Sunday, September 19, 2010

A chicken and egg thing, really

God is said to be a Trinity; God, the Holy Ghost, and lastly, the Son. Together, they created man, woman, vegetation and homosexuals, and animals. I know what you’re thinking, but no, my problem this week is animals. Or rather, being told not to eat them.

When the Dalai Lama, extended family to The Trinity, says something, it unfailingly makes it to the dailies. He is expected to be spiritually enlightened, and an icon of something called worldly sense.

Last Sunday, he woke up and found himself disgruntled with the concept of caged chicken. In that inconsequential report in the Mirror, the Dalai Lama expressed his concern over the cruelty to caged chicken and hens, and said that we must not eat them – Great idea! – Or their eggs. Oh shucks!

Google and its counterparts have no reports on the lifespan of chicken, and that’s justified. But as in my ideal world, chicken could live, perhaps, for five years, indulging in procreation, laying eggs casually, a spot of ring wrestling around tea-time, a round of gossip just around sunset, some more procreation for the indulgent, and then deep slumber until everyone in the vicinity is awake and arguing. And then back to egg-dropping and other such tasks.

That way, being fed on eggs-on-toast, we’d be protein rich, and hence strong, and chicken would live heartily, being cooked only post natural death, keeping the Dalai Lama and his friends happy.

But cut the eggs out, and we’re left with a load of absolutely useless birds. Birds that, embarrassingly, can't fly. No, not even to save their lives. No self respecting nation in the world has a chicken for its National Bird. And no dyed in the wool wildlife expert would be overheard at the local pub, reeling away tales of ‘fascinating chicken I encountered’, or indulging in some ‘showing of scars’. It would be hideous if you did, and your sex life would be wrapped in a dull, brown envelope and thrown into the big, black sea.

Coming to the introspective bit, I really, really believe that The Trinity did go terribly wrong. And I also believe that I know exactly what must have happened. The Trinity was not an undisputed heavyweight happy family. They had Satan to contend with. Now like in all the big bad Hollywood flicks, the bad guy (Satan, let’s suppose) led a pack of other doofus’. And then there were the ‘other’ gangs. Neither here, nor there, but with little demands of their own.

So they had it; a board meeting. They squabbled, complained about how bad the tea was, shared tasteless anecdotes, and at 5 o’clock, went back out to create more senseless things, in their Toyota Pick-ups.

This is how we’ve ended up with snakes, lizards, cats, termites and jackals. God, trust nothing good to ever come out of Democracy.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Showroom Dummies

Ferraris are red, Lamborghinis are orange, sex is worth the wait, and jeans are blue. It cannot be another way.

Jeans can be black, as proven by a pair I bought a while ago, but they’re a bit dive bar-ish, and hence, an obvious misfit on my large-ish legs. But essentially, jeans are blue.

With time, however, I have come to terms with the omnipresent difference in ‘taste’. So while I frown at Justin Bible, or so I suppose his name is, I know a dozen odd girls who are willing to give him all their money and beauty products.

Continuing, all birds are ridiculous, gold is hateful, and astrology is the science of telling lies. It is ridiculous, to ‘know, plan and be prepared’ for strange consequences in the offing, by chalking out arrows on an unfathomable galactic route map.

Yet, I have noted that prediction, by the way of astrology or not, is a natural instinct. It was pointed out to me a few days ago, that my natural instincts have failed me consistently, and that I am an assumptive, opinionated asshole. I’d said Germany would march home with the FIFA ’10 World Cup, but they lost out in a match which was the equivalent of brown bread. Dull, and utterly tasteless.

Mercedes GP is but a speck in the F1 circus. Chitrangada Singh is far from appearing naked on a Filmfare cover. Jitesh Pilaai is still alive, and both, the Nano and the Beat are selling in good numbers. Mobile network service providers are not yet bleeding jail-birds, and the use of laptops (and the internet) across the country, is still legal.

But here, the issue is more about common sense, than it is about ethics, or preferences. We live in an ethically dumbfounded country. We say ‘x’ is ethical, and ‘y’ is not. And then sustain a market where x, y, and even z are sold freely. Ethics, by nature, are solely dependent on the ethical framework used to determine it. Common sense, by that standard, is far less complicated.

Walk into a medical store, and you wouldn’t walk out with a bottle of cough syrup unless you produced a prescription, or held the store on gunpoint. But buying alcohol is far simpler. You simply hand over the money to the store-keeper, and return home to drown in your joy or sorrow, whichever applicable.

I’m not rising to the defence of the 490 students recently detained in a party in Pune. No, I couldn’t care less about them. They were at fault, even if of a lesser magnitude than they were projected to be, and they’re a waste of my afternoon.

But the dubiousness with which the entire issue was handled gets to me. A 21 year old can vote, marry and reproduce. But a pint of beer makes him/her a criminal. That’s like saying you can have a Ferrari, but you can’t run it on all eight cylinders. If you do so, you are irresponsible, and deserve to have your face peeled off with a bulldozer.

A vote is the individual’s aspiration to freedom and independence, no strings attached. But if the same vote then counters his aspirations, and lands him in detention, that’s flawed, alright.

We call ourselves ‘The Largest Democracy in the World’, and we’re about to commence our 64th year of independence. But being the largest hardly makes us the best. I mean, Paul the Octopus has six more legs than Usain Bolt, but that’s not going to make it the Fastest Man in the World, right?

Friday, July 16, 2010

T20 still no match for good old cleavage

If I were to manufacture, say, biscuits, life wouldn’t have been much different. I’d have someone bake them, someone to deliver them to a shop, and someone, of course, to eat them. Then there would be that unexplainable need to advertise my product, and I’d have gone through an entire brochure of celebrities, frowning.

Unless, of course, if Chitrangada Singh volunteered. Imagine a completely undressed Chitrangada Singh, finishing off with some frantic lovemaking, then reaching out to the bedside table for a pack of biscuits, asking you to buy them at the earliest. Of course you’d buy them. If you didn’t, the product’s sales would drop. If sales drop, advertisement budgets would go down drastically. Inevitably, the clip would be pulled off air. And life would be boring again.

But if the captain of a cricket team suggested a certain brand of biscuits, would you really bother? You’ve hardly aspired to arrange for dinner with him, and neither are you very fond of the craters on his face.

Yet, somehow, MS Dhoni, captain of the Indian cricket team, signed an advertising contract, or something of the sort, worth an unbelievable Rs.210Cr. Why? I have often jumped to conclusions in the past, so this time I’m going to try my hand at deduction.

Men, with their ego shirts and self-esteem trousers, certainly don’t seem to give two hoots about what MSD eats. Score a ton, win matches, and we’re fine thank you. So men, certainly, are not the target audience in mind for MSD’s adverts. Children, perhaps? Well, yes, they are more vulnerable in this case. But I know that children too are not the target audience. You see, children will buy Pepsi regardless of who promotes it. Yes, there maybe some banter about the (stupidly long) advertisement, but that’s small talk. If the ad suggests drinking Pepsi will give you MSD’s batting skills, you would have also, by now, developed Preity Zinta’s breasts, and SRK’s wit.

But, and I’m getting somewhere here, you would then have also acquired the cricketing skills of Sachin Tendulkar (who has endorsed Pepsi for the longest time). So if I have Sachin Tendulkar’s skills, why would I now want the lesser ability to play cover drives, from MSD? To put it to context, if you had a sufficient bowlful of steaming mutton Biryani, you wouldn’t get up and walk away from the table, in search of Marie Gold biscuits, right?

That leaves me with the only remaining category of audiences - women. I do understand that MSD has a large female fan following in India. But, given an options list consisting of Salman Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and SRK, MSD doesn’t stand a chance of getting into bed with another woman.

Which only means one thing. Whoever signs MSD on to promote their product couldn’t afford to sign the above mentioned trio. Which means they have settled for fourth, or maybe fifth best. That, then, automatically becomes a reflection of the product itself. And a brand that makes ‘fifth best’ products should be spending Rs.210 Cr on making themselves better, not signing it off to a cricketer. And that’s common sense.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Now Pyromaniac Beats GM’s baby

I dislike mobile phones on a, pun intended, cellular level. While I don’t doubt their utility, which is on par with that of photocopier machines, and Metallica, I’ll never wake up at 3am, with an urge to coin Wordsworth-ish lines in awe of them. On a regular call, I will hold a conversation for about a minute. If it’s somebody I badly want to get into bed with, it can go up to six.

