General

Bike away while the sun shines…

Motorcycling (or riding a two-wheeler) is often taken for granted by most people in India, since it is usually the fastest means to go from A to B. Riding has always been special to me. The initial seeds of interest were sown by my dad with his Yezdi 250 Deluxe. It was later cemented by the easy access I had to the various bike and car magazines. (Having a library near a street food place is a good business model) I found myself poring over pages having ‘Shootout reviews’ filled with torque-speed curves, and engine specifications.

Intro to riding –

As the Yezdi went away way before I could get to the legally rideable age, I had to wait till I was about 17 to have my first ride. My cousin’s goodwill (and a bit of luck 🙂 ) made my first bike ride the then coveted TVS Suzuki Fiero F2. These were the days when Bajaj’s Pulsar had toppled the market-defining Hero Honda CBZ, and was ruling the Indian bike market. Every manufacturer was trying to capture the 150cc segment and it was a good time to start riding. Bangalore used to be more navigable than it currently is as well. Since buying a motorbike was a few years away, I improved my motorized riding skills using the affable TVS XL-Super which Amma (mom) bought for my daily commute 🙂

The XL super was a brilliant first vehicle. It was powered by a 2 stroke 70cc engine which had a power of 3.5bhp @5000rpm and a torque of 5Nm @4000rpm. To put those numbers in perspective, it could go to a top speed of about 55 kmph (35mph) without any issue, and comfortably take a load of about 100kg (220 lbs) around the city quite easily. Having a low powered vehicle is the best way to learn balance (as lower speeds require more balancing skills) and vehicle control while driving in a fairly crowded city like Bangalore, these were the early 2000s. I looked forward to my grocery-shopping trips with Amma around Jayanagar. 🙂    

Cut to a couple years later. I had been showroom-hopping to understand the different bikes that were available in the market. I was not keen on the Pulsar as I did not find the rider position to be comfortable, the initial models had a bulged tank which compromised on rider safety and comfort for looks; it still sold pretty well though. The other 150cc options were Honda Unicorn and the newly introduced TVS Apache. I had my opinion about the Unicorn being a make-or-break bike as the Honda engine was seemingly ‘delicate’; the first 1000km (600 miles) would be very very critical for the life of the bike. I liked the looks of the Apache, and the specs that TVS had. It seemed like the next big thing after the Pulsar to be hitting the Indian market.

The Apache Chapter –

After very little convincing, I was able to take Appa (dad) to a nearby TVS showroom to ‘check-out’ the Apache as it had just about started hitting the roads. My intention was to get him acquainted with the bike and the features, so there would be a possibility of getting one in the near future 😛 We walked up to the showroom. The manager was a gentleman in his mid-50s. As two bike enthusiasts, Appa and the manager got talking on the various old bikes; they spoke at length about the Yezdi 250, Java and the Bullet. We then got to exploring the features of the Apache, and took a short test drive to get a feel of the bike. As I depressed the clutch and teased the throttle, little did I know that we would end up booking the model the same evening!

We rode on a few streets near the showroom to check the response and navigability of the bike. At the end of the test ride, appa nonchalantly asked me “So, do you want to book the Apache?” to which I shot a boyish grin and nodded vigourously. 🙂 We booked a matte-black Apache 150 for about 48k rupees. Amma’s XL Super was traded in for about 8k, a huge value for a trade-in. I was supposed to get the bike in about a month’s time.  

I got the bike in a month as promised. It so turned out that the matte-black model was not made anymore because of logistical issues, so I got the glossy black finish instead. As a 19 year old, I was super excited about my new toy and took it out for no reason, as and when I could. 🙂 I used it for grocery shopping, daily ride to college, visiting friends and relatives and so on. The highlight would be the road trip which my cousin and I did from Bangalore to Chennai; much against my mom’s wishes but with a steady, nuanced support from dad. We did 350 km in 6 hours with status calls to mom every hour, and a 15 minute break for snacks. (On the way back, we improved the time to 5.5 hours :P) I had my Apache for a good five years, doing around 12000km. This also included the ~1 year I was at Mumbai, so it was effectively 4 years of riding. With a heavy heart and loads of memories, I sold my Apache before I shifted to the US for my studies.

