2/19/10

Law Enforcement as Imagined by Alexis Carrington

So - the Bangalore Police's Cheetah Road Squad. Dedicated to fighting crime, protecting the innocent, ensuring peace and harmony etc etc. All noble, all needed and probably (who knows eh?) being executed. Hm. Is that a wrong choice of verb? Done is probably more apt. Or given the designs on their motorcycles, pounced on. Seriously - what is with that leopard print-Dynasty-Joan Collins-Alexis Carrington sashaying round Denver look? I only recently noticed this assault on the senses, though a Google search for Bangalore Police Cheetah Road Squad threw up newspaper and blog entries from waaaay back in 2004.

It is when you come across phenomena like this that you wonder: Which came first - the chicken or the egg? Did they choose the name after Joan Collins had Collins-ized the motorcycles or did they say, "Yea, Cheetah, yea powerful name. A prowler, cool like Alexis, take that Blake! Let's totally spottify the machines."

What, after they spread spots across all these motorcycles, did the police think? Definitely not: those look better as loin cloths, don't they - where are the jungle vines?

2/11/10

Housing gone wrong

Timothy Egan’s excellent post about the McMansion suburbs (“slumburbia”) that were abandoned during this great recession brought back memories of this:

A year after moving to Bangalore my mother and I decided to look around and see what kind of real estate was up for sale in the city. We fixed on a budget and checked out the listings at various agents’ offices. At the time of course (around two years ago) getting a decent flat within that budget and near enough the city was next to impossible. We were taken by one agent into what felt like the western town set in a Hollywood studio lot – scrubland, empty buildings and dust, so much dust. Trying to think back to that day, I don’t think it was fear of any kind that dominated our emotions, but a kind of sadness. The sight of all those buildings still waiting for life to move in and animate them and the possibility of them remaining unoccupied, made one wonder what exactly has gone wrong with the 21st century vision of housing and urban development.