Apart from the primary function of calls, and messaging, I have no particular interest in how mobile phones function. As long as I don’t have to use needles to operate the buttons, I’m just fine, thank you. I’m even less concerned (and ignorant) about mobile software technology, or whatever it is that makes them do their thing.

But the Internet is a great leveller. I hate laptops, so the internet provides me with unlimited access to Chitrangada Singh’s, ahem, interiors. I dislike mobile phones, and then the internet offers me themes for my Nokia N72. So now I get iPhone thrills for the price of dirt (basic internet charges as may be applicable. No South American interventions). Add cheap, duplicate body panels to the scene, and you get the plastic equivalent of a boob job, mascara and Chanel Number Sex for a phone that is still, basically, soggy old feet. Just like the Chevy Beat then.

In today’s half page advertisement in the Times of India, ten minutes, says GM, is far too short a time to make a car buying decision. And they couldn’t be more wrong. Ten minutes is in fact, way too long. I made my (not) buying decision against the Beat in time that can only be registered on an atomic stopwatch.

If the Beat was a girl, it would be seventeen. It would chew on bubblegum, wear collared Nike tee shirts, and would be friends with middle of the road boys, whom she’d occasionally sleep with at 6 in the evening.

But what really beats me about the, er, Beat is the expanse of plastics used. While some of the trim does feel ‘sporty’ (sigh, that word again), the glossy-black accents feel tacky, cheap and tasteless. It’s like those plastic ‘leather’ sandals women buy off Linking Road. Or, more appropriately, like the bits on a woman’s handbag. They’re fine as long as they’re shiny, but they’re a fingerprint magnet, and will go out of fashion faster than the Beat runs out of breath. Add to that the eccentric, electronic fuel gauge, and you have a recycle bin on wheels.

That the Beat is a city-centric car is bollocks. Yes, it steers fairly well – and that’s a given for a car of its tiny size – but you have paid 4+lacs for the car, and you are bloody well going to drive it to a hill station with your all of your girlfriends in tow. But just then, your bubblegum would have burst. You see, the Beat has the most disconnected drivetrain in the world. It’s like driving one car, and shifting gears of another. It’s like having sex with a log of wood – limitlessly unrewarding, and ends in a lot of bleeding.

You have my word; for half the price, you can buy the Tata Nano. It is perkier, more fuel efficient, only slightly smaller, and as a consolation, you can buy one in a Loud Yellow. Of course you’ll end up on fire, and dead, moments after you pull out of the dealership. But rest assured, you won’t end up in that dreaded halt between heaven and hell. Which is where Beat owners go to die, having failed an overtaking manoeuvre in second, at 11,000rpm. Alongside ladies handbags. And plastic shoes.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Three Letters Red

Man invented the wheel. And two hundred years later, when the tube light came on, he tried covering up his folly under a sheet of traction control linen. For years, I’ve covered my nose with a handkerchief, making faces at the very mention of electronic driving aids. Yes, when it snows, you’ll try as much to reverse out of your driveway in your rear wheel drive supercar. And you will always end up in a donut. But it doesn’t snow here, and we don’t drive supercars to work.

This morning, I read an article by someone who allegedly ghost-writes my column every week. Traction control, he said, made a good read in the spec sheet. Very true. When someone says his car has traction control, I don’t have to look at his wrist to tell he’s wearing a big watch. Traction Control Man has a steady girlfriend, wears impeccable driving shoes, and has a Playstation 3.

Coming to which, I had a go on the Need for Speed Shift game a few days ago. And it’s fantastic! They’ve got the audio just right, the visuals even more so, and gameplay is more interesting than foreplay, once you get the hang of it. They’ve even managed to make the Merc SL65AMG feel realistically hateful. You have roughly two dozen cars to choose from – starting from an Audi S3, all the way to the Blue Whale of supercars – the Bugatti Veyron.

And then, you have the Lamborghini Murcielago LP 670-4. Wow. What a rocket. It’s like a Monica Bellucci F16 fighter jet. It’s like having frantic sex on a roller-coaster, with an AK 47 resting point blank on your temple. It is a fright. If I owned one, I’d peel off the Murcielago badge, and write BASTARD all over it with Lion blood. It is, really, a Rottweiler hypermachine in a world of Alsatian supercars.

The Germans have nailed it. True, Lamborghini is Italian by birth. But that’s rubbish. Today, Lamborghinis are made in a factory full of mad German bosses from Audi. And Germans wouldn’t know democracy even if it jumped out of the bushes, brandishing a bloodied dagger.

Look around. The best in everything comes from Germany. BMW owns Rolls Royce, and that really is a shame for the Brits. As if that were insufficient, the Germans murdered England in the FIFA World Cup with a 4-1 defeat last evening. Volkswagen makes the fastest production car in the world. Okay, they don’t, but they own Bugatti. So it’s the same thing, really. Sebastian Vettel has proven, time and again, how much better he is than his spider-eating team mate, Mark ‘Flying Shag’ Webber. And this is just off the top of my head.

The Murcielago, in this scheme of things, is more than just a mad-fast hypercar. It is a sign. It’s a sneak peek into the largest dictatorship the world has ever seen.

And the Schutzstaffel of the new world is going to be Mercedes GP. You’ve seen that commercial during the F1 races. Tell me you don’t see a Hitler-in-anticipation in that red helmet, and I’ll show you a blind man. Those eyes, they’re it. The micro-moustache will sprout. Or maybe they’ll sacrifice it in the name of weight reduction. But world domination for Germany has just begun. And three letters will rule the world – MSC

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Pig beats Pyromaniac, hands down

Being the ‘auto guy’ is fun. Women love you because you’ve got a motorcycle. People reckon you’re the outdoorsy type – hungry for adventure, and an expert in survival tactics. Show up at a party with grease-stains on your jeans and men will loathe you, while you’re busy chatting up cleavages of varying dimensions.

You make good friends with the opposite sex. And when the holiday season arrives – and it happens thrice in India – you’re the one who gets to keep the wheels. “Love, my boyfriend’s taking me to the Andamans. I wish you could come too. Have a lovely Christmas. Oh, and here, just keep her running, will you? Muah!”

The ‘her’ is obviously a car, and not, as would have liked, her horny seventeen year old sister. Being a dyed-in-the-wool, you find it hard to refuse a chance to drive anything at all. So you’re there, in a battered black Mitsubishi Lancer Sfxi, wondering why it has that big spoiler on the boot, and a stupid python teddy on the parcel tray. Women do strange things to cars. But unless you’ve got embroidered seats, consider yourself decently fortunate. Oh, and don’t bother with that jar of Elle 18 nail enamel that has just rolled out from under your seat. It will jam itself behind the brake pedal, and is going to kill you.

Now, I’ve often been accused of having a fetish for bad news, and Mahindras. It’s no secret that I love all Mahindras except, perhaps, the Scorpio. I will write good stuff about their cars even if they come with lizards in the glove box and occasionally spray battery acid into the cabin from the air-con vents.

Much to my delight, hence, an English lady in her fifties left behind a car I was rather looking to drive. It’s an MM 540 DP, and it’s featured on my shopping list for ever. It’s got the works - short wheelbase, two doors, a canvas top, a rugged diesel engine and its party piece, a four wheel drive unit. I’d like mine with a camel-beige (or deep blue) body, and painted-white wheel rims.

This one, however, is a colour that, as Jeremy Clarkson once put it, should be called ‘old’. Oh, and it’s not a four wheel drive either. In fact, it’s a no wheel drive.

Well, okay, it works. But we barely reached 30, in fourth, when the clutch caught fire. And then there is the braking. Or rather, there isn’t.

