Monday, December 28, 2009

After a Long Hiatus

The last time i scribbled something here was 27 months back. Many things, have changed since then-i got married, had a daughter, changed jobs.. Somewhere in all these i could't find time to do this. But hopefully since now i have made a start, or rather a re-start, i will continue.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Beautiful Small Moments In Life

The vodafone ad, about a fly that lives only for one day but how it makes the maximum of it, is something that got me thinking. Most of the times the things that make us really happy are not the grand purchases or the big promotions or the salary hike but rather the small things like an evening spent with friends discussing nonsense or a vacation spent with family or a walk in the park with that someone special or even when you made a big fool of yourself trying to impress the girl you had a crush on. Those are the memories that we cherish, which bring a smile to our face everytime we think of it, the times that we long for.

But when we know what are the things that really makes us happy why can’t we make many more such moments, why do we run after things that we are fully aware is going to make no difference to our lives in the long run. Why do we fail to latch on to such moments but instead let our ego and fear deter us from embracing it. Then again maybe it is better this way. Maybe they are what they are because they are few and happen on their own.......

Sunday, October 7, 2007

My Love Affair with Cars

My love affair with cars started ever since i was a little boy. One of my earliest memories, of being in a car was in Nigeria- we had a Toyota Corolla-Panelled van (a station wagon with only the front 2 seats and a long flat load carrying area). The day we bought the car, i insisted i want to sleep inside the car, my mother refused and finally i spent the entire night peering out of the window so as to ensure that nobody steals the car. Whenever we went on long trips I used to sit on my father's lap and hold the steering. The roads were long and straight and there was nothing to steer thru but still the feeling of holding a steering wheel has been something which has always lured me, something which has been very hard for me to resist and still is. Even at the age i could make out the make and model and the identifying characterstics of a lot of cars
Once we came back to India there was nothing much to identify, there were only Fiats, Ambassadors and Maruti 800s on the roads. Once i crossed age 10 i was desperate to drive a car. So when ever someone used to come home in a car i'd go missing from the house. I'd spent the time sitting inside the car (if lucky in the driver's seat) talking to the driver or peering inside the bonnet or trying to decipher the various markings on the tyre. We bought a Fiat (Premier Padmini) when i was 11 years old and that will remain one of the most exciting days of my life. I just didn't want to get out of the car. I would rush back from school, sit inside the car and change gears or open the bonnet and try to figure out what each part was. Slowly slowly i convinced my father to let me drive thru deserted roads or in the middle of the night. By the time i reached 13 i could drive quite well. So i started asking my realtives to let me drive their cars too. One of my uncles had an Amby (Mark II), i could barely turn the steering on that one, i had to literally hang on to the steering to make it turn.Within the next couple of years i started driving whatever i could lay my hands on-800, omni, 118NE. I was so anxiously waiting to turn 18 so that i could take license. I was in engineering college when i turned 18. At the next available opportunity i came back home, took my learner's license. I had to wait for a minimum of 1 month before i can take the driving test. So finally on the 26th of december 1995, i went for my test. That is the day i became a 'licensed' driver
Over the course of the next years i drove a lot of cars. I would never miss an opportuninty to drive a car, it didn't matter what car it was, i just wanted to drive. When i was a kid i always used to tell that when get my first salary i'll buy a car. My salary proved to be too little for a car, so instead i decided to buy a bike (Yamaha RX-100). Finally on December 31st 2005 i bought my first car (a red Swift Zxi). It along with my bike is my proudest possession.
The sheer joy of driving a car, especially on open winding roads, is something which is indescribable, something which you have to feel. For most people a car is just a means of transport or a status symbol. To me my car will always remain a part of me, a friend, a trusted partner, something that can cheer me up when i am down, something on which i can let the steam off on when i am angry or frustrated or irritated, be part of the happy and sad moments, a companion thru the journey of life. To me, my car is human and the affair is going to be lifelong

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Spur of the Moment Trips

Of all the trips that I have done, the most exciting ones have been the spur of the moment trips. During my graduation and post graduation days have gone on quite a few of those-in fact most of the trips during those days where spur of the moment ones.

