Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Law of the Land

Nearly seven years ago we decided to build our house on a plot of land in Bangalore that we had purchased from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Co-op. We began by constructing a perimeter wall around the plot. A week after it had been built it was knocked down overnight. We learned that someone had claimed a part of the land as his and objected to our construction. As we had all the legal papers so we decided to go to court. That turned out to be a bad decision. The defendant had the backing of a local politician and got a ruling in his favor without producing any proof of ownership.

My mom didn't lose hope and moved to the higher court. She attended the court proceedings religiously. I accompanied her on a few visits when I was there and was repulsed on each visit. Sometimes the defendant's lawyer wouldn't show up, dragging the case on so we would get frustrated and give up. Our lawyer was no angel himself as it was in his interests to keep prolonging the case too. As the case drew to a judgment, we were hit by another curve ball. The defendant had 'sold' our land to another developer and he was no longer liable in the legal proceedings!

I found another lawyer who had represented my high school buddy's folks in another commercial dispute. We decided to switch to him as he came highly recommended. His advice to us was to settle the case out of court as it could be dragged on for a much longer time. The compromise involved splitting the land between us and the new developer, and with the developer building the boundary wall around the new areas in lieu of the one torn down. Whoever coined - 'Good fences make good neighbors' surely had our situation in mind.

The settlement was reached on Sunday and a heavy weight has been lifted off our chests. We can breathe easy again.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My Celebrity Look-alikes

This is a startling revelation :)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

School of Rock

It seems like Jack Black's efforts are finally paying dividends. Watch this video of a really young band - Gaucho-Salta based in Argentina, covering rock numbers from Iron Maiden to Sepultura. In the video you will also find a lil girl who has all the makings of the next Ashlee Simpson!

I was introduced to rock music when I heard an Indian Band called 'Rock Machine' (also Indus Creed) in middle school. I was awed by their first album 'Rock n Roll Renegade'. I have been searching for their CDs for a long time and I finally found their MP3s online here. Their music sounds great even after all these years.

Update 02/13/2006
Iron Maiden is planning their first gig in Bangalore. *sigh*

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Wiki + Maps = WikiMapia

In an earlier blog, I had written about the new satellite imagery capabilities in Google Earth that provided aerial views of territories previously unmapped, such as India. is a new online resource that allows people to collaboratively annotate and see such maps.

I was surprised to find my college completely annotated in the wiki-map, and like I told a lot of the non-believers, we indeed have a private beach about a mile from the campus (See map below for details).

Its nice to see highways and airports mapped out but the maps are also littered with unimportant entries such as "ZM Fazullulah Residence", which need to be weeded out. I am sure the folks at WikiMapia will put in measures in place to restrict such entries.

My next prediction: Directions in WikiMapia.