Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Thrilling Showdown

Today evening would have been mundane but for the thrilling match with all the twists and turns it could possibly have. I am not talking about an India-Pakistan Cricket match or another Federer-Nadal showdown. The match was the final of the 123 cup telecast live on Lok Sabha TV.

The incessant hullabaloo, the flashing of money wads, interesting speeches, the adjournments ... all made interesting watch before the UPA held their nerves and sailed through comfortably. It seems masala and drama is part and parcel of every Indian endeavor - be it politics or the IPL. It seems there are more to come in as we get nearer and nearer the general elections!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The road to the Motorcycle license

It is really an interesting experience if you plan to take a driving license without the aid of the driving school. Though I took my LMV license through a driving school, I decided to take the motorcycle one on-my- own. If you are on-your-own, there are quite a number of privileges that you have to forsake. You can avoid spending a considerable number of days (not hours!) at the Transport Bhavan (the dirty, dingy complex that is office to the RTO); you can bypass the extremely long queue (so long that it starts at the counter, runs right across the hall, down the stairs to some corner in the storey below); you can avoid the innumerable shuttles between home and the CALLS counter (Computer Aided Learner’s Licensing System) each time the MVI (Motor Vehicle Inspector) rejects your application (simply because no one except the driving-school-guys know how to fill the application form and all that goes with it); in short, a myriad inconveniences.

Unfortunately, I had to go through all this drama just to get a test date. Again you miss out a lot of leniencies on the day of the actual driving test. You will certainly miss the services of the M-80 Major, the ubiquitous milkman-motorcycle which every driving school possesses. With its wonderful maneuverability, it is a boon for anyone taking the figure-8 motorcycle test. These driving school guys alter the M-80 to such an extent that you don’t even have to touch the clutch! In case of the LMV H-test, you will have to miss out on the algorithm these guys have created to crack the H! Follow the algorithm and each time you reach a strategic point of the H (conveniently marked out by heaped leaves and lines scuffed on the ground), you just have to turn the steering wheel the prescribed number of times and so on until you are magically through the H.

In case you are shrewd enough, you can advantageously use the leaf-heaps these guys use to help their clients identify strategic points on the test track and more importantly that cigarette carton resting on that strategic rod in the H-test. Overhearing the instructions these guys give to their clients can give you a wealth of information without which you would cut a sorry figure in front of those MVIs. Those viva-voce questions, the hand signals, the live demonstrations …. I grabbed them with both hands and came out in flying colors. I owe a large portion of my success in the yesterday’s on-my-own motorcycle test to these driving school guys!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Savouring the last Souring vacation

I have had nothing to do except chill out for the past few days! Isn't that testimony enough for the fact I am on a vacation? The hectic days of final year at college are over. The days where I slog and sweat at work are yet to come. Doesn't that allude to the fact that this is the last vacation for a long long time? That remaining so, recall the fact that familiarity breeds contempt and that even elixir in excess is real bad!

What is the ideal length of a vacation that one can enjoy to the fullest? For some guys at college, this last vacation was as short as 15 days. If you are planning on chilling out for a few days after those demanding last days at college, enjoying your mother's food and the delightful comforts of your cozy home, hanging out with friends - killing time, cracking jokes, window shopping and what not? You even have ample time to go on a pilgrimage(??) or an all-India tour!

Not before long, you finally realize that your vacation has come to an end and you are engaged in a frantic shopping spree to buy all those necessities, visiting relatives and seeking out their blessings before finally embarking on the 'epic' journey to work, visiting temples and praying for good luck ... thousands of things to do in a very short time!

One of my friends was gifted so short a vacation that he got to enjoy only the second busy half of the it, so much so that some of us (a group of 4) got an appointment to meet him only after deliberations stretching over two days! Most other guys got a decent vacation of a month and a half and have took off to work. What about me? This is day 70 of the 3 month long vacation. Yep, three months! I have done all those things that I have mentioned people do in their vacation, yet this one doesn't seem to end! I feel like a thirsty wanderer searching for an water in the middle of a desert, getting fooled every now and then by a mirage. All I yearn for is something interesting to keep me occupied!

It seems I have exhausted all the options. Lets see ... The first few days were spent in planning and executing a very enchanting foray into Wayanad, an ideal ecotourism destination nestled among the mighty western ghats that runs along the west coast of peninusular India. The purple patch threatened to end with this, but I deftly extended it to a few more days by going on a tour to friends' houses all along the length and breadth of God's own country. By this time my brother had arrived on his somewhat-long vacation. With two computers at home and lots of games waiting to be played, it turned out to be an extension of those idle college days where I used to play computer games day in and day out! A host of other interesting activities went on other than this and I was really enjoying.

That's when we (me, brother and parents) embarked on a North India tour extending from the borders of Pakistan at Wagah(Amritsar) to the thronging devotees on the holy banks of the sacred Ganges at Rishikesh and Haridwar, from sylvan Mussoorie and the peaceful Doon valley to the busting National capital ... We missed out on the last leg though, involving the pink city and the world wonder, due to a minor mishap in Delhi. The dream run ended shortly and it was up to me and my brother to make amends.

I really felt the pinch when my brother's long vacation came to a screeching halt a few days down the line. I was forced to turn my attention to hobbies that I had put in the cellar for the past four years ... reading, blogging, surfing and the like. Each passing hour seems like a day. I have even started attending those receptions and marriages of people whom I didn't know but people who knew me, a thing I have always abstained from all my life! With each passing minute this vacation which I thought I would savour is getting more and more sour. It is turning out to be a really long, Souring last vacation!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Finally, some action

After many days of deliberation, I have finally managed to fill out my profile, name my blogs and also describe them! As many wise cracks have rightly pointed out, the first ten percent of any work is surely the toughest. I think this phenomenon is part and parcel of everything in this universe - that which we call inertia - the tendency of a body to remain in a state of rest or of uniform motion. Now that I have overcome this inertia, I strongly hope that I will keep on going.