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A Cafe Racer in an Unfamiliar Terrain : My Hidalgo Novelette

Loyalty of the steed and the rider is mutual prerequisite, an emotional bond that outweighs an otherwise logical “man for the job” kind of selection. Man and the gelding, they’d yearn to conquer the unknown together and they won’t let that thought of a “better replacement” shake their stubborn loyalty. I, for one, fell in love with the ‘leaf out of history’ reintroduction of the Cafe Racer by Royal Enfield with a 535 Electronic Fuel Injection heart, Continental GT, named rather inappropriately as the machine’s ergonomics only made it suitable for a short city ride at max, that was pretty much a Cafe Racer’s cut-out task anyway and associating any kind of “continental” reference was pretty misleading. Well, if that wasn’t enough Royal Enfield embarked upon an advertisement campaign that showed a British duo riding all through Europe and Asia on their Continental GTs to find their ‘cafe’ at Madras. That callow yet tenacious one smitten by the beauty of that stallion was done in by the looks of it, that red cafe racer responding to his grip on the throttle reducing ravines, the vales and the mountains only to a distant image in the rear view mirror. That view though, was unfamiliar to that cafe racer creed, so were deserts of Arabia once for Hidalgo, an American native Mustang.

That 2016 Continental GT535 and Hidalgo of the yore had much in common, both were threatened species, Hidalgo’s mustang breed was being culled by the orders of the US government in order to force the native Americans to farming, mustang was a native variety of horses looked down upon as a lesser variety of breed, they weren’t considered pure blood or “thorough bred” yet its rider Mr Hopkins decided to race it to utmost endurance in an unfamiliar, unsuited terrain and he raced it to victory as well. The GT535 was being discontinued by Royal Enfield to make way for the newer, better and more powerful cousins GT650 and the Interceptor 650 and could be called a threatened species already. Quintessentially mulish me, decided to draw another parallel among-st the GT535 and Hidalgo, i decided to take him to a journey it was rather incompatible for, i decided to take that stallion to Himalayan circuits, lesser known to the “cafe racer” creed.

The designer must have been pretty sure of himself while he put that cafe racer on the drawing board, he was going to make it a single seat, city ride. The forward leaning rider’s posture on its back made sure it was a swift, muscular short sprinter and no-way a long distance marathoner, you attempt a marathon and it’ll hurt decent number of muscles to remind you of your unyielding idiocy. The ride came with a single seat which added to the already glam look about it however made sure there wasn’t space enough for a saddlebag or enough frame for an added Ladakh carrier, a double seat could be additionally bought but there wasn’t even a rear foot-rest to allow a pillion if you tried to stretch your ideas a bit too far. That “Jugaad” double seat provided some space for a saddlebag though, if that was a respite i was looking for, i got it just enough. A double seat and a saddlebag bought, bungee cords could do the rest, strapped on a rucksack and i was good to go. Designer was pretty sure, had inbuilt anti-idiocy alarms all around to warn the rider about the perils of an endurance marathon except one “NOT FOR LONG RIDES” written in bold capitals, however…………….did i just tell you i am ‘Pigheaded’? Well then, even Hidalgo, an American mustang wasn’t quite suited for the endurance run in Arabia.

I wasn’t in a mood for a warming up, I took the lad on one of the world’s toughest track, Kishtwar to Killar, that Pangi Valley ride, the bloke stamped it’s reliability all over the eleven day route from Delhi through Punjab, Himachal, Jammu and Kashmir and back to Delhi. The ride was hard on my back, shoulders and specifically my wrists owing to the forward bending design of the cafe racer, well someone had to pay for the idiocy. GT proved itself and did bulwark my lunacy to take it further the Hidalgo story had started and started off rather well notwithstanding the stiff muscles that followed for about a week.

After Pangi valley the next two rides, Delhi to Chakrata and Delhi to Jaisalmer didn’t really find much relevant space in my memory though still would share some pictures to kindle your imagination, well this turns out to be a photo log perhaps.

That steed gave me a belly full of memories and filled my living room with some pictures to look back at for a lifetime, I was in love already and wouldn’t mind the tough ride and the ache that came along, nevertheless the ride sure wasn’t pretty snug as a bug in a rug comfortable, I knew I was going hard on myself though that steed won’t give up. I still wanted to stretch that affair to the pinnacle of it and write the epilogue of my Hidalgo story, I decided to do a Lahaul and Spiti Valley circuit starting and ending it at Rajasthan.

That 535 CC heart was was sufficient to pump enough adrenaline through my veins to keep up with my insanity, that gelding never let me down though I pushed it to an ‘out of turf’ battle, he won every day. Perhaps was time for me to go easy on myself and the machine, I’d let that be a regulation city ride from now on, going to be over 40 my back too called for a little respite. I turned to check out the up-gunned cousin of my reliable bike, an Interceptor 650, the bike had some retro simplicity that appealed and some easy ergonomics to go along as well. Heart skipped a beat, she’s the latest fling and I am sure would be easy on my back too, took a test ride, she was a stunner, handled easy and zipped on a little nudge. She was capable to tread those Himalayan tracks and allowing me a delightful riding pleasure, she wouldn’t be an outlander in that adventure turf she’d just be at home but then….that won’t be a Hidalgo story, that’s been written and written rather well, my Hidalgo has done his bit and that novelette wouldn’t be written again, rides would go on and tales would be told, that zeal would always be owed to my ‘Reliable Stallion

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The quintessential”class ostriches”

 

Well, one meets people, the people counterfeiting class, read books and don’t watch tv, come on that’s brute pretentious trivial prattle after all, oh you watch tee vee?

