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Old 28th December 2011, 08:52   #31
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Default re: Driving through a hartal/bandh

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I remember that the mob was targetting tamils (just because Veerappan was) and vehicles with TN registration numbers and there I was a bong with a M800 which had TN registration numbers . I guess for the first time in my M800's life it was covered under vehicle cover.
Yeah, they used to check the number plates. But none of them were spared,be it KA/TN or any other reg vehicle. Every other vehicle bore the brunt with something or the other broken. TN vehicles were singled out and bore the most of it.

When RajKumar passed away, it was the same story again. Stones were pelted and buses burnt.
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Old 4th January 2012, 13:40   #32
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Default re: Driving through a hartal/bandh

As if hartals were not enough, in GOC they have now started blocking NH for party conventions. And this is in violation of a court-order that specifically states that this is not done.

28-Dec-2011 : SIL has to catch the 10:40PM flight from TVM to S'pore. Airport is 75kms from their home in Kollam and we leave at 5PM - I expect to reach by 7PM or worst 7:30PM, but then I am not aware of what is in store for us. Around 6:30PM we are at Attingal and maybe just 30mins or so from destination.

That is where the trouble starts. Cops have blocked the NH47 and ask us to take a right, drive for few kms and then rejoin the NH.
Reason : CPI's state convention.

Irritated we are, but since it is just a detour of few kms, we take the right, cursing the crappy guys who inconvenience the public.
We have not even driven a km when we find ourselves at the end of a loooooong traffic jam of all vehicles diverted off the NH. And it is a standstill. Time is running out fast and after cooling our heels at the same place for close to an hour, I can sense that she will miss the flight if I wait for divine intervention.

This is where the small car advantage stood out. I drove the A-Star on the left-most side of the road (untarred) dodging telephone poles etc and after some 20mins managed to get to the head of the jam, where the road is clear, but is the typical country road - just about wide for 2 vehicles and no lighting. Raced through the road as best as the car could manage - the A-Star in all of its previous 7K kms would not have been driven like this. Finally when we reach the NH again, we think our troubles are over, only to be dejected to see heavy traffic at Kazhakoottam.

It is 8:30PM or so now and we have given up hope to catch the flight. I decide to give it a last try and race through the traffic, occasionally driving on the lane for oncoming traffic, whenever possible. FIL sitting in the front seat wants me to drive slow, MIL in the rear wants me to keep this pace. I am oblivious to both and just concentrating on the driving. Finally reach the tollroad where things are better. There is an i10 ambling along on the middle lane and I overtake him, among many others including some Q-series Audi etc.

I see a car in a hurry behind me and assuming he has an emergency, I give way, only to know that it was a mistake. It was the i10 guy from before, who got insulted that an A-Star overtook him and wants to side-swipe me - he comes sideways to hit our car. At another time, I would have been game, but this was not the occasion, so I gun the car, get ahead of him and never gave him way to overtake after that. So much for A-Star being underpowered.

We reach the airport at 9:15PM, having taken more than 4 hours to cover 75kms of NH. The place is empty - because many have missed their flights and could not make it. There were the usual Gulf-returnees who reached after their flight took off and were literally crying. Anyway, SIL checks-in and boards the flight which takes off at scheduled time.

I don't remember the last time I drove under such stress. The puny AT got us (5 adults, a 4-yr kid, and infant & 27kgs of baggage) through , but if it were the MT version, would have been better. Only regret was that I had chosen to stick the "I drive safe" sticker on this car, since wifey/FIL/SIL drive it and they are safe drivers. But given how I drove that day, the irony would not have been lost on those who could see that sticker and saw me drive.

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 4th January 2012 at 13:45.
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Old 4th January 2012, 16:53   #33
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Default re: Driving through a hartal/bandh

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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
I see a car in a hurry behind me and assuming he has an emergency, I give way, only to know that it was a mistake. It was the i10 guy from before, who got insulted that an A-Star overtook him and wants to side-swipe me - he comes sideways to hit our car. At another time, I would have been game, but this was not the occasion, so I gun the car, get ahead of him and never gave him way to overtake after that. So much for A-Star being underpowered.
Off Topic: There are lots of such sadists in GOC. People take it an insult when a car, they consider cheaper/lower than theirs, overtake them. They'd literally drive on the right lane at speeds slower than a rick to stop you from overtaking.
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Old 7th January 2012, 15:55   #34
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Default re: Driving through a hartal/bandh

During one of the last Motor Vahana Harthals (the flavour of that day if I remember was Diesel price hike ), travelling in a KeSRTC express from Coimbatore to Ernakulam (surprisingly they operated!), I remember reading a news report about Mr Vijayarghavan (former CEO Technopark TVM) staing that Keralites should realise that Bandhs and Hartals are only useful for two sets of people, Politicians and Governemnt Employees!!!

