Then Again, 2011 Wasn't That Bad!

It's funny what 12 months can do to you, isn't it? Last year, this time, I was home. I was drunk. I was depressed. And I was writing this.

Looking back, yes, those were the dark times. And though no more posts followed, it didn't significantly improve. For the next three months. It got worse. And then worse some more. And then you get to the point where you start giving up. (This is about where you're going to realize that this is not one of the usual humour posts I write here. Sorry about that.)

If I were to pick one moment that changed it all. It'd be this: 

In Agumbe, there I was, standing at the edge of a waterfall and peering down. (Did I mention I was afraid of heights?) And then the wind picked up, knocked me off balance for a split-second. That tiny fragment of time, when you're pretty sure that you're going to fall a 20 storey-height to a very painful death can give you a lot of perspective. 

And it did. Actually, life can be awesome fun, if you let it be. 

So. I did. 

- I did get that passport. 
- I went to Australia and Austria. (Antartica next, maybe.)
- I traveled WAY WAY more than the 10, 000 kilometers that I wanted to travel. 
- Actually, I traveled more than 1500 kilometers on a cycle. (Did I mention that I might sell off my bike?)
- Got inked.
- Quit a job where I wasn't growing anymore. (And starting another job in the New Year.)
- Moving to a city that I love. Full of people that I can relate with. 
- Had less number of people call me scary. 
- Made a substantial difference to the lives of at least 4 people. 
- Still can't put up with my relatives. I rather doubt that this one will ever be possible. But hey, it's a New Year after all. 

Ultimately. 2011 taught me one VERY important lesson: 

Doesn't matter where you are. Doesn't matter what you are. Doesn't matter who you're with. Doesn't matter if you're not invited. Doesn't matter if people don't care. Doesn't matter if you're disappointed. 

If you want something, you fight for it. With everything you have. (How's that for cheesy?)

And right now, I want an awesome 2012. So bring it on! 

Happy New Year, my only reader. (And anybody else.)

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The Man who will Martyrize my Inner-Wear

I'm a very disappointed citizen of the Indian Union. What liberty does a citizen have when his very integrity is taken for a ride? What is the purpose of me voting for a new Government, or a new representative if they can't protect my freedom?

It all happened last Wednesday. My off day. The day I use to take care of my chores. And I did. Dutifully. Like any good citizen. I spent TWO long-drawn hours washing my clothes. And then another fifteen minutes, hanging them on the terrace of my apartment complex. Satisfied with my effort, I came back downstairs and had me a couple of beers. 

How was I to know that a heinous crime was being committed that very same night while I was happily drunk? 

For on Thursday morning, I was in for quite the shock. Up on the terrace, I surveyed the scene. 3 shirts: check. 2 Jeans: Check. 4 pair socks: Check. 4 pair underwear: Wait, what? 

ONLY THREE?? Who would do such a thing? And of all the colours the bastard could have chosen to steal, he stole the blue one! My favourite!

The police force doesn't care, of course. "Saar, enna saar?" they ask me quizzically. Yeah you bastard, you won't know how painful it is until you have yours stolen.

My landlord is not interested either. "I don't wear any," he said casually, thus absolving himself from the crime and distancing himself from a possible solution. Ah, can't blame the guy. It's not like I pay rent on time anyhow.

Are you laughing? I can almost hear your amusement as I type one long word after the other. How dare you? I'm the victim here. 

(In picture: What was lost. Item itself can't be seen because of kurta and jeans. But this picture comes closest.)

Disappointed and depressed, I mop around, until a friend says: "This is Indian my friend. Only one person can put your mind at ease."

Apparently, only one man can get things done in India, and that too, by means of blackmail terrorism. Some man by the name of Anna is the supreme exponent, says all the TV channels that I don't watch. And all the newspapers that I don't read. 

Men with strange names like Arnab and Rajdeep keep shouting the name over and over. On air. They keep cutting people off mid-sentence. Oh wait, I guess that was always there. 

Twitter trends, facebook pages, text messages. Anna, Anna, Anna. Who is this guy anyway? Can he do what nobody can?? Can he make sure that nobody else has to suffer the pain that I have suffered? Can he restore my lost honour??

And then I read up on it. Turns out, YES HE CAN!! This is a man who fights against the evil forces of corruption. The very force that was responsible for my current plight.

How you may ask? Well, every problem in India, as we all know, arises from corruption and 'em politicians. Silly little bastards. Yes, they're to blame. I'm sure you agree. 

This man wants to put in place another system. The Lokpal system which, they say, is incorruptible. If they say so, I will believe it. I'm an aam aadmi after all. What do I know of such things?

