Friday, August 08, 2008

AVs - 6th Aug 2008

Catching the morning train:
- Lone cabs silently prowling the darkness, piercing it with their headlights.
- A city slowly stirring to life, amidst a chorus of automobile horns.
- The train chugging away, speedily leaving the city in the early morning light.

Journeying the morning train:
- Cloud capped hilltops looming up in the green-carpeted landscape.
- The rhythmic clatter of the wheels punctuated by vendor calls of 'Idli- vadai'.
- Sunbeams breaking through the cloud cover and shining straight onto my seat.
- Sunflowers turned to greet the morning sun
- Travelling through a patchwork of fields of black soil, ready for planting.
- Passenger laded autos spluttering along empty village roads.
- Painted shrines nestling on rocky hilltops.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


She was talking to me weighed down by the disappointing revision. She definitely seemed down, something she rarely is. I was gazing in the general direction of her bra strap. It was best to look away from her face during these kinds of conversations.
It wasn’t very turning on, actually. It seemed faded and one could even see its shiny steel clip.
She had a set of new dresses stitched recently, all with wide necks. Too wide for her small frame and perhaps that was causing the bra to peek out.
She was going on about how humiliating the verdict seemed. It was almost next to nothing. Which was indeed true. But from a business point of view there wasn’t much one could counter the decision with. Sometimes it seems best not to reason out some decisions.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


This one's for Manu -thanks for visiting the blog when even I had almost forgotten about it.
(I know you visited for the links, though)

The little girl made her way to my bike slowly, clutching a bunch of red and white Christmas caps with a vacant expression on her face which you couldn’t help but pity. But if you knew about the begging mafia and human trafficking you’d know that as genuine as it seemed, that expression was as much intended… actually forced. The caps were soiled perhaps by her hands, perhaps being exposed to
Bangalore’s pollution all day long. It’s scary to realize it’s the same air we breathe.
“How much for one?” I asked her, more to humor her, than with any intention of buying. “Twenty rupees”, she replied. “Where are you from?” I then asked. “Rajasthan”, she replied. That’s one of the key features of human trafficking - get people from places as far as way as possible so that they don’t have a chance in hell of getting any help from the locals. The victims wouldn’t know the language, the culture and most likely the way back home. “Zillabundi”, she said interrupting my thoughts. I frowned indicating that I didn’t quite understand. “Zilla Bhundi”, she repeated more slowly this time. “Ahh… Bundi” I said after a moment with a flash of recognition.
And that shred of familiarity that I displayed with her home town lit up her eyes so beautifully… banishing away that pitiful vacant look of hers almost as if it hadn’t existed at all.
The stoplight changed to green and I started to move again happy that I made a little girl far far away from home smile.
PS This piece is brought to you by Airtel. Well, obviously not. It’s brought to you by me but Airtel could sure use this incident.

Monday, May 14, 2007

'Haan' ya 'Na'?

Boy gently reminds girl in the midst of a rather long and good conversation that he has asked her out quite some time back. Girl remembers his invitation now.
Boy: So what are you waiting for? Till I ask you out 10 times?
Girl: Smiles silently.
Boy: Or maybe 9 times?
Girl: …Perhaps 9 times.
Boy: I ask people out, three times, not beyond that. That’s my personal limit.
Girl: But you haven’t yet asked me three times?
Boy: I’ve hardly asked anybody three times.
Girl: Hmmm… okay!

Epilogue: Yesterday was a revelation. It was like what happened to Buddha when he sat under the Bodhi tree that fateful evening. I suddenly realized (again!) what a dork (actually what a useless fuckin’ failure) I am when to it comes to women.

Commuting Woes #17

This is a really old piece, the one that actually inspired the whole ‘Commuting Woes/Tales’ line.

I left office at around 7:00 pm the other day, a little early given my usual timings. My “big boss” wasn’t around otherwise this would have invited a healthy bit of advice on the benefits of working a 9 hours-plus shift. What he didn’t know was that it didn’t go too well with a five-hour commute.
Traffic was actually less on the route at this time and I reached Majestic at a good 8:10 pm. But the entertaining, only to the audience, bit was getting to Bommanahalli. The stretch till Bommanahalli was packed to the last square inch and my manager’s bike on which I was hitching a ride seemed to have lost its sense of balance at a very appropriate time. In fact I can safely say that the gridlock was so bad that if anybody accidentally had an erection, that increase in volume would have got all of us jammed solid.
Hmmm… And though I reached Majestic at a very healthy 8:10 pm, the bus transport authorities had a differing view on what was a respectable time to reach home. They loved to demonstrate their punctuality at odd hours and that’s why it is a lot easier to commute at odd hours than try to do it at a more convenient time wherein you’ll just end up staring a lot at the new smooth concrete road surface of the bus station or in the absence of the peanut sellers getting to choose between stale triangular samosas, stale puffs or really stale apple juice from a juice fountain that seems to be have been running inside its transparent box since the birth of Christ.
At odd hours buses are also quick and efficient thereby making it very beneficial to travel at odd hours and end up reaching home at 10:30 pm. But the hassle is that this leaves very little time at home for anything else apart from sleeping. It’s really hard, to squeeze in some talking time with family or if family is too sleepy, to watch some TV. And even more difficult to upload pieces like these.
Returning to my appreciation of the night time scenery at the bus station, it was interesting to watch people squash, maim, kill each other trying to get into the bus. Of course I had to use similar techniques to get in and find a seat so that I could continue writing the piece. And of course it helped that my handwriting is a piece of fowl scratch that looks the same whether written in a moving bus or at a table.