You have to hold opposite lock for the simple task of travelling in a straight line. Oh, and you daren’t get out at night even if you have murderers helping themselves to your cash and your daughter; the headlamps are pathetic. And if you crash into something (which you will), the steering wheel will gatecrash your anatomy, leaving you crippled, and homeless.

And for this very reason, I absolutely love it. Drive a Honda CR-V, and you will fall asleep in a couple of hours. At 180kmph. On the expressway. Eight minutes later, you will have rolled over onto a field, covered in some blood and six airbags.

But in the MM 540DP, sleep is impossible. And if you do roll over, it will simply plough on, as if nothing happened. In the slushy stuff, it is better company than Chitrangada Singh. And if you ever run out of fuel, feel free to relieve yourself in the fuel tank – it will run, no sweat. You may as well be dead and decaying in the cabin, but as long as the engine’s running, you’re unstoppable. And Evo san, here’s my retort to your ‘flames or no flames’ comment to my previous rant.

There is an unbelievably large difference between being on fire, and not being on fire. So if you want a car for a lakh, buy a used MM 540 DP. You couldn’t be more politically incorrect, but at least you won’t be on fire.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


On Tata Nanos catching fire, word is that it’s a manufacturing defect. Some say, alternatively, that it may have been a case of owners’ negligence. To which, I say, bull.

It is going up in flames, because owners are setting it on. In the first odd case, I typically suspected the hand of a correspondent from Overdrive – they have a tendency to do unbelievable things to test vehicles – but we will, obviously, never hear about it from them. But to be fair to them, I believe the entire deal is in fact, a conceptual defect.

You see, every mass-centric idea in India (HH Splendor and M800 duly excused), has been a big ticking atom bomb. Local trains in Bombay are bombarded by working-class crowds on a daily basis, occasionally leaving the task to neighbouring countries. When Reliance launched mobile handsets for Rs.999, offering 500 minutes of free talktime, everyone bought one. And showed it the way to the bin, when the bill came knocking on the door. Reliance Mobile, today, is sulking in a corner, licking its wounds.

In India, ‘cheap’ works. But ‘cheap and best’ does not. Simply because while a product is cheap, it is not the best. Best as compared to what? Grapes? The fact is, the Nano doesn’t excel at a single thing. It is inexpensive, yes, but the used car market clearly overshadows the fact. It isn’t spectacularly fast, except of course when it is over 80kmph, and on fire – which is more spectacular than fast, really.

Autocar India took the Maruti 800’s speedo past the bump stop, to an outrageous 141.1kmph – but nothing happened. The doors didn’t fall off, and more importantly, it did not catch fire. And the 800 could seat five, had 5 gears, fuel injection a surprisingly peppy engine and an a/c that worked just fine. We owned one. Look ma, no burns!

But to buy a Nano, first, you have to get past the waiting period. Now I enjoy the concept of having to wait a year, at times two, for my Bentley Arnage to arrive home. Simply because I know they have spent two years finding that Lion in Zambia, whose hide I wanted for my steering wheel cover. In the Nano’s case, you can’t even chose the b(lo)ody colour until the lot has arrived in the stockyard a year later. Where you have to beat other Nano customers with thorns so they don’t pick the only colour you want - yellow, of which there is only one.

And then, with blood gushing out of one eye, and a dangling nose, you make your way out of the dealer’s in a not-so-bad Gray. But now you’re on the four lane. And you have to follow run-in instructions. So you’ll have to move into the slow(est) lane. Oh, but you can’t see – there’s no LHS rear view mirror. Great, now the idiot in front of you has decided to do a u-turn at the junction. Woohoo! The brakes don’t work. Obviously – it’s raining, and drum brakes won’t work even if you propose to feed them to lions. So you’re rocketing towards a fast decelerating Audi Q7, stuck in the fast lane with brakes that don’t work and with no clue what’s coming from behind you on the left. Bloody merry, innit?!

Put me in this situation and I’ll most gently smear aviation grade fuel all over the car’s dull gray, and hire an F16’s afterburners to do the decent thing. Others will perhaps just go the traditional Indian kerosene-matchbox way. Moral of the story; if you love the idea of being alive, with zest, forget the Nano. But on the other hand, if using a laptop frustrates you but you can’t afford to lose all the valuable data – buy a Nano. It’s cheap to buy, plasticky, and admit it, there’s nothing more fun than watching a car parked. And on fire.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Motoring Mayday

A month-long vacation can hardly be something to be wary of. Unless, of course, you have had to contend with a week-long bout of viral fever. And downtrodden cricket performances on the TV.

May is hardly a significant month. No country I have heard of rose to independence in May. No formula 1 championship was won in May. And I’m sure it means nothing to you that my amazingly lethargic dog came home in a basket, on the third day of May in 2008. May is hardly an example of vibrant nomenclature, as opposed to, say, January, which sounds like a flame orange berry, picked by full-lipped women, and grown in valleys surrounded by snow-capped peaks. May, is just that – may; uncertainty.

May 2010 wasn’t any different. The first week was a blokey affair – endless beer, surfboarding nude towards newly-weds trying to make their presence ‘felt’, filling dozing mates’ trunks with mint toothpaste - try it; apart from letting through a gripping cold sensation, it takes three hours of vigorous scrubbing to rid oneself of it (private parts can take longer, and may come off) .

The rest of May was quite a revelation, honestly. Basking in the glory of not having lost any private organs, I spent the month at my best conduct. This means more free mbs were eaten into on my beloved point-and-shoot, the dog was walked that extra mile, and most importantly, the iPod got substantial updates.

I have often found myself to be noticeably hateful of electro-wizardry. Most of it, I consider unnecessary, and the rest, garbage. But still, my kit-rack is piled with the most comprehensive of gadgetry. There are a few USB drives, at least eight cables which plug every audio device in the world to a car or to a set of ice-cool portable speaker units (of which I have four), a spare Nokia, more cables, and a pretty elaborate calculator. There is also a digital compass, needless to say, for the day I decide to go for a spot of climbing up Mt.Everest’s famed sidewalls, on my way to a haircut. And lastly, but very much the centre of my daily life, is the iPod.

It connects to the car, all four portable speaker units, the home theatre (it took some indigenous cabling), the amplifier in the gym, and INSAT – your friendly neighbourhood satellite. Well, of course I made up the last bit, but what the heck. Great, so now I have music on my way to the barber’s, music in the gym, and music when I’m with people I’m pretending to listen to. I even have an album of Osho’s discourses, thanks to a generous download offer I found on the web the other day.

But last week, disaster struck. Almost the same day as the Boeing 737-800 went down in Mangalore, my father’s laptop (I don’t think I’m ever going to buy one) crashed. And my entire audio library was, in a word, gone. Now, I have no clue how I managed this, but the moment I plugged my iPod in for a fresh update, everything on my iPod was gone too.

A friend later said “Ah, you idiot! That can’t be it. I’m sure you must have got a prompt asking you whether you wanted sheep in your jelly.” Or something like that. Now I never really bother with prompts unless they’re glowing red, with skull-and-bones imagery. But now, every time I plug in an electronic device onto a laptop, I read everything, even all the fine print. Actually, I don’t.

Last evening, which is when everything happens in my life, I took to the best alternative out of more such digitally processed misery – the motorcycle keys.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Code Red

When the British are ordered to stick to speed limits, they all grow worry lines. Jeremy Clarkson writes a new column, and people on holiday hold placards at an inconsequential square. Someone called Chad launches a new community on Facebook, with hateful comments from his pals and the 1,44,203 other users who would have signed up within an hour or so. When the same happens in India, well no, it doesn’t happen, sorry…

That ‘80’ sign you see on the expressway is simply a number to ward off all that is evil and cursed, nothing else. Worse – on the twisty bits of the e-way, some lunatic’s stuck a 30 placard. 30? That’s how much I can do on skateboards – backwards, and blindfolded.

I have never, and I really mean this, been on the e-way in a car going just at the speed limit, forget under it. Sit below a 100, and people will most certainly throw little bombs through your side-window. Under 80, and they stick their butts out, flashing fingers. 60 is what you do during your fling with the toll booth attendant. 40 is only just allowed if you’re running a flat tyre – if you go by the rules, you can run, you can hide, but you can’t stop on the e-way, my love. 20 is what lorry drivers do while they masturbate listening to Red FM’s Naughty Nights with Natasha.

