Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tour de Hessarghatta

The day dawned crisp and clear. It was D-Day for the Tour de Hessarghatta. The Three Muskeetoes (Bala, Jonathan and Daniel) set out on their mean machines. Mine was a Hercules MTB 9000. It can do 0-100kmph in 60 seconds with a downhill gradient of 60 degrees and has power steering (because I have strong arms [:P]) The aim of the tour was to spread awareness about the charisma of Himesh through the slogan

"All you ma'ams and sirs
It is your Farzzzz to have seen Karzzzz
Honour the great Guru
aur dekna zaroor, Aap Ka Suroor"

So then, on we went. Up and down, left and right, front and back. My bicycle was making all sorts of sounds which sounded like music to me. Heavy metal, or transition metal rather, since my bicycle is made of iron! (scientific joke there!) I was constantly checking the map to assure myself that we were on the right track. Roads marked as major roads were narrow deserted roads. Just when we were feeling lost, a BMTC bus came careening round the corner to reassure us that were not lost.

The first major stop was made to provide repair Bala's machine. The chain had fallen off and got jammed. We went to a farm to ask for tools. Unlike the stories of the Famous Five, who got ham, eggs and milk at farms, we had trouble getting even a spanner. Soon the repairs were completed, thanks largely to Jonathan, and we were off again. Then we came across a cock fight. Two cocks were fighting for a hen's attention with a dog as the referee. The hen appeared least bothered. No bhav cocks I must say. Then another BMTC bus came and dispersed the knights in feathered armour, thus ending the fight. I think Pamela Anderson had sent the bus to prevent cruelty to animals. [:D]

After a while we reached the lake. It was quite beautiful. Everything was calm and quiet. Thank God there were no autos to disturb the tranquillity. Don't laugh. If autos can go to Germany (ref: Aap Ka Suroor), then they can go anywhere. The pump house looked like a light house surrounded by land. The landscape was dotted with cows, goats and egrets, giving it a rustic look. We sat by the lake to enjoy the scenery and refill our tummies. One goat had a problem with Jonathan's goatee and was confronting him. Ego clash i think, because both of them felt their own goatee was better. I told them that mine was best and hence it was no use to fight over second place.

We had lunch at the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research. I was expecting some exotic fruits and vegetables on the menu. But all we got was puri-bhaji and biryani. Our next stop was Nrityagram Dance Village. It is a beautifully landscaped place. We reached a little late and missed the dance performance. The dancers were hot btw. I wanted to try my hand or legs at dancing. But then i had to save my legs for the return journey, else i think i would have given the dancers a run for their money. There was a Taj hotel nearby. I wanted to get a leg massage, but then thought about my wallet which would need massaging.

Next we went to the road in the middle of nowhere (see pic) which I had read about in a blog. It was amazing. The road was dead straight leading right up to the horizon. It was really like the middle of nowhere. You can probably shout your lungs out and no one will hear you. Nice place to scream and let out your frustrations, if any. I felt like singing 'Tandoori Nights' at the top of my voice!

It was time to head back. We missed our planned route. So we took a new route. It was mostly on the highway this time. Passersby were looking at us with curious looks. Maybe because I looked hep with that cap and earphones, Jonathan looked like an Arab with the towel wrapped around his face, and Bala appeared like our Indian guide as he was dressed quite normally. And finally we reached Yesvantpur. Sadly there was no welcome committee to garland and photograph us on our return. So we just went home quietly, exhausted but elated after a wonderful trip

Distance covered: 60 km (see map for route)
1st leg, dept: 8:30am, arr: 10:45am
2nd leg, dept: 2:45pm, arr: 5pm

Friday, January 23, 2009

The wait for admits....

Now that the application process for MS is over, the anxious nail biting period of waiting for admits has begun. Even though most people scoff and say that someone with a profile like mine need not worry at all (thanks for the compliment btw), I still wait eagerly for that email confirming my admission to any one of the six universities that I have applied to. This wait was stressing me out because of many reasons. Firstly, this has got to be the biggest step of my life. Nothing else comes anywhere close, except ironically maybe the admission to BITS. Secondly, with all the talk about the recession affecting the admissions scenario in a negative way, I wondered if I had made a rather brash decision of applying only to the top universities. (The lowest ranked university in my list is University of Minnesota at 13) And finally, I had doubts about my application itself. Was my SOP good enough? Or have my profs given me good recommendations?

So with all these questions bothering me, I turned to God for help. I asked Him to give me the strength to overcome all these fears. I asked him to increase my faith in Him. Then I read these beautiful words.

