Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sod off.

Dear person,

Screw you.

You disgust me. What makes you think you can sit next to me in crowded movie halls and take your shoes off and assume that I will put up with the smell? Sitting there with a pathetic bunch of people, discussing server loads and client requirements in a fucking restaurant? Queuing up like bloody ants at fast food joints, pushing and shoving so you can have a better and more efficient weekend than others? You pathetic bunch of slimebags! Have you seen the uninspiring, banal nonsense you write in the “about me” sections on your networking websites? “I am a contradiction, I am unique and sweet. I’m still trying to figure out who I am”? Really? Have you read the poetry you write in your blogs? The moon shining down gently upon the soft cuddly teddy bears gently floating on a soft pink pillow on the gentle waves of that big melting-pot of human creativity, blogger.com? Melting pot my foot. People like you are what make blogspot what it is – an organic soup of human bile and excrement. Have you never read any poetry in your life? How can think and write nonsense like that and go about life as if nothing was wrong? Can you spell implication without making two mistakes? Can you form a grammatically sound sentence in the language you write poetry in? And since you ask me for it, here is my carefully considered opinion – your "creation" looks like an obese orangutan’s backside. Even the orangutan would want to hide it from view. And you flaunt it on your websites.

When I read about the Uncertainty Principle or listen to a Bach fugue, I want to kill myself. The standards are so high it would be futile to try to live up to them. It is so depressing. If you have heard about any significant human work at all, how can you write such shallow nonsense on your blogs and continue existing as though nothing was wrong? Doesn’t the immense corpus of human accomplishment have ANY  effect on you? How can you bring yourself to upload pictures of your car trip to Nandi hills if you have even heard rumours about Ranulph Fiennes’ trips to the south pole, north pole and across Antarctica, an entire frozen continent all on FOOT? I’d be ashamed of myself if I were you.

Among the other things I’d do if I were you, the ones that readily spring to mind are spiking my own coffee with strychnine, hanging myself from the ceiling fan and shooting myself in the head just to be sure. What I feel towards you is beyond pure hatred. I pity you. From the bottom of my heart. And if you are still reading this and don’t feel offended or surprised, I love you.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Winnie The Dark Pooh – a pre-emptive Hollywood script

After The Dark Knight, Spiderman 3, Casino Royale, Alice in Wonderland and The Incredible Hulk, the next logical dark/gloomy/philosophical fictional cartoon strip presented on the big screen would be Winnie The Dark Pooh. Here is a brilliant character sketch I have written for an equally brilliant screenplay, which is to follow…

The dichotomy of Winnie’s character is brought out in the colour of his coat. At first sight, orange seems to be a pretty unusual colour for a bear, but as the deeper inner psyche of Winnie is revealed to us through a series of encounters with the other main characters, more and more layers are added to it. Orange symbolises shame and embarrassment.

Tormented by the memories of a troubled childhood, when he was often made fun of by his friends at school for having “pooh” for a name, and lugging around the shameful burden of being a meat eating carnivore in the company of rabbits and donkeys, he always sought approval and social acceptance. The internal conflict seems to be fuelled by an almost Kierkegaardian refusal to accept circumstances at face value, as a result of which Winnie spends his days searching for purity and honesty, which is reflected symbolically in his quest for honey, which again being orange symbolises the ideological marriage between despair and hope.

We can only speculate on whether Winnie was indeed aware of his primal instinct to consume animal carcass but, at an elemental level his love and preference for monosaccharide resin regurgitated by insects seems to hint at a more fundamental moral dilemma which as we delve into murkier depths of existentialist philosophy, manifests itself in a need to steal, conceal, cheat and indulge.

All in all, the Shame of Winnie is as complex and sophisticated a theme as you will ever find anywhere. Anthony Minghella behind the camera and Daniel-Day Lewis as Winnie, Leonardo Di Caprio as the donkey Eeyore, Anthony Hopkins as The Owl, Jack Nicholson as The Rabbit, Sean Penn and Dustin Hoffman as Kanga and Roo, Robert Di Niro as Gopher and Juliet Binoche as Tigger. Watch out for academy award nominations and The General Awesomeness Prize for me.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


I was wondering if the earth rotated north-south rather than east-west, would we have day for 6 months a year, night for the other 6 and go through spring, summer, autumn and winter every day...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Do you know what it means to be in New Orleans?

The beauty of jazz lies in contrasts.