PS The author now shares the bus transport authorities’ views on what is a healthy time to reach home and reaches home these days at a very ‘healthy’ 11:00 pm.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Commute Tales # 43, #45

Keeping with my statement of yore that if I need to keep ‘The Daily Ramble’ indeed a daily then I should rely on my commute to give me enough material here are two episodes from my commute. These occurred when riding – you don’t really expect anything interesting while riding, all you want is to get to office or home quickly.


I was picking my way on my bike through stationary traffic at the Sadashivanagar – Bhashyam Circle – stoplight the other night and finally stopped behind a Merc. ‘C200’ it said at the rear above the characteristic Merc tail lights. I peered into its dark interiors expecting to find portly passengers and a chauffeur but discovered it had a single occupant, its driver. From what I could make out from behind it was a woman who seemed to have had her hair straightened and streaked brown. I somehow found it odd to see first of all, a Merc driven by its owner and secondly by a lone woman (okay, young lady!) at 10:45 pm in the night. I found myself getting curious about the driver and hoped that the car too would turn right on green like me so I would have more time with it.
On green, the car did turn right and I was soon on its tail to its right, trying hard to get a look at the driver through the driver side rear view mirror. (Wonder of wonders, the driver side window was down) I could just about make out a somewhat brown round face with that brown streaked hair. I pulled ahead and leveled with the driver side window and… actually looked straight in. I was wearing my helmet, of course. The stretch of road I was traveling on wasn’t exactly the place to pull off these kinds of stunts but nevertheless… A surprised and enquiring face looked back at me and strangely the vehicle made no attempt to slow down or speed up to shake me off though I had quite intentionally been with it for some time. This really surprised me and not knowing how to react I broke off my gaze, rode level with the car a little further and then pulled ahead shaking my head, very visibly. Speeding past the few vehicles ahead I thought maybe the Merc would catch up. But later it crossed my mind that perhaps it was headed for one of the roads of Sadashivanagar itself. A Merc could easily be at a home in this area.

PS Maybe, I should have returned her stare. Maybe I should have stayed with the vehicle longer?
…I should probably try that some other Friday night at 10:45 pm.

KA 25 X – ASHU

As a part of the effort to make the commute more entertaining one arbitrarily starts racing with fellow commuters while riding to and from work. But the one of the pre-conditions for a race is that the intended rider should nonchalantly overtake me. And so did KA 25 X – Ashu, one morning somewhere before Devasandra. That set me off tailing him in an effort to overtake him. But he was good. We were too evenly matched with roughly the same average speeds, hence requiring more effort by me to beat him. But straight ‘drag stretches’ are always favorable to me and so is picking my way through stationary stoplight traffic so I did beat him but he kept coming back and beating me, negotiating the moving traffic better. During this ‘I’m first – No, I’m first’ routine he pulled up next to me at a stoplight and asked for directions to Koramangala checking whether he had to go via MG Road. He then said that he had to go to Electronics City. I promptly told him that I was headed to Hosur Road myself and that he could follow me. He was a little taken aback when told to follow me but maybe decided to do it anyway, giving up all chance of playing the ‘Me first’ game. He started following me along my winding route to office and we gradually got talking when alongside each other at the stoplights. He said that he wasn’t from this part of town but was here to meet his fiancé and was now making his way to his office at Electronics City. He said he had carried obattu from yesterday’s festival for his fiancé. I remembered the obattu I had had yesterday and was generally very happy to find someone to whom to describe all my research at arriving at this route to office, with its relatively lesser stoplights and manageable traffic. When we were approaching Silk Board he became very insistent on stopping for tea/coffee. I decided that we could stop when close to my office and tried telling him that across Hosur Road traffic without much success. Finally when I stopped at Shell for fuel, we decided to stop at a bakery ahead and he waited for me to fuel up. After a long wait, as far he was concerned, we got to the bakery and talked some more over chickoo shake, exchanging numbers before leaving.
Hmm… A rather unlikely way to meet new people, arbit racing.

Monday, March 12, 2007

‘Degenerate’ conversation of the day:

A friend of mine: "How are your neighbors, the twins?"
Myself (generally frustrated): "They are considering becoming incestuous gays. Hmm… ‘Incestuous gays’, that’s quite a niche category."

Come to think of it. Considering (the few) ‘cutting edge of the social revolution’ magazines I read, I’ve never come across any reference to ‘incestuous gays’ - given the perceived horny’ness’ of gays.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Near miss of the day:

Last night, a BMTC bus driver after narrowly missing a two wheeler crossing the road in front of him at the stoplight in front of the NIMHANS gate, said in delightfully colorful vernacular:
(reproduced here in Hindi in an attempt to keep the effect)
"Bhai, tere liye toh ambulance ki bhi zaroorat nahin padti,
seedha stretcher mein hi andar le ja sakte the."

Monday, February 26, 2007

‘Hit ya miss’ of the day:

I was checking out the profile of a pair of headlights while riding last night and another pair turned into my path ahead.
PS - Do I need to specify that only the second pair belonged to a vehicle?

Stupid Google query of the day

Keeping with the practice of Gawker-bhai here’s my ‘stupid Google query of the day.’
Cerebral Palsy