Categories
Books Random

Dilli ki sardi & Biking

A random discussion on Delhi winters with some colleagues reminded of the joys of riding on a winter evening in Delhi. The cold, slightly damp, wind across your face. The fog. The warmth of the engine. And the fog that doesn’t let you see too far in the distance, and because you are riding slowly you are actually enjoying the view. Missing my bike and those rides with Tk so much!

These lines by Robert Pirsig in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance are just so apt.

You see things vacationing on a motorcycle in a way that is completely different from any other. In a car you’re always in a compartment, and because you’re used to it you don’t realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You’re a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.

On a cycle the frame is gone. You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming. That concrete whizzing by five inches below your foot is the real thing, the same stuff you walk on, it’s right there, so blurred you can’t focus on it, yet you can put your foot down and touch it anytime, and the whole thing, the whole experience, is never removed from immediate consciousness.

Categories
Movies Random Sports

Random Notes #171

** Correctly predicted 4 of 5 major Oscar awards this year. Not too bad, or as Sudeep put it, Oscars were just too predictable. Just too point out a small thing. The Social Network, while being a really good movie, is not an Oscar material. And I personally think its a little hyped. Eisenberg and Garfield were really good though.

** As I think more about it Black Swan grows more on me. The entire movie revolves around Natalie Portman, and she carries it off really well. Leon, V for Vendetta, and Black Swan all feature her starting off really unsure of herself, and discovering herself with the help of someone else.

** Watched The Inside Job finally, and I feel that it is one hard hitting documentary. It makes no bones about pointing fingers and pointing them at big and important people and institutions. Good job!

** Also, there was a discussion on the BITS alum mailing list over The Inside Job, Rajat Gupta, and the financial meltdown and the role the Wall Street played in the crisis. Though some really good points were made, I really did not see anyone come out in support of the financial industry. Maybe its just not fashionable. Though I am myself not a huge fan of the industry and its bonus system, I would still like to point out a few things. The financial industry still remains the place to be in for people who want to be close to the action and make shit loads of money. Someone said they don’t make anything, but I do believe that a number of products they create are really innovative and require as much technical inputs as say designing a search algorithm. And as for greed, its the same across industries. The pharmaceutical industry is no stranger to not such smart decision making. J&J (they have a case study in BSchool on them and they ethos) has had more recalls than probably the entire industry together, and that is almost in the last year or so. I guess the BP fiasco is still fresh in people’s memory. Intel, and its anti-competitive practices are well known, and so are the mistakes made with user data by Facebook. The energy industry, the mineral industry, the diamond industry, the automobile industry. You name it, and they have made some very stupid mistakes. People praise successful people and deride ones who aren’t. I am pretty sure that most of us would have given anything (and most would still do) to work for Dick Fuld, and now we wouldn’t touch him with a 10 feet pole. Hindsight, as the say, is always 20/20. To make the call in real time, while the shit is happening, is what it is about. May be one day we will stop the shit before it hits the fan.

** The post number is England’s score for the match today, and as the Gods would have it, yet again, SA have… well, choked!

Categories
Music Random

Strings attached!

Music is the one string that binds us all. And the number of times this has happened is just amazing.

  1. BITS – Psenti Oasis – Us calling STAR for “Ab naa jaa”
  2. Tk calling me from another concert last year.
  3. Kshitij and others calling me yesterday from ISB during a Strings concert! (I am so disappointed at missing out)

This entire year, and the coming one, has been all about people getting married, with the rate of marriages now reaching a J shaped growth trajectory!! Seriously, its not even funny anymore. I have attended three weddings in the last month, missed three others (sorry guys), and will be attending at least three more in the next couple of months, and missing many more.

And all this while I have been wondering about how life will be once these people get married. Will we still hang out as much. Will we still have fun together.

But that one call from Kshitij made me feel I was there. In the midst of it all. Having fun. Maybe it won’t be so different after all.

Thanks guys! Keep rocking!

Categories
Random

Love at first drive!

It was the best hundred bucks I have spent in Mumbai so far. This morning I had to go to Nariman Point for some work, and while coming back to office, I decided to take a taxi instead of the local. I don’t really know why I did it, but it turned out to be a good decision in the end.

The drive through Marine Drive, with overcast conditions, a gentle breeze blowing in from the sea, and the sight of pigeons flying around, was so soothing that it can’t be explained, just experienced. The driver didn’t talk, and just stared at the sea, the people, and the birds. Add to that the unusually low and silent traffic, and it was just, well, perfect.

Had it been any other time, it would have been a honkathon, but this was different. It was peaceful, and as I passed through those dilapidated houses that belonged to the Dinsah’s and the Wadia’s, I could not help but compare it to Chandini Chowk. If the true heart of Delhi is located in Chandini Chowk, it had to be this place for Amchi Mumbai.

All I want to do now is walk down this place early in the morning while watching the sunrise. Bliss!

PS: Considering that I live close to the mountains and awesome drives have been a part of my staple diet, you can just imagine how awesome it must have been for me to write about it.