The beauty of jazz lies in its almost ridiculous simplicity, even though under the bonnet its construction is head-alteringly complicated. Even though it may appear to be the background track to Tom and Jerry, it is not frivolous. It is classic and elegant in an artistic-Chivas Regal-sophisticated-middle aged-relaxed-whiskey bar-restrained energy sort of way. Even though the bop is all peaky and angular, the rhythm to which it fits has the curviness of western classical. Even its sober rhythms have in them the raggedness of the psychedelic rock genre that followed it. In their day, their melodies were unconventional and bold. In a post-depression society, they somehow dared to be jaunty! An optimism born out of depression perhaps, I can only speculate.

The beauty of jazz lies in contrasts.

Re-recordings, no matter how sophisticated, can never match the quality and depth of the sound produced by big-band musical ensembles. It must have sounded a hundred times more soulful in the dark silent whiskey bars of the west coast of USA in the mid 1930s, those beautiful jazz years.

Jazz music, along with the general theory of relatively is one of the greatest human intellectual achievements.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A tattered soul

The sneakers in the first picture are my favourite pair. I’ve had them for many years. The second picture is that of my riding gloves – not my only pair, but the ones I’ve had for the longest time. In fact, I do not remember a time when I did not have these gloves. You will never know how dirty they look unless you’re either a very close friend or very brave.

But in a way, these dirty old things have seen the best and the worst of me. I still use them at times. I can’t be as reckless with them as I once used to be, but I still do use them at times. They fit me so well.

Over the years I’ve tried to take care of them, just like the way they’ve taken care of me. But time has passed, and no one around here is getting any younger. They look so worn and tired. Every day a new wrinkle appears on them, everyday another seam snaps. I’ve tried to mend them a few times, but maintenance-wise there appears to be only one direction they are headed. Maybe we’re all headed the same way.

Maybe I will get a new pair of sneakers or gloves after a while, but I will never forget or throw these away. These were not mere “things” I once owned, but for me they were organic living beings, whose lives ran parallel with mine for a while. Even now, after many years of use, there is not one thing I’d change about them.

I still sometimes decide to go on rides at 1 past midnight. When I do, I sometimes worry about the chain running loose or tyre treads wearing thin, but at least I know I don’t have to worry about my shoes or gloves or my helmet. They plainly know what they have to do, and they’ve served their turn unflinchingly for many years now. They’ve always seemed to understand the boiling irreverence of youth, just like they now seem to have the wisdom of many years on the road.

I don’t think of them as being sexy. I don’t talk to them, or give them “cool” names. I think that kind of thing is reserved for frivolous coffee-table motorcyclists. In fact, I’ve never even had their photographs until now.

These are not my riding gloves or my sneakers or my jeans…these are what I’ve been. These are who I’ve been. These are my most sacrosanct memories. They may not smell expensive or turn heads at some high society motorcycle-club meet, but I will never give them up. If you have a problem with my gloves or sneakers, you have a problem with me. If you think your gear says a lot about you, just know that after more than forty thousand highway miles, my gloves and shoes have absolutely nothing left to prove. Not even to me. Because the only way your helmet can get that fade and those scratches is by earning it on the road. They are cool because they don't have to pretend. Just know that I quite literally trust them with my life. That’s more than what I will ever say for you. If you say I have to get rid of these and get shiny new ones, here’s what I have to say to you –

Screw you.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Life and other such things.

The title of this post has got nothing to do with what this is about. I just wanted to have a title like that. So there. What this post is about is what I've learnt from my experience with Hindi and Tamil movies. Here are a few life-lessons I want to share with you.

If there is a sewing machine in someone’s house, it means they are poor. There is always an unmarried sister or a sick mother in the house.

If a woman is walking alone in a white saree and there is fog around her, she is a ghost.

If a woman has green eyes, she is actually a snake.

If a rich girl and a poor boy meet, they will definitely fall in love and eventually get married. Either that or they die. Together.

Two people can’t just play snooker without anything significant happening. A cunning scheme HAS to be plotted, or an argument HAS to be had, usually about ethics or morals. If a person pots a ball, he is usually the winner of the argument. Or he is the one who comes up with the cunning plan.

If you see the feet of a little boy who is running in the first scene, he is going to grow up soon. And he usually runs to Bombay and Madras, in Hindi and Tamil movies respectively.

If someone has a drink, their speech becomes slurred and they drive dangerously or end up getting beat. No one in movies can have a drink without getting absolutely plastered. Even a sip of diluted breezer is enough to reduce the heroine to an incoherent burbling mess at a party where she would subsequently become an embarrassment to her father or husband, who would then give her mute, constipated looks of anger as she is singing in a slutty voice, usually with the cleaveage showing. There is no other way a woman can have a drink.

No one dies or gets hospitalised during a song.

If a little boy and girl sing a song at age 5 and then get separated, they will remember that tune till they are 25. And they will meet again and fall in love and either get married or die together. In the end, they will sing the tune in either case.

