Monday, August 13, 2007

Me and the Art of Motorcycle Riding

The pleasure of riding a bike is contagious, the high of tight cornering, the zing of acceleration, the controlled high speed braking gets the adrenaline in your blood going and the composite feeling is truely ecstatic.
One of my initial rides was Hero Puch. With a 65 cc engine I used to lift both of its wheels in air. I loved the acceleration of that bike tcompletely. In its prime, I could easily take on a yamaha in 0-40 km drag race. I maintained it myself, changed the oil, cleaned the carburator, de-carbed the silencer, removed the silencer filter to enhance the Power(n the sound a bit ;-))...). It was my babe and all my friends envied it. Very faithful, frugal and snazzy ride it was.
I really wanted to take it to my B-School, but was advised by my more (supposedly) worldly wise brother-in-law against it, lest I be branded as a "Moped Vale Bhaiya". So, my Dad bought me a 100cc Black Hero Honda Passion. Though I admit that it was my decision to choose the bike as I was smitten by its Grand Prix styling looks. But, I soon realised, I had made a blunder as soon I rode it for the first time. It was anything but spirited, the gear ratio was beyond my understanding and its handling is one of the worst in its class. Nevertheless, I needed transpotation and after a little tweaking, it delivered enough power to ferry me(80Kg) and my friend(95Kg) Arijit to and fro to the Pubs of Saket(Delhi) and Gurgaon. Officially, it still holds the title of being my current bike. But, somehow I do not intend to keep it so for long, as I am done with it.
Today, somehow, ventured into the Craig's bikes segment today and started looking what's up for sale. It was truly a dreamworld unfurling before my eyes. Amongst the Kawasaki Ninja's, Honda CBR1100xxs, Honda CBR600RR and a couple of Suzuki GSXR-600s. I found the CBR1100xx most exciting, and given there wasn't much difference in price, I decided to read a review for this bike, trust me mid way during the reading of the review I decided that this bike was beyond me and decided to quit the idea of owning a bike altogether. For the first time I had looked at a ride and decided to give up, what's happening to me. But, still life is precious. So, I decided to look around further and I discovered comparatively sober CBR600RR with its stunning looks. I went through its comparison with GSXR-6 and others in the line. By the end, I was smiling knowingly and admiring. I have already made up my mind and will be going for the CBR600RR. It won't be happening anytime soon maybe in a couple of years.
Till I succumb to the call of the wild, I will try to remain contended with my trustworthy 4 wheeler ride - Toyota Corolla

Thursday, August 9, 2007

My Way or HighWay or is it Amway/Quixstar

Episode 1 - Within a week of landing in US my friends took me to a Shopping Mall so that I can get of Caucasian eye tonic. While they were shopping and I was busy absorbing the local scenery. Suddenly an enthusiastic Hello from a stranger, Giri, brought me back to reality. I embarrassingly tried to match his enthusiasm pleasantly surprised at the warmth. After animatedly conversing for 25 mins we exchanged phone numbers and parted. During this whole conversation I kept on receiving phone calls from my friends. I found it strange as they already were in visual range. I chided my friends for giving missed calls as if I were talking to a gal. They never replied but just smiled at my ignorance.

Episode - 2 - Later in the day, I was sitting at the dinner table and both of my friends were taking turns to play Morpheus, telling me about the menace of Amway/Quixstar Agents in the Bay Area. These agents are viral marketing Zombies who can come in the garb of distant/not so distant relatives, friends, friends of friends or simply strangers. The only way to save your life from them was to run as fast as you can. I, the chosen one (Neo), felt more confused, cheated rather than enlightened. For the record I was hounded my friend from Episode -1 for around a fortnight by numerous phone calls. The Agents keep on hitting at us on our visits to public places and we, out of regard for fellow countrymen, made polite conversation to them for 10-15 minutes and then excused ourselves.

Episode - 3 - Everything was moving fine, till one fine day I received a scrap on Orkut from one of my so-called "B-School Senior". Now, delighted to hear from someone from my Alma Mater, I couldn't refuse the Tea invitation. As I arrived, he was waiting for me, with a cup of tea and few biscuits. I felt strange because every time the conversation steered towards our B-School, he developed amnesia citing – it was long time back. Within minutes of the opening of conversation I was pretty sure that he was an impostor. With in 15 minutes he told me about this wonderful way of becoming rich and subjected me to start watching a CD at exactly 31st minute. He invited me to this wonderful meeting of his business friends, where more about this scheme was to be shared. By now, I too wanted to have a first hand view of the Dark inner chambers of nagging Agents, so I agreed. At the gathering I saw young men with 70s look of Gelled hair, Black Suits and Red ties roaming around like Zombies and Shooting Bombastic greetings at each other like the chants of "Hail Fuhrer". Everyone at least tried to dress up immaculately, but most of them overdid it, especially the ladies show seemed to have snacked on their lipsticks. The "Interesting and Experienced" speaker invited us to share what would we like to do with all the additional money we'd earn. Some publicly drooled how they left their jobs after they replaced their current jobs of 3-5K by this wonderful concept. I failed to understand why any sane mind would trade the security of a job with insecurity/legal risk of Chain marketing, if the remuneration is the same. Anyways, I managed to stay sober and didn't throw punches at my "Senior" for wasting my time, irritating me with his foolish talks and risking my life by his dangerous driving. I came back fully enlightened and aware of my capabilities.

