Pause, Rewind, Slow-Mo, Play!

Wednesday evening, battling a mid-week sickness, I was in a delusional state that it was a Friday. Every time it dawned upon me that it wasn’t a Friday, I had to make the painstaking journey back to reality. I was riding back home on my beloved cruise bike. Perfect conditions for a nice ride on a cool Bangalore evening. Traffic was thinning on the Outer Ring Road and I felt my bike surge ahead of most vehicles with ease. Speeding in the nimble nineties, taking for granted the smooth and all-familiar ORR, I was in for a surprise, a nasty one at that. In a flash, I saw a pot hole, had no means to avoid it, stood upon the foot pegs, let my bike run into it, and after what seemed like a punch in the face, recovered some how without any loss of balance and continued.

Pause, Rewind, Slow-Mo, Play!

So, I was on the Outer Ring Road, riding my bike, when one Tata Sumo moving ahead of me swerved left around something. I thought I saw a pot hole. What I also saw in my rear-view mirror, was a lorry on a roll, speeding with the same fervor as mine. So, the possibility of braking was ruled-out. I braced up for the situation, positioning myself into a least damageable posture, braking enough to reduce my speed and still keep myself from reaching the lorry’s wheels, and finally, as if taking a plunge in a pool, entered the pot hole, the impact strained my neck, my bike gave a shudder, I came out of it, retained my balance and had to move on as if nothing happened.

Pause, Rewind, Slow-Mo, Play!

Lorry, Sumo, pothole, everything was happening in a rush. In less than a second, I saw it, tried to avoid it, tried to minimize the impact, tried to avoid going under the lorry’s wheels, went into the pot hole, came out and cruised along. But, a few nasty effects revealed themselves later. looked like, my front wheel had the maximum impact. The rim became askew, a few spokes were bent, the drum got cracked, the fork got compressed by nearly 4 inches, the left side seal of the fork ruptured, some of the fork oil spilled over, the fork got bent too, handle alignment went haywire, the rear wheel was bent and my bike was not the same.

It was incapacitated. Its torture could be felt. Its wails could be heard. It was limping in the front and crying like it had never cried before. But it somehow retained its resilience, and did its duty to bring me home. It knew that its master would never inflict such torment on to it deliberately, that its wounds would make cuts in his heart (and of course, burn a hole in his pocket). And I, the loving master that I am, wiped off those remnants of anguish from it.

If only I had the chance to kick someone in the balls and land a second kick again right there, it’d be to the fellow who was responsible for making an unsuspecting pot hole on a beautifully laid, signal-free road such as the Outer Ring Road.

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Hotel Kaali, Four AM

On a dark deserted highway,
Driving up to the hills..
A bunch of pretty, pretty guys,
And two nice bikes full filled.. 

Zooming through the alleys,
Deserted, as they were..
Wind hitting me on my face,
And sneaking into my hair..

Riding in the night air,
Chilled me up my spine..
But the bike was goin, anyway,
Upto a breezy one naught nine..

Foggy foggy weather,
Curly twisted roads..
So much darkness out there,
That I just cantΒ  see the boards..

Switched off my headlights,
In a place spirits may dwell..
But later I thought to myself,
This cud be heaven or this cud be hell!

And then came voices shouting from very faaaaaar away..
My muted ears popped out, thot I heard them say..

Welcome to Namma mechhida Nandi betta..
What a nice sunrise, what a nice sunrise..
Nature’s lovely guise..

Scream it out big on the towering Nandi betta..
Anytime of the year, Anytime of the year..
To hang out, come here..

Fantastic experience.. πŸ™‚
(3am – 12pm, Sunday the 5th Dec)
The title refers to our plight, unable to find some good tea at that time.

Accelerator – My 1st Love!