If a boy and a girl knew each other when they were young, they will definitely meet again. No matter how hot the girl is, she will not have a boyfriend till she meets her childhood friend again.

If it rains when two people are walking, there is no way they cannot fall in love with each other.

There are no traffic signals in car chases. No one runs out of fuel.
How many clichés can you think of?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Useless two-bit life-lessons learnt on the road.

There are essentially two kinds of people in the world. Losers and Jerks. Losers are the annoying ones who are slower than you on the road. Jerks are the impatient ones who are faster than you. Most people fall into either of these two categories. People who aren’t Jerks or Losers are Spectators. So, Losers, Jerks and Spectators. Statistically and empirically speaking, apart from these there are no other categories.

You will usually find Jerks behind you and Losers ahead of you. (Refer: Murphy’s Law). If someone is driving alongside you, there is no way of ascertaining whether he or she is a Loser or a Jerk, though heuristics suggest that he/she is more likely to be a Loser.

If you have an accident with a Loser, it is obviously the Loser’s fault. If you have an accident with a Jerk, it is always the Jerk’s fault. If you have an accident, it is never your fault.

It is usually better to let the Jerk overtake you than die of hearing his loud horn noises, in much the same way as it is better to overtake a Loser as soon as possible than die of hearing your own loud horn noises.

If a person with a faster automobile is driving ahead of you and hasn’t pulled away significantly, he is a Jerk. A person with a slower automobile who has been deliberately keeping up with you is an annoying Loser.

If three people are driving one behind the other, the first one is a Loser to the 2nd and 3rd. The 2nd one is a Jerk to the 1st and a Loser to the 3rd. The 3rd is a Jerk to everybody. So, the classification, as you can see isn’t rigid and inflexible. People can be Losers or Jerks, depending on who is making the call.

Thus, it is easily demonstrated that the world is essentially made up of Jerks and Losers.

Which one are you?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Did someone say traffic jams were a thing of the past?

The city of Bangalore seems like one big cram-your-circus-suitcase challenge. You know…the game where you have to cram your suitcase with all sorts of things – clothes, shoes, stereo systems, 2-inch dia stainless steel pipes, hacksaws, insect repellant, vinyl records, drilling tools, .357 Magnum shotguns, rexin upholstery, nuclear waste disposal canisters, lamp shades etc… and the winner is the one with the most stuff packed in while passing unnoticed through the security gate of the airport. Okay, so I made up that game…but what the hell, if there were such a game, Bangalore would be the World champion’s suitcase…do you get my drift?

There is more chaos than you’ve ever seen. Buildings and bus shelters are strewn around unashamedly, like a talcum powder spill in a miniature train set. In beloved Madras, for instance if you said Café Coffee day, Nungambakkam, everyone knew exactly where you meant. There would have been no two ways of interpreting what you said. Your word was good enough and you knew what you were talking about. You were a force to be reckoned with. Not so in Bangalore. There are 8 Coffee days in a 3 square km area in Jayanagar alone. It turns out it’s a big deal, because Bangalore itself covers only about 8 square miles. Now, this may be a good thing if you are in Jayanagar and are in the mood for some coffee, but not such a hot bargain if you have an office opposite to one of the Coffee days and want to give directions to someone so they can come and give you some money before they change their mind. Not a good bargain at all. (Actually, having a dozen CCDs around is not a great idea even if you are in the mood for coffee. In Bangalore, at least. Their coffee tastes like what gets poured down the waste drain in some chemistry experiment gone terribly wrong.)

Here are some facts you will have no difficulty understanding if you’ve ever lived in Bangalore. But if you have never lived in Bangalore, I might as well be talking in whale language:-

It takes me 10 minutes to walk from home to office, a distance of about 10 minutes walking-distance…if you walk as fast as me…which is fast enough to cover the said distance in ten minutes…(I guess that is settled now.) But if I drive, it takes me 15 minutes. I am not kidding. So, if I am in a hurry to get to the office, I’d be better off walking than taking the car.

The weirdest thing about Bangalore though, that which confuses even people born and brought up here, is that no matter which route you take to reach a place from some other place, there is always another route which is shorter. Get this: There is always a shorter cut. You may join two landmarks by a straight line – a straight road or a straight street and think to yourself, “Ahaa! What can possibly be shorter than this?” Well, your attention span, for one, because you weren’t listening. Moron. I said, and read this carefully, there-is-always-a-shorter-cut. It could be another road which has lesser traffic, maybe a one-way, maybe one that passes through a residential area, maybe one that has fewer rumble strips on the road. (Yes, there are speed breakers in Bangalore, though whose speed they help break is a mystery to me. I won’t risk asking this question in public, because given their fondness for flawlessly logical retorts, I am sure the Bangaloreans will respond by producing a snow-plougher from the garage of the MG Road fire station. And expect me to understand that through the stylish process of second-order reverse-logic, my question somehow stands answered.)