Episode - 4 - On my subsequent visit to a Mall, one of the Agents again targeted me, but instead of becoming uncomfortable, I simply smiled at him. I listened to this gentleman admiringly, until the time of exchanging the contact details. Precisely at this point I gave him my number and specifically told him "I hope you are not from Amway/Quixstar". The ear-to-ear grin vanished from his face and he wore a sullen look of a rejected whore. Curtly, he excused himself and paced away. I, on the other hand felt a micro orgasm at my victory of burning an agent. I practiced this drill ones more in the evening and the reaction of Agent Smith was even more histrionic soldier of the Quixstar matrix. I enjoyed all of it with a sadistic pleasure of taking revenge for all the polite people who are pestered by these folks.

Takeaway - Magnanimity has its limit, and for sure I am not going to let some complete stranger waste my time and fool me for joining up his Swindlers Army. Just because someone has committed a foolish act once, doesn’t mean its necessary to keep on putting his foot in the same Manhole again and again and coax other people to try the same to discover enjoyable it is.

These agents will have to understand it, and the best way to make them understand it is tell it straight in their face to stop pestering us.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Journey or the End

Doin what u like, Like what u Doin...

As the title says there are two kinds of people in this world... right... Wrong... none of them lies on one of the ends. All of us lie somewhere in between, whether you are a street urchin or a CEO, U luv some component of your job and U hate most of the others. Every child basically is the Alter Ego of his parents and this comes into play while he chooses his profession. The transition in choice of profession is like -

1 - Age 5 - I wannabe Pilot/Detective - The ones with Black Coat and Hat.
2 - Age 15 - Doctor/Engineer are the only feasible options, if you don't own family business
3 - Age 25 - I don't give a damn, just want the job which pays highest, wht Paris Hilton's personal gigolo got fired just now... can I apply ?
4 - Age 35-55 - We are content in our life, a loving family, a second hand car, a house(if lucky). What else does on want in life to be happy(No one says a great job... huh).

Well, I never liked studies, it was infra dig for me to subject myself to the monotonies of cramming the Social Sciences, but on the other hand I enjoyed the practicals very much and trust me I was better than some of the Professors at handling the Lab Equipments. But, like every sad love story I had to part ways with my beloved subjects. I loved Chemistry, but had to drop it in favour of Comp Sc in Graduation, n when I started liking Comp Sc, I again had to part ways to be subjected to the annals of Management. Life sure has a consistency in dark humour.

To put icing on cake, I never work hard unless their is a dire need to and as I recall I just had done it twice in my academic life. Once, when I was in 8th standard, when I was madly in love(one sided) with an older girl in my colony. I worked very hard and got good marks as I thought the only way to bag her favours would be to have a gud job. But, somehow I realised the futility of it by the time it actually would have made a difference. I was humbled pretty bad when I royally screwed the Engineering Entrance exams. The agony of sitting in the Exam halls for 3 hours and not being able to solve even one questions was too much for my self respect, a splinter was driven deep into my heart which announced anything materialistic as a dire Sin.
After 3 painful years, the rigorous routine bore fruit and I made it to some of the prestigious B-schools. Immediately, I shunned the self imposed Spartan life style and got back to my old self. In B-school the CGPA system ensured that my grades remain respectful, even if I attend the classes half awake with a nasty hangover. The booming economy and some gud sense landed me a job in IT industry and I started a new journey.

Whenever, I look back I still ponder, which time was better, the one in which I worked hard and continuously tested myself or the one in which I enjoyed the fruits of my labour. Perhaps, the fruits appear good for the society, but for myself I definitely prefer the journey rather than the end.

Gradual Distortion

Cream, Cheese, Butter n lots n lots of it for 7 months. Occasionally sprinkled with a couple of pegs once or twice a week combined with a lethargic lifestyle can turn a strappy man into a Fugu-The puffer fish.

I admit that I never have been lanky ever in my adult life, but, my body shape oscillates between athletic and slightly paunchy. But, now the situation has become a bit more interesting. Instead of carrying a single tyre, it seems that I am carrying a set of them and am moving towards a complete set of four.

I can and do excercise, but my vice is irregularity, which I practice with relegious virtuosity. I started running 4 miles on alternate days. But, the run lasted on only two alternate days and then woosh I am back to my couch potato lifestyle.

Due to my thick hide, I couldn't care less about sundry comments on my gradual change of shape from cylindrical to sperical. But, when the remarks start getting written in Scrapbuks and when your friends don't accept that this residual shape is the resultant affect of distortion from the web cam. Then, I guess its time to act.

Planning doesn't work unless and until your ass is on fire. So, no point in making flowery plans and never acting on them. This time it wil be like okay go and act. Hopefully, by the time I plan my India visit I will be able to get back to my strappy shape to get the damsels drool over me.