spent half an hour there and started out from there to Mysore. Coorg and surrounding had missed us, yes the heavy rain on the way to Mysore signed it 🙂

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Like our previous trip to Kodaikanal (Not written about it in this Blog) i-trav made our travel easy.

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Story of a border…

It was in the early nineties I knew the word Border. The first border I know was border between India & Pakistan & the later is Tamilnadu & Karnataka. Every since I attended a family function, our family friends at Chennai, Mannargudi, Thanjavur, Kumbakonam, Mayiladuthurai would refer my place as ‘Yes, I know about TVS company there, it’s famous across country’, ‘Ah! Hosur, Yes my cousin works in Ashok Leyland there’ & they would recall all company name they read in newspaper.

At any function any elders who ask me to get some water to them will not forget to add this ‘Karnataka doesn’t give water to us, at least you get me some water’; as if I’m from Karnataka & we’re getting water from them. They forget that Hosur falls under Tamilnadu & it’s the border of Tamilnadu. We’ve not even seen Cauvery water stream but a lot of riots due to the cauvery water!

‘Karnataka doesn’t give water to us, at least you get me some water’; as if I’m from Karnataka & we’re getting water from them.

Most of the people at Bangalore except some political parties doesn’t know that Hosur is part of Tamilnadu, as Hosur road is a 41 kms stretch in Bangalore, people have an assumption that Hosur is in Bangalore. Even a born & brought up person in Bangalore doesn’t know that Hosur is outside KA, as they have much general knowledge they don’t care where this place is.

When it comes to cauvery water issue every time, even when court orders to give water to TN, first task for some political parties in karnataka is to break Tamilnadu buses glasses to show their agitation, burn tyres at the attipalli (Karnataka border), Stop buses entering from Tamilnadu & there by stopping thousands of commuters who travel for college & to work daily. Buses will stop at Hosur border; Zuzuwadi and people would walk to attipalli (1.5 – 2 kms) to board bus from KA. Until the water row comes to an end every time, this would be the routine for people in Hosur.

some political parties in karnataka is to break Tamilnadu buses glasses to show their agitation, burn tyres at the attipalli

Now comes the chance to every party in KA to show their affection they have towards KA people by conducting Bandh individually, provided if media covers them neatly, else you can hardly find affectionate people there. Thereby stopping the screening of any tamil movies, but Tamil remake movies in Kannada will be screened, Tamil songs remade in Kannada will be played in FM throughout the day; remember not to question all these, else keep a first-aid box ready with you.

Thanks: Cartoonist Bala.

Though the people of Karnataka are good at heart like anyone else, it if some political party who creates this agitation among-st them. Remember everyone needs water at the end & abiding to law gives you additional respect. When bandh comes on weekend people who travel to Tamilnadu on weekend will have a boring weekend on the paralyzed Bangalore.