So, don’t reinvent the trapezoidal wheel. Just park your scientific curiosity in a place where it is unlikely to be ever found again, maybe on the shoe-rack in the Iskon temple, and just accept this as an axiom. Do not question anything. Questioning only leads you into dark corners of logical fallacy where your mother wouldn’t want you to go, especially after dusk. Remember also that in this imperfect world, dumbass cows with large breasts and bloodsucking leeches buy turbocharged Porsche Carrera GTs, and the intellectuals get sent to jail and have their skins flayed before having their noses eaten by Nazi dobermans. So just repeat after me – There is always a shorter route.


Saturday, February 27, 2010



Play. Fall. Get hurt. Bleed. Learn.      Play. Fall. Get hurt. Bleed. Learn again.      Bleed. Learn more.      Play. Fall. Get hurt. Learn.      Play. Fall. Learn.      Play. Fall.      Play.      Play. Fall. Die.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

In great stillness...

When you reach great speeds, you reach great stillness.

As you go faster and faster, the frames become more and more blurred. Space begins to become warped around the helmet visor. The field of vision narrows down. The entire road and vista ahead shrinks to a dot in the centre of your visor. You are hurled towards this point at 136 km/hr by a staggering force. Every muscle in the body, from your jaw to the very tips of your fingers, is taut or clenched. The mind starts reacting to the slightest of provocations - a twitch of a chain link, a tiny movement of a dog 200 feet away, a cylinder misfire which might have been entirely anticipatory, the trajectory of a leaf falling from a branch. As you go even faster and faster, the mind processes more and more. It gauges, calculates, deliberates on, decides and acts upon an ever-increasing flow of information through the senses. When you stretch to an extremely high speed, you will suddenly find that the real physical world around you draws thinner and thinner. You will find that everything has slowed down, almost to a halt. The chain stops turning, the pistons stop in their tracks, the gears and cogs and shafts and bearings and sprockets all stop suddenly as if it were a change in timescale. Slowly you realise that time hasn’t entirely stopped, but is moving silently, impalpably, as if in slow motion. Then you turn your head around and see the landscape, which had suddenly become frozen. The trajectory of the leaf has become still and it is suspended in mid-air, slowly falling down. There is a lot more time in between heartbeats. You hear the buzzing of a bee, slowly flying by, as you view a macro angle, panoramic view of the suspended surroundings. You see the tacho needle nudging 9500 and shuddering violently as if in a fit, but it is strangely muted. You see it, but don’t hear anything you might expect to hear. Everything is still.

When you reach great speeds, you reach great stillness.

But it is difficult to keep this stillness for long. It is difficult to keep the mind stretched at this speed forever. Something is always bound to happen to break this balance, this beautiful harmony. A patch of rough road, or a truck in the hazy distance. Then suddenly you go just fractionally slower and the entire world screeches back to life! From nowhere the engine suddenly starts whining from the assault of nine thousand crank rpm, the chain roars from running too hot and dry. The intake and exhaust shriek in extremely rapid tandem, the tarmac below the foot-pegs suddenly an immediate presence. The rear tyre squeals as the tightly sprung rear suspension rapidly unloads causing it to lock up on downshift. The sensation of the earth moving backwards in a giddy choreography of violent physical movement. The pull back to earthly senses from that sublime speed is so tremendous and so sudden that it hits you like a bat in the face. As if dragged back by the force of nine thousand rpm.

Absolute stillness is pretty hard to explain. It is a state of mind. It is a place beyond fright or instincts or logic. A place beyond the immature eagerness to show-off, beyond the mortal fear of injury, beyond the calculated logic of riding physics. It is a state of being that is neither too eager to receive nor too keen to act. It is that fine line between peace on one side and fear, instincts, memory, courage, senses, pain and everything else on the other. It is beyond the limits of the road or the machinery. It may appear to the uneducated as a thrill or a sensation, but to describe it thus is to give it a false meaning. It is above thrills or sensations. It is art, it is electricity, it is poetry.

In great stillness we find ourselves.

PS: I feel obliged to write a post-script. The picture in this post was clicked by Boon when we were riding on the NH15 from Radhanpur to Barmer. That was Boon riding with a death wish on his P220 fitted with a K&N free-flow filter. On his motorcycle, he was safe at that speed. On yours, you wont be. Kindly ride safe. Do not cross 125 km/hr if you are riding an Indian motorcycle.