"I thank God for the Mountains

And I thank God for the Valleys

I thank Him for the Storms

He has brought me through.

For if I never had a Problem

I'd never know there was a God

Who could solve them

I'd never know what Faith

In my God could do."

There is also this beautiful story about the footprints in the sand. This story is an epitome of God's infinite love for us. I have new found courage and belief. I feel that God will always do what is best for me. I may have big plans for myself. But God has bigger plans for me. If I get an admit, praise be to God. If I don’t, it may mean that I wasn't meant to have a career in research. Or maybe I was meant to remain in India, for a reason I do not know now. So I have decided that if I don’t get any admits, I will answer CAT and GATE for the following academic year.

This may result in me having wasted a year doing research in IISc. But what is one year compared to the long life I have ahead of me? Most people will think that I am losing valuable time in the ‘race of life’. But do these people know that you can never win a race, no matter how fast you run, if you are running in the wrong direction?

I have also learnt to rejoice in the success of others. Normally if someone had got or won something ahead of me, I would feel jealous and maybe a little angry with myself. But now it is different. I feel happy for others and see the positive side of everything. For e.g. when I learn that my friends have got some early admits from some universities, instead of feeling nervous, I see the positive side of things. Admits for my friends means the scenario is not as bad as people claim, which means that I, with a similar profile, will surely get an admit sooner or later

I may sound like a loser to the atheists, leaving my future in the hands of God. But until you experience God in your lives, you will never know the immense joy and comfort that only He can give you in this mad chaotic world.

Friday, January 16, 2009

My crusade against environmental degradation (cont..)

For those of who who haven't read all my blog posts so far, (I DON'T KNOW HOW THAT IS POSSIBLE!!! [:D]) I must mention that I deeply care about the environment. I am gonna talk about the environmentally friendly practices i follow in my everyday life. And I think that my reader's can also try to do the same and earn some green credits!!

Well I stopped eating chicken, eggs, beef etc a few months back because animal husbandry is a major contributor to global warming, For details read the post, SAY NO TO NON VEG FOODS. I eat fish though. But to make a long story short, I tell people I have turned vegetarian. The first thing most people comment is that the reason of my conversion may be because i have got a veg GF. I say to myself, if only people could open their minds a little bit and realize that guys can do things without always being forced by their GF's! And more importantly how can they assume a guy like me might have a GF!! But i must say that it does feel good that people think that i might have a GF. Nice!!

I also got a bicycle recently and use it to commute to IISc everyday. Whenever I tell anyone that I have got a cycle they either exclaim "what is wrong with you??" and start laughing or make some comment like yeah it saves money or can't you afford the expensive petrol now. Very few people think I may be doing it for the environment. Anyways the other day I was riding my cycle to IISc when I saw this hot chick standing alone at the bus stop. I slammed on the brakes.. Crrrrrhh.. And i came to stop in front of her with a neat skid. "Want a lift to wherever you are goin?" I asked and then realized that I was on my cycle!! There wasn't any undo button to click on!! I wanted to dig a hole and bury myself!! I smiled at her sheepishly and said "how dumb can a guy get." Surprisingly she said "No, i think its great that you use a cycle instead of those fuel guzzling sports bikes, Even I use my bicycle when i have to go somewhere nearby. And you look quite cool on that bicycle!" The latter part goes without saying of course!! [:D] So guys, you see, intelligent girls appreciate cycling!! So pick up those "chick magnets" and Laila ko kare impress ala minto fresh!! That was story was straight from dollywood!! (D for Daniel!! [:P])

On a serious note, i have observed one thing at most retails shops. No one ever carries a cloth bag to the shop. All purchases are carried home in fresh plastic bags every time!! I carry some old bag with me every time i go to the shop. So wen the person is billing my purchases i dig into my pocket for the bag and i get all weird expressions from the people. Speacially from the billing person himself. Maybe thats because sometimes i carry a bag of some rival shop!! Sometimes i just hope shaktimaan would come to reliance fresh and say to the customer, "tehero!!! plastic bag lena galath bath hai!!" and then continue with his "bachon, mein aksar dekta hoon ki blah blah blah!"

