Skip to Content

A letter to Mr. Brunner

I got a little tired of scouring various web sites for pictures of BIAL so decided to drive down to see the Real McCoy. The letter that I am planning to send to Mr. Brunner was triggered by this visit. WARNING: This is long and mindless.

Dear Mr. Brunner,

As a Bengaluru niwasi (I know you are Swiss but you might as well start learning about the local culture since your lack of understanding of it is the root cause of all that I am writing to you about), I am troubled by what I see as a blatant attempt at social engineering and behavior modification that you and BIAL are engaged in our fair city. I see a conspiracy afoot that you clearly are a part of (who knows, may be the CIA is in it too) to put is in a straightjacket, limit our ability to think; in short, turn us into robots like most of you westerners. You have made every attempt to diminish our ability to deal with chaos (after all it is this very quality that made us world-class thinkers as one of our favorite sons Rajat Gupta is known to have said) and thus prevent our march towards world domination.

Let me explain. I visited BIAL this morning and on this trip I made a mental note of several items that I will present to you as exhibits to buttress my case.

Exhibit A -- The link road between NH7 and the airport: This morning as I started cruising on NH7 past our world-class Hebbal flyover towards BIAL, my mind was alert to any curve that the highway might throw at me – a school bus making a U-turn from the extreme left lane at a traffic signal, animals and humans jaywalking across the high-speed highway, BMTC buses stopping in the middle lane to pick up/drop off passengers, the works. And then I see the highway opening up and bingo, there is this large green sign indicating the exit for the airport. My instincts tell me to ignore it but I gingerly take the exit and I am on this multi-lane interchange and it is clear as far as eyes can see. My senses are dulled, mind no longer alert, I am on autopilot. Soon there are signs everywhere – exit for this, exit for that; and directions to find the parking lots. I find this disconcerting – hmmm, why exactly does Mr. Brunner want to think for me.

Exhibit B – The parking lot: The parking slots are clearly marked and so is the (uni-directional) traffic flow around the lot. I park my car and survey the lot. You say 2000 cars can be parked here. I am thinking, you Swiss simpletons, you can only make space for 2000 cars? Let me and my Bengaluru friends go to work. We can easily turn this into a 4000-car lot. You see we have mastered a technique we call “dynamic allocation of traffic lanes”. We can turn a 2-lane bi-directional road into a multi-lane, multi-directional free for all in seconds when the situation demands, which is usually always. We can turn main thoroughfares into parking lots and vice versa. If we can do this successfully, the parking lot capacity doubling is a piece of cake. Why didn’t you study the Benguluru parking habits at our beloved HAL airport? More importantly, why are you and BIAL denying us the opportunity to exercise our little gray cells?

Exhibit C: The terminal: Admittedly, I only saw the arrivals section but that was enough for me. There are signs for everything, where to line up for taxis, where to get information, where to get food and drinks. Mr. Brunner, what do you take us for – a bunch of idiots? At the old HAL airport, we mastered the art of fishing out our assigned pre-paid cab from a sea of white Maruti Omnis in seconds. We don’t need to be spoon-fed about finding a mere cab. Again, Mr. Brunner why this attempt to dumb down the population of namma Bengaluru? I say to you, as did Reagan to Gorby famously years ago, “tear down these signs”.

On a side note, there are demands being made for you to provide toilet facilities for visitors that cannot afford to pay to get into the terminal. Some of us are also nostalgic about our beloved HAL airport. So, I say just provide a long wall in one corner of the parking lot where we Bengaluru males can do our spitting and whatever else we Bengalurians do when we see walls (for some reason Bengaluru women do not seem to have these urges). But in deference to our religious sentiments, please do not paint any religious symbols on the wall for some of us do care about such things.

Exhibit D: This is perhaps the most egregious of the lot. BIAL is charged with being a bad influence on the poor innocent folks at BMTC and BBMP. BMTC has got into this annoying habit of parking at the bus bays that you have provided for them at the airport rather than their preferred method of random parking thus taking the joy out of finding one of their buses. Finally and perhaps most shockingly, BBMP seems to have been swept up by this wave of “internationalism” as well. On my drive back from the airport this afternoon, I actually saw road crews meticulously embed “cats eyes” on the lane markers on NH-7. What next? Enforcement of lane driving by the Bengaluru police? Is there no limit to these transgressions?