But that’s it. Go any slower, and the people will burn your house down and take your children away to the Rann of Kutch - where they will be distributed amongst vultures. But come to think about it, I’d rather organise for them to be fed to large birds (because I don’t have children) than have our Red Baronesses run them over, left, right, and worryingly, centre.

Pune’s dailies carry, at the very least, one report of a road accident. More often than not, the deceased is a motorcyclist, run over by an errant lorry, or increasingly, government run public transport buses – PMTs and PMPMLs. PMT (and PMPML) drivers are infamous for their careless, often ruthless, driving style. Lurid tail slides, optimal opposite lock, the works – move over, Tiff Needell. If style points were civic phenomena, out bus drivers would score Top Gun.

This week, I am suffering from a multi-grudge syndrome, in that I have not handpicked One face of our rather large populace, but Two. Woohoo! First in line to be shot are aforementioned bus drivers. It’s bad enough they go from 60 to zilch in 1.1 seconds – in the centremost lane, of all the topography available to them. What’s worse is they get from 0 to 60 even quicker, often sideways, giving your new car a striking new paintjob and a spot of flame surfacing.

Second in line, is the ever growing breed of motorcycle conversationalists. These are not the sorts who discuss the finer points of counter-steering having parked by a tea-stall. These are families of four, or politico-wannabes, discussing horseflies, or something else that I couldn’t care less about – whilst riding! Repeated honking has no effect on them, and don’t try gentle ramming either – they are helmetless, and will be killed instantly once you run them over. And you’ll spend the rest of your life in an 8x2 cell, with someone you will recognise immediately – the bus driver, no doubt, in the ‘hanged unto death’ waiting list.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Zen of Fashion

If you were to ever come across a spectacularly ill-behaved Zen, rest assured, it’s a distant relative of mine and you are free to relieve yourself all over him. Once you’ve pulled him over and shot him point blank, that is. He comes from the ‘man in front is an idiot, man flashing is a bastard’ school of driving. He is on first name basis with expressway apexes, and the expressway is three laned because without them, cornering would be “impossible!”

On more than a dozen occasions I was on live chat with the lacy receptionist in Heaven, and she was persistent I joined her for dinner and some foreplay. On reaching my cousin’s in Bombay, the gates of which were a mysterious pearly white (erm), I didn’t so much step out of the car than I leapt out of my skin. I spent the night bathed in a pool of my own sweat – somewhere you don’t ever want to be, and thanks to Tata Sky+, watched Chitrangada Singh do the Aliva cracker commercial for half an hour non-stop. Till I fell asleep with my hands in my pants. Obviously.

Day one was spent at Missy Too Hot for your Pants Homie’s, drinking beer and eating out of boxes of various colours and sizes; and being hit on by attractive women in their teens (that’s an ego boost at its finest). Inevitably, there were excited conversations amongst the ladies about the Fashion Week, which is where chatty women surround various homosexual men called designers.

Have you ever heard them speak? Try listening to a cassette tape play on fast-backward, and you won’t be too far from it. For years, they’ve been turning up at fashion show events with mad hot women, with nothing new to say. Ask them for a sound byte, and all you get is something that, somehow, always ends in “it’s fo casual, yet fo fekfy – fomething you can wear everyday!!!!” WooHoo! How can you wear a thatched roof anywhere except on your head? How hideous will I look if I were to ever wear chrome leather with hair like one of those Limp Biscuit band players? I am no fashion role model; in fact, I’m farthest from being one – the VW Polo of the fashion world. But the more important question is, Where? Where would it be acceptable for me to walk in looking like a Made in China Christmas tree decoration?

Not in a train, no sir. A cab? Umm, no. Not a mall either. To a party? Well, I don’t go to parties unless it is a pure beer-motorcycle-women affair, and dressed like that, I suppose none would fancy sharing dirty secrets with me. Not even after ten beers. To work? Yes, perhaps, if I fancy being ridiculed and sacked in one shot.

This makes me wonder of the purpose of such an event in the first place. The clothes are rubbish, the people behind them are rubbish, and the TV re-runs are rubbish too. On the telly, you’d notice though, that there is constant applause for no apparent reason, and then there’s even more applause when someone falls face first. Which happens a lot. Along with the much awaited wardrobe malfunction – come on, admit it, you dog, you’re waiting for it to happen.

And finally, there are mediapersons, who have gone bonkers. This is the one official assignment they are allowed to carry out in something called party wear, and trust them to come up with questions so out dated, it makes 1400BC feel like it was here just last evening. “Tell us, Rohit, what is fashion to you?” Come fucking On! You ask that every time, you dastardly wannabe journalist! The answers are nonetheless in the vague too.

To some, fashion is ‘within you’ – so fashion could be pancreas, or nerves. One chap did better, saying fashion is looking remarkable – not difficult when you’re wearing a clown hat, kohl and a business suit in magnesium alloy leather. The last chap, however declared that fashion is what ‘you are’. Which is vague, because I am tall, and fashion cannot be tall. Being Indian also makes me brown – but brown and fashion are extreme opposites. But yes, I am hateful to most, and that is exactly what fashion is to me.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cricket, Cops and Niggers

Picture this. It’s half past eight on a Saturday evening. 49.5 overs later, India is on 398, chasing a 400 run target set by Pakistan. Sachin is on 299 – one more run, and history will be made. Two more, and the match is ours.

You’ve finished half a dozen pints already, and your wife has promised to let you buy the damn Fireblade if you buy her a diamond set first. Easy pickins, you say!

And just then, Sachin’s declared run out. The on-field Umpire, who by the way is from the Pak, does not refer to the Umpire in the Pantry at all, and has delivered the wrongest decision of his life. The Bastard!

Imagine. Wouldn’t you, if you ever saw him in person, drown him in sugar syrup, slash him with finicky little cuts with your swiss knife, and feed him to mental red ants? Wouldn’t you have cursed him for ruining your evening? Your beer? The sex that you were going to have?

And this, is my justification to the angry rant that my previous column was. Police work is comprehensive, and thankless, but it often tramples over common man’s inflated ego – and that ego is the source of all conflict. A bit of organised visual surveillance would have cleared the matter on the scene of crime. I’d be in awe of the efficiency of the system, and would certainly be reluctant to voluntarily break the law. Bottom line is : A man in khaki is as human, and hence, as prone to err as the man in my blue jeans.

And here’s a piece of advice to the state machinery : if Con is in, may as well keep niggers on payrolls. Our IPS officers are too brave and well educated to be reduced to taking such cheap shots at our wallets. Niggers, on the other hand, will temp us with their lesbian gangmates’ nipples, while they help themselves to our laptops, Blackberries, and crores. Whatsay?

Con Job - part two

I’m not a fan of quoting people. In the same way that I’m not a fan of being on fire. Or in a bank. But this one had to make its way up here. “You have been stopped for jumping signal” went the Traffic Constable. “Jumping what?! In this, this WagonR?! The light was clearly green, sir” said an amused I. “No argument. Saaheb showed us stop sign. So we jumped in the middle of the road like the primitive beings of yore” Of course he didn’t say the last bit, but I was puzzled.

I’ve never been known as colour blind, or entirely blind for that matter. And here was somebody telling me I’d just mistaken a big round red lamp for a green arrow. So I did the decent thing, and walked straight to the aforementioned Saaheb, who may as well be sitting in far away Zambia. Because from where he was standing, I wouldn’t see him even if he were naked. And on fire.

Certainly not when I had to tackle a proper left hander, while St.AngerSaaheb stood in the rainforests of Africa. You’d rather believe Senna’s ‘I saw Jesus on Raceday’ number than believe in the Saaheb being visible to the naked eye.

And here was a man who, while inside my mouth, said “You are accusing me of lying?! I am standing in sunlight; you think I’m blind?!”