So I will stand with this man. I will go to the rallies they organize in his name. I will fast along with him, for a few hours at least. I will shamelessly blackmail the very people that I elected to represent me. 

Why? Fuck you! Why not? As long as I have someone to blame, somebody to support, some rally to go to to find more meaning in my own life, why SHOULD'NT I do it? 

When this man succeeds (everyone tells me he will), I will proudly stand along with him and be very happy with myself. And, by being part of this crusade, I would've made safe the future of the millions of underwear owners across the country. 

How, you ask? Of course you did. You ask too many fucking questions I say!!

And then.. Then, there is Project Completion

** Disclaimer: This post will in all possibility contain random outbursts of anger, offensive language and indecent references. If you are a minor under adult supervision, read and use as you see fit. **


Ha! Felt good to start with that one. :) You see, when this month started, all I had was a challenge and a new cycle. 

This month ends with a less-new cycle, valuable lessons about myself learned, a target achieved and the satisfaction of spitting in the faces of you nay-sayers. 

If you're reading this, you know what this is all about. My project for the month of June. 1ooo kilometers. 

It gives me quite a lot of pleasure to tell you that the target has been met. Two days before the close of the month. (In 23 days, to be more precise)

As for you fuckers who said that I'd vanish into thin air, or that I'd go into the 2D mode of existence, or that I wouldn't get past 500, or that it was a stupid pursuit: Well, the longest of my fingers stands straight in defiance to your quirks and pessimism. The opening two words of this post was JUST FOR YOU! Enjaay!

It wasn't easy. It was raining at times. Sweltering hot otherwise. But, to be frank, more than the people who were supporting me, it was you, the people who weren't and the people who were saying I couldn't do it, that drove me on most of the time. So yeah, do need to thank you as well.

Anyhow, find the figures here.

Oh, and to the folks who were supporting me! THANK YOU! The support kilometers I had to do for you was the best part of the month!  Felt good doing it! :D

Meanwhile, Zen and the Art of Bicycle Perseverance continues right here on this blog.. Come back and visit to find out more about what to do when some fucking moron runs you off the road..

Until then, ride hard, don't take shit from anyone, and complete your projects. Jr out!

The Ides of June.. Well, Not Really, But..

June has just been cut short for me. What was to be a 30-day project involving 1000 kms, just turned into a 28-day project, with a wee bit over 1000 kilometers.

Rains, roads and dumass motorists haven't been kind. 

But hills have been climbed, Zen has been practiced, abuses have been hurled and gears have been changed. 

Today being the half-day mark, it was time to assess oneself in true Zen tradition. 

So. Here are the facts: 

1. Kilometers covered: 530.62
2. Time taken: 1 day and half an hour. 

More such unnecessary figures can be found here

In conclusion: 
Am I on track for 1000 kms: Yes.
Am I on track for more than 1000 kms: Possibly. 

Am I going to stick onto the project: Yes. Been laughed at by too many people to give up now.

Tips from "Zen and the Art of Bicycle Perserverance":
--> For every hill you pedal up, there's always going to be a downhill you can coast on.

--> Distances never get smaller. Your ability to lie to yourself gets better.

--> When the World runs out of petrol and diesel, cyclists can have the sadistic pleasure of honking at the now-carless Motorist bastards. Or, more simply put: Patience IS virtue!

(Image courtesy:

Project 1000 June K

Dear Reader (s?),

This is not one of those posts where I say something stupid, you read it, think to yourself 'weirdo!' and then we all go on with our merry lives.

No my friend, we're in deeper shit now.

So. Did you know that I recently bought a bicycle? Well I did. I bought the Schwinn Searcher 2011. Google it, and you'll get this image:

Awesome right? Well, in reality, mine looks like this:

No less awesome mind you. If you sniggered, fuck you! Moving on..

Getting to the point. This friend (ah well sort of) of mine, who has a Bianchi Camaleonte and likes showing it off took it one step too far yesterday. He challenged me. The nerve of the short bastard, I say!

What was the challenge? To do a 1000 kilometers on the bike during the month of June. As I stood there stunned and shocked, it occurred to me what I should do.

As any responsible person who has Barney has his role model would do, I shouted out: "Challenge accepted."

So. This morning at 4.30 a.m. I put on my lucky, erm, shoes, listened to an AC/DC track and hit the road.

17 kms in, I had the realization.

As any number of ex-girlfriends, ex-roomies and ex-friends will tell you, I have MAJOR trust-issues. Didn't help that all of them were from the canine family, but anyhow, I don't trust anybody!