Mr. Brunner, I am 58-year old man trying to forestall the onset of dementia by keeping my brain actively engaged. BIAL clearly is hazardous to my mental health and that of many of my fellow citizens. If the trend that BIAL has set catches on, who knows Bengaluru might end up becoming another antiseptically clean Singapore and there was a good reason I chose not to live there when I had an opportunity years ago.

Your Sincerely,


blr_editor's picture


Very tongue-in-cheek sir! Thank you. [Did some formatting and promoted to front page]. -Editor
vmenon's picture

fantastic piece

VVR..that BIAL piece was a masterpiece,thanks for making me smile.

silkboard's picture

Tongue in cheek alright

Loved reading it. And amidst the barrage of criticism for BIAL, there are a few happy souls like me who have loved:

  • Such raised expectations from a city that has learnt to live with alternate day water, alternate hour power and alternate minute congestions.
  • Doing 50 km rides in BMTC buses in 70 minutes. Someone told me this stat that the avg speed of traffic in Bangalore is 24 kmph, just a bit better than Kolkata.
  • Seeing some folks who I never thought will ever actually do it, take the bus, and using public transport, and, not bitching about it.
  • Cat eyes, pedestrian fences and mechanized road cleaners on highways (NH7), police enforcing curbing kerb-side parking to reduce entropy on 6 lane roads (ORR)

Those who care about the actual job BIAL has on hand will make sure BIAL gets to be good at what it is supposed to do. But 10 years from now, we would look back and realize that BIAL marked a turn-around in city's fortunes, its thinking about transportation, and its level of expectations. Whether BIAL itself will turn out to be a nice and large airport hub, jury is still out, and is a separate story.

vvr's picture


Thank you, Ed. I am honored.
murali772's picture

higher expectations

The following comment made by SB sometime back on the new Hyderabad airport, I thought quite summed up what opening up of services to the private sector has accomplished:

"But now we have folks asking boldly about wash room inside container terminals. Private entities have already done the first good thing - raise everyone's expectations to 'world class' levels. Earlier, people felt helpless against public monopolies, and that helplessness led to us settling for real low expectations".

There definitely are shortcomings in the BIAL's design, and many things are still to fall in place as far as operations are concerned. But, atleast, it has made people demand higher standards. Hopefully, that demand will extend to other services, too, and where the government agencies involved can't deliver, the demand for privatisation.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
vvr's picture

Expectations will indeed ratchet up

Here is one example -- visualize waving down a taxi/auto with a lighted sign on one of our streets, said taxi/auto stops immediately, you get in and tell the driver where you want to go, he/she merely says "yup" and drives you to your destination -- no questions aked. You arrive at your destination and pay the meter fare and go about your business. What a novel idea!

As opposed to our current system. You stop auto after auto (as I did on MG Road recently, soaked to the skin), ask the drivers where THEY would like to go and then furiously figure out in your head how you can reach your destination. You are thinking, I need to go to Ulsoor but the Autowalla wants to go to Lingarajapuram, how about getting off at Cox Town because you can usually find a few autowallas there who might consider going to Ulsoor. OK, now lets discuss payment terms etc. etc.

Clearly, life will become simpler and we as a community will become less hardy and less tenacious but surely there will be benefits.

ravi_12472's picture

Don't want BIAL becomes like BMTC Bus stand

I do not gonna want BIAL to become like a BMTC Bus stand. 

nature_raj's picture

Nicely Said...!!

I am similing....Very nice sir..!!.. Hats off to your sense of humor..!!

Cheers.. Raj. comment guidelines

Posting Guidelines apply for comments as well. No foul language, hate mongering or personal attacks. If criticizing third person or an authority, you must be fact based, as constructive as possible, and use gentle words. Avoid going off-topic no matter how nice your comment is. Moderators reserve the right to either edit or simply delete comments that don't meet these guidelines. If you are nice enough to realize you violated the guidelines, please save Moderators some time by editing and fixing yourself. Thanks!

about seo | forum