Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Calvin and Hobbes

i've always been a BIG fan of the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. like every other guy, i can relate to Calvin so much!!! some of the things i've actually in my childhood...

anywys, i found one of the poems appearing in the indispensable Calvin and Hobbes which i just wanted to share with you... so here goes...

I made a big decision a little while ago.
I don't remember what it was, which prob'ly goes to show
That many times a simple choice can prove to be essential
Even though it often might appear inconsequential.
I must have been distracted when I left my home because
Left or right I'm sure I went. (I wonder which it was!)
Anyway, I never veered: I walked in that direction
Utterly absorbed, it seems, in quiet introspection.
For no reason I can think of, I've wandered far astray.
And that is how I got to where I find myself today.
Explorers are we, intrepid and bold,
Out in the wild, amongst wonders untold.
Equipped wit our wits, a map, and a snack,
We're searching for fun and we're on the right track!
My mother has eyes on the back of her head!
I don't quite believe it, but that's what she said.
She explained that she'd been so uniquely endowed
To catch me when I did Things Not Allowed.
I think she must also have eyes on her rear.
I've noticed her hindsight is usually clear.
At night my mind does not much care
If what it thinks is here or there.
It tells me stories it invents
And makes up things that don't make sense.
I don't know why it does this stuff.
The real world seems quite weird enough.
What if my bones were in a museum,
Where aliens paid good money to see 'em?
And suppose that they'd put me together all wrong,
Sticking bones on to bones where they didn't belong!
Imagine phalanges, pelvis, and spine
Welded to mandibles that once had been mine!
With each misassemblage, the error compounded,
The aliens would draw back in terror, astounded!
Their textbooks would show me in grim illustration,
The most hideous thing ever seen in creation!
The museum would commission a model in plaster
Of ME, to be called, "Evolution's Disaster"!
And paleontologists there would debate
Dozens of theories to help postulate
How man survived for those thousands of years
With teeth-covered arms growing out of his ears!
Oh, I hope that I'm never in such manner displayed,
No matter HOW much to see me the aliens paid.
I did not want to go with them.
Alas, I had no choice.
This was made quite clear to me
In threat'ning tones of voice.
I protested mightily
And scrambled 'cross the floor.
But though I grabbed the furniture,
they dragged me out of the door.
In the car, I screamed and moaned.
I cried my red eyes dry.
The window down, I yelled for help
To people we passed by.
Mom and Dad can make the rules
And certain things forbid,
But I can make them wish that they
Had never had a kid.
Now I'm in bed,
The sheets pulled to my head.
My tiger is here making Zs.
He's furry and hot.
He takes up a lot
Of the bed and he's hogging the breeze.

Monday, May 21, 2007

finally! i start...

After months and months of procrastinating and contemplating on whether it is really needed for someone like me to blog… I decided like every other blogger, WTF? Lets just do it and we’ll see where it leads to…
Usually, after thinking all the crap above, it leads to no where… and I keep beating around the bush and running round in circles. But, I am clear this time, I want to blog and stay consistent at it. No matter what, I will blog and eventually improve at it J
Okay, so for today’s blog, I’ll just put in the ‘trip story’ that I had submitted at the Royal Enfield Website to get it published. It’s a pretty interesting read and you can view it on this link


Date April 28, 2007

Place: Bobby da dhaba (Bangalore)

Time around 8:30pm

Here we are, 4 of us sitting and gobbling down the delicious Punjabi cuisine at ‘Bobby da Dhaba’ at the Gurudwara in Bangalore, talking about how life has been, what all changed after being married and sharing stories about each others’ lives in general. Suddenly, a crazy thought creeps into my mind, Tana and I’ve been planning to go to the Big Banyan Tree and the Manchanbele reservoir since sometime now. So I throw in the topic of biking to this place in the discussions and it was well accepted. Strangely Mitten and Aparna both were pretty thrilled with the idea! In fact, Aparna also complained that after the stint to Nandi Hills, Mitten hasn’t actually taken her out of B’lore at all. So it’s decided that we did a nice coupling ride to the Banyan tree and the reservoir the next morning.

Date: April 29, 2007 (Sunday) 8:00am

Place: Bharat petrol bunk on Kasturba Road

After prepping themselves and the bike for the ride, both Mitten and Aparna gave a thumbs-up for the ride. Tana, I and the bike were all geared up and well prepared already! The Cramster tank-bag was stuffed with all the necessary documents, maps, basic Kannada speaking guide, water bottles, camera and some other mishmash of things, just in case!

