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. 

Super-Cool Shit They Should Have Invented: Part 1

I'm no scientist.. Yes, there was a time when I thought I was that smart. But my maths teacher and those repeated exams laid that theory to rest.. 

But sometimes I wish I was smart.. Coz these dumasses that parade around as smart don't invent cool shit anymore.. I mean, OK, Ipod is great. Move on! Don't come out with ten versions of it!

(Sigh) All the things cool people like you and I could've invented if we were smart.. (Yes, my reader, you're cool because you're reading this now, and you're definitely not smart since, well, you're reading this)

There is one thing I'd desperately like to invent: 

Eye camera 

I'm sure there is a conspiracy behind this one. Them photographers will be out of a job if this technology was ever invented. 

I mean, how many times did you see that sunset while on the road, or a bird's silhouette against the evening sky and wish you could have captured that forever? And them photographers are never around when you need them either. They're busy shooting cars from different angles. Yeah, we've seen them a thousand times buddy! Get a life!

Anyhow, getting to the point. What if you could actually convert your eyesight into an image file and remember it forever? That would be one awesome kick-ass invention. I can also think of several ways how it can be misused, but hey, we're human beings, that's how we roll. 

But hey, for every time I stood somewhere, saw something great, took a deep breath, and wished I had a camera, or that I could remember it exactly the way it was forever, or show it to someone else, I'm willing to take that risk..

So smart people. Where you at?

(Image Courtesy:

My Time Machine To-Do List

I don't understand Hollywood. All those movies with time machines in them, and nobody could manage to do something interesting with them.

Michael J. Fox made out with his Mom, Guy Pearce tried to bring his wife back from the dead, John Cusack and co. took another chance at their miserable childhood, Ben Affleck bought himself a lottery ticket, oh the list is endless AND frustrating.

For all that intellectual depth and Save-The-World nonsense that they so flamboyantly showed in other movies, they did not do one single thing worth noting.. But hey, can't blame them. Poor bastards were probably caught unprepared.

But not me. No sir! I shall endeavour to put together a Time-Machine To-Do list, just in case I happen to come across/use/fall-into/get-sucked-into one...

And it shall follow:

1. Tell Jesus what his priests are upto 2000 years later..
2. Tell Buddha that there are two branches of Buddhism these days..
3. Find out if any of that shit in the Mahabharatha is actually true..
4. Go to 1938 and tell Adolf Hitler how the war will end..
5. Go meet Anne Frank..
6. Stay in Harappa for two months and learn the local language...
7. See Egypt under Cleopatra... (Find out how they managed to build them pyramids also..)
8. Watch how Alexander managed to talk to the Indians..
9. Go see a mammoth / T-Rex...
10. Witness Berlin Wall destruction...
11. Tell them Indian kings what the British will be up to the moment they set up base.. (Not that it'd make too much of a difference!)

I'm pretty sure there were more. Periodical writer's block, what can I say! To be updated as and when inspiration strikes.. 

(Image courtesy:

The Common Man's Guide on How to be an Idiot: Part 1

Truth be told, I wish I was not the person who was destined to write this series. But, after all the shit that this friend of mine gets into, I can no longer sit by idly and not write about it.

The Common Man's Guide on How to be an Idiot: Part 1: How to screw up while buying electronics!

We all buy electronics. If you're a common man though, you make sure you get the best deal out of it. If you are too bored of that; if you want more excitement in your lives; if you need funny stories to tell your friends while you're drinking because you're too boring to think of other interesting  conversation topics, read on: 

Screw-Up #1: Being the economical one: 
If all electronics were built to last until they were deemed unworthy, then they would all be like Tom Cruise's sunglasses in Mission Impossible 2. They will self-destruct in 5 seconds. 

Hence, if you really wanna look like an idiot, be stingy. Buy the cheapest thing available, from the nearest store possible. To put some effort into it would be a crime!

Case in Point: This, uh, friend of mine wanted a laptop. So he went to Dell's website which allows you to customize as much as you want. 

Now it is fun when you put all the high-end stuff while customizing and end up with a bill that roughly comes up to how much you  make a year. 

Ok. Let's be fair here. We common men have limitations. But, what's NOT advisable is going for the cheapest stuff that Dell offers (I'm sure even they're embarrassed that they put that stuff on their site now)... 

Result: In roughly a couple of months, no program will work on your lappy. It will hang so much that you'll find yourself going to office just so that you don't have to stare at that blank screen anymore.. 

Screw-Up #2: Jumping the Gun:
NEVER ever buy something without trying it out, and making sure that it is indeed what you want. 

This same friend that I was talking about once went to buy headphones. 

Now, for the uninitiated in headphones, the best ear-plugs out there is probably Creative's EP-630. It looks like this: 
Now, what do you do if the vendor says he doesn't have EP-630, but has EP-830 (which btw is also more expensive)?

Well, usually people would ask to see it and try it out. But not me. Er, I mean, not that friend of mine. He went ahead and bought it. 

Result: Turns out the one that he bought is half the length of the EP-630 and doesn't reach from his ears to his jeans pocket. I mean, this guy is 6 feet 4. (Weird huh? So am I!) Those headphones now have a good time sitting on his shelf. 

They're also occasionally used to hang bananas from the hook on the roof.  

Screw-Up # 3: 'I trust ALL cheap stuff'
Alright, I'll let you all in on a secret. Cheap stuff are cheap because of a very obvious reason. Apparently, they're not made to last.. 

Even worse, some of them are not even built to work at all.. They just sit there inside their pretty casings just waiting.. Waiting for a colossal idiot to walk by.. 

And on your lucky day, it could just be this friend of mine.. Case in point: An mp3 player this guy bought.. 

Guy: This thing is cheap. It does work right? 
Vendor: *grunt*
Guy: Awesome. You're awesome! I love Ritchie Street!

24 hours later:
Guy: Dude, this shit don't work!
Vendor: *grunt* = I'm not taking it back if it doesn't work fuck-wit. Ha ha ha!

So there. Now you have a better idea how to make an idiot out of yourself. Keep reading for more interesting fields to fuck up in.. So long now!

(Images courtesy:,