Rebirth –

Since I’d found a job in the bay area, the thought of getting a motorbike had been haunting me from time to time. The weather is congenial most of the year for riding, gets neither too hot nor too cold. I had been putting it off for a long time since I had a car already. I checked different options: superbike, cruiser, touring. Narrowed down on the cruiser category since it would be the most practical, budget-friendly and fun bike to ride for a longer time. Also, my wife does like the cruisers more than the others. We had ridden the Harley Iron 883 to Nandi hills in Bangalore, the rental of which our good friend had gifted for our wedding :). I thought about the Harley 883, the Yamaha Bolt and the Kawasaki Vulcan. I preferred having a liquid-cooled engine over air-cooled as the ride would be cooler; and a belt driven system instead of a chain, as the durability is higher and maintenance is easier.

The groundwork had been done. Options had been considered. Engineering differences had been compared. The desire to have a bike reached a tipping point. An encouragement boost from my wife pushed me over the edge. I finally gave in to the urge and bought a Kawasaki Vulcan 900!  

It weighs a little short of 300 kg, but feels remarkably fluidic while riding! As with most bikes, you can feel the engineering at work. A rocker switch for the ignition sets the 4 stroke engine going. The 55 degree V-twin comes to life with the  dual-beat note. The clutch is slightly loose owing to it being a new bike. Switching to first gear meshes the engine to the drive and off we go, using about a third of the max 78Nm of torque! The gear ratios are set to climb to 60mph with ease. I haven’t exceeded 60 yet as the engine needs to break in.

Many years ago, I wrote a post about wanting to ride a Ducati in New Zealand. I never imagined back then that I would be outside India, and then own a tried-and-tested cruiser! About 7 years later, I am happy to say that I have been lucky to go New Zealand and now own a Vulcan. It helps to have a family that enables your addiction 🙂

WhatsApp Image 2017-09-19 at 10.14.00

   

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Back to 1^2

I started blogging with the intention to learn something new, as I was preparing for competitive exams almost a decade ago, and that is the intention with which I’m planning to resume soon. Over the last few years, I’ve realized that it is easier to write a work related email than penning down my thoughts about something that I care about. It wasn’t a conscious decision to take a long break; school happened, work happened, the thinking mind probably got polarized in the work direction, putting my writing abilities in a state of inertia. Putting finger to keyboard brings clarity in thought and expression.

As I’m resuming blogging after an incredibly long time, I’ve started to get my dormant neurons to work on some food for thought. Here’s to attempting to get more electrical impulses flowing in the head… \m/

<Hits Ctrl+T — Youtube…. Sigh>

 

Calling all Anti-rapists!

Hear one. Hear all. Come forth with your solution to rape.

The best 500 solutions will get a cash prize of $1000 each evaluated at the lowest value of the rupee within the last calendar month*

The top 200 solutions will be given gold at half the market rate without exercising the impact of import duties, for 5 buying cycles without imposing a maximum weight limit **

The top 100 solutions will have free electricity and vegetable supplies for the next one year ***

The top 10 solutions will be given a grand prize of free petrol/diesel for 3 years from HPCL/IOCL bunks for 2 registered vehicles per solution****

Think. Speak out. Act. Make a difference. The next victim could be your friend/fiancée/sister or simply a person whom you neither know nor consider as a fellow human being.

*Values of the US dollar above 70 rupees will not be considered under this scheme
**Maximum weight per transaction is limited to 10kg. 5 buying cycles are to be completed within 1 calendar year or at 30kg, whichever occurs earlier.
***Limited time offer: Onions included! Hurry, offer lasts till imports continue from Pakistan!
**** Privately owned trucks and buses are currently not included in this scheme

Disclaimer –
We offer no guarantee that these solutions could be implemented by the government. We are merely interested in bettering the lives of our fellow citizens, atleast monetarily if not physically.