Wondering if I’ve gone mad? Did I just express my love for abstract or inanimate things? Oh yes! I did. Well, its just my expressibility that is setting me apart. Otherwise, when it comes to driving, everyone will be loving some aspect of their drive. With me, Its the accelerator. THe story doesn’t end here, my friends! Read On. πŸ™‚

There are different love stories possible based on the priorities given to a few important control systems, namely, Accelerator, Clutch, Gear, Front Brake, Rear Brake and Miscellaneous. (Includes – Honk, Indicator, Hand-Signaling, Pass-Lighting πŸ˜‰ ) We can have a lot of combos and that decides the behavior they extract out of you, and your ride. πŸ™‚

(Before we delve further, its time for that naive statutory warning cum disclaimer cum ‘I’m not responsible blah blah…’ stuff to be dealt with.
Few women can enjoy reading this post. In my opinion, only tomboyish ones can. If you want to read further no matter what, don’t blame me for incessant yawns.
Auto Trans Vehicular users (Read : people using gear-less gaadis) can stop here if you want to continue with using them. If you want to read further no matter what, don’t blame me for incessant yawns.
Finally, all these are MY observations in MY bike as well as quite a few of my friends’ bikes over the past 3 yrs of my driving experience.
Only people with adventure spirit, I believe, will experiment further, promising to themselves not to blame me later. πŸ˜› )

Accelerator, Gear, Front Brake, Clutch, Rear Brake, Misc.
This is My usual style of driving and involves optimum use of Acc, minimum use of brakes, Honks and indicators. When none of them are in use, its just free cruise in Gear-engage position. (4th or 5th gear only!) Advantages : Max control over speed and deceleration. Braking is optimized in a way such that the engaged gear decelerates your vehicle with minimum jerks than brakes and stopping would be easier. Disadvantages : Not using the brake too often can make you apprehensive about stopping the bike. Mis-timing of events frequently causes more long term side effects like notchy gear box. Infrequent gearing can cause poor torque management.

Accelerator, Clutch, Rear Brake, Gear, Front Brake, Misc.
This was my 1st method of riding only because, I’d learnt it that way. Features include not very precise use of accelerator, more braking than in previous case, Free cruise with a depressed / pulled clutch, and more frequent gear changes than in previous case. Advantages : Less noisy ride because of increased clutch use, driver is apparently convinced that brake related security is more. Shifting gears frequently and properly can help maintain a steady torque, which ensures a smother drive. Disadvantages : Relying more upon Rear brake is good only for slowing down and not stopping fast. Frequent gearing means higher wear and tear, directly proportional to the rashness of use.

I’m game to try other ways which anyone suggests, as good as you are to try mine. πŸ˜‰ But driving involves a lot more than Acc, Brake etc., to be a good experience. It requires a proper attitude towards your drive, the road, and its users.

Happy Driving. πŸ™‚

I am in Love with my PC… Again!

I dont know how many times i was in love before. Being in and out of love has been a bumpy ride till now. Among the vast occurances of the love bug in my mind, I remember a few very distinctly. First, it was with a girl. Again, with another one. Then with my PC. Then with my Wrist Watch. Then with my Bike. Lately, with my mobile. Now, again with my PC! πŸ˜‰ I have valid reasons to support my affair this time too. πŸ˜›

The first reason : There was a time when I was cursing my time working with a 256MB RAM and a pretty decent Processor-Motherboard Combo. All was well till the β€œNew PC” proved itself to be not so good as new after all. As the Comp became older (of course as time passed), multiple apps didn’t like my 256MB RAM and I was involved in a heated argument with my PC over it. Very recently, the silver lining appeared in the form of a 1GB RAM, presented as a Dushera gift by my Dad! πŸ™‚ My PC was very happy and was ready to serve me seamlessly again. You see, 4 times the power does have its advantages!