I decided I was going to debate. I explained to him that I regularly wrote about helmet safety, and about responsible motoring, and that I’d rather be in my own arse than being in a queue of motoring criminals with Adam’s apples the size of a bullfrog.

I was disgruntled, but assertive. I had to explain to him that I had, indeed, more faith in cannibalism than in his version of the truth, and that he had been, in one strong word, wrong.

As it stands, I’m writing this piece in my house, and not from the Central Jail. But I’m left amazed, and disappointed in the way they work. How impossible is it, to stand in the middle of the fucking road and mind traffic? Why then, on an impossible-to-look-right signal, was there not One traffic cop asking me to come to bloody halt AT the bloody crossing? Why do I have to pull a telescope from inside my sleeve to look out for a man with so much bad breath, your face erodes if he comes within a yard of it? Why aren’t they just there, in their place, rather than hiding on blind corners like petty criminals?

If I jumped a traffic light, it also means that I endangered somebody’s life while he was on the zebra crossing, talking into his Nokia. But Con Job Cop and his kin were willing to cause death to an innocent man, in favour of increasing Police fucking Revenues. And if that doesn’t hit you, Mr. Shinde, this will – because corrupt pigs like you cannot withstand humiliation. Eff off.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Princess Diana in your jeans, anyone?

Now, you must know this chap. He wears a big watch, and drives a souped up sedan. He talks excitedly about the new AreaX PowerLogic 7.0 ECU he’s just ordered online, while clutching his private parts. He also mentions chips, which you must note, have no co-relation with fish whatsoever, and chipping - which is how Big Watch Man derives more horses from under the bonnet, rather than drilling large holes everywhere.

He turns up for weekend ‘meets’ with a laptop computer. Where his mates crowd over his shoulder, as they watch Jessica Alba do an x-rated number in high-res format. And then, after some exaggerated laughter, wheelspins and a bite at the Café Coffee Day, they go home to their respective Facebooks.

While I don’t have much of a problem with these blokes, I do get put off by their cars. It has to be a Honda City with Plaster of Paris moulding on the chin, lots of unofficial sponsorship decals, and Mine’s So Much Bigger Than Yours written all over. In invisible ink.

I have heard of, and this is no typo error, 300bhp Honda Citys (Cities?) in Bangalore. Not enough? Try a DL 3C reg orange Civic with an alleged 400bhp tune-up. That’s a full sixty more than an E46 BMW M3!

Which brings my concern on to characteristics; a word not as lengthy as it is crucial. BWM spends anything between a lakh to a whopping six to eight lakhs on his, as he puts it, ride. That’s eight lakhs over the cost of the car, which itself is roughly 10 lakhs. All this, for characteristics not dissimilar to those of a wet fish on greased ice. The power is quite literally going up in smoke, and the resultant numbers are but a second or two quicker. If I had to choose, I’d rather leave home two seconds earlier than shell out six whopping lakhs to make up for it.

See, a proper supercar with a high-revving engine, race-spec seats, and a gruff howl is as close as you can get to being in bed with a horny Princess Diana trying woman-on-top, biting your ears off, with Iron Maiden on the stereo at 130dB. That’s keeping motorcycles out of the equation, of course. The problem is, you’re being shoved the sport-y platter every time you call for a McSport with nuts. So there’s a sporty new SX4 with a sporty leather wrapped steering wheel, a sporty Hyundai Accent with sporty white dials, and there’s even a sporty Estilo, in pink.

Now, Indians have built sub-10lakh SUVs, estates, roadsters (if you count the San Storm), and even a sub-3lakh electric car for mice. So why not a sub-10lakh rear wheel drive sports coupe? By my mathematics, that would be two doors, two windows, power window switches, ashtrays, an entire rear bench and two seatbelts lesser – money which could be spent instead on extracting more power. And they could offer FRP panels as an addition on the Options List – the darling of the quintessential motorcar manufacturer of today.

Ideally, they should look up the Chinkara; the one car I truly WANT. The one car which, in the Indian scheme of things, is as close to a motorcycle as it gets. It’s proper old school; with mechanical everything and no iAmSoDull techno-wizardry. Someone who drinks strong beer with petrol in it, and rides a two-stroke motorcycle like a madman on fire. A car with so much hair, they should call it the Chinkartikware.

And then, all of us compulsive motorcyclists who look at cars as downtrodden will buy one. So will BWM, and so will his best friend – the disgusting chap who asked who Prince Diana was.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hard Times

My humble little motorcycle collection (of just two examples), has just had a new addition. It’s an ’05 HH Karizma, black, with 30 thou kms on the digital odometer (yes, I’m showing off). I made a fantastic deal of it, and currently, it’s being put through its paces.

I burned the midnight oil all through March, looking up motorcycle classifieds on the internet. And within the first thirty minutes of the act, I concluded that the concept of depreciation was yet to be discovered by the people of Pune. 87k for a ’93 Standard Bullet? It’s like being asked to pay 87k for a, well, farm animal which has seen seventeen monsoons, gushes oil onto your boots as if there’s no way around, and is as fast as a cow. All of which is true.

And there were the ‘Sporty look Pulsars’ going for Gas denim money. Which is still a lot of money for a motorcycle that sounds like a Sumeet Mixer after a Bloody Mary, and is just about as quick.

In my search for a used motorcycle, I had numerous encounters with people who had all sorts of pearls of wisdom to contribute. While unparalleled motorcyclists of Rohin Nagrani’s ilk imparted with genuinely good advice, there were some others who didn’t.

The highlight, though, was this man with an R15, who made himself sound like he could do the Isle of Man with his hands tied to his back, and blindfolded. “I want my motorcycle to be a hard hard, excuse the language. Even the ‘Fireblade does not inject the sort of fear you’d like. Also, where are the roads to take a ‘Blade to its limits?”

Firstly, anyone who does not buy a Fireblade because our roads are ‘too limiting’ for it, should have an R15 with shredded tyres, razor sharp pegs, and with the tail piece on fire. Also, he should have changed, at the very least, ten dozen knee sliders and should have roughly three quintals of iron rods in his shins. The bloke’s R15 had chicken strips (the cornering patch on tyres) so large, it made chicken look small. His riding posture was all wrong; hanging off unnecessarily, and too much. And the only time he’d got his knee down, was when he got both in one go.

I must clarify, knee downs maketh not a great rider. In fact, getting one’s knee down is become some sort of a raging stunt in India, which is a sad interpretation of the fastest way through a corner. But a person talking about a Fireblade not being a ‘hard hard’ must have underwear the size of DisneyWorld. And aforementioned bloke was nowhere close to it.

I’ve never agreed with people who don’t buy superbikes, or fast motorcycles in general, because our roads are insufficient. A powerful motorcycle ridden to its 40% will still be a lot of fun. And a slow motorcycle ridden hard can be even more of a blast. I can never erase memories of a young(er) me sliding a blue TVS Victor’s tail right before I hit apex, and eventually, a tree. Or outdoing startled Pulsar 150 blokes on my bug eyed Vespa NV.

Somebody famously said “Excuses are like arseholes, everybody’s got one”. Okay, the original number was about opinions, but whatever. An R15 in the right hands is a capable enough tool. More so for our market, which has been on a strict single-downtube motorcycle diet so far. A famous motorcycle journo once said, “99% of the time, motorcycles are always fun”. And that last one per cent, constitutes the rider. Be safe. But enjoy your motorcycle thoroughly.

Lessons in PR for the Congress; Chapter I

Paud is a prosperous, developing settlement about 25kms outside Pune. Twenty minutes on the SH60 (from Pune) will get you here, and while it isn’t particularly spectacular, it is buzzing with life, among other things. A blink and miss diversion from Paud leads you to a narrow winding road, which will lead you to my home, among other things. Like barking deer, and annoyingly, peacocks.

More annoyingly, half way between where I live and Paud is a Bio Fuel plant. It is nothing but a spot of plumbing and some barrels hurriedly arranged together. And the security man there, there’s just one, wears his Night Visibility jacket all the bloody time. Even to bed. Nothing suspicious, not even in a Secret Seven kind of way. He’s just poor, and that is the only garment he has ever owned in his life.

