unlisted thoughts

ruminations on culture, design, codes and life.

Hanging implements

Hanging implements by Unlisted Sightings

That ingenuous custom-designed hook allows the tea vendors to do brisk business when trains stop at the station.

Your stuff altered, in 40 minutes

A maximum 40 minute wait time by Unlisted Sightings

Simple telegraphic time notification takes the guesswork out of “How long will this alteration take?”

Kid-friendly adult environments

Raised platform for the kids by Unlisted Sightings

Instead of lowering the level of pots for the kids, this toilet allows them to be at the same level as adults. What is a better alternative, lowering or raising?

Urban textures

Hexagoned into a circle by Unlisted Sightings


Customizing the pour to his workstation.

Customizing the pour to his workstation. by Unlisted Sightings

We are all designers.

Reflective appeal

Topsy turvy times for the King. by Unlisted Sightings

personalization and customization to create stories and add to the reflective appeal of the cycle.

Happy Karthikai. The other festival of lights.

Happy Karthikkai. The other festival of lights. by Unlisted Sightings

As kids, we always knew it as the little Diwali. It came within a month or so after Diwali, so the firecrackers were always burst in two shifts.

Today, we are older, but less fun than we were then.

If you would like to know a little more about this festival, here’s the Wikipedia link

Anatomy of a Bombay bus ticket

Do you remember the time when the BEST bus tickets would look like this?

Anatomy of a Bombay bus ticket by Unlisted Sightings

(Click on the image for a detail on the ticket codes)

It used to be lot of fun in an earlier life. When we were little, we would add up all the numbers on the top and align them to the alphabet to see who might be thinking about us at that instant. In this ticket, the numbers on the top 523-358281 add up to 37, that’s K in the alphabet. Which would mean, that a person whose name starts with K was thinking about me. Funnily enough, whether that person was thinking of you or not, you thought about them.

Today, it’s a different story.

Death of the BEST ticket

Technology has taken out the entire romance, and has opted for convenience. Now, it’s a machine that gives you the ticket. Even the metallic clink of the conductor’s puncher that we would listen all the time is missing. Many more conductors now have those little handheld evil machines that print out these characterless tickets.

Oh, the good ole’ days.

Jazz hands

Jazz hands glass pane holders at Alterra, Milwaukee. by Unlisted Sightings

glass pane holders for the food counter

(Alterra, Milwaukee, WI, July 2011)

Fresh confusion

Fresh confusion. Always by Unlisted Sightings

How many air fresheners does it take to stink up a car?

Hello. I am the Mumbai train culture.

The train came to a halt at Borivali, its last stop, and my destination.

Even before I could get out, people just thronged into the compartment, and soon enough, I was sandwiched between bodies. Tightly packed like sardines, my efforts to get off at Borivali were futile.

And then, the train left for Kandivali on its return journey to Churchgate, with me still stuck inside…

Just another day in Mumbai.

(Borivali Station, October 2008)

This traffic light rocks!

This traffic light rocks! by Unlisted Sightings

Subversion art encountered outside the erstwhile CBGB on Bleecker and Bowery, New York.

(Bleecker and Bowery, New York, June 2007.)

Bombay monsoons. Fun for some.

Dancing in the rain by Unlisted Sightings

You have to love the rains in Bombay, to love Bombay.

Quite a few more pictures of Bombay monsoons here.

(Lower Parel, July 2008)

Hello there, Kitty

Hello there, Kitty. by Unlisted Sightings

From chic to commonplace, Hello Kitty has seen it all.

(Varanasi, India, June 2010)

Smoke break.

Smoke break. by Unlisted Sightings

Every week day, hundreds descend in this little nook in Polo Road, Shillong, and bet on archery. The idea is to bet on the total number of arrows that will be shot by the archers. The last two digits are up for grabs. And they typically pay 1:80 Rupees.

When we went, all these archers shot a total of 924 arrows into the target. Some went home rich, some poorer. Nevertheless, everyone comes back again the next day to start things all over.

More pictures here

Window Washers, Mumbai

There's no fear of traffic up here, so blast the music! by Unlisted Sightings

With window washing still a new concept, the only way to clean windows in new tall buildings is through jugaad (improvisation).

With just basic harnessing, this window washer cleans 11 floors.

Do Not Disturb.

Do Not Disturb. by Unlisted Sightings
Only in New York.

When everyone zigs, zag

When everyone zigs, zag by Unlisted Sightings

It was refreshing to see this sign at a street vendor’s stall in Union Square. Something as simple as this does so much to disarm the customers and invite them to engage with the product. Well played, rug seller. Well played.

(Union Square, New York; Sept 2007)

Dynamic feedback.

Illusory protection against unforeseen calamities.


This deadly combination of lime and chilly is enough to ward off any evil coming your way, at least in India.

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