The second reason : My father arranged a business deal to purchase a second office PC to handle his extra load and work parallely. As a token of loyalty and appreciation, the computer vendor (from whom I’d purchased my PC and my father, his 1st Office PC), agreed for the exchange of my SAMSUNG 80 GB IDE HDD with a new SEAGATE 160 GB IDE HDD, without any extra charge! Another reason to happy for! ‘Coz, I can have double the number of movies, torrents, songs, games, apps, etc., from now on.

The Third And the most lovable reason : I just got the much needed freedom from viruses, spyware, malware, adware, keyloggers, and everything that a person can dread to have in his PC. Me installing Avast Home edition on my WinXP Pro may appear to be the reason. But it isn’t. I’ve switched over to Ubuntu, almost completely! The time required for the switching over was less than 48 hrs! Now, except for playing my most favorite game β€œPrince of Persia – Warrior Within”, I never bother to boot up XP.

The third reason holds much more ground for my love affair to be a successful one. That is because, Ubuntu works like a charm even on a 256MB RAM + 80 GB HDD environment. So, working with Ubuntu is what thatΒ  makes all the difference. I have solid base to support my claims Readers! First, it is an open secret that working with the most successful OS from the Microsoft stable, XP, can piss you off at more times than Jerry did to Tom, if you are not just an average Joe, as ‘Visio’ a.k.a ‘T’ a.k.a ‘Jit’ puts it. A funny, but an enlightening post in this regard should tell you why!

Switching over to Ubuntu, or Linux in broader terms, has its advantages which are never percived to exist in the computing(with MS-Windows) world. I can share atleast 10 dozen things with you from the experience gained in a meagre 48 hrs. But, I won’t bug you with that stuff. Read it at places where it has been discribed well. For instance, Visio has said it in an amazing way here. Needless to say, all those points go into making a strong ground for my love story!

Now, coming to the love story part again. I dreaded using graphic/theme editors like Style XP because of my RAM. I felt it to be something like earning 20k per month, but desiring to marry Mallika Sherawet. By the time i got a 1 GB RAM, i wasn’t very interested in graphics, just like a 60 yr old man with a 55 yr old wife πŸ˜› . But Ubuntu turned the tables. Here is how!

Showing off! My PC, My Pride!

Showing off! My PC, My Pride!

That was my over expressive self showing up on my desktop! Now, its time to present the actual desktop.

The plain looking, all powerful desktop. That pic is mine and is used as an icon for one of my HDD partition.

The plain looking, all powerful desktop. That pic is mine and is used as an icon for one of my HDD partition.

I just couldn’t resist keeping quite about the mind-blowing graphics possible. So, I set the screen on a Fire Pattern like this…

No! It was not done using some spell from Harry Potter. But, with the small dirty thing under your Palm - The Mouse!

No! It was not done using some spell from Harry Potter. But, with the small dirty thing under your Palm - The Mouse!

If you thought that switching between applications or windows was a boring thing to do, the WinKey+Tab Combo should cheer you up with this…

One possible Alt+Tab anime!

One possible WinKey+Tab anime!

Actually speaking, Multiple windows is a thing of past. How about having a peek into Multiple Workspaces?

Moving Applications from one work-place to another. A window appears to move as if you were tickling it, and it were drifting away!

Moving Applications from one work-place to another. A window appears to move as if you were tickling it, and it were drifting away!

P

The workspaces (4 in my case) are arranged in the form of a cube so that the whole cube rotates while switching workspaces. The images at bottom and top of the cube are the same. Isn't it matching-matching with the wallpaper! πŸ˜›

This was exhilerating! I couldn't imagine my comp was capable of all this! The active workspace having windows sandwiched with 3D effect!

This was exhilerating! I couldn't imagine my PC was capable of all this! The active workspace having 3D sandwiched windows.

I am sorry to have bugged those users who are already using all this, and possibly more. For those of you who are new to this, I’d like to say that, I was new to this 3 days ago, too. So, if you make some very important comparisons with OSes claiming to offer a good XPerience πŸ˜‰ , I think you’re well equipped to take a good decision!