Rant of a superhero fan…

This post is triggered by the numerous hate responses to Man of Steel. As a person who loves comics in general and a fan of Christopher Nolan, I would like to address these concerns directly in a Q & A format. This will be split into two parts, first analyzing the Bat trilogy and the second addressing Man of Steel. Those who haven’t seen Man of Steel yet can still read the second part of the post as it does not contain spoilers. Skip it if you want to watch the movie with an open mind.

Part I – The Bat Trilogy

  • Why pick Batman?

Warner brothers had no idea of giving this a reboot. Batman has a riveting story that any director would want to tell. The previous movies and the old TV series might have been “good” for the time, but they had deviated way too far from the theme and essence that the comics conveyed. There was a new dimension that had to be brought to Batman to establish his true identity.

  • What was the story that was intended?

Nolan’s vision was to explore the character and build a story that was justifiable. The story had scope for character development, from showing the inner scars of Bruce Wayne to go on and show how he overcomes them to become a better person.

  • There are many villains in the Batman universe, why choose those who were chosen?

Thomas and Martha Wayne were killed by a street thief for petty money, which was during the depression. Bruce chooses to avenge his parents, but doesn’t have a roadmap as such. After numerous experiences in life, he chooses to use his wealth and intelligence to create a face that criminals would fear.

The first step would be to battle the gangs in Gotham, or the “mob”. The muggers and the crime lord Carmine Falcone are interconnected. A psychotic doctor, assuming the name Scarecrow, plans to release a fear toxin that will paralyze Gotham. It is also revealed that the Scarecrow was pressurized by Ras Al Gul to create and release a fear toxin. Henri Ducard is a detective who trains Bruce in the comics, but Nolan merged Ducard and Ras Al Gul to make an intricate plot for Batman Begins. Scarecrow uses the city’s organized crime to smuggle his toxin, acting on the orders of Ras; this makes way for a believable plot; as against bringing in a Penguin or a Riddler for the opening movies. The first movie established a solid foundation for the subsequent movies that followed.

Batman isn’t complete without the Joker. Nolan’s version of the Joker and Ledger’s rendition of it will probably be the best in the movie franchise; in parallel with Mark Hamill’s version in the cartoons. The origins of the Joker are as mysterious in the movie as they are in the comics. Nolan chose to expose the chaos that the Joker could unleash as a sociopathic character. He merged the origins of Two-face as an outcome of Joker’s actions, by adding a personal tragedy that pushes Harvey Dent to the ‘dark side’. Harvey’s killings form an important part of the story which lays the premise for the third movie.

Bane is a product of a drug test, as per the comics, and increases his strength by pumping the drug ‘Venom’. As for Catwoman, she was never a killer, Nolan stuck to the comics and treated her as a hired professional thief. He extrapolates the story of the League of Shadows and links Bane to it so create a continual contemporary storyline; thereby making a logical and realistic trilogy.

Throughout the trilogy, there is always a mix of villains that work together, to make to plot as believable as possible. Debates about the other villains like Poison Ivy, Riddler, Mad hatter, Killer Croc, Hugo Strange etc can be silenced; because frankly we didn’t miss them!

Now that we are done with the Bat trilogy, let’s get to Superman.

 Part II – Man of Steel

  • Why Superman?

This was another superhero franchise that never quite got what it deserved. It was very well worthy of the reboot. Riding on the success of the Bat trilogy, who better to be on board than Nolan, Goyer and Snyder; all of whom have a good track record.

  • What was the story that was intended?

The writers’ vision was to explore the character and build a story that was justifiable. The story had scope for character development, from showing how a misfit alien tries to align himself to the society to go on and lay a foundation for subsequent movies.

  • Why General Zod?

To explain this convincingly, we need to explore the origins of Superman as per the comics as and per the movie.

First, the comics –

Jor-El predicts that Krypton would cease to exist, but by the time he figures it out it is too late to save its entire people.  It becomes wildly unstable due to its radioactive core which results in frequent quakes. Kal-El [Superman] is sent to earth just so that he can be saved. Earth was chosen as it has a lower gravitational field and a brighter sun than Krypton; which implies Kal-El would possess superhuman powers.