Point being, I don't trust MYSELF on this. If it's just between me and Mr. Bianchi(cken), I'm pretty sure I'll drop out, come down with a fever, develop arthritis, fake a heart condition or something after a few days.

But not if you know too. For putting up with all my weirdo shit, I owe you that much. :D

So here is the deal. Keep me to my word. For every person who calls, pings or comments and encourages me to do this, I'll do an extra 5 kilometers!

And how are you going to know what distances I did? You can find it right here.

So let's go! Bring on Day 2 I say!

Them Sheep!

It happened in December. Suddenly, I couldn't sleep. I was an insomniac. 

Such a chronic one that it started scaring my friends. Some asked me to count sheep, others asked me see a doctor. One advised me to get drunk and pass out. 

The last one, actually, was the only plan that worked for me. 

I blamed it on my job. The hours. The lack of hours. The timings. The lack of timing, rather. 

It went on for three months. The constant tiredness. Nodding off in the bus, five minutes before the stop where I would have to get down. Then the long and painful nights, some of whom were used for constructive purposes; but mostly whittled away wondering what was wrong with me and how to fix it. 

Then suddenly, towards the end of April, it all went back to normal. Eight hours a day. And everyday at that. 

The results: Fell behind on my reading, fell behind on my to-watch list, couldn't run in the mornings anymore, got increasingly more bored in office, started waking up early, started getting to office early, bus rides became longer, train rides became insufferable, sounds were clearer and more deafening etc etc. 

Today. I haven't slept yet. 

The results: Went for a walk, started reading again (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), sat up and thought about writing about this, sat up and wrote about this, made myself breakfast, read the paper, didn't count sheep, finished watching a series that I had wanted to watch. Oh I don't know. 

If those sheep and doctors had done any permanent damage to me, I wouldn't be writing this. 

I can complain I guess. And I probably will also. But have to admit, being an insomniac is probably one of the best things that can happen to somebody. Imagine all the extra hours you get!

(Image courtesy:

So THAT is Australia!

Yes. I work at a good enough place. Good enough for them to send me to Australia for three days.

Now. I've never been to Australia before, or anywhere else outside India for that matter. Hell, I just got my passport a couple of months back as part of my ground-breaking Project MMXI

So it was that one fine night, I got to Brisbane airport.

First impression: Looks like a nice place. (Day 1, 2031 hrs, Location: Airport/On road to Caloundra)

Why? People smile at you. The roads are clean. There is this strange silence that I've never experienced before. What IS that? Then it hits me! Nobody here honks!

Yes goddammit! You heard me, people there don't honk. They put on their indicators, stick to their lanes and let other people pass by. Fucking brilliant I say!

Second impression: I could live here. (Day 2, 0843 hrs, Location: Breakfast buffet @ Oasis Rdyges Hotel, Caloundra.)

 What more could you ask for? The people are nice, the weather is nice, there is a beach nearby, and the beach has benches where you can sit and forget everything! 

And the food. Steak and bacon and hash browns and (sigh)... Here, I might actually put on some weight for once!

A dream come true for any lazy ass. 

Third impression: They'll kill me if I stay here too long (Day 2, mid-morning to late night, Location: In and around Caloundra.)

Ah, you don't know what it is like when you hear it on TV, or watch in that movie. Being in the moment while you're being racially abused, well, is.. you know, funny!

Disclaimer: I DO NOT take pride in being an Indian, or being brown skinned, or being born a Hindu etc. I also DO NOT aspire to or want to be like an Aussie, American, Espanyolish Amigo or haughty Englishman. 

Hence, I really do not get racism.

I found it funny that these people were so quick to judge me, shout at me, wave their fingers (read finger) at me and stare at me without even giving me a chance. I mean, who's the bigger man here? Me, and I never would've thought that I would have the privilege! So there!

Fourth impression: No place is perfect I suppose. (Day 3 + Day 3 and 1/2, Location: Caloundra/Brisbane.)

Look at us in India. We can barely put up with each other. We have stereotypes about language, tradition and all that nonsense. 

Now. You take the same people, put them in a different continent, and have them give shit to the local population. What do you get? Racism of course. Aussie people, I do understand how you feel about my brethren. 

It's just sad that you thought I was one of the multitudes. You can obviously tell from my aura of awesomeness that I'm different. Then why?!

But. In the end, I suppose you're never comfortable with any place. There are assholes everywhere. Question you've to ask is whether you're willing to put up with all of them just to be there. 

Is the bacon and steak really worth it? Is the lack of sound pollution worth it? Are the pretty women worth it? 

Questions, confounding questions.