Very Important : Images are supposed to be Copyrighted to ME. But, in the spirit of FOSS (Free Open Source Software), I would be happy to see my screenshots somewhere else too. πŸ™‚ However, My wallpaper is copyrighted to one Michael Bonnel and I would like to thank him for a great abstract piece!

This isn’t the end of it! It was just a humble beginning. Use an appropriate search phrase and you can see for yourself some amazing screenshots, before which mine may appear to be a dud!

PS : If mine was a love story, my closest pal, Anniyan’s was a battle well fought. Care to take a look?

First Night…

All dirty minds are requested to shut down and reboot in safe mode. Because, the night that just passed was the first one of its kind in my life and misconceptions may be waiting to arise. This being an integral part of the lives of many students, i got the opportunity to enjoy a night out, a first one at that! The situation was perfect and so, was planned before hand. And for those of you who are wondering who that girl in a single guy’s life is, let me brief you; I am not yet fortunate to have it. The night out was with a childhood male friend of mine.

My parents left for a small pilgrimage on Saturday evening, which marked the beginning of a small but glorious time of being the acting king of my home. I was tired by helping my parents with the preparations for the journey and so called it a day pretty early. Sunday, which was my younger brother’s birthday, started off with me giving him the first birthday wish at midnight. All was fine and the rest of the day was uneventful.

My friend who was supposed to come by 9pm, was held back at his home because of the rains. He was unsure of making it to my place even if the distance was 1.5 km only. After half an hour of anxious wait, the rain subsided and he made it. Now, nothing was prepared for the night. No drinks (strictly non-alcoholic). No chips. No American Pie (uncensored movie πŸ˜› )(which is our common hot favorite) 😦 .

Slight drizzle persisted and we decided to brave it to go and get something for the night. My brother was sleeping inside the locked house while we both were walking like zombies in near-freezing cold. The bakery nearby had a promising look, but it turned out to be an exhibition of empty shelves 😦 . Moreover, the bakery-wala didn’t keep stock of Pepsi or any of its products (we are Pepsi Bhaktas πŸ˜€ ) Another store was left to try out and to our displeasure, he too didn’t stock Pepsi. We had to be contented with an absolutely warm 2ltr Sprite.

The rain started lashing out again and we were stuck. With no other choice, we started running back in the rain like Jerry and the canary being chased by Tom :D.Β  Both of us had our own problems with running in rain. If i slow down, my slippers become slippery and if he speeds up he might tumble, again, for the same reason. I took the advantage and ran in the rain leaving him behind and was jubilant midway when he sped past me. That idiot had used his brain at last and ran bare footed, carrying the slippers by hand πŸ˜€ .

Reaching the door of my home felt like finishing a marathon πŸ˜€ . For the rest of the night, we had to adjust without the chips and had to wait till the warm-drink underwent a transformation into a cold-drink in the refrigerator. The movie upon which we consented after some argument was Tomb Raider 1 (which won over Jab We Met, Dhamaal, iRobot etc,.) After finishing it, our eyes begged for some solitude and urged us to sleep. It was just 1 am and not very late. But still, the show was closed and the bed was calling. Moreover, we were supposed to go for swimming early next morning (which we did, after all this!)

The night out.
The night out.

I don’t think i can come out further about this, but there are a second and a third night to come. πŸ˜€ And the stock of movies is good, too. Just hoping to make the most of it. Azeem-o-shan Shehen Shah… apun ka ghar ka!

PS : Pic taken while sitting in front of PC and watching the movie. Picture courtesy : Self timer in my mobile cam πŸ™‚

There is another importance to this day! It was this day last year that i took the delivery of my bike. I still remember finishing off the first 100 kms on day one. And now, one year later, the reading is 8004.6 km, after changing each of a clutch cable, a rear brake cable and the rear tube once. Hoping to ride more than 10k km in the next year πŸ˜€ .