Well, my friends that booby little box tell some realities munching on your flesh as you lay faking that slumber.

Then there are others faking sagacity, “oh come on the social media is designed to play with your psychology, writing stuff on these platforms doesn’t really stir up a coffee cup”

Well again my friends, consistent overawe won’t unsheathe some opinion either.

Wise ones would stick out the billboard saying stay out of social media and news channels and the world is all at peace, then again my wise ones, that’s not your original one…………..way back there was a pigeon who closed its eyes as the cat approached, pigeon was as sagacious as you are today. Alas ! Pigeon was original.

Society changes and the change manifests in a way to meddle with our everyday lives and certain changes are so under the surface that one wouldn’t notice until it stares in the eye and there is no escaping that. Social media to me is a vehicle of propaganda, evangelism and some marketing yet the significance of it cannot just be wished away, it represents every little idea whether sinister or noble and gets you the fair enough perception of whats brewing under the surface, fair enough provided one is sane enough to differentiate reality from propaganda yet you get an idea of the “undercurrents”.

Inherent anonymity that certain social media platforms proffer is enough for people to come out with their genuine inside opinions which they otherwise would not dare to let out in open for the sake of political correctness. This makes me respect social media platforms as effective tools to read the trend, that’s the barometer of the society. Media, whether institutionalised or free bus like twitter can only be ignored at our peril. Even nuclear technology has peaceful noble purposes, media is too unpretentious in comparison, responsibility and gumption are the keys.

 

Skepticism? Agnosticism? Atheism ? or just plain naivety of the nugatory commoner. The quest and the Reason i look inwards, set myself to rest, go with the flow of Sanatan Dharma!

He hangs on a belief for what else could be so real in his entire fickle existence knitted with lies, he was a myth and he nurtured the myth of his ownership of space and time. That man weaves a starry eyed fantasy of limitless capability, technology to know the deep buried secrets of the universe, augmenting his senses to peep into the unknown and yet, a moment is all it takes to lay all his dreams to rest without decent last rites.

what do we build our perceptions on? the senses that confine us to measured boundaries vis-a-vis the vast unending realities of the universe. we have a world confined by our senses, perceptions to what we can see, hear, understand and relate, what if we were just as diminutive as the microscopic parasites that we everyday wash off our hands. yes. we are timid, minuscule, irrelevant and perishable colony of organisms in the bigger cosmic canvas. Human skin in itself is a living colony of microscopic trillions and one drop of hand sanitizer is an apocalypse for them, isnt it? am i not the complete universe to them? how far can that microscopic being go in the path of discovery to see the actual universe? it cannot, it would just live and die assuming my skin to be the unending universe.

Humans are gifted indeed, gifted with five senses, ability to analyze, perceive, a reach to rationale and faculties to exercise them all yet humans to are confined, bound by dark curtains of the limits of our senses and even more by imposing the shackles of philosophies and the dogmas of our own making. The dogma calls for allegiance and culls the tendency to question, killing the man’s quest and the yearning to challenge his limits. A shackled man surrenders to the comfort of the confinement, forgetting he was already confined by his senses.

Vision : A pair of human eyes has a total field of view of approximately 200 degrees horizontally and those eyes that proffer you the visual treat of the universe as you see it too are limited by a set of wavelength. Eyes wouldn’t let you peep beyond the VIBGYOR and that’s about it folks! you cannot even see the very well known WIFI wave traveling in your room and yet you have the gumption to discount the supernatural?

Hearing : 20 to 20000 decibels is all that sums up your hearing and the comprehension based on hearing too is skewed considerably. Howling of a wolf, barking of a dog, some random noises of the nature, did you ever ask yourself if they conveyed some meaning? Even human languages, whats the difference in howling of a wolf and a song in mandarin to me? i can understand neither.

Touch, smell and taste : these three senses have not even been studied that well and as such animals beat humans in each. Selectively animals have certain senses way too advanced than us humans, a pig can smell a buried landmine, bats move on radar technology of their own, birds have GPS navigation. Humans have not even learnt from animals fully and we sit back reclining with a cheeseburger in one hand and a TV remote in the other assuming primacy among-st species, certain forms of belief often even profess that all species are made to serve the humans, naivety and ludicrosity knows no limits!

well, i started with time and space yet the ‘spacy’ me drifting in the comforts of languorous thoughts just could help drifting away before some sane gulp of stiff black coffee jolted me back the the time and space i was in, lets plunge into time and space then. ever thought of a parallel world around you or perhaps multiple parallel worlds? what if one was to pause the world for an hour and then restart from where it was without anyone knowing about this? what if there is some species so fast that they can live years in what seems a minute to us? would we get to notice? we cannot even see a bullet in the air, only get to see the effect. What if there are certain things that walk around but their presence is not caught by the VIBGYOR? their effect is not noticed by us, noise is lesser that 20 decibels? perhaps more developed radars and sight systems would explore. what if there is something that doesn’t have a shape. 

The cosmic and the possibilities are unending, so is my belief, my belief isn’t a Dogma, dogmas restrict, they box the imagination and limit it to rigid philosophy unwelcoming to acceptance of a contradiction, an argument or a disagreement. Dogmas are sinister, dogmas arouse a turf war which has and would continue to destroy humanity. There are no tight compartments where my belief dwells, idol worship doesn’t make me an infidel, giving up idol worship and meditate to look inwards doesn’t throw me out of my belief system, I am still a human, believer of Sanatan values, I don’t pray, worship or meditate, am still a Sanatan Dharmic human, I just do good deeds in life. Renouncing every material bond and deciding to wander in woods of anonymity, looking for the supreme in my own self keeps me as Sanatan Dharmic human, a believer as living a commoner’s life and being true to my family, all people around me. My belief doesn’t harm anyone, doesn’t profess harming any life around me, a vegan is welcome so is a diehard non-vegetarian, he’ll discover on his own, if he feels like he’ll give up meat, even if he doesn’t he still is part of the belief system, he’s not declared an infidel. 

