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?