Now the movie –

Krypton is shown to have births from separate incubation chambers and Kal-El is supposed to be the first natural birth in Krypton [after centuries]. Jor-El is the person who cracked this code for natural births and saves Kal-El and the code containing genetic information for natural births. I will avoid discussing about the code as it involves spoilers.

All that we need to understand is that there are reasons why Zod comes looking for Superman.

One – He believes that Kal-El has access to the genetic code which can help him rebuild Krypton

Two – Earth is a good planet to ‘terraform’ to Krypton [terraform = create the properties of one planet to match that of the other]

  • Character development of Kal-El

Kal-El is brought up as Clark Kent, by Jonathan and Martha Kent. The trauma that he undergoes as a child is depicted quite well, and I don’t find a reason to complain. Examples – Trying to adjust to the various sounds in daily life, focusing only on what he wants to hear or use his X-Ray vision only when needed, controlling his anger while bullied in school etc. His foster father is his greatest inspiration and is instrumental in molding him during his formative years. The father-son moments have preachy moments but it blends well with the story. The numerous instances where Clark does superhuman feats and the consequences that he and his parents face are portrayed well too.

  • What people wrongly think went wrong –

Ok, there is good justice being done to Kal-El and Superman. So why are most people disappointed with the movie? The answer is simple. Superman is not Batman. Most people expect a Dark Knight when they walk in to Man of Steel. I would be surprised if they are not disappointed. It is like walking into a ‘Fast and the Furious’ movie and expecting Bruce Lee to show you his cool Jeet-Kune-Do or Karate moves!

In all fairness, Batman and Superman cannot be compared; even with Nolan+Goyer+Snyder at the helm of things. All we need to ask ourselves is one question – Did they do justice to the story of Superman? Hell, yes!

Superman and Batman are two different characters. Frankly, Superman is less exciting because he is too perfect. He doesn’t have the dark past like Batman, or the quick wit of Iron Man, or the bad ass demeanor / adamantium fists of Wolverine. Superman is intended to be an ideal superhero and an ideal man which is why certain amount of suspension of disbelief is needed to appreciate him. Batman is supposed to be a believable character – he is a guy who has his limitations but still goes on to fight his demons and rise above them.

Anyway, all said and done; for the people who think that there wasn’t enough character development that went into Superman, maybe we need to look deeper. Take off your Dark Knight cape, and wear the Superman hat; you would definitely enjoy this effort.

Keep calm and trust in Nolan.

(Dis)Re(garded)public of India. . .

What is a republic? We have heard this go around a lot, let’s hit the dictionary.

Wordweb tells me two things –

  1. A form of government whose head of state is not a monarch
  2. A political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them

Well, today is the 63rd anniversary when we technically “became” a republic. 63 years ago, on this day, we formally had a constitution in force. After all these years, I don’t understand why we need a holiday. It is attributed to the celebration that we are supposed to have for having becoming a republic. While I bask in my ‘freedom’ of speech that my friends in some countries may not have, it is imperative that we ponder upon the rising hypocrisy we are living with.

2012 has been an eventful year, as the ones previous to it were – Big fish got caught in scams. Ministers were caught watching offensive videos. Family politics ruled. We had our most successful Olympics so far, but more money was burnt playing a tournament of a pseudo national game. A terrorist was hanged. We had an exodus from the south to the east. A budding psychiatrist was gang raped causing international uproar. With all of these and more happening; is there actually a point in being busy priding ourselves of being a secular, socialist, democratic republic? I agree that things cannot change in a day, but if Republic day, Independence day, Gandhi Jayanthi, etc are to inculcate national pride and patriotism in us; I feel they do a shoddy job! If Gandhi were to be alive today, I think he would have wanted us to work all the more instead of watching a bunch of movies or going out on a fun trip.