The plant is unused, untouched, and if there ever was to be a Concourse de Elegance for padlocks, the plant’s would probably bring home gold. In this Maharashtrian dominated settlement, exists a Church. And the Church, notably, has more on its hands than the Bio Fuel plant. I have never been a fan of religious places of worship, nor of religion, to be honest, but this one success to the Church gives me a little tickle of joy. Or something like that.

I’ll be honest with you; I don’t understand Bio-Fuel and its siblings. I don’t know whether it slows down motorcycles and cars. And lastly, I don’t care whether it helps the environment. What I do care about though, is the stink it generates bang in the middle of a hot summer noon. During the brief period that the plant was functional, all of the nine people living in a radius of four hundred metres from the plant thought of Cyanide at least once, and three of them even thought of Marie Gold Tea biscuits. Which are like cardboard circles with drainage holes; the Tata Indica of biscuits.

In 2009, 3am in this village felt like being strapped to the rear seat of a Tata Sierra. In the Sahara. With the windows glued shut. And a brick on the accelerator pedal. Leading to the Valley of Death.

Here then, is my plan. See, I’ve always believed that our men in power need better PR. And agriculture is the backbone of India. So if they keep pissing farmers off with Bio-Fuel plants, very soon, we are going to have to survive on day-old food from Pakistan, or China. And that, as we all know, is never going to happen. They are simply going to block our food pipes, and we will soon become what will be remembered as the world’s largest mass burial.

What our power men need to do, is to set these plants up within urban limits. Firstly, it will do a whole lot of visual publicity if it were placed right next to, say, the Pune Municipal Corporation building. Conjunctively, it will also ensure that the PMC folks actually get out (run out with their noses covered, to be precise) and get some work done. Importantly, urbanites will find the stench unbearable, and will promise to make honest and efficient use of fast extinguishing fossil fuel. Motoring enthusiasts, of course, will begin driving like they’re being chased by death, going hard-throttle on every drop of fuel, revving their engines to eighteen thousand rpm, and getting killed.

The smarter race (who drive WagonRs) will move out somewhere close to where I live. And then they will be killed by the stink. And the even smarter ones, who drive the Tata Nano and may not have died in an 80kmph fire, will die of starvation.

Because Nepal won’t be of any help either. You see, ninety per cent of Nepalis live in India anyway. And one in nine is manning a Bio-Fuel plant, stark naked but for a Night-Visibility jacket. Dear Diana, please help…

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Get real Courtney, sweetie...

A sane man among the insane always appears mad. Bhagwaan Rajneesh, or Osho, as he was fondly known, often spoke these words. They originally came from Kahlil Gibran’s collection. And that lovely verse is most relevant today, than it has ever been. No, I haven’t turned philosopher. Not just yet. But Jitesh Pillaai needs a bit of food for thought, and I think I have more than a serving for him.

He twittered on Fool’s Day, stating I was dysfunctional, and treated himself to another handbag because I 'made him feel like a star’ through my blog. If calling people homosexuals with horrid jobs and miserable taste in clothing is making them feel like stars, I think i’m going to be making a lot of new friends this summer.

He had the good sense to end his twitt with a ‘must admit he’s damnfunny’, and then went sucking upto Shahid Kapoor for an interview.

Come on Jitesh! You picked Shireen Bhan as one of the top 50 beautiful women in India. If, after that, you think anyone with half a mind, apart from your fellow twitsies, is going to want to hear your take on anything, I will admit you have a fantastic sense of humour. I want to get this straight, because word play is too difficult for Jitesh to comprehend. You Sir, are the one who makes assumptions and are judgmental. Case in point: Kajol signing another movie thrills, while Tabu ‘threatens’. Fuck you, you know? And, Sir, I know of ten journos, none of whom will say the Honda Accord is promising, ballistic, and raving mad because it comes with a stack of weed shoved into the glove compartment by desperate PR chaps. How can you assume, publicly, in print, that Aditya Redij is a promising hotbod? Promising because? Answer that sweetie, or else I’m going to have to use the word ‘shag’.

I understand your admiration of Amitabh Bachchan, because it really cannot be mere lust for wealth behind his active schedule. But favouritism on the basis of one’s six-pack would be as horrible as you judging me by the colour of my bowels. My idols in the industry of motoring journos follow a strict evaluation method, sticking to honest reviews, and giving away awards only to the truly deserving ones. And they’re highly entertaining, while at it. Your famed 2010 Filmfare awards, you must note, mentioned nothing of Gulaal, one of the finest made films in the history of the industry. If our lot looked up to you for even a spot of inspiration, the Lamborghini Gallardo would win every award under the sun. And Marutis would never win the Car of the Year title.

Ours is an honest profession, Sir. It is an achievement of great magnitude, being published in print, with a byline to boot. Where you are, you have the power to do a lot. The authority to provide refreshing journalism, not actresses clad in Manish Malhotra with dull captions. How about starting with a half nude Chitrangada Singh on the cover, mate?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Television no-shows

In my book of a hundred and one things to do before I die, hosting a TV auto show comes pretty much in the top 20. Just after winning that MotoGP title. And just before that long pending orgy with Chitrangada Singh.

Unlike Rohin Nagrani, an auto hack, certified cager, and an unparalleled motorcyclist, I have nothing for Vicky Butler Henderson of Fifth Gear fame. I think she has the worst name in the world. And I’m not even going to tell you about how a pale looking mongrel, who went by the same name, ruined the first half of my childhood.

To start with, I don’t understand the concept of Fifth Gear anymore. Today, BMW 7 series limos come equipped with 8 computerised gears. Why just cars? Volvo’s FH series has, and of course I’m exaggerating, eighteen hundred gears. And those are only the ones that put you in reverse. So fifth gear in that context is ‘somewhere down the middle of nowhere’. Which is exactly what Fifth Gear, the TV show, is.

Closer home, our News channels are littered with motoring shows, all of which are, in one word, rubbish. With the exception of Siddharth Patankar, everybody who comes close to an inch of a car on the telly looks like they’ve just walked into the frame with an axe in their stomach. One spectacular lady, whose name I can’t remember, gladly, said for the 97th time on her show that the car she was driving at that time was “a reeeely good car”. And the chances are, before she’s done a century, somebody will run her over in a Ford Endeavour while she chooses to Cruze.

Worse still, we have Raftaar (Speed, in Hindi) where even the slightest movement of the steering wheel is accentuated with a ‘scccrrreeeeeeecchhhh’ in the background score, accompanied by the sound of their office window panes being shattered. And to keep my promise, which is to have a no-conflict Sunday, I’m not even going to tell you about the motoring shows from some esteemed automotive publications in the country. Imagine Mao Zedong in ghastly orange leathers trying to “discuss” jokes on The Great Indian Laughter Challenge and you’ll get the picture. And if that doesn’t feed your passion for humour, you can always turn to Shireen Bhan. Her overnight switch to a clipped Brit accent never fails to amuse me. Nor does her inclusion in Jitesh Pillaai’s list of India’s 50 most beautiful women. Why Jitesh, why? Was Parizaad Kolah Marshall, a truly beautiful woman, too 2009 for the list? Or are you that guy who’d choose a Hyundai Elantra over a Ferrari 355 because it was the only car that wanted to come home with you in your ghastly nightgown?

In fact, there’s my abrupt conclusion of the week, in all its scarlet-turtle-necked glory; Jitesh Pilaai is to print, what Vicky Butler Henderson is to television broadcast journalism: Rubbish.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

GiJoe comes back to haunt

Being single has its perks. And then it doesn’t. Last evening, I ‘went out’ with a gorgeous woman, who, apart from being a freak, gave me the worst headache I’ve had in three hundred years. One moment, I saw her waiting for me with a smile and a little wave. Dressed in Burberry, with Fendi sunglasses, and a Louis Vuitton handbag, she was worth a million dollars, and quite literally at that. So I drove her around, made conversation; I even did a bit of a ‘Jesus loves you’ driving impression which got her red in the cheeks (anger or embarrassment, I know not). And then, we headed home. Drink in hand, sunset in my window, the evening breeze, Café Del Mar providing the background score; it was just, what you’d call, perfect. And then, things started to go a bit wrong. See, very soon we were in the same room, ahem, within inches of each other. And soon the inches vanished. Then, suddenly, William (libel laws prevent me from using biological terms) felt a bit funny. As if Spearhead from GiJoe was trying to feel him (it) up. It was true. I lost my voice, and then my breath, as I saw a plastic claw wade its way through my Gas denims. She had an artifical hand; and the next few moments will be etched onto my memory for very, very long. The rest of it went quite well, fortunately. And I came home and drowned myself in beer to manage a good night’s sleep.

