Friday, 22 May, 2009

A Date with Speed

Day-1: During one of my journeys Delhi was in my way and i thought of meeting my best friend who lived there. When i met my friend, we both had a lot of catching up to do with the events in our life. The chat continued till night and we decided to take a break at around 3 am, but not by hitting bed. He suggested we go out for a ride on his bike at that unearthly hour, and nodding was the fastest thing i did. We returned back after a couple of hours and slept off.

Day-2: All horrible action was to take place on this day of my stay in Delhi. After some hours of sleep we got up and thought of having our lunch at a Dhaba nearby. As I and my best friend were talking in the early evening, another friend joined us. His nature was unpredictable, in the sense that he would be so very loving and sometimes quite mercurial too. This new entrant wanted us to chat for long and promised to drop me to the railway station in his bike. I would realise later how big a mistake i did by accepting his offer.

The train in which i had my reservation was at 9.30pm and i started from rajokri (Delhi) with the mercurial friend in his bike at 8.45pm. I was sure the train is going to be missed. My friend rode the bike fast and furious, quite recklessly i should say. For everytime i said him to slowdown, he only increased the speed of the bike and the rashness in driving. My heart was in my mouth many a times and i had atleast 3 near death experiences before we reached the destination.

When i reached the railwaystation it was 9.25pm. I started running without even talking to my friend, though he followed. When i was above the foot over bridge, i could see my train already moving on the platform. Like a man possessed i ran with my suitcase down the stairs. Though now i was on the platform, the train was quite fast. I started running alongside the train to match its speed. When a gut feeling said that i could try hopping in, i jumped with all my strength.

I found myself inside the train without any harm. I felt like a fool for firstly catching the train in this fashion, and also for not starting early from rajokri. Secondly i felt like an idiot for having trusted this friend, when there wasnt time in hand. It took a long time for me to forgive myself.
Some 3 yrs back i got to know that the friend who dropped me to station many years back had succumbed to Lung Cancer after a long period in hospital.

Wednesday, 20 May, 2009

Me, me and me.

Yesterday i went online and for the first time ever I checked anybody's blog. This one belonged to a 20s something girl of kerala, a daughter of an IAS mother. Though i only had a fleeting look at two of her posts, everything in the blog was me, me and me. I had read in this month's issue of Reader's Digest about sexting, and thats where i read about blogs being always about oneself, and my heading borrowed from there.

This is actually true, because there isnt much one could write in a blog. One of my colleagues asked me yesterday what is the funda of a blog and its meaning. I explained it to him that this word is taken from two words, i.e. WEB LOG. The 'B' from the first word and the second word in full. I also told him this generally constitutes a personal diary open to everyone. The more masala in it, the more readers it will attract. A seeming reason why my blog is not attracting enviable number of readers.

There are so many stories i can tell here, but the contents may not be palatable to all age groups and hence iam diligent about the contents of my blog. I firmly try to draw a line as to how far i can go with the juicy factor in every post of mine. In a talk show i saw last year on a national channel, the subject was about blogging. There were many bloggers in the talk show and few sentences from one or two posts of the bloggers were read out. With the kind of things they were writing, it was not surprising they had hundreds & thousands of readers.

The popularity of a blog is proportional to how far one is ready to bare it all, in public. A sure shot way to attract maximum eyeballs to one's blog is by posting anything that would be off the beaten track.

Saturday, 16 May, 2009

Exploits of Mechanic Murthy

Mr. Murthy is a kannadiga & a mechanic by profession, having his own two-wheeler workshop. Some strange quirk of fate got this wonderful person associated with us for a long time, during my growing years. His life was a story of struggle and rebellion. He had discontinued his studies in the primary school itself. He had run away from home for whatever reasons best known to him, though after many years he joined back his family.

Life had made him tough physically. He stood at a mere 5 feet 6 inches, but his courage touched the sky and his affection touched everyone's heart. He got so besotted with being associated to our family, that he would make it a point to come to our home almost every 2nd or 3rd day and sit for hours talking about anything and everything. His love for english led him to learn that language over the years and he would comfortably read english newspapers and feel proud about having understood most of it.

Being a mechanic, he was interested in riding fast and performing tricks. His love for speed even got him enrolled for races of 250cc bikes, and had got some podium finishes too at the local level. Wheelie and other tricks were his forte, though i got the opportunity to witness only one. Once during his visits to our home, we were very interested in hearing his stories and one of us asked him if he can really demonstrate what he just spoke. He agreed.

We all came out of our house and waited for Mr. Murthy to do some trick with his bike. He sat on his yezdi bike and dropped a one rupee coin to his left side. He said he could pick that coin by his mouth, while he was circling around it. None of us thought it possible, but his trick was so fast and he achieved what he said, but with a lot of mud in his mouth. My parents, myself and my sisters were mesmerised with his show.

On another occassion his courage got his story in the local newspapers. He went to the bank one day to deposit 10,000/- rupees. While he was standing in the queue, there were 2 Iranians who were quite lanky & strong who snatched the money from his hands and ran out. For their bad luck they had chosen the wrong person. May be they were fooled in by his average height. Murthy anna chased the duo for some distance and when they knew they couldnt keep pace, they split into different ways. Murthy anna chased the guy who was having the money, and atlast caught up with him. Though his adversary was more than 6 feet tall, he fought him quite valiantly and punched till he was knocked out. He then carried the Iranian on his shoulders and walked more than a kilometer to the Police Station and dumped him on the table of the Sub-Inspector and narrated the story.

His courage was appreciated by the police and his story appeared in the vernacular papers of Bangalore. Unluckily when we changed our residence, we couldnt intimate him about our changed address as he didnt have a phone number. We too didnt know his new workshop, and hence lost touch with him. I have thought of finding this person when i have enough time in hand, while in bangalore. Cant lose out on such a lovely soul.