We started the ride through really bad traffic on the Mysore road, all the way till after Kengeri, and then suddenly the roads strangely started looking bigger, better and the vehicles lesser! Now was the time to twist the wrist and let the bull run free and let it feel its power and freedom on the open roads. Sadly I had to keep in mind that Mitten and his wife were part of the ride and time to time I had to peep into the rearview mirror to make sure I see them there. We took the right turn from the Kumbalgod Junction and the scenery changed drastically! The 4-lane expressway suddenly turned into a 2-way motorway with enough potholes and bumps that all your breakfast will be digested in no time but the thumping bull was enjoying the roads! I guess the gas-filled shocks would’ve taken a very bad toll but we riders found the ride pretty smooth with its own ups and downs.

After over 6kms of a very patchy road we finally reach the banyan tree. The morning was pretty bright and the bike shined and glinted like a precious jewel in the sunlight. Darn, I just couldn’t take my eyes off her there! My wife has finally come to a term that for me the ‘bird of prey’ is the ‘first love’ when we are out with it.

The ride after the banyan tree to the reservoir is sheer ecstasy! The road looks more like a well paved dirt road; the landscape shows the promising hills with pretty small villages and the people there! Oh, what do I tell you about them? Never seen a more enthusiastic crowd to guide us to the reservoir. Whenever we took a wrong turn, there’d be a few people shouting for us to stop and show us the correct way, strangely everyone knew that we were en route the reservoir! This part of the ride is the most awesome! The road sloping down, the lake glittering in the sunlight below and the road taking sudden turns leading all the way to the water! It’s one of the prettiest sights, the bike just sitting there resting on the banks of the lake. We decided to do a little photo-op there and in less than 30 minutes we were again ready to head back to civilization.

But not the same route this time! We enjoyed the ride on the dirt roads so much that we just had to ride a bit more, so it was decided that we would take the byroads going through the villages towards Sudhanhalli Circle, this was the first time when the bull actually ran wild and free on such a terrain and I could feel the excitement and the glee in the bull’s heart. Those steady thumps, the fresh air on the face through the visor and amazing landscape, what more can a biker ask for?

After a while and a couple villages and settlements later the dirt road turned into a well paved, newly layered tar road. I still don’t remember where exactly these transitions on the road happen, but it was pretty smooth and very picturesque! Have you ever experienced complete silence with no sound around but only the thump of your royal beast and a steady speed? I guess this is what they call the feeling of Zen and motorcycle riding.

Now we started noticing a lot of mango fields alongside the roads, and being a crazy kid at heart I just thought of my childhood days, slingshot in my shorts and running around the mango plantations of Gujarat, for a second I missed it so much that I had to pull the bike over and jump into the field to do a bit of mango stealing. Sorry guys, I am not trying to promote kleptomania or suggest stealing to you all but those mangoes on the trees were just begging to be plucked! I took around 4-5 mangoes from a tree and Mitten took 3-4 from the other, while we were still smiling in full glory showing off our spoils, we saw the farmer running to us from the other side of the field! Man, that was a close call for me, stuffing the mangoes in the cramster, starting the bike and getting out of there in a flash was just awesome, just sheer pleasure and a bit of adrenaline!

Anyhow, the roads eventually merged onto the Bangalore-Mysore expressway and we realized that we came out over 30kms ahead of the Kumbalagod Junction. This was a good chance to do a few speed bursts and take the bull over 100kmph a few times on the almost empty roads.

Bidadi marked a breakfast stop, we had the famous ‘thatte idli’ there and then started again on our way back to B’lore. The beast is just amazing on the highways! Never felt safer on any other bike at the speeds of 90and beyond! It just rolls steady assuring you that nothing is going to go wrong as long as you are with me.

Kengeri brought back the traffic and in no time we were back in B’lore. Upon reaching MG Road; Mitten, Aparna and their Boxer (who bravely tried to keep up with my beast) were visibly tired and shaken up with the ride, decided to split, go home and sleep. Tana, I and the bull were still hungry for more. We rode around town for a while and then finally decided to go home.

Pulled in the bull in the parking lot and thanked it for such a smooth and trouble free ride! Tana also has started liking the bull now; she said that she couldn’t wait to get on the bull again to go for another ride soon. The bulls sit there as of now smiling at me and taunting me to take life by the handlebars and go for a long ride again!

The people involved: Mitten Patel, his wife Aparna and his Bajaj Boxer (who now wants to retire), Me - Love Joshi, my wife Tana and the ‘bird of prey’ who wants relatively longer rides the next time.

N.B. on a different note, I am now talking to Mitten and trying to convince him to buy a RE for himself and cross over to the fun side of life.