Some would question the very existence of the supreme in any form, the Atheists and yes they too are welcome, they question, that’s their right, that’s the only way to get answers, they are  ‘Saadhaks’ , the seekers and thats how my belief system accepts them, they are never turned away and called infidels. Some live a life of penance and pain, some just dance in joy and celebrate life undeterred, both are the children of the same divine philosophy of acceptance. Undiscovered, unknown and unlimited is how i define the divine, how much do i know to denounce someone else’s ways? I worship life in every form, i am grateful to creations around me, i thank sun for giving the very basic energy without which there would be no life on earth, I thank “Vayu”, the air for my breath, I thank rivers and mountains for resources, i thank mother earth for hosting all life. I don’t have “too many gods” but yes, i worship all manifestations of the supreme, i respect all life and all life givers. I am human and i am an inconsequential seeker in the vast unfolding of the cosmic, i remain a seeker and thats a title no one can take away while i choose what i choose to do keeping on the path of good “Karma”. I can go and visit a mosque, a church, a synagogue, i wear a turban, a hat, a skull cap or flash a “Tilak” on my forehead, I am a Dharmic, a Sanatani and my belief doesn’t declare me an outcast, my belief encourages me to discover. My belief is “Sanatan Dharma”.

Give in to the design, it knows how to unfold the best!

that incidental trail, so is life!

Been pretty long since i wrote last, just discovered i had even hit the threshold of forgetting the block setting of the document on my webpage as well. Notwithstanding the rustic fact that i don’t even pay much heed to the suavity and aesthetics as i had just been writing the stuff that filled my mind on a passing, today though i decided to look up for a brighter text color. Pink it was then, the color people do associate with the female living without any particular convincing reason, pink or mauve or whatever it was, not so good with colors and i know ladies would tear through me on the argument on right shade of colour, i stay defensive on this one. My hero today is a female, one i just met fortuitously forced by the circumstances i brought on myself. Writing undecided devoid of a clear aim, clarity has always been elusive to me, couldn’t gather clarity in a trade-off between travel and philosophy so here i am, writing a quasi travel blog with philosophy hanging in between.


Hanol, thats a place of varied consequence, the seat to Mahasu Devta, a form of lord Shiva worshiped in regions of Garhwal, Uttrakhand and parts of Himachal and sure enough a pilgrimage destination for some and a quiet serene mountain hamlet of nothing much on offer except the temple and the tranquility for the city dweller with profound expectations. Now, how i ended up making a journey to this remote corner itself is a tale of my lackadaisical to the brim attitude and the hankering for some way-off woods and i tell you, thats a concoction for failure, kind of failure i savor. Sticking to a plan is confinement one takes comfort in, death of that plan set me free, though bought wrath from the flinty side of dear sister and closest friend’s wife who banked on my vulnerable plan. Those were some whiskey soaked goodbyes that started good about four months before i was to eventually leave Delhi for the new place, regulation shifting that came along the profession. G n R were closest i had and we would sip on some ale every chance we got and more so now as my days in Delhi were numbered. GG has been a friend since college and mind you, more brother than a friend. GG’s wife R has been a friend too since they started dating and eventually got married, R, that lady i always knew as a fiery, strong willed,curt though witty corporate trainer. She wasn’t pretty receptive to the idea of adventure travel as i started planning a trip to the mountains for the final stretch of goodbyes. She couldn’t have been, given the metropolitan life, corporate culture that she was in and then their young child of just three. I promised a plan blending in a cosy night retreat after every day’s drive and she bought it, GG, my man was just sipping on his wheat beer in perfect composure, maintaining that quintessential GG smile, hiding in it his affirmative belief in the fickleness of my plan and his trust in my misadventure.

Chakratta was the place i had my sights on, a serene little hamlet in Uttrakhand that i first visited on a bike and found some good trails to arouse my adrenaline and enough woods to lay it to rest. Perfect plan’s death concoction has a basic ingredient and i bought that enough, started the preparations with buying booze even before checking the booking for the resort or some hideout for the nights, few days passed and i finally paid some attention to the “less important” aspect of accommodation. I started up with checking up with the forest department for some way too deep into the woods sleepy guesthouse and i received my first wake up call, they tell me their guest houses are all gone under election commission for the time as elections were in play. Then came the commercial online booking sites, couldn’t really find some decent ones with my kind of adrenaline junkie palate, was rather fixated to have some way off retreat. I remembered staying at a government owned commercial property at Munsiyari, Kumaon once and it was sure a good experience, that was enough for me to start looking for a government owned tourist resort and nearest i could find was Hanol, a place just over a 100 kilometers of broken, bad road away from chakratta and the only merit it scored was its remoteness. Well, i didnt even know Hanol was that far as i booked the resort and that was the last nail in the already not so perfect plan’s coffin.

A couple of days prior to the drive, i discovered that Hanol was actually too way off if trails around Chakratta were to be aimed at besides it was 12 hours drive from Delhi, i prepared myself for the onslaught, my wife had already warned me against any adventure in this trip besides the burden of not letting my people down played heavy as after all i was the one entrusted with the responsibility of ill-planning the entire trip. Willy-nilly we set out and hit the road, long winding mountain road with relatively scanty traffic and patches of awe inspiring sights reassured me of the place, Hanol, its beauty, tranquility and then the noose of that responsibility just loosened a bit around my neck.