It is this artificial hand that kills it for the Yamaha Fazer too. It looks just right. Oozing flamboyance, with meat in just the right places, it is really a beautiful motorcycle. For eighty grand, you get Angelina Jolie’s breasts, legs off Halle Berry, and Claudia Schiffer’s silhouette. But it really still is Salman Khan with a breast enlargement job. It’s the go-anywhere sort; wide handlebars, beefy suspension, twin headlamps, the works. Essentially, an FZ with lip-gloss and a Revlon eyeliner. But, like all glam dolls, it misses one thing. Power. Im not saying this should have been a hard hard. No. But she doesn’t like the BeeGees. And chocolate, to her, is hateful. F*ck!

For the first three days I had the Fazer, I’d been riding it all wrong. I’d worn those all-purpose one-million pocket military green trousers and semi-off road boots, and I went out thinking I’d sail through the twisties, and return home to catch some crisp afternoon beer. But I came home dissappointed, and I wrote a column so full of hatred, the laptop caught fire. Basically, I thought the Yamaha was rubbish, and that it was made in the Annual Business Agenda Room, than in a room with little people in coveralls smelling of grease. And dog. It really did feel like someone smeared it with lip-gloss, and an expensive perfume, but forgot to put in something called a sex drive.

In my anger the next day, I began riding it like my pants were on fire, and to be honest, I had the most fun I’ve had on a motorcycle in a long time. It was ballistic, and it really came into life in the top end of the powerband. The handling package is better than Jolie’s in The Original Sin, and grip is just there all the bloody time. But back to a more normal riding style, and there it was – The Artificial Hand, in all its glory. It is that one element that would make me afraid of going out and buying one. She really is very good in bed, and loves me too. But she has a GiJoe and hates chocolate. Dear Diana, please help…

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pull the trigger, Nigger

Last evening, I came across what they call the Ladies Man. Essentially, he is Top of the Pops with women, and has the most ludicrous collection of shirts and eau de toilettes. More importantly, he gets away without having to shave everyday, works for a real estate agency, and is a general source of disgust to ordinary man.

Missy Too Hot for your Pants Homie has, sadly, been in such company for such a long time, I last heard she was using turbine blades as nail files. Over a period of five years, she has had more men in her life than were born in the last century. And all relationships have ended in what we have come to know as a ‘post orgasm personality failure’. You know, the sort of thing that the i10 1.2 does? You hit a hundred and twenty in no time, and then you crash even quicker, because the brakes don’t work. And “he wears a bra”.

Even the Women’s Reservation bill seemed to have no effect on her. But that’s mainly because she fancies a career in ‘fashion’; and Mamta Banerjee would look silly in a LBD. The bill, according to her, would be no good unless they could all get into bed with Omar Abdullah. Which will leave Rahul Gandhi seriously cross, as a result of which he may fling his spectacles out of the window, injuring birds (hence upsetting his extended family). And India TV will spend all of tomorrow fixing their pause-rewind-play switch. The Reservation bill, to be honest, invokes just one question; Why?

Women are pretty capable of pulling off wonders on their own steam, but a reservation is like putting a dog in a cage. You want to show you care, but the real deal is that you just don’t want it poop-partying your sofa. And chewing up your new Reeboks. Women in power is a good thing, as has been proven in many cases. But women huddled up into 35 per cent looks a bit worrying. Because soon they’ll all want statues of themselves, which is the most vague concept in the world. I have never seen statues of men who are alive, except for the sort of stuff that happens at Tussauds, and mannequins of Govinda at the fair. And just today, a garland for Mademoiselle was flown in to Lucknow from Mysore, and allegedly, it had currency where they should have put in, er, flowers.

Mademoiselle is, as you would have figured, code for Mayawati. A word more offensive than the N-word. Nigger. There I said it. Nigger, often misconstrued as somebody who compulsively deals in high-performance chemicals meant for consumption, and an eccentric mass murderer, is just short for Negro, which in turn is short for Nigerian. It should, ideally, be as simple as saying Oz, or Del, or John Smith.

But no. Say Nigger and you’ll go home hopping and whimpering, having been shot at by a man with nerves of steel and teeth of silver. I just don’t understand what these people are doing all the time. For years, all they’ve been doing in music videos is to discuss how they’re going to the club, and how badly they want to sleep with that woman in black lace. Who looks exactly like the woman in the other video. Sorry, but it’s all a bit too dark to tell. Of course they talk about their cars, but then even the cars look the same, with rims the size of the Milky Way. To top it all, Akon says Gallardo phonetically. And he is a hit with the ladies. Which really does suck.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

New inventory in the S.S

Last time round, I ended up with some heavy metal hate mail because I had been too cynical of Overdrive magazine. Demand for an apology came from some, and here it is: I am sorry, but I brought up Overdrive only because it was the only full-size magazine on the rack which was rubbish. The rest were all pint sized journals (which were rubbish too) and hence it would be unfair if I made a comparison. In the same way that you wouldn’t compare a Volvo FH12 to a Piaggio Ape. I’m not saying larger is better, certainly not in this case, but comparisons must be fair and square. Period.

This Monday, when the Overdive chaps were busy getting late to work, my phone rang. At the other end was Daraius Shroff, a friend, motorcycling buddy, and the sort of chap who’d barely say a word if you flew HyperCity mall through the core of his retina. Ice Cool, in short. Usual conversation ensued, and soon, he was talking and I was listening. Rare. So he went on about why he was miffed at the duty structure leaning against imported vehicles, how the roads in Bombay were terrible enough to not even allow a Segway to be taken to its limits, that our pedestrians were incredibly hateful, and that the Congress was gay. And at the end of it, he said he’d like it if I ‘could do something about it’.

To begin with, I hadn’t really noticed how bad the roads were, because bad roads usually mean a lot more fun on a motorcycle. It is Cars that go crying to mommy with dashboards clinging to one bolt, and in return, cagers go crying to mommy after they have their feet crushed under the weight of the dashboard, which would fall off when they’d have hit pothole seventeen; verse five hundred and fifty of the Indian Motor Vehicular Roads bible. To make matters worse, these amputees then switch to ATVs, and end up with even more composite plastic in their teeth, ribs, and in one spectacular case, eyes. While enthu-commuters on motorcycles (I am one) have a blast zipping through gaps in between cars, and in the case of the Tata Indica, right through the panel gaps, cagers more often than not end up listening to Radio City.
Which makes them even more irritable and cross.

As Daraius suggested, the entire road structure should be revised from scratch. That would include everything from tarmac/concrete compound, to re-assessment of routes, lane division, and a more specific layout. As we spoke further, we concluded that most of Bombay’s roads are in fact roads made for the Bombay of the 1950s. Which sounds as ridiculous as attending a funeral service eight years later. Sort of. I agree it would take a lot, but the government (The Congress, in other words. Forget about any other party ever coming to power) has our backing. We will pay taxes as we have been, and us motorcyclists will have more fun on the roads that you would have dug up for the noble cause.

The duty structure on imported vehicles though, is entirely silly. It’s like being told you can have an ice cream sundae at the fair, but you’d have to go without any kind of food the whole month after. You’d hate anyone who’d say that to you. Even Monica Belucci.

As for pedestrians, well, you really will have to do an Iron Man on them. Or simply do a rolling burnout on their collective bleeps. While I do support braking at road-crossings, even if doing Mach II upside down in an F16, for children trying to get to school, I do not have the same to say about children who are not. The next child who does a Ugesh Sircar right in front of my motorcycle when I’m in 1st gear at 10,000rpm, trying to skid to a halt, just because he wants to save his lousy cricket balls, will go home badly missing two of his.