Very true but I hope the same thing was taught by the wonderful faculty of IIM Kozhikode who conducted a much publicised one day tutorial to the entire state cabinet!!!


I reached in 5 hours but was never sure when and where a stone would land!! In restrospect I should not have risked the journey!!!
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Old 28th February 2012, 13:40   #35
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Default re: Driving through a hartal/bandh

A small update.

There was another strike today in which the convoy with police protection carrying employees to the office was attacked. Tyres of the bus was deflated and the employees had to walk to the office.
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Old 28th May 2012, 11:20   #36
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Default re: Driving through a hartal/bandh

31st May 2012 has been declared as Bharat Bandh by NDA (and other parties). They are planning to protest against the recent steep rise in petrol prices.

While all of us do support the cause, but it may not be possible for everyone to stay at home on a work day.

So, what are you planning to do on 31st ?

I have heard that even BMTC buses would not be plying on that day (this information is unconfirmed though).

I normally commute to my office in a personal car. Is it advisable to do so on the bandh day ?

I feel that the best option would be to try to convince the company management to declare a holiday on 31st (and compensate for it on some other day, saturday perhaps)

Rohan
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Old 28th May 2012, 23:05   #37
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Not to ring the alarm, I wouldn't suggest using the car. Since an opposition party controlled State would more likely want the bands to succeed, the morons would have free hand on the streets. I am being pessimistic because one of our relatives bike was burnt during previous hartal and my Vento barely escaped the mobs ire during the Lawyers standoff in March this year.
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Old 29th May 2012, 16:51   #38
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Default re: Driving through a hartal/bandh

Try to leave to work early in such a case ie 7-8 am.If you get stopped just tell people that you had a night shift and that you are just trying to get home.Might work.
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Old 30th May 2012, 11:47   #39
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Default re: Driving through a hartal/bandh

Need some suggestions from the lands of the hartals / bandhs. Esp. Kerala and WB (the TMC is as bad as the comrades)!
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Old 30th May 2012, 12:24   #40
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Default re: Driving through a hartal/bandh

^^^As far as I know, there is no bandh in Kerala tomorrow, since the comrades in Kerala had already called a bandh last Thursday just after the petrol price-hike was announced. Some blessing that for the public there !!!

Usually bandhs mean nothing in TN (have always gone to work without issues), but this time I am not so sure since the ruling party is supporting the bandh I believe. We have been asked to work from home and that is what I guess I would do.
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Old 30th May 2012, 14:22   #41
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Default re: Driving through a hartal/bandh

There is a bandh declared tomorrow in Pune (among other places). We have been informed by the risk management team in our organisation that we are expected to report to work (no work from home) as usual.

I cannot leave early to work; my shift timings are 11 to 8pm. To avoid unnecessary losses, I can switch to my motorbike. but is that safe enough? Any tips/ hints would be welcome.
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Old 30th May 2012, 15:44   #42
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Default re: Driving through a hartal/bandh

@selfdrive, bikes are normally excused, atleast in TN/Kerala - not sure about Pune.
I am sure you wear your helmet, but in such times this safety-aid gains even more importance.

BTW I am surprised you are expected to come to work by your RM team, considering that there is no knowing what can happen when a group of unruly elements get together. I wonder whether they have taken into account the potential risk involved to people/property.
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Old 30th May 2012, 15:53   #43
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Default re: Driving through a hartal/bandh

It is not clear whether the ruling party is supporting the bandh in TN tomorrow. They had their own demonstration yesterday. Most of the bandh calls in TN will fizzle out if the ruling party doesn't support (govt buses /offices will work).
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Old 30th May 2012, 16:21   #44
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Default re: Driving through a hartal/bandh

Heard that a couple of companies are not working tomorrow in BLR
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Old 30th May 2012, 16:41   #45
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Default re: Driving through a hartal/bandh

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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
BTW I am surprised you are expected to come to work by your RM team, considering that there is no knowing what can happen when a group of unruly elements get together. I wonder whether they have taken into account the potential risk involved to people/property.
We got the same message: safe to come to work! I guess the fact that the bandh is being called by a party not in power locally changes things.
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