The last one that I had was around an year back in Hyderabad. It was a Thursday night and has been raining like hell for the last couple of days. Me and a couple of friends were sitting in a pub and having drinks and suddenly someone mentioned that there is a cyclonic storm scheduled to hit vishakapattanam early next day morning. Suddenly it struck me that I had never seen a cyclonic storm, so why waste the opportunity. I asked who all were interested in going to vishakapattanam right now and only 1 hand went up. For the next 30 minutes called up friends all around Hyderabad and the responses varied from polite ‘no I have office tomorrow’ to ‘ u r crazy to go to vishakapattanam when people are getting out of there’ to everything in between. Anyway, bottom-line was that it was just the 2 of us. We decided to go nevertheless, by then it was already around 12.30 in the night, so we wound up everything by 1, went home, picked up a change of cloth and dumped it in the car and started off by 2. When we started off, we were under the impression that vizag is only 450-470 k.m. from Hyderabad. Our intention was to reach by around 10-11. The moment we started, my friend went off to sleep, so I had the pitter patter of the rain and the numerous trucks on the road to keep me company. By around 5.15 we had covered around 240 k.m. and was very close to vijayawada. For the last 3 hours I have been driving non-stop in 3 digit speeds thru the heavy rains and the lack of sleep and the alcohol started to take its toll on me. I decided to stop, otherwise I knew we might end up under some truck. As much as I tried to get comfortable, I realized the Swift is too small for that ( I have to buy the Octavia with the double bed boot). So after 45 min I realized the futility and at 6 decided to start driving again. The rain was now so heavy that one could hardly see beyond 10 meters. By 6.30 we reached vijayawada and we were shocked by a sign board which said vishakapattanam some 420 odd kilometers. That was it, there was no way I could drive for another 400 kilometers in that condition and my friend didn’t know driving and he was anyway not feeling too well from the previous night. So we decided to take a room in vijayawada and sleep. By evening we were all set but then we decided to call off the vizag trip and decided to explore vijayawada. We went around and saw whatever we could figure out (Prakasam Barrage, Kondipalli fort, Undavalli caves) as both of us didn’t know telugu and outside of Hyderabad, they don’t speak much of Hindi. Anyway after seeing whatever we could manage, we went off to sleep again. Next day was a brilliant day with heavily overcast skies but no heavy rain, only the occasional drizzle, Ideal day for enjoying the drive. We started relatively early and stopped at all the rivers, creeks, puddles we found on the way and took a dip. Chased all the cars we found on the way ( had a long duel with a Corolla, took me around 15 k.m. and a top speed of 140 kmph to make him realize that I will not give up. My swifty took all the red-lining in her stride) and reached Hyderabad in the afternoon. By then Hyderabad was flooded and we had a hard time reaching home

Although we pretty much failed in almost everything that we set out for-reach vizag, catch the cyclone-it was a pretty good trip because of the spontaneity of all the decisions we made. We did whatever we wanted to do whenever we wanted to do without thinking twice. That’s the fun of ‘spur of the moment trips’ because the start itself sets the tone for the entire trip so all the decisions that follow also are spur of the moment ones. Such trips are increasingly becoming less because of work and people having too many things to think before deciding on something. But I sure as hell am missing them and believe that is the best way to travel

Saturday, September 22, 2007

On Judicial Intolerance and 'Truth as Defense'

Judicial intolerance to criticism has been a worrying trend affecting our nation, especially in the recent times. The Indian judiciary for all its good work and activism is becoming increasingly intolerant to any form of criticism. The view of the judiciary that by being openly criticized the faith of people in the judiciary will fall is not only undemocratic but reeks of double standards. If being criticized lets a democratic institution fall in the eyes of the people and that is sufficient enough reason not to allow that, then the same should hold true for the legislature and the executive too. Today's judgement by the delhi high court convicting 4 journalists for contempt of court for publishing an article questioning the intentions of former CJI Y.K.Sabharwal more than exemplifies this trend. The incident involving The Hindu and also that involving Arundhati Roy are others which immediately come to memory. While an independent judiciary needs to be cherished and nurtured, being not open to criticism and intolerant is not the way to achieve it in this new age.This increasing intolerance doesn’t augur well for a healthy democracy and no institution should be above criticism. 'Truth as defense' should be the guiding principle.
Having said, it is also equally important for the media to be extra cautious so that frivolous and baseless allegations and criticisms are not levelled. A responsible press is very critical to achieve this so as to ensure that criticisms are based on facts and not with vested interests.
Our democracy cannot afford to have its two strongest pillars and the ones in which people have faith warring against each other

Random Thoughts

Have been thinking of starting a blog for a long while-too long. The natural laziness in me stopped me from doing it so far, but not anymore. I have an opinion on pretty much everything. So, the chances are, whatever catches my interest will find a reflection here