It took an entire day of driving to finally reach and i was starving, kids restless and the two ladies apprehensive. ladies had the apprehensions right, we got two beautiful set of rooms in the resort which had no other guest and there was a reason…. there was no restaurant in a radius of 20 long, curvy, dark and lonely kilometers…..i felt that agony of the noose tightening around my neck, throat suddenly went dry and i was choking, i looked at my wife, at R and i choked some more. Our man GG yet, was smiling, sometimes his composure makes me feel he is the next Dalai Lama and its a privilege being associated with him as someday i would perhaps get a chance of writing his biography, my only chance of hitting fame but right now i was dying of culpability and needed to excavate an eating joint somehow. My lord savior appeared in form of the resort caretaker and told me he is trying to speak to a lady in the village who owns a shabby little shack on the road and perhaps could cook something for us to survive the night. Last we met GG and R was at Fio, that uptown garden restaurant in the Garden of Five Senses, Delhi and this shack was pretty quick a run downstairs in comparison.

A small table with four chairs, a gas stove and few biscuit packs was all we had to call an eating joint tonight, the lady owner was cooking herself with her daughter to assist, Me and GG stayed in the car and turned to the famous Old Monk for solace and some thoughts of wisdom. Notwithstanding the expectations, Sita, the lady had cooked well and for me, the added advantage was presented by the fact that the lady was Gurkhali and had quintessential style of cooking……real hot pepper. Old monk and some hot food, i was good to hit the sack. I sheepishly announced that the next day’s dawn would see us packing for Chakratta and would find some good retreat, asked Sita to prepare breakfast too as there wasn’t a place to offer much before Chakratta on the next day’s drive as well. We in-fact, had bothered Sita at an inappropriate time and she had prepared a custom food order specifically for us, having spent some recent years in the capital city filled with malevolent, hard-bitten people with sole aim of sucking on someone else’s meagre resources one was pretty sure and prepared to pay dearly for what belly full we ate. Sita had a surprise for me, she asked me meagre 280 bucks, maan! That was less than one pack of decent cigarettes, I tried bargaining to pay some 500 that I found still was too little for the hospitality, the courteous smile she maintained as she declined to accept my proposition was touching.

We went back to our night retreat, continued drinking and R was cheerful and was liking the tranquility, I was hanging on to the slender thread of hope of getting some accommodation somewhere next to chakratta now as the plan was laid to rest in peace. Next day started energetic and fresh, we that included my wife and children paid our allegiance to Mahasu Devta, visited the temple and sought blessings meanwhile GG and R, agnostic as they were waited for us at Sita’s shack. We joined them, had our breakfast fill and pretty hearty one. I began my ritual of trying to push some extra money to Sita for what I felt was her hospitality and warmth, she would relent a bit. R requested Sita for a picture with us and she obliged with a tears in her eyes, she perhaps didn’t expect our respect in reciprocation of her candor conduct and humble hospitality without assuming anything in return. We all were touched, that was a basic human emotion that should just be obvious to all of us, helping fellow humans, that’s compassion and we had to travel 12 hours to see that happening.

Sita had meagre resources, she fights the entire day to run her shack, fights to keep the hope of having some prospect alive, she had an opportunity to make some paltry profit for a day but she didn’t let that idea flirt with her daily honesty, she stuck to her values and some random city dwelling people better endowed with some dough couldn’t shake her. She did a favour to all of us unaware, she kindled a belief in compassion, basic human emotions and shook us all out of our relationship with material comfort. None of us was indifferent to love and compassion, we had that already in us, she just stirred up what lay in slumber. She was rich, richer than the rest of us, richer in compassion, her conscience inculpable.

We wished her adieu and I was in jeopardy wishing her better prospects or wishing her status quo, I couldn’t decide. She had her conscience clear, her compassion intact and spirits undeterred, would that all hold on to the assault of civilization, the civilization as we call it however uncivil it may actually be. The contact, the proximity to the “practical’ indifferent city dwellers would spoil the demureness, won’t let her be what she was. I couldn’t decide what to wish for, I just left it to the unfolding of the design. Sure wouldn’t find that humility at manali or shimla or any other spoilt by internees to almighty dollar City tenant hill station. I wish that demure Sita endures, perhaps utopian, I just still wish.

Well, Hanol wasn’t a plan, that was a design that unfolded beyond my influence and understanding. Perhaps a visit to Mahasu Devta and then this lesson on humility. That unorganised jeopardy brought me even closer to my dearest GnR, we sipped on our ale at places we never planned, trails we never imagined leaving a tread on and lush woods that sooth my eyes still. Plans are vulnerable, plans are what we seek comfort in while the higher design governs all unnoticed, mountains have always been inviting and i would stay on a quest for the next summit, the next trail, next set of deep woods…….i wont plan, i give in to the design!


Feminism, here you go again on a skateboard of hogwash!

The Last I heard, the breech block of a T-72/90 series tank was 67 kgs and space available in a battle tank is just enough for one, only one person to take it out, well that calls for an exclamation mark. Maaaaan! That’s something.

Well then, lets have some more exclamation in this post of mine, A Diesel Barrel weighs just above 200 kgs and has to be hauled up to the tank by maximum available manpower, that’s incidentally only three men in a tank, what? Isn’t that manageable? It is my ladies, it is but that hauling is being done in loose desert sand of Thar. Hey you, yes you the girl sipping on that Hoegaarden and talking of male patriarchy, how much do you haul in a day? Naah, I am not taking about that haughty attitude, it’s solid iron we are discussing here. Maaaaan! Again.