The solo ride

Exactly four weeks back, i had to go to Tirunelveli in Tamilnadu. The period of stay there was initially not intimated to me. If i was going to stay there for long, i better take my bike for mobility. For all the experience i had last time i visited that place, i just couldnt think of returning back to stone age for mobility.

In the defence services, you can be uprooted from one place to another within no time. And the reaction time available could be bare minimum too. I was given just a day to move. Taking my bike was of prime importance. I quickly packed my bags taking everything that i could think of. Bought some packing wire to bind the bags to my bike. I couldnt steal some time even to get my bike serviced. The bike was in pretty bad shape.

Post lunch, i rushed through some quick prayers in my mind even as i was getting saddled onto my bike. I started my bike and thefirst stop was at a petrol bunk. I filled just half the tank, because the distance involved was only 120kms. Once i resumed the ride i didnt stop anywhere. The roads were narrow but pretty ok, except for the traffic during the day which limits your speed to just 60km to 70kms. I didnt have to worry since my peak speed wouldnt cross 70kms even if i wanted. I sticked to 40-50kmph on the meter and kept going.

After a few kilometres into tamilnadu there was a strange difference in the sound of my bike. There was something wrong with the silencer. I pondered for a reason for the sudden change in sound. I could recollect that a month back just before i was to go on one month leave, my bike was hit by a scooter on the silencer. This happened entirely due to my mistake, while trying to train a rookie how to ride. I hadnt bothered to get it repaired as my leave would begin in just 2 days or so.

Though now, i knew the reason of the deteriorating sound, i didnt want to stop my bike. I carried on with the thundering sound but couldnt locate a mechanic in the way. When i was just 20 kms short of my destination, i stopped my bike to have a look. But before that, i had to take a leak badly. When finished with the bodily call, i looked at the silencer and its cap at the end was dangling on one screw. I took a stone found neaby and hit the silencer cap to fit inside tightly and resumed my journey without any incidents.

Just last week i returned back to Trivandrum, but this time i loaded the bike in our Air Force vehicle and had a journey sans anxiety.

Wednesday, 13 May, 2009

Chotu, my darling sister & friend

Preeti is the person i am trying to talk about here, and the fantastic relationship i share with her. The title itself is a play in contradictions. The first contradiction is her nickname chotu. Since she has grown big now (18 yrs round about) , i guess she wouldnt appreciate being called by her nick name in front of outsiders. The second one is that she is not born to my mom, but still makes me feel she is no less in value to my own sibling sisters. The third contradiction is when i treat her as my friend. A person roughly half my age and with yawning generation gap, still happens to be more or less of a friend. She considers me a friend per se, though prefers calling me Joshi Bhaiya.

One day my friend Sreenesh took me to Preeti's house. For my nature, I always dread meeting new people, when iam not in the reckoning. The first visit made me have tons of respect for Preeti's mom, and also could strike a chord immediately with her elder sister Milie. But Preeti was in my league by not opening up for a conversation.

It took another occassion to cement my ties with her family, when i accompanied my friend Sreenesh, once again to their home. Nicely cooked food, served with lots of love by Preeti's mom got me hooked to keep the visits happening regularly. In the strange land of Gujarat, i got a place to down my anchor and feel homely. Sundays i would go to their home and relish on tasty food & watch TV. As Preeti's elder sister Milie was a glib conversationist, i never felt bored being there. It took many visits to their home and slowly Preeti started opening up to me. She started sharing the news in her school, about her friends, etc.

Since i was a good listener and non-judgemental in nature, she started opening up very fast. Some issues in her life got her confused and she would consult me. I would try providing the best solution i could offer. She always liked my advices or suggestions. With time i could see that she had turned into a good talker. One thing i liked much about her was that she was ready to listen to me. Small bickerings she used to have with Milie, and i would tell her how to deal with her elder sister who has only love and concern for her.

Phone calls connected us when i wasnt going to their home. One fine day last year, my posting came to trivandrum, and i had to leave Gujarat. Among other things i was going to miss with my posting was my beloved sister Preeti. But luckily phone calls hasnt made us miss each other much. Her feathers got ruffled (i think so) when i couldnt attent her sister Milie's wedding which happened on 10 May 2009. I had missed a golden chance to meet Preeti right here in Kerala. Hopefully there will come another occassion when i could meet her soon. Until then, my unending love and prayers for her will be there as consolation.

Monday, 4 May, 2009

Perverts on the loose

In the past 2 weeks, as many incidents hurt me quite badly. A scrap each were sent to two of my most loved people from my orkut account. The messages were nauseating, and gave me much pain. Today i changed my password of the account too. I made one observation of consequence.

After we type the user name, password and then hit the enter button, a prompt comes up called autocomplete or something. In finer letters its written whether u would like the computer to remember the things u just typed. I have always clicked the 'ok' button without ever reading. I have paid a huge price being so casual.

Friends, if u also have been as casual as me, kindly dont be henceforth. The pains that can be caused to ourselves and our loved ones is too high a price for forgetting to read the prompts after u hit the enter button.

I have a practice of always logging out. Yet i was wondering the reason for my password having leaked. Even if someone watches my fingers from close quarters, they will never be able to understand my password because of my speed. But when the machine itself remembers what u just typed, its a hopeless case. I strongly believe i was a casualty of this.

Yesterday i was crestfallen to hear from one of my closest person that she got a filthy message from me. I just wanted to be eaten up by the earth at that very moment, hearing the kind of message. The vulnerability to attacks by unknown people cannot be overemphasized when we are on the net. If one more episode like yesterday's happens again, i have decided i will leave orkut for good.

Hope my misfortunes dont happen to anyone else.