humour

The Vodafone speed fest

I am a proud indiblogger and when they announced that the next blogger meet involved meeting Lewis Hamilton. I was silent. People who know me will take that as a very ominous sign. I am never silent..

To add to the experience one of us could be sitting next to the great one. The youngest driver to win the world championship… silence again.

To say that I would give an arm and a leg to get that opportunity is lying. I am sure Mr. Hamilton would require me to hold onto something when he is driving. I don’t think I can with just one arm and a leg.

Since I was a kid, long long long ago, it’s been a dream to sit with a racecar driver. Don’t believe me? Ask my school bus driver. I would always sit next to him. And he was one crazy driver. I don’t think Mr Hamilton had the chance to weave through the streets of India while taking care of 20 kids, and the morons trying to prove that the person driving the largest vehicle on the road is the easiest target to cut across. Nor did he have to ensure that the kids reach school quickly , not for the kids benefit but for his own sanity.

Nevertheless, we will know on Sunday if the lucky bloke sitting next to the world champion is the author or not, but for sure, when I am in his company, I promise….. I will be silent.

Categories: humour, musings, Uncategorized | Tags: | 5 Comments

Hair today gone tomorrow ……

When i was young, well younger… the 4 most dreaded words in my life were “You need a Haircut” . This would invariably be preceded by vicious tug on the guilty part and followed by an even more vicious clucking that would put to shame the alpha cock in most poultry farms.

Let me step back and talk about how this barber industry has progressed in my mind..

Long ago, and I mean loooong ago, the barber would visit homes. Apparently during these medevial times, he would cut the hair of his customers in the back yard of the customer’s home itself. Talk about home service.. His fee would be 1 or 2 Rs if lucky or a bellyful of food and coconuts from the yard.

I remember one such episode when we were staying in Trivandrum.  I was seated on a chair all weepy and hating the world for conspiring against my lovely tresses, and this thin reedy dark gentleman compunded the fear by standing 2 feet away from me and sharpening his scissors and blades. I still remember the sound of the blade being sharpened.

Going to the barber shop then slowly became a father son thingy.. Appa would take me to the barbers, and specify sternly what to do. The barber would ignore and cut my hair the way he wanted to. Remember this was way before hair and styling were being used together. The only styles you had back then were long , short or Amitabh Bachchan…  Appa would pay as if it were the most accurate rendition of what he had hitherto detailed to the barber.. Cost – 5 – 7 Rs.

Fast forward to the teenage years. It was important to look good.  I was foolish enough to think that a mane ,rich and luxurious was enough to hide the hideous body fat that I carried around. Therefore I would splurge on good haircuts- 30 Rs. Our barber shops slowly started becoming more welcoming. There were fans all around, huge mirrors, music ( bollywood only please). The barber was still the obnoxious character of old. Its as if the trade of not smiling and listening to you was passed on as a trade secret. Barber shops become hubs of discussion, where people would flock to just talk about the political scenarios currently affecting our country. His tools became modern. I just loved the one machine which would be gloved onto the hand and would vibrate at the flick of a switch. He would then run this hand over your hair and finally into your ears.. Ufff. that was bliss..

Fast forward again.. friends started losing hair naturally without having to visit the barber ever so much ( friends not me ofcourse). The barber shops morphed into something more of a service salon. It was not longer simple to visit a barber and ask for a haircut. You needed to know what exactly you required. The first time I visited a salon, my hair was examined by no less than 3 people.  They tut tutted and clucked , putting to shame my father in the earlier avatar. I was half expecting a refusal to cut my hair from their side. Then the bombardment started, ” Sir,  your follicles are weak ” – The whats weak, didnt know them things. Is it serious? Sir, you have no clue, we need to start the treatment immediately. I quickly succumbed to an attack of the shampoos and gels and it felt awesome… till i saw the bill… 750 Rs.  Hair follicles be damned…

Today, the cleverer , more mature me goes to the salon and asks to be trimmed, never cut, no damn treatments, a wash after wards and thats it.. My haircut costs me around a 200 Rs every time. The salon is air conditioned and has products from france that I can never hope to pronounce, so I stay away from it. My barber is a pimply faced youth who keeps his mouth shut and does his job. There is an LCD tv showing news channels playing all the time. I am Offered tea and coffee during the hair cut. The artist divides my head into zones and cuts my hair. Techniques are tried out , looks are styled and god knows what else, I come out looking more or less the same.