On another note, my admiration of Adolf Hitler and the S.S has been under much light of late. And while I’m not going to justify it, not just yet, I do have some recommendations to the S.S. The S.S in question though, is the Spastic Society. And said recommendations are people who enjoy ATVs, and Overdrive.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Con Job

Jitesh Pillai is not welcome. It pains me to give him prime place in my column, but he has the silliest, ladiest job in the world. Editing Filmfare can never possibly be a decently manly, if not overtly macho, job to hold. Ideally, I shouldn’t have a problem with him as we are never likely to cross paths. Because I have no self indulgence fantasies at The Body Shop, like he surely does. And nor do I still wear nappy pads. And nailpaint.

I don’t even gossip, bitch or discuss celebs. So a conversation is out of the question. And it doesn’t half burn my heart to see his Courtney Cox-esque editorial profile picture, crimson turtle neck tee et al. But when you’re stuck in the waiting lounge of a Yamaha dealership, reading Filmfare, it becomes slightly difficult to ignore the Inglorious Basturd (libel laws alert). I was there (yes, again!) to pick a friend’s R15 up, and to my disposal was a copy each of Filmare and Overdrive. And since I wasn’t in my regular mood of pointing out spelling mistakes and chuckling at preposterously public relation-ish pearls of wisdom about whatever test vehicle they were longing to drive on the G-Quad, Leh, or in France, I made the choice for Filmfare. And then His Editorship Sir Courtney Cox happened. How he makes assumptions (very clear, biased, imaginative ones at that) is more unbelievable than the concept of homosexuality. But sadly, it exists, and so does he. He, and I’m taking the liberty of quoting him here, is ‘thrilled about Kajol signing yet another project’, worried about how ‘Tabu has threatened to sign her third movie in a year’ and ‘why men won’t look at him anymore’. Well, you know which one he didn’t actually say.

A kind gentleman (as opposed to I don’t know what) offered his two bits saying that Cox job (heh, heh) wasn’t much different to mine. He firmly said I write about motorcycles and cars, and he about something which too is eventually a consumer good. And when I put forth in my argument that if Katrina Kaif was indeed a consumer good, I want exactly three of her in my lap right now, he left the room. But I have never, and will never type and send to print how Raju mechanic slept with Ramu mechanic while they were on a graveyard shift, assembling an engine on an empty Hero Honda chassis. I also wouldn’t really take stinking offence if either of the aforementioned mechies turned up in the same overalls to work the next morning. And the morning after. And that his shoes didn’t match the colour of his penis.

Why then, is there so much money riding on an industry which has no outcome, no effect, no influence on anything at all. Its readers are fourteen year olds who use it as light pornography while they battle pimples, and expect one cigarette as part of the resale value. It interviews the same stars over and over again; Vivek Oberoi even. Even though he was last seen on the big screen as long ago as 400 BC.

Yes, true that our lot does keep going back to motorcycles and cars close to a century old, and that we do indulge in a bit of lunacy every time something with a ‘New’ tag comes up. But we don’t deliver false promises. And that’s the difference. In the December ’09 issue of Filmfare, a little box-out was dedicated to this spectacular accumulation of bone marrow called Aditya ‘whatswithmyname’ Redij. And looking at his belly piercings, Jitesh Pillai’s clan had already decided that he was a ‘promising hotbod’ and was going to ‘set everything or the other on fire’. I last heard Nostradamus was nursing a Malibu in the South of France to rid himself of a terrible headache. Turning in one’s grave, as Mr.Pillai would express, is so 2009.

On an adjacent note, I am also in a bit of a sorry mental outlook towards Dear Diana the Alive. Her moral responsibility is to solve ‘love problems’ in the other end of Mid-Day, and Diana, I feel, is actually a man who ghost writes the bloody Q&A format column. I’m not saying it is certainly Vivek Oberoi, not yet atleast, but read carefully to see the subtle manly influences in each of the replies. Either it is Mr.Oberoi, or Diana needs my Mach3 Turbo Carrera 4S to do her armpits neat. Because the simplest response to the stimulus of a cheating boyfriend is to dump him, and flush him down. Or better still, sentence him to several years of rigorous Filmfare. The new sucker for the ‘Most Rubbish Magazine in the World’.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Green chutney in the bin

Goans live by something called the ‘season’. It lasts half a year, and in those six months, Goa is something of a marketplace for fish-eating drunkards. War, similarly, is ‘season’ for the top brass of countrymen. It is the time to look extremely busy, sport smug grins, and contort eyebrows at the end of every fireball statement. It’s now been three years since there has been any sort of major war. And hence, much to their dismay, this has made their lack of activity rather apparent.

In a similar bout of nothingness and strangulating company, I ended up reading a copy of Scientific American India. By far, the most ridiculous magazine in the world. There are more fingers in a leper’s hand than there are pictures in that 64 page compilation of rubbish they call a magazine. Each written piece goes on and on for about four hours, discussing (yes, the worst word in the world) something called Rice Crop Process Modulation through Solar Electrical Systematic Multiple Divide, and how it will make China the biggest superpower by 2032. Yes, there’s an announcement right in between the lines. In 2032, by which time we’d have been 20 years dead, the biggest threat to this world will be The Rice Grain. The military will be extensively trained in rice combat, and nuclear weapons will be replaced by Triple Schezwan Fried Rice from Dragon Chainees, Chineez or, as I once read in Dahisar, Chenes. Our local smoke belching Chinese gaadi will become the centre of Mother Earth, and every Raju ustad will become Mao Zedong. See, it didn’t actually say that, or anything of the sort, but the problem is that I fell asleep reading it. It simply wasn’t getting anywhere.

The editorial unit of that magazine has probably been on a diet of movies with dialogues like “It certainly cannot be doubted that it was perhaps him”. Although it remains to be seen whether effects of reading ten back to back issues of Scientific American are the same as consuming ten sleeping pills all at once. An even bigger problem is the name itself. To learn science and logic from the Americans of today is like taking lessons in modesty from Rakhi Sawant. It’s rubbish. Americans are people who buy Hummers and plastic furniture, both of which are the same, except plastic furniture is faster and better built. Their only contribution to mankind has been the Dodge Charger, and Scarlett Johansson's breasts.

Meanwhile, in Copenhagen, a military aircraft reported sightings of people in extremely funny dresses laughing and shaking hands vigorously. Apparently, they were thinking that 10bn$ a year is going to stop Mt.Everest from turning into lake Everton. So instead of taking running jumps into basins of Tuborg and looking silly, everyone spent a week recommending Toyota Prius’ to their colleagues, and eating sandwiches with green chutney. Funnily enough, right outside the glass walled bay view of the British PM’s hotel room, a bunch of Denmarkers wearing spectacles were killing dolphins by the hundreds. A tradition called on to prove their adulthood, maturity, and if I may add, heterosexuality.

Then, a very keen lady I met the same evening was of the opinion that we must leave something behind for our next generation. ''We must save the environment, and we must live green''. At which point I rushed to the lavatory and emptied all of last night’s Butter Chicken from the Golden Chariot. Frankly, what, from all that we own and cherish today, would our next generation like to inherit from us? The next generation will not want my Suzuki Wagon R because it is dangerous and slow, they will not want my Playstation 2 because it will be outdated (that is going by my insistence that it isn’t outdated already), and they won’t even want my Labrador, because he will be dead by then. You said Mercedes S-class? Oh, is that why they come up with a new one at every motor show? Ahh, Petrol, you say! Take this; in the last ten years, the price rise in petrol has been 12 rupees. So in 2020, whatever little petrol is left will be costlier by another 15 bucks or so. Is that a lot? Not at all. Comparatively, the average wage rate has gone up rather massively. And if we do actually run out of all the fuel in the world, our lives would be more peaceful. We’d eat dinner in candlelight everyday, pray to God more often, and become farmers again. Which sounds good, especially because all of you are on Facebook’s Farmville anyway.