A para commando from the Para SF you just saw on the silver screen courtesy the Uri frenzy, that man hides under his tunic, plenty scars to fill a mosaic. That man runs 40 km with some 30 kg loads on his back. I bet that back is bruised enough to call for a stiff rum and a cigarette after every run.

Then everyone of them, no man whether a Tank man, a paratrooper, a foot trotting infantryman, a peasant, a commoner with an uphill walk of everyday life. No man would thump his chest and rub in that male patriarchy, chauvinism, they are just cut out for a task, performing that without comparison. Girl, your man holds you to higher pedestal, you my lady are loved, you too have a role in the society and are loved, celebrated for what you are.

Well then, I am accused of turning to my Olive green Ink everytime I sit to write my irrelevant piece of illegible griffonage. I take a bow, offer my apologies and switch to the legible blue ink of common understanding. I am wedded to the olive greens I told you, grant me some military inclination. Eh, Here on we talk some sanity that you can relate to.

Every society has flaws, had some, some gone and some going eventually. That’s how societies come out of a metamorphosis refined. Our society too had many, has many and one can be upbeat owing to the fact that education has eliminated many flaws and social behaviour towards women definitely has improved. One extremity can’t be answered by another, respect for women in the society has to be fully achieved but this NewAge Swara Bhaskar’s VEERE DI WEDDING or #metoo kind of feminism isn’t the answer.

Psychiatric illness doesn’t discriminate between genders, psychos are found across the spectrum so we won’t discuss them, fair exception, isn’t it? Have a look around you, tell me how many wife beaters you find, how many male chauvinistic hookah smoking TAUs you see, how many you find ridiculing your feminism? Vis a vis how many you see trying to take a flip on their tails with rosebuds in hand for you this valentine’s day. This is a society with different hue, you just can’t paint everyone with the same paint of male hatred.

FEMINISM, like MALE CHAUVINISM, I hate, these are two extremities and none will lead to an amicable armistice for the society.

Feminism has been a skateboard of evangelism, an instrument of commercial interests for about a century now. Hey feminist, how about a cigarette? Yes, you, the pregnant lady, would you like to light one? Naah! Please don’t give me that stare now, I am perfectly in line with the code of feminism. Hope you know how feminism was used as an object to push up the cigarette sales? ????

Ever heard “Torches of Freedom” ? That was a phrase used to encourage women’s smoking by exploiting women’s aspirations for a better life during the women’s liberation movement. Tobacco industry has been lobbying for female smokers and has always looked to encourage women smoking to push their sales as the smoking in women was seen as inappropriate and only men folk smoking would keep a void in sales, more smokers the better.

Hey pregnant lady, what about a smoke for equality???

Cigarette was held as a torch of liberty, you were made the vehicle of commercial evangelism while you were burning your lungs for their commercial interests. You were shown smoking yourselves to liberty and equality, perhaps you were shown to be better than men genetically, however logic would say, men and women were made with a different purposes. You have the power to bring a life to this world, nurture a human in your womb for nine months and let the universal cycle continue, men can’t do it so here’s one aspect you are different, why press superiority into the relationship between men and women. It’s a relationship which is complementary, isn’t complete in absence of any one gender. You have the honour of giving birth, nurturing and feeding entire human race, that’s feminism as I define. You are honoured when someone calls you mother.

bait of biological superiority thrown at you to take that puff on their commercial interests

We have women working alongside men, better or worse than them, owing to individual capabilities and not for the biological differences. Men have more muscle mass and are stronger generally, so have certain jobs cut out for them. Even the harmones that decide our physical built are produced differently in our bodies, we aren’t same, we are different and complementary. Armies around the world are making ways for women to join but then those roles are specific and limited to what women can handle, why that fuss? Why do you want to eat into combat jobs not suited for you when you already have an added advantage of that female charm owing to which you get front desk hospitality jobs? Should men cry bias? More so when we all know this is an everyday reality.

Well, why limit this to jobs? Let’s get to the modest homemaker, that “just a housewife” you have reduced her to. I hear women introducing themselves as “just a housewife“, I tend to wonder what’s so timid about being a housewife, why that triviality introduced to being the shaper of the future of a society and the nation? I bet a housewife is busier than a working woman anyday, cooking, teaching, grooming the kids, being a charming wife to a husband, being a partner of her husband in every social chore. If that all is so easy, just leave that pint of Hoegaarden and try being a homemaker for a day. You today have a handicap of surviving in urban steep corporate ladder so you turn to a nanny for your kid, that’s okay, pretty much justified but then you have some being nanny themselves and taking that responsibility being reduced to a diffident “just a housewife”, well that’s one hell of a job too. Why isn’t the neo modern feminism celebrating that as well? Doesn’t serve the commercial interests my friend.

Mary Kom, she’s a fighter, is a world champion boxer, a homemaker, a mother and a wife, I never heard her talking feminism, ever her bollywood biopic wasn’t shown as the Pathfinder of feminism. That biopic came, went unnoticed however for me she is the one pretty apt example of female achievement.

But then, the real pathbreaking movie in line of duty for feminism projected to be was ” VEERE DI WEDDING” aah, afterall that showed liberty in drinking, smoking, jumping into different beds and how can one forget that crass on screen vibrating Orgasm by none other than the torchbearer of feminism “Swara Bhaskar”. That movie was pathbreaking, epitome of female empowerment, well they may now even say they didn’t project it to be ultra feminist flick, the commercial interests have been met nonetheless.

Whatever they did in the flick or whatever is being given on a daily platter to you by “four more shots” on Amazon prime is not a living reality of our society but sure enough it will be, they, after all are designing your perception. Feminism sold you cigarettes and now they are selling you vulgarity and regular divorce in the society. An array of different kinds of feminism is available, you gotta be sane enough to choose the right one.

Well, I take my leave, my blue ink won’t last much, I’d bid adieu before I have to get back to the olive greens!

Nuisance, you are a conquerer!

Man was a monkey and evolution is a rollercoaster. You had empires ruled by emperors, kingdoms ruled by kings and now you have Nations ruled by, swayed by Nuisance.
A nobleman, a foot soldier, a pikeman, a cavalier and a peasant held higher social stature than the Jester, the clown, the harlots and a hoofer.
Now your foot Soldier, your commoner, your peasant, your regular daily life bread earner leaves on an uncelebrated death, given a paltry farewell in a remote village and those clowns of Mumbai theatrics have enough nuisance to sway the opinions of every “paddy on the head” new generation oh so cool waste.
Frenzy is generated to live half a week, frenzy grown on the blood of that foot Soldier and reaped by that bollywood jester.

That “how’s the josh” survives only in cosy air-conditioned PVR and INOX and yet that won’t last a Hangover.

The Grisly, that ugly tanned commoner, that foot Soldier is seen a plenty at Jammu Railway Sation and I bet you won’t walk to him and ask “how’s the josh” no, you won’t, he after all reeks of that sweat he earned on a steep climb to the post he held.

He, after all carries that tan, the tan that razor sharp piercing snow Blizzard left on his weather beaten face.

He, after all has every Long Range Patrol etched on his skin, that etching is pretty much legible, not many would see though.

That rucksack isn’t the only weight he hauls, that burden of war he carries with pride.

He, after all is a brute that belongs to the wilderness, he would be skinned, stripped of all that finances he saved over years by you the countrymen as he arrives to the civilized world, he is a gullible customer, you’ll sell everything at a higher price to him. He after all knows nothing of your cunning plans for him.

Nuisance after all is what rules the world of fickle today and then a traffic police constable has more to offer as a threat to you than that common foot Soldier, there you go.

Any random man who has a pint of Nuisance affecting your life on a regimen draws your genuine respect and if not respect, your fears, your allegiance, your submission.

But then, boy, I tell you, that commoner, that peasant, that soldier forgot to acquire that pint of much needed Nuisance and obviously enough you forget to respect him in turn.

Well,
Slapped enough observations of a tanned commoner in your face already to sag that “how’s the Josh” frenzy of yours my friend. Get back to your cheeseburger and PS-4 , my write up here doesn’t carry enough Nuisance worth your time.

Nuisance rules, it does my friend, my write up would draw a hundred views but a DHINCHAK POOJA crass lowly braying on YouTube would have a Five Million Views……ha ha ha, well that’s how Nuisance has come to rule our world.

Evolution then is just a rollercoaster and as of now we are on a descent.

Resolve, duty and responsibility. All that a soldier asks!

RESOLVE!!

congratulations sir, your son has joined the Army!!!!

now that, gentlemen is quite a statement! It hides in it a cruel callousness.

thank you sir, so would you send your son too?

birds chirped, some twigs crackled underneath the feet as the man shifted his weight to the other leg in a denial and sheepish admission that he wont, but no word was ever heard!!!

Now, that said, I dont believe that you serve your nation only as a soldier, every citizen is a soldier in himself!

BUT then, is it?

Does IC-814 ring any bells?
?????????????????????????????????????????????????does it?

that sir, was the plane hijacked by pakistani jihadis and taken to Afghanistan.
REMEMBER how relatives of those on board the hijacked plane surrounded the PM’s house at Race Cource???

Remember?

well that gentlemen was the moment that sealed our future as a nation, The world watched and pakistan tested our resolve as a nation.

we succumbed!!!!!yes we did, and heeded to the hijackers’ demands , the outcome???
Jaish e Mohammed was formed by same terrorists released by us, they were emboldened and our prestige took a beating.

CITIZEN SOLDIER???? where were you? where was the resolve.
that moment called for nation and least those relatives to show some gumption, some spirit of sacrifice, some zeal, some patriotism, yeah that all, all that they expect a soldier’s family to exhibit but then, DID THEY????

SOLDIERS DIE! they do and they do have duties and responsibilities but let that weed smoke settle, get out of the trip of bliss, you’d know you have responsibilities too.

Did the family of that Aao, Chakesang, Aier, Tangkhul, Mar, Angami, Sumi, Lotha, Konyak from Nagaland surround the PM’s house as first and second Naga Battalion assaulted in kargil?

Or the family of Limbu, Rai, Subba, Gurung, and Tamang when 1/11 Gurkhas pressed in?

Or the family of Harjinder, Sukhwinder, Ranjeet, Gurbir when 8 sikh was losing its brave at tiger hill?

Now sir, Israel, that every fastest finger first dude on keyboards across
the nation writing on social media wants India to become.

That nation does not negotiate, that nation has sacrificed civilians but
never negotiated.

That nation gives a taste of military pudding and the feel of sleeping bags
to all its citizens,

It has a conscription army, , every man, woman walking straight has served in forces.

IC-814 tested your resolve and world saw it.
and they know your counter assault would be limited to Facebook and Twitter.

But hey, we are citizens, compatriots, brothers and sisters. I wouldn’t have my dinner at peace if i antagonized you, i wouldn’t, i only intend to provoke a thought and hope you carry it along to bring it up on the day of calling for the nation.

Brothers and sisters out there lost in everyday fight that comes along surviving that walk of life, I call out to you, I call out and attempt to punch a reality as hard as I can straight into your face, make an attempt to shake you out of a comatose you have found your comfort in, as all that defines you, all that belongs to you, the nation you call yours is in in a constant threat, we are at war! We are at war since ages and even if we limit to the independent India as we see today, we are at war since 1948, the world talks about ‘Hybrid Warfare’ now and we have been facing that since inception, Year 1948, Pakistan sent irregulars to snatch Kashmir and played on deniability. Pakistan continues to so today, Jaish e Mohammad took responsibility for Pulwama IED Blast and killing of near 50 CRPF men, the chief of that organisation lives a privileged life in Pakistan and their Government denies a hand in all these terrorist attacks.

One gets to see newfound avidity and zeal, exhibition of patriotic fervour being picked up at movie theatres and spilled to the social media and lounges. ‘URI‘ that movie incites decent enough nationalism to survive a hangover, but then just a hangover!

This, my countrymen is the war of 21st century and our Armed Forces are fighting this war day in day out, nonetheless they get your support, or do they really??

Naah! That’s not what your soldier needs, that frenzy isn’t what will serve the cause, wanna know what a soldier asks today? What he really needs you to do?? He just needs you to the exact opposite your enemy is trying to Make you do. He just wants you United for the cause, for the nation and for the good of it. Be united, bridge the communal, caste, religious, state and colour gap, please do. Treat every indian as yours irrespective of their appearance, religion or language. We have been divided since ages, lets stand together now at last.

One Pulwama incident has ruined many lives but beware and be sure your internal differences are what the enemy is trying to exploit and he knows exploiting those differences would do more damage than these heinous attacks. You’ve responsibilities my countrymen, responsibilities of a being a citizen soldier.

Are you prepared to carry that responsibility? are you ready to stand by your saviour? are you ready to be a citizen soldier in the age where wars are being fought on data network? are you ready to just be civic and exhibit basic civility? would you try a bit to make yourself aware of your duties and responsibilities as a citizen? Are you even prepared to perform the basic duty and vote, thats your right and duty in a democracy. “VOTE” would you?

A good citizen, and that encompasses all! all that a soldier demands from you. ” BE A CITIZEN WORTH FIGHTING FOR”

Every 26th January, as that slant eyed, modest, foot soldier marches past you in his tilted felt hat, let him see a good citizen, a citizen contributing to the growth, pride and prestige of the nation in his chores on a regimen. I bet he too would get goosebumps!


ADIOS!!!


Thats from someone finding a spade to call since long.

Getting older and procrastinating it with change in genres!

Did someone just pour some Chipotle sweet onion sauce on my Cantonese noodles or its just my palate grown archaic!

Was time since last attempted some pub hopping and tub thumping on some hardihood inciting guitar and drums so took a trip to a microbrewery ghetto, girls were miser with clothes, people loud, smoke hung over the crowded human congregation as a grim reminder of the 1.4 billions that the nation nurtures.

Two nostalgia filled old timers, walked in with the tough acclimatised rapport and equally zealous thirst for some sweet, sour, aromatic beer and tender grilled chicken.

The beer was good and betting on the artic ice, chilled, some chicken and gulps to wash it down and the sense of motive started taking over.

Something was wrong, yes it was, that rush of adrenaline and long howling with the airguitar moments with a muscle frenzy, that’s what we always came for, damn it was a pub, what’s in a pub without the frenzy?

No led zep zeppelin, no pink Floyd, no G n R, no metallica, no chumbawamba, maaaaaan that was outrageous! And that DeeJay, he kept flipping and rolling those DESPACITOS, some Twerking posterior humdrum then some punjabi track with soft acoustic guitar in it …………….MAAN, HOW CAN SOME PUNJABI TRACK HAVE GUITAR IN IT?? That’s blasphemous.

Music made a forced entry to my ears, something that my soul would reject, nauseating, as obnoxious and out of place as HUMMUS IN MY NOODLES or AJINOMOTO IN MY LASAGNA, my palate sure told me it was degeneration of food.

Wait, what do I see then, girls and boys there waiving their hands and arms out, some flamboyant ladies actually giving twerk an ugly try with mammoth posterior…………….all this on not so music music.

Sure the world was at it’s end, I indeed could notice an asteroid heading in our direction, but then my mind gathered all that rare maturity and echoed loud to me,

MAAN, YOU’VE GONE OBSOLETE, THAT MUSIC IS FOR THOSE KIDS OUT THERE, YOU GO HOME AND PLAY YOURS.

now I know the reason world ends! And for us born in the 80s and stuck with rock retro vision it’s ending pretty soon. Generation gap comes sooner than you imagine nowadays, been hooked to rock for ages now and that love didn’t change with an occasional visit to the Rastafarian hood with some Bob Marley laidback hymns.

It was year 2012 and I was still at my regulation Pink Floyd and Van Halen while a friend brought a revelation, an entire USB drive full of EDM and Trance which I reluctantly accepted, tried listening to with a disinterested ear and then that manifestation started to envelope me with its freshness. I was out of the shower and refreshed, that left me a feeling, the bittersweet feeling of my own obsolescence, that reality punched me in the face and said it loud ” you are getting older by day“.

I had to beat the time, had to prevent it from etching my journey on my skin, i had to change my vintage Enfield cruiser with a faster and more zealous bike, i had to feed myself with that daily potion of fresh energy morsel by morsel. Biking, trekking, travel, fitness and acceptance of the “new” were my “morsels”, music included. I needed to climb that mountain, walk that trail, travel that road, run my ten miles, fit in my old jeans and i won’t let that youth slip away.

They say change is the only constant and i was decided, affirmative that i wont be that bullheaded adamantine cretin to resist the change. Youth was there, pretty much there in the change and that change i needed to embrace and cling on to, i accepted another genre and let myself sway in the rhythmic trance, i was young and that EDM and trance bestowed upon me the energy i looked for.

But then, was it just the change of genre i was longing for? Naah! that was the change and the acceptance of it that aroused the energy within. Staying stiff-necked with a genre was standing against an avalanche of change that was sure going to roll me over, i rather decided to put on my skis and ride along, let that pristine breeze of change hit me in the face as i ride through times, celebrating my journey as it goes.

Are you ready to take a hop, ride along the change? i grant you, that’s fun!

Paucity is a giver, abundance has blood on its hands!

Winter had just set in, that evening it asserted itself profoundly to have Delhi in shivers and though I had ditched my car for the sanity of riding my bike to maneuver through that quintessential Delhi evening chaotic traffic, my pale blue hands, numb with the chill conveyed how idiotic my decision was. I immediately asked for a stiff Old Monk the moment I reached, I was sipping on rum and cola at a restrobar inside the deer park at Hauz khas Village and was joined by the friends who had hosted the meet up. Their son, a little cute kid of about three years and some wanted to see the deers, I wasn’t too sure whether the deers would just be here next to the restrobar’s hedge, we walked to the periphery and to my bewilderment the entire herd was there next to the wall gazing into the restrobar.

It just hit me, a thought, why were the wild right next to the watering hole of civilization, perhaps it was light, the light that wasn’t a norm in dark winter nights in the park which was left undisturbed. That restrobar was the only source of light in their neighborhood. Made me feel grateful for the light we have in our lives without much celebrations about its existence.

Something as ubiquitous as the daylight on a bright sunny day, something that we aren’t in a habit of praying for, thats just there and so it would always be and the haughty soul would just discount even a stray thought of gratitude for what’s a part of everyday living.

So is light, frame a day, a night without and you have the answer, need to be obliged for what’s given and we avail without much heed.

It wasn’t the light that lured the deers, it was the ” Paucity” and paucity sure is a giver, it’s a blessing in everyday life. Paucity is traumatized by our consistent maligning, man wouldn’t appreciate the goodness it brings, not many even understood.

My husband often narrated how good he felt seeing those meagre four hours of light on diesel generator at his Company Operating Base on mountains in wilderness, that was special after every taxing walk back to the COB from a Long Range Patrol or weeks out in deodar Forrest on an operation. He shook hands with paucity for a while, that paucity of a shelter, of comfort, of light, of cooked, spiced food, paucity of a damp cigarette, paucity of a basic stiff rum, of that hot water bath on arrival at the COB, he called that home, the home he had without mobile phone connectivity, without a Wi-Fi connection, without an electric line but paucity was omnipresent, generators provided that precious light and there was paucity of diesel, it ran only for four hours.

Man was wild, had no home, no hamlet no cities, no roads no technology, no vehicles to flaunt, fight for basic meal was the only chore. The city dweller I see everyday has all and yet not many I meet are indeed grateful for what they’ve been served for dinner in the comforts of their home. They aren’t gratified in the life they live, wouldn’t love to go back to the wild either. He’s got abundance and in abundance he’s lost his palate to savour what he’s been served, all his life the man ran from paucity for abundance and abundance killed his joy, his vitality, his frolics, his bliss, his elation. Abundance was an everyday killer, paucity just stood there maligned.

Abundance breeds cynics, critics, the fakes and the depressed, fortuneless, the poor knows nothing, he just savoirs what he is given, he owns paucity and that unknown to him is the source of his everyday joy! But then, he too would ditch her in quest for abundance.

Ungrateful, he won’t write a thanking note for what he has, abundance is a bliss, it’s an art to know how to live with it.

Gratitude

Hope, that elusive, flirty bitch!

He was low on ammunition, fuel and his spirit was damp and then a stray streak of hope tried to flirt with him ; he hoped he’d still win and get back alive, hoped his cigarettes werent damp and broken. He shrugged off that hope, hope was nonsense. hope after all was just an industrial instrument wise men used to run the foolish world. Democracy ran on that hope of better tomorrow fed to commoners at intervals, Cosmetics ran on that hope of beauty, life ran on that hope of getting better someday semehow, dying ran on the hope for some more time while wise men sold their medicines.

He was a soldier , to him that hope was a bitch walking along that nosy, haughty , rich bastard , the wise!
he wont be wise, hed just be alive.

And then, he hoped to be alive!

He was weather beaten, years etched on his skin, skin as parched as as the field he struggled ploughing, he had left a bottle of water under that banyan tree, he was athirst but he wouldn’t drink, that was too precious and he would rather save it for some while, he couldn’t hope for a lavish life, couldn’t hope for comforts, he hated hoping, that hope was unyielding. He knew she was an elusive bitch, he wouldn’t embrace!

He was a farmer, he’d rather just be alive, alive enough to see the rain pouring, see his crop alive. He fought his hunger, his thirst, his cravings, his hopes and did what he could do best, stay alive. He had seen days, years like these and knew he would succumb to that bitch, he didn’t own his fate, he couldn’t summon the rain.

He was tired and beaten of worrying about his children he’d keep alive even at a cost of his own, he needed an asylum, a cloak of comfort, a slumber of bliss where he could forget all his struggles.

He kneeled to hope, hope of rain and better days, he succumbed.

He was human, he didn’t own his fate, his entire existence was circumstantial, his everyday life hung by a slender thread, he’d hope that thread Stayed intact.

Hope was a haughty bitch he knew yet the man wouldn’t let go of the eroticism of succumbing to her asylum. He needed her by his side every day!

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