To me , getting a hair cut is an hour away from it all. Its about sinking into the chair and sleeping and not knowing what you are going to look like at the end of the hour. Its one hour away from the internet, the phones, from everything. Its about coming out of the barber shop and feeling nice and light.  After all, one thing that we all need to be proud of and happy about…. we still have hair to cut.. 

 

 

 

Categories: humour, musings | 4 Comments

They call me inspector gadget!

It’s practically impossible to live in today’s world without , if not having an affinity towards gadgets, at least suffer through their requirement.
Thankfully, I have been lucky to just love new shiny electronic gadgets.. Or have I been lucky…

Appa , though he is a technology green thumb always encouraged usage of new technology at home. I had a pc in my room when the fastest one was a 486 processor ( dunno how many people will even remember those devices) . I remember the days when there was a vsnl student account that could be converted to a full blown graphics account by hacking it, dial up mind you. In the middle of the night I would log in , waking the entire house with the trademarked dial tone and the subsequent strangling noises made by the modem.

I guess, getting exposed to electronics early in life kind of removed then fear of gadgets from my mind.
My first job and dad got me a cellphone.. A Nokia 6110 , shaped likes a brick and weighing almost as much, it was not of great use only because my salary could not cover the call charges.. 16 Rs outgoing and 8 Rs incoming ! Needless to say, I became a champ at the games preloaded….
Fast forward to a better paying job, I just had to have the latest mobile phone. I even had standing instructions with my local customs notified shop who would call me whenever there was a new Model that came in.
Even though I had enough money to spend on these, I would ask my father for permission to buy them. This would be a well thought out strategy, generally involving a call to him when he is travelling and sounding really wanting in a cute baby voice. My father would obviously balk but would invariably give in..thanks Appash….

During those golden years, I believe I have used every phone that came out in the market. What was not available in India, my doting uncles would get those whenever they came down to India .
And then I got married…

To most, now would be a good time to heave those sighs of sadness, because in most cases the wife ensures that such extravaganzas are curbed. But not mine… I still continue to buy the latest gadget with gay abandon.. I have in the last 2 months run through the blackberry torch, the hoc radar, the Samsung galaxy tab, the galaxy note, and I am currently furiously typing on the new iPad .

In today’s age it is important to be tech savvy, but tech crazy? I won’t opine on that….

Categories: humour | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

My Reason to Ride…..

Image

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The above picture shows the reason why I like to ride. The Brotherhood of bikers,  My friends, my Brothers, who ride with me, make each of our rides a memorable one.

The reasons , superficially are many, get away from the daily office routine , fulfill your passion of photography 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) .

I ride with the Bisons Ride Hard Motorcycle club. We are a relatively new biking club, around 60 in number and bonded by one common thread, our passion to ride the Bullet.  When together, distances seem small, punishing temperatures, non-existing roads, idiotic people and stray animals crossing the roads, seem so much more easy to handle.

Before you jump to any conclusions, we are a very sane set of people , not the archetypal biker boys( and gals). Our group has the most interesting set of people that I pride in calling brothers.

There is our chosen leader of the pack – Paaji, Gen singh, who is a self-proclaimed truck driver, whose life revolves around 2 things – riding and drinking tea. This gentleman consumes buckets of tea at every pit-stop that we take and rides for distances that gives the rest of us a real pain in the a** . After 3 – 4 rides, most of us have the Gluteus Maximus that would put body builders to shame.

There is Signals – the communication wizard in the team, who refuses to get photographed without his helmet, because he believes none of us can capture his inner beauty. Signals, is always on a protein diet. I almost feel for the restaurateur or in our case the dhaba wala who serves food to us. The entire Non vegetarian food on the menu is finished by this gentleman in one sitting.

There is Kauwla – named so because he is the youngest in the group. The Josh machine loves being photographed and has a different pose for each click that we try of him. There is not a single one with a straight face.

There is Tawa masala – Captain, who gets his name because he is always in a hurry , like he is sitting on a tawa.. by the time we park the bikes in our nightly pit stop, tawa masala has already run out, checked the rooms, the food available, the nearest atm, the petrol station and what not.

There is Yeda anna – probably the most colorful one in the group, whose life revolves around – “The humble vada pav”.  He has drawn maps for people asking for directions , with waypoints as vada pav stalls.  A connoisseur of this maharashtrian snack, Anna, even coaxes chefs who don’t have the vada pav in their menu to make it specially for him..

There are many many more such characters in the group and when we get together, and ride together, that’s what makes it so much fun to do.

That is my reason to ride….

For many such stories, and to talk to other bikers, what better way than to link up at www.facebook.com/CastrolBiking

Categories: humour, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

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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