Life. Will never be the same again.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

It's a cliche, isn't it? 'Life will never be the same again'. How very true. But if you think about it, nothing, ever has remained the same. And a cliche comes to be known as a cliche because it's something that keeps happening, regardless of the day and age!! All that we are surrounded by, all that we are, all that we have been and all that we want to be is never what it was, is, or will eventually be. Even our past looks different from a distance. The thing is, time has a fantastic knack of throwing away all the bad bits, those which we wouldn't like to remember or give much importance either way, and retain all the good things about our life 'back then'. Maybe that's why we tend to view our past a little leniently. More often than not, you'll hear people tell you, "Those were the days!!".

And I am talking about all this because I experienced it recently. I had this urge to (finally) go watch 'Jaane Tu...Ya Jane Na'(a strictly OK-OK movie. That's my review.). And not because I really wanted to, but because it had already been three weeks since the movie released, but I hadn't watched it till then. I was chastising myself, thinking that I was the only sub-20 guy in town who hadn't seen the film, when all my friends were gushing about this 'masterpiece'. And I picked up the phone, and dialled Shubhra's number. 2 rings later, I suddenly recalled something and hung up.

Shubhra's classes had already begun the week before. He was already in college! And I was cooling my heels at home... I would have ended up looking like the greatest idiot alive when I would have asked his folks, 'Is Shubhra home?'

There are a lot of things we take for granted. And that's only natural.

'Koi cheez jab khud se chhin jaaye, tabhi uski aehmiyat ka ehsaas hota hai'.

There was a time when we, a bunch of 5-10 St. Patrick's guys, would go for a dinner, a lunch, even a tuition together. It was the 'normal' thing back then. All we had to do is make a few phone calls, and we louts were on our way, accompanied by our horrible sense of humour, our outrageous shouting and our intolerable wisecracks. On any normal day, that was a given. And now, it's hit me like a train. The fact that it's no longer going to be a 'given'. In fact, we'd be extremely fortunate if life has even one small occasion like that in store. The thing is, my definition of 'normal' has to change. Staying here in Chennai has to be normal. Not meeting up with old friends has to be normal. Making new ones has to be normal. Will I succeed?

Yes. Because I must.

Vanakkam Chennai. Chollam, Asansol!! Pore dekha hobe!!

A helmet in time...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

I’ve had many bad days. And this one ranks as one of those. My train to Asansol was cancelled. So this post too is from Bhubaneswar.

You are sniggering at my opening lines. You’re thinking I haven’t got anything to write today, eh? I do. Sort of.

It was the trip to the railway station that brought up the issue. The issue of rider safety on Indian roads. To be more precise, it’s the issue of wearing an adequate cranium-protecting-cum-face-shielding device while riding a motorized two-wheeler. To be even more precise, I’m talking about wearing a helmet while riding a bike.

OK, let’s get this straight. An ISI approved helmet costs some extra bucks when compared to one that has probably been put together by a bunch of 8-year old kids in sub-human conditions. I agree. And you buy those helmets to indirectly give the families of those poor kids a meal to live on for one more day. I agree. You’ve thus done some social service which you can be really proud of. It’s all good up to this point.

You wear that helmet when you ride your bike the next day. I SHALL DESPISE YOU FOR THAT!!! And I shall also take the liberty of calling you a brainless twat who can’t find his own buttocks with his two hands. You, by wearing that helmet and believing that it is going to save your skull and face in the event of a 100 mph crash, will have obtained the exclusive distinction of crossing the Rubicon of lunacy. You would be much better off wearing a Gandhi cap! You should be bright enough to understand that cheap helmets are neither ergonomically designed, nor are they made of materials that are sufficiently rigid to protect the head in case of high-speed crashes. What’s more, they splinter in the event of an impact, and are responsible for more fatalities than the accidents themselves. In short, you deserve to be dead if you put such an abysmal price on your life.

In recent times, the honourable state government in India has made wearing a helmet compulsory while riding a two-wheeler in major cities across the country. And this is what I really detest. This, in my opinion, is unnecessary meddling of the Government in people's affairs. No, I’m not retracting my stand on the issue of wearing helmets. I am only saying that I disapprove of the Government telling its adult citizens what to do and what not to do.

The government should realize that not forcing people to wear helmets can work for the benefit of everyone in the long run. It is understandable that those who dislike wearing helmets have an IQ that hovers around the 20 mark. So they are mostly useless when it comes to being part of a society, having the right to adult franchise, etc. Such people are more useful in death than in life. Why should we bother ensuring the safety of such idiots? So, let them vacate their place on earth for good. Once they kill themselves off, they leave the roads for safer and more sensible riders (you don't have to tell them, force them, or beg them to wear helmets, see?) who know how to enjoy the thrills of motoring without killing themselves or others. To add insult to injury, the families of the deceased shall not be able to recognize their faces! Serves them right! Besides, the traffic situation in the country will also improve tremendously.

It sure looks like a win-win situation to me!!