Tuesday, October 25, 2016

To Bike Or Not To Bike

Just got into a dilemma on personal choice.
During recent events in the domestic line, and after test riding a few bikes - something I did after a long time, a very long time of course - the best of all the bikes I rode, I enjoyed riding a 535cc stove-like thing which shares a part in the vintage period on its own. The Continental GT a.k.a Cafe Racer from Enfield is a sure good ride.
The issues however are a few; and as most issues go, they were seen more by others than by me.
Issue 1, was the riding position. You got to crouch. Many who do not pick the bike because of this unconventional riding position when compared to the regular and majestic Bullet (that my brother decided to pick for himself). Yet then, there is a difference between a legend and a racer. This is a Cafe Racer and you ride it the way it should be. The issue however that I faced during the few test rides was the way your palm slips off the handles when you cross the 100kmph line. Perhaps that is why you have riding gloves. Yet, it moves.

Issue 2, was what my daughter pointed out to. She said that with that 'red' seat-end at the back, I looked like a baboon on the lose while riding it. Issue mitigated if I chose a 'black' one and chose to look like a gorilla instead.

One of the worst bikes I ever rode - the enfield himalaya - over hyped, boring and devoid of any riding pleasure. Think my kids were right when they called it a "toy" and the people in the shop laughed and grinned in agreement.
Recently, a friend of mine said that he saw a girl ride it in the high range; perhaps that explains it all. And with that being said, I think I should be able to rest my case on this one.

Meanwhile, Mahindra comes out with this NEWS today: Mahindra reboots two-wheeler business, will revive vintage brands BSA, Jawa

And with that, what will I do?!
You got this JAWA - a bike immortalized by my Dad (on a personal front) - the key to the bike which he had that I still hold. A vintage by all means and still looks like a retro holy 'stove' just like the other, (don't know what is on with me and the stoves...) is still powerful with its 350cc engine just like an ordinary Bullet and above all, I wouldn't have to look like a baboon or gorilla by choice while riding it.

In the meantime, as I dread reaching the Hobson's choice and wanting to choose just one and be contend with it rather than have an affair with the other all the while. Decision-making has not been so difficult for a person with no wants for a long time. Well perhaps this is what life is all about... where one can play dice with the universe in the context of time. And what way better than to bargain with the past...  

What Did You Say

Case 1:
A few years back in 2008, during a cricket match between India and Australia, a balle-balle spinner 'is supposed to have' referred to Symonds, an Australian cricketer as a 'monkey'. Incidentally, Symonds is a Caribbean by birth who was adopted by Australian parents; which seems to give him all the required reasons to feel bad by this name-calling. This incident was discussed widely as a racist-spur and as a lowly act by the turbanator.
When I read that, I couldn't help laughing at the possibility of misunderstanding what was being said and a diversion that worked well for everyone at that point of time.

  • First of all, an Indian cricketer who knew so much to twit(?!) Seriously???
  • Second, the possibility of not being heard correctly during a multilingual meet in an international arena and
  • Third, a more possible word that was used that perhaps was best left misunderstood in this situation that rhymed the same as 'monkey.'

Considering the fact that the turbanator (as he was fondly referred to), was a boy from a middle class family from rural India with an educational background not exceeding school-level who played galle-cricket, the word that must have popped out during the moment of frustration, as suggested by the local dailies (and promptly removed later), must have been the common verbal abuse used in the Indian context-'makhi' and not monkey as cleverly reported later.
Surely Bajji must have thought that a word against the mother must be more offending than the racial slur inflicted - a point to be considered from an Indian perspective. While perhaps Symonds, from another perspective, would have been better entertained had he gotten a chance to understand the actual meaning of the word used than the altered word later suggested for all that he must have undergone as a kid. However...

Case 2:

This is what a 'Fakir' a.k.a 'holy man' from India looks like:

This is what Gandhi looks like: 

Any resemblance between the one above and the one below cannot be counted as coincidental unless the person perceiving so, is either a deliberate fool or completely blind. 

The point in focus is when Sir. Winston Churchill referred to Gandhi as a 'half naked Fakir'. 'Half naked'-by the measure of the khadhi cloth waggling on his body, agreed. Referring to him as a "Fakir"?! makes me reach the three point question once again:
  • First of all, a Brit who knew so much about Fakirs(?!)
  • Second, the possibility of not being heard correctly during a multilingual meet in an international arena and
  • Third, a more possible word that was used that was felt best left misunderstood in that situation that rhymed the same as 'fakir' that perhaps would be synonymous with the Biblical, 'Go forth and multiply' statement - if you know what I mean.

These words come from the same guy who in 1937, told the Palestine Royal Commission: "I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place."

The same guy who during his role as minister for war and air in 1919 on being criticised for advocating the use of chemical weapons - primarily against Kurds and Afghans said, "I cannot understand this squeamishness about the use of gas; I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes".

This is the same guy who said that Indians had to be blamed for the Bengal famine and quoted that "Indians breed like rabbits".

Churchill told the cabinet on another occasion. "We should be rid of a bad man and an enemy of the Empire if he died." This about Gandhi.  And do I still believe that he would be good enough to refer to Gandhi as the 'fakir' when he could have jolly well called him with another word sounding similar in terms of rhyme and rhythm?! 

Interestingly, Gandhi is said to have regarded Churchill's expression as a compliment. He felt unworthy of being called "a fakir and that (too) naked - a more difficult task." He then implored Churchill: "Trust and use me for the sake of your people and mine and through them those of the world."  
If only he had understood or read between the lines, I wondered... or what if perhaps he did... 
What a diplomatic escape and a political opportunist he must have been either way...

Monday, October 17, 2016

Movie For The Thoughtless Or Others Likewise

A movie I watched a long time ago, provided me with a grim reminder me of where we are heading to as humanity... humanity that is forced to comply to thoughts and suggestion without a thought of its own. Often in classrooms today, I make it a point to ask the class to "THINK"-though that is (definitely) not a part of the portion the Universities want me to cover. 

Mentioning that, 'thinking' seems to be too much to ask for these days; perhaps, the loftiest idea to have even suggested something like that in the first place. Having spent most part of one's precious life conforming to authority and adhering to ridiculous disciplinary routines and procedures with unquestioned submission in school(s), at home and in religious and other related mental institutions, the essence of becoming a thoughtless human being seems too easy to reach for a depleting generation for whom the major "source" of information comes from the facebook. 
A huge vote bank success for the politicians, media and educationalists in achieving a set of thoughtless parasites who will never have the spine to stand up or question the lot. 
And a big round of applause in standing ovation to all the idiots who pile up into the making of this system...

Suggested movie to see: Idiocracy and here is a clip from that movie: