My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The SemiPali Adventure

Mondays were always like this, f**king boring, although I am not allowed use the F word as I am still in class VIth, it brings out the haaawww from you. So we have a Maths test tomorrow, I don't know what happened to my school and they kept this routine of a weekly test, Kendriya Vidyalaya is so good they have a unit test, need to study once a month, we need to do it four times a month, although thanks to Gregorian, we sometimes have it five times a month.

Mr Sharma, we secretly call him DK and laugh behind his back, is different from the rest, just this year they started telling us that other than numbers you can also play with a,b,c in Maths, hey but this guy is new, maybe he doesn't know Maths at all, otherwise confusing English with Maths is a mistake, atleast something which I would never do. He calls this new thing Algebra, sounds like a Arabic Zebra, but my friends say that if you do this you get very good marks later in boards, and anyway everyone says you have to be good in Maths, they are the only test copies my father is interested in seeing, luckily for me I end up scoring good marks in this.

So I have a Maths test tomorrow, and I can't get the hang of it, these f**king (a,b,c)'s, so let me roam around a bit. Maybe Kartik would be studying too, let me bug him, he studies a lot anyway all the time. Kartik lives on the last home of my row, in township we have rows of houses, we even have gali rivalry, people from our row cross into other rows mostly to play cricket, pitthul and kabbadi and racetrip as we don't have enough boys of our age group here, all are people from Tiny Cottage, those red dress wearing, nose wiping, small looking kids.

I shouted Kartik's name standing at his house gate, it may not sound civilized but this is the way we do our things, and he comes out in his trademark wide-assed shorts and a baniyan. By the way Kartik quite wide-assed, literally i.e., people had that observation when he rides his cycle, both the cheeks spread out like a vada-pav. Infact most of our brain works during that time only, we think better when we are on our cycles, we talk about girls in different way nowadays too while riding the cycle, things are changing.

"So, how is the preparation, bore laga raha hai"
"Yes Pattu, but I still have lots of course pending"
"Hmm..., lets roam around a bit, get fresh and come back, you and Sunny always talk about that place right, with a small river and a bridge nearby"
"Oh haan, yes that one, lets go there "
"Now? You must be out of your mind its around 10kms, no point today, we can go tomorrow"
"Na na, today chal yaar, this algebra anyway doesn’t make any sense"
"Ok, let me get ready then". So Kartik puts on his trousers, wears a rough looking checked shirt, I am wearing a trouser too with some T-shirt. Trousers are in nowadays, my cousins from cities talk about something called a jeans but we don’t like that much, trousers make you look older than your age, and also its much better than half pants, we are in sixth now, so we are anyway allowed to wear trousers, it feels great, also with so many hirsute male legs around, it is a welcome move.

So we pick up Sunny from his home and progress on our cycles to SemiPali, Sunny by the way is another of my classmate, I don't interact with him much but Kartik so transitive ways I too, he is a good footballer and is creating a buzz on the township cricket scene too nowadays. SemiPali is a small village next to JamniPali, our township is located in village Jamnipali although it can be noway called a village with beautiful gardens, club, great homes, shopping centres and clubs around.

Sunny talks about Semipali on the way, about how Kartik and he has been to the area before, how they found out that place, how one of his chachaji sat on a grave and had a cigarette.


Yes he said, he told the river had a graveyard nearby, which was rumoured to be extremely old, and its closed now that means no more new burials there, but for me it came as surprise, recently they started Zee Horror show on television which I find very scary and anyway I am very afraid of ghosts and spirits and similar stories. The first episode was killer with the head of Archana Puran Singh served on a plate by a butler, although Butler reminds me of the sweet Butler from Ducktales, wonder what his name is though?

We ride on this kaccha road outside our township, all Chattisgarh roads are kaccha mostly, and you just have to get out of the township to ride on any of them. As we continue on the road, we find a theatre on the way.

"Hey, have been here saw Jurrasic Park here, what is it playing now"

Some dirty stuff, people say its known as Porn or something, its not good for kids and newspapers and posters advertise it as above 18 stuff, I don't know how being 18 qualifies you to see a movie, although the poster here doesn’t have any good hero-heroine also, who will watch it anyway. Also it seems Jurrasic Park is the only under 18 movie ever played in this theatre, because that’s the only one I saw here with Meenal (chronologically my oldest friend, about her sometime later).

As we start moving ahead the small shops and business owners give way to lush wide paddy fields (quite a common thing in Chattisgarh) and half chopped teak woods in the way. This area is mostly red-soiled, you can conclude that in two ways- the ghadas made here are Red in Color and during Autumns when the leaves dry and shed off, they all get a reddish tinge on them from dust. They look simply amazing, even the Trees turn Red. Certainly not RedWood though, read in Britannica that they are found in USA. Right now though my Hercules MTB is getting a Red Tinge, lucky Kartik and Sunny, they have a Red Bike.

As we moved ahead all three of us were pretty excited, both of them talked about the beauty of the place, while I was wondering how I could have missed this place. The road was sparsely populated, just a few cycles once in a while and even a tractor once. The slightly tiring long legs on the BiCycle keep moving though, crawling towards the destination.

On the way you see small children playing, women moving around with Water in Brass Pots and men sitting and chatting, its almost 5:00 PM and everyone is back from fields. One thing about Chattisgarhi Women though, their skin is has this amazing shine, it shines as though tonnes of Coconut Oil has been poured on it, and when they carry the Brass Pots on their heads, the sheen and the contrast makes the whole imagery brilliant. That Dark Shining Skin reflects confidence and their hardworking character, which I find missing in people from township. I was seeing this movie Shaukeen the other day where even Utpal Dutt was appreciative of Chattisgarhi women, but in a not so goody way. Generally he is good but that time he wasn’t, he was a bit dirty.

“Aha, so here we are”

“Pahuch gaye” shouted Kartik while getting off from his Bike in a superb fashion which was possible for only Kartik to do. Jumping off and continue running, it was funny but took a lot of practice. He also had many other tricks up his sleeves on a bicycle of which I had tried at least half, and almost all of them had resulted in a fall, and Dettol being pured over me.

It was beautiful. It was like well, lets see, a bridge, a leftward turn down a dusty lane, a small river, making the nice kal-kal sound. Smell of wet mud, aha, now thats something.

“And, there is the kabristan” shouted Sunny. How the hell does one see that in between the scenic beauty. Anyway we rolled our cycle down the lane next to the bridge, took it to the river and gave it wash. It was shining, the sun was about to set and there was a beautiful orange light all around us, the cycles were shining too, although the shine was nothing compared to the skin of those beautiful Chattisgarhi women.

And it was all so nice, we sat there, and it was all so nice, before...

He was a silhouette, a sort of a shadow, a lean figure, short in height, he just kept walking, he came from the side of the kabristan. I don’t know what the others were thinking, I thought he was a ghost, a spirit, or something on those lines. He limped slightly, and then he came near Sunny’s cycle, a mid-heighted reddish bike, picked it up and kept walking. He didn't utter a word, we shouted chased him, but we were so scared, we couldn’t do a thing, it was so weird.

And he went away, and I sat there, scared and stunned, and suddenly I realised that Kartik and Sunny were running behind him and they were gone.How the hell did they have the guts to chase him. I felt slightly ashamed, or maybe weird that I didn't support them. All I could manage to do, is cry.

Yes, I cried!

And I picked up my bicycle and started going back towards the township, the roads were empty and dark, there was hardly any street lighting on the way back. I felt ashamed that maybe I just left my friends on their own, or I felt that I cheated them, or I was just lost.

Yes, I was lost!

I was just going back, I found a drunk fellow on the way back, and there were no Chattisgarhi women with that awesome shining skin. I was crying and cycling back, running away from my first slightly super-natural adventure.

It was an hour and then I saw light, ya, Mohan talkies was here and I had reached the edge of the township and once I entered I cycled back to my home.

I had reached, somehow!

I just ran to my room and sat on my greenish teak wood study table. I couldn’t concentrate, nor did I have the courage to goto Kartik’s home and ask about him.I was scared, and I wanted to read.

I somehow tried to sleep later at night and just saw the same figure before me. I ran to the bathroom and saw him standing there again. It was so so bad.

Morning finally came.I possibly had my first night out and somehow cycle to the college. I crossed Kartik, we didn’t say anything and rushed away to the test hall. I couldn’t see Sunny around, but later realised he sits in another exam hall. I couldn’t concentrate, nor could Kartik, I just wanted it to end.

And it ended, and we met, and I asked?

“How was the test?”

Kartik told “ It was Ok!”.We met Sunny sometime later, he said “Hi” and moved on.

What about the kabristan guy? What about the cycle? What about Semipali again? What about Maths test? How did you come back and how?

The day ended and I just wanted to go back and sleep, I stepped out into the cycle stand and saw Sunny riding his red cycle. I wondered what had happened. Maybe I shouldn’t discuss this, maybe I was too sleepy!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Scooter ki Sawari

Scene 1: I was behind him, on 4th gear but always afraid to go a bit faster, my foot always flirting with the foot brake, and then something strange happened. Bhippu was sitting behind him, and he the fearless Jubhash riding his bottle green some plain looking bajaj turned back, and said namaste. All this while the scooter kept speeding ahead of me.

Scene 2: We were standing at our regular adda, doing bakbak, and the girl passed. The girl on the pink ladybird (well there were so many of them during those days), and Jubhash again went mad, he picked up Seepak's awesome hulky looking cream LML and went behind her, I don't know why but he went behind her. His best buddy Taanu accompanied him.

He came back after 10 minutes, and then something strange happened, he stopped the scooter, and raised his hand, the clutch came out and he gave it to Seepak. He drove it for half a km without a clutch in place!!!

Scene 3: He told me to release the clutch dheere dheere, and move the accelerator up at the same pace. Unlike making him run while learning the bicycle this was much much relaxing, and I learnt it in one day. He told me about his first scooter, a Vijay Super (made by UP government factory to capitalized on the growing demand and limited supply by Bajaj) which was bought by my dadaji.

Putting it on stand and locking the scooter took maximum time to learn.

Scene 4: Me and him and his Jijaji's scooter. It was a very pale looking Bajaj, well past its prime, but we roamed around the empty roads of Gandhinagar on that, eating paratha shaak, sipping Trupti lassi and Gh-0 soda on the way back. All my bank work, taking people to Civil hospital, going to R-World, everything was done on that. It just went on and on, and I think finally it died a silent death, although much used it was, and it had a painful life. I wish we had treated it in a better way.

Scene 5: I entered from the Kaveri Vihar end, parked the scooter there, and my friend used to enter from the Yamuna Vihar end, parking the scooter there, I always used to take aloo-pyaaz in the end, he used to buy it first. Subzi market in the township was the place where one realized the true power of a scooter. It was so easy to carry tonnes of it near your feet, and you can always show a thenga to bike guy on the Tuesday and Friday, days when weekly subzi market was there.

Scene 6: It was my birthday, and it was bhoko's birthday. Guys from NTPC were brilliant, they drove scooters, guys from MPEB had one thing in common, everyone drove Sunny, that plastic bag covering a m-80 which used to be present back in 90s. Tiddu thought he would drive bhoko's Sunny and thrashed it to an electric pole.

And then some one took a condom (one gifted to us on our 16th birthday!!!), blew it, and put it behind someone's scooter, and they drove it away, wonder what happened next!!!

Scene 7: Both of us went for back to back movies to R-World, it was strange and very rainy day and we were walking back. When we reached the highway, there was no auto, no tempo, no truck giving lift. We walked to the corner of the road to take a leak, I still remember the scene, lightening, empty roads, and everything very very wet. So both of us started emptying our tankers near a set of empty drums. He finished and started walking, I was about to and then something strange happened, someone screamed from within that pile of drums,

"Kaun hai be, bhaag jaao"

And he started running, and I followed holding my loose jeans, and we kept running and running (it was my first interaction with the supernatural and it literally took my pants off). We stopped after some 10-15 minutes and it was still raining loads. And then came a guy on scooter and offered both of us a lift. Was he a god, trying to save us from the evil?

10 minutes later the scooter stopped, he asked us to push it, it didn't work. We checked the tank and the petrol was over. No point now. Then he laughed and laughed. And then he and his Scooter started and whoosh he went. Both of us were scared, but we walked the next 8-9 KM and somehow managed to reach the beautiful DAIICT.

The post title is inspired from the Sudarshan classic Cycle ki Sawari. They were just my experiences with scooter, the best vehicle I have driven till date, adventures, racing, supernatural etc. etc.

Hope you guys would have had many?

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Katti and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance

That thumb, the stupid angutha, the one which appears on Thums Up bottles and nowadays keeps fiddling with blackberry, goes near the incisors and gets itself a bite, and Katti is what is said post that. After every small or big fight katti was our way of expressing disgust, frustration and anger towards a dear friend. And then the friends stopped talking, started giving each other dirty looks, talked through some common friend, start going to different locations during lunch break, get in different teams while playing cricket, started sitting in different rows. But then that was the age of innocence, pyaarapan, so few days later one of them would always come and make up. It was all so nice, there was so much fun in katti. It also had other variations like Khi-Mi, and inti-minti, all similar in nature, but with different actions. Even Munnabhai came up with a differently named Jhappi for resolving issues, but he underlying concept was that of Katti.

Today during a brilliant discussion on bicycle repairing we again discovered that bit of innocence, the tricks behind chain chadhana, the action which was required for filling air into the tyres, "puncture banwana", the bhudak bhudak sound which came when the cycle repair guy used to dip the punctured tube in water, the rubber patch which he use to shine and polish and then stick it with a red adhesive, all for Rs 2.5-3.5. There was a simple and cost-effective solution for every bicycle worry and it was fun getting it repaired. Bicycle maintenance taught me that solving problems can be fun, lot of fun.

Now when people fight, it is not as simple as the good old katti, it is much more complicated, or they make it unnecessarily complicated. Bachpan was certainly better, plus we had a fun-filled way to repair fights. Katti was our tool of relationship maintenance.

The tool is out of stock now, and they have stopped manufacturing it. I hope they start making it again and even grown ups start using it.