Monthly Archives: February 2012

Classification of the species – Eqqus bi Wheelera

Ok, this post is the result of a frustrating ride , actually many frustrating rides in mumbai on my bike.

 

Have you ever felt the absolute helplessness when you are cruising on seemably empty roads and you literally come in contact with a fellow ‘Biker’ trying to prove that all laws of physics are inconsequential? I Have , and to help other bikers to better predict the hitherto unpredictable species, I have tried to classify them.

 

Why? – simple to better predict and save yourself from danger. While most might find this a piece in humour, there is definitely an underlying message and an effort to help in riding safely.

 

The classification ( as the title suggests) refers to Eqqus ( Horse – Power) bi ( two) wheelera ( self explanatory).

To me , there are the following types of bikers roaming the roads –

 

1. The Family Man

 

Invariably with the family in tow. Two wheelers are meant to carry 2 people. a fact that these species have conveniently ignored. The father – driving, the mother on the pillion, the first born – wedged between the father and mother, another one on the petrol tank ( invariably wearing a dark glass) and a toddler nestling in the arms of the pillion rider… When i was younger, we would gather around the TV to watch the army perform stunts on the motorcycles by piling on the number of riders. I think, this has affected this species adversely and they have taken it upon themselves to emulate them.

As far as safety goes, this species generally do not post too much of a threat to other bikers, as they are busy balancing their act. Just to be on the safer side- stay away – far away from them.

 

2. The Pizzass deliveries

 

I would like to take this opportunity to request a Ban on the 30 minutes of free scheme on pizzas. Truly a death defying act by most members of this species, the bikes are often ill equipped to ride fast. therefore the rider takes it upon himself to travel at a constant speed, even when there is no road or route available. these stuntmen of the biking world truly defy all laws of physics with little or no respect for other people on the road. In fact ,I think that most of these bikes are modified such that they cannot travel in a straight line . The humongous box at the back surely does not help. Stop your bike and let this species go away if you ever encounter them.

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3. The college crowd / Youth

 

The most favourite of all those who berate bikers, this species nowadays are found riding 200 – 250 cc engines with little or no involvement from the brakes. Mainly a very good exponent of how to show off on the 2 wheeler, the college kid almost always has a female of the species in tow as pillion. Needless to say, sudden brakes and twists are in order for the obvious reasons. if you perchance, are on the same road as this species, you will in most probability be overtaken ( from the left , right – no one can predict) , it is in your own best interest that you continue riding in a straight line without accelerating or decelerating and making minimal changes to your current driving mode. and yes, pray..

 

4. The chappal rider.

 

I have mainly added this to encompass those bikers ( here i use the term biker very very loosely) who use the 2 wheeler as a transport vehicle. The main subset of this species are the carpenters, cloth shop owners, provision store owners and other such fascinating people. They can be identified by 10 feet wooden poles tied to the chassis of a 5 feet long bike, resembling the jousting knights or Yore, or by large blue colour plastic bags strung on the saree guard and/ or the handle bar of the bike. Invariably , they will chappals to enable a better feel to change gears etc and hence the nomenclature of the chappal rider. if you encounter this species, pray that the pole does not impale you , be really careful when coming across this species at the traffic light..

 

I am sure , i have missed out a few favourites that other riders might have, it would be beneficial to other new riders to increase the range of this classification and help them to ride safely..

 

Your comments please.

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Why travel

People often ask me, why i like travelling…

The reasons , superficially are many, get away from the daily office routine , fullfill your passion of photograpghy and seeing new places, my wife likes to travel so that she can get away from cleaning and cooking ( like many other better halves also do, i am sure) …

But i find that there is another reason why i like to travel.. I get to meet the most varied set of people when i go places.

This observation is not just arising out of one solitary trip that i made, but over the last many many years.

During my college years, i was studying in bangalore and my parents would live in chennai. I would do the once a month train trip to chennai and my only pastime would be to take in the characteristics of fellow travellers. Like the time i was stuck in a second class compartment with a gujarati family. They taught me a whole new word – recreational eating. ┬áthe 5 hour journey was broken up into spots of half an hour each, which would oscillate between eating and digesting. beleive you me, it was a time table they striclty adhered to. It all started off with the innocent and mouth watering puri bhaji. neatly packed aluminium foils were brought out no sooner than the train left bangalore station. The mother in her ghunghat distributed packets to the father, the 2 kids and the grand mother. after this noisy chomping of food, ( observed with my saliva dripping out of my mouth from the top bunk ) bottles of orange squash were brought out.

after the mandatory half an hour of wait, out came the snacks, chivda, peanuts, and what not..

the mother, by this time, realised that they had a voyuer residing on the top bunk and i was included into their family.

This i gotta say, when they decided to share, i was skeptical. Obviously , i did not want to impeach on their carefully packed food. when i mentioned this.. out comes another packed aluminium foil … for guests!!!!

This went on for 4 hours… after the third course, i forget what i was fed, but i think i ate, dhoklas, khandvis, theplas with chilli pickles, a rice preparation, khakras, oranges, drank lime juice, refused to drink bournvita, and muched on atleast half a kg of banana chips… needless to say, i could not move. the reason i mention these people are because, you expect families to carry food for themselves, but the gay abandon with which this family shared their food was awe inspiring. its almost as if they were happy to share their food. Indeed a trip to remember .

Why do i travel? well , i travel because i get to meet and spend time with different people.. what better way to showcase, Unity in Diversity…

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