And so my struggles continue. I know i am one lone soul (lunatic?) fighting for the environment among countless other souls who don't give a damn and I know some optimists will encourage me to continue by saying that every drop makes the mighty ocean while some pessimists will ask what difference a drop of fresh water makes in a salty ocean. That doesn't bother me. I know deep within my heart that at least i, myself, am making an effort to fight one of the biggest ills plaguing mankind today and that is environmental degradation. And i m happy!!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Jab We Met

This past December I was traveling from amchem Goem to namma Bengaluru by train. As always i was hoping to have, amongst the myriad co-passengers, a 'hot gal' traveling alone. I was also hoping that she was going to Bangalore for the first time and knows no one there. Whew, too many conditions there. And obviously by theory of probability, it means there is almost zero chance of getting such a co passenger!

So obviously, I was elated to find a pretty girl sitting in the seat opposite to mine. Now at least there was a chance that she could be the ideal co passenger I always hoped for. Usually i have drunkards, gossipers or pesky kids eating whatever little is there in my head. [:D] (See pic to see what I normally do while travelling!) Now I had to break the ice. If i used too little force, I might have only scratched the surface making me look like a loser. Too much force might cause irreparable damage to what lay beyond the ice! So should I start with the worst cliche of all "hows the weather"? Or be bold and say "that's a nice blouse, it really compliments your beautiful eyes!". I settled for something in between. Don't worry, I didn't say "hows your blouse" [:P]. I just said, "hi, I am Daniel and I like making conversation". It worked! She replied "I am Pamela and I too like making conversation." And followed it up with a smile so sweet that I must have got diabetes! By the way, names have been changed to protect privacy. So I'll also change my name to Anderson. [:D]

Then i turned on the "charm de Daniel". Too my immense joy, I found out that all the conditions in paragraph-1 were satisfied. I had hit the jackpot. Luck not only smiled but also laughed because there was more. She was also a mech grad going to Bangalore for some internship. I used my sound knowledge of mech engg to impress her! [:P bhari] It was grand. I promised to show her around Bangalore on my bike. Or maybe borrow Adi's stunner to have the stunning effect!

Time flew by. And we reached Bangalore. For the first time the train was on time. Damn these trains, they are never late when needed! My best journey was over. I had hoped it was a journey from Kanyakumari to Kashmir that would have lasted at least 3 days. I tried to help her with her luggage thinking I could show of my strength by lifting all her bags. I didn't know that she mainly had books in her bags. I couldn't even budge the bags. I called a porter to help. I told her that I hired a porter even though i could carry all the bags as i wanted them to earn a living. Thus i showed my ostentatious charitable side. I had killed two birds with one stone and maybe would have killed a third one also if there was one! [:D]

So then we were walking leisurely on the platform towards the exit. Suddenly someone shouted out her name from behind us. We both turned around. "Rahul, you! what are you doing here?", she exclaimed. I also said, "yeah, what are you doing here?". Then she rushed towards him and hugged him. Now who was this dude? Brother, cousin, uncle! Anything except the dreaded 9 letter being. (Boyfriend, for those who can't count!) And then the moment of truth. She first introduced me. Cool guy, extremely smart, blah blah. "Thank you, but don't prolong the agony" I said to myself. Then she turned to him and said,"this is Rahul my friend". Was that all? But then, as actions speak louder than words, she turned towards him and ........... I wont elaborate. Use your imagination. He supposedly wanted to give her a surprise and didn't tell her he was shifting to Bangalore. Oh, i hate surprises. They are never good. And then after some lame conversation they turned and walked away. I shouted after her "I'll call you sometime!" At least i didn't have to pay the porter! [:P]

Thursday, January 01, 2009

The year that was and the year that will be!

2008 has come to an end! The highlight of 2008 was getting my mech engg degree!! yo yo yo! Well i also completed 21. But that was obviously gonna happen as i was born in 1987. I started my career as a writer with this blog. I have lived the south indian dream in Bangalore in 2008. And the list is endless! The moment of the year in general was the Bush shoe throwing incident!

So welcome 2009!! No new years resolutions! I feel they never work as they are usually unnecessary or unrealistic and hence are usually broken within days. But here I am breaking my resolution of not making resolutions within seconds. So my resolutions for 2009! I'll go in ascending order of difficulty. First an easy one. Well i want to complete 22 years of age! [:D] Make a discovery, not on discovery channel but on Nat Geo. Write 50 posts on my blog with 50% reservation for serious stuff. Too much crap ain't gonna get me anywhere. Get a break in sandalwood. I think namma golden star is having it too easy with all the ladies! Get a physique like Aamir Khan. I am tired of being the reflection of perfection. I wanna be perfection itself! And last, to get a chick! [:P]

Thank you 2008! And welcome 2009! Its gonna be 365 days of legendary stuff!!