Sad to see that we live in extremely hypocritical times – Goddesses are worshipped but women are raped. Criminals can plead innocent and walk free, but a person posting her opinion on Facebook would be arrested. We pride ourselves for our cultural heritage while today it is merely a fancy term which few of us truly understand. We ban realistic films quoting secularism; religion serves more as a dividing force rather than bringing people together. Bundhs are respected (feared) more than protests. Bureaucrats rule the roost while lay-men hunt for someone who can provide them with free rice or TV.

It is high time we focus on grass-root problems rather than live in the glorious past.

Every year should be seen in comparison with its previous year. An annual poll must be conducted and a specific number of issues need to be identified to be solved within the next year. An action plan is to be made and presented to the public within a timeline. By the next year, progress that has been made on these specific problems is to be documented and presented to the public on lines of the annual budget. I don’t see how progress can be achieved in the current setup where accountability is virtually absent.

An example run would be something like this –

Step IPolling results of issues at hand as on 26th Jan 2013

  1. Ensure safety of women in cities and villages alike.
  2. Mitigate religion oriented communal issues.
  3. Encourage education of children >5 years old.

Step II – Action plan presented at the Annual Action Plan Convention on 31st  March 2013

  1. Ensure safety of women in cities and villages alike.
  • Create a separate security wing specializing in human safety – rape, child abuse, domestic violence etc
  • Develop a task force and agenda to recruit police officers specifically for the security wing. Provide appropriate monetary benefits to encourage enrollment.
  • Develop a training program to effectively utilize the newly hired man power.
  • Chalk out a plan for having counseling sessions directed at parties responsible / affected due to the problems listed  – men, women, in-laws; with primary focus being on reaching out to the remote corners of India. [These sessions would help overcome male dominance / perversity which I would say is the root cause of the issues listed]

2.  Mitigate religion oriented communal issues.

  • Appoint a committee to select religious leaders from each religion to participate in a parliament of religions. Priority to select a candidate is to have understood his/her religion and interpreted its teachings correctly.
  • Convene a parliament of major religions practiced in India with participation from influential members of each religion. [This would allow healthy exchange of thoughts and open up people to the fact that no religion is superior to the other]
  • Develop an agenda to have religious discussions on a public platform across India with participation from these influential people from all religions. [This would help in reaching out to the masses to promote communal harmony]

3.  Encourage education of children >5 years old.

  • Estimate number of children who do not have access to primary education.
  • Develop a training program for teachers to be hired in government schools.
  • Recruit teachers as necessary with a student:teacher ratio being 30:1. Train them as per the new standards mentioned. Offer monetary / fringe benefits to encourage enrollment.
  • Deploy these trained teachers to identified government schools.

4.   Announce the budget for each of the points mentioned above.

Step III – Annual Review Presentation – 26th Jan 2014

  • Budget allotted: X
  • Amount spent: Y.
  • Deficit / Excess: X~Y. Quote reasons.
  • Mention specifics regarding progress made on each issue.
  • Present the action plan for next year

If an ordinary guy like me can think of options in an hour, I am sure people sitting high up in the ladder, people whose decisions move things through our sluggish system can think of better and more plausible options. The very sense of being a republic is lost in today’s times. In spite of all the rant, I am disappointed that I am not able to do anything to change things. I am just hoping something knocks some sense into at least some of those even remotely concerned!

Police Story..

I recently had the ‘privilege‘ of accompanying my cousin to the police station to get his identity verification done for his passport issuance. I am deeply troubled by the attitudes of those employed in government offices. The people who are supposed to get our prime jobs done are so narrow minded that, at times, they do more harm than good, knowingly or unknowingly. I mostly think it is the former! Outlined below is my experience and views on the process.

We got a call at about 10 AM from the police station that we need to be present at the police station at 12pm, with some documents that need to be produced. I understand that the purpose of this procedure is to verify that the passport is issued to an authentic person and that it is not a fraudulent individual. We were present at the police station at 12 noon and were told to wait for a while till the supposed person is to arrive.

A girl in her late teens / early twenties enters the hall with the required set of documents for the same process, and she too is asked to wait like the rest of us. I shall term her as Ms.G for simplicity. She received a call on her phone and was engaged for the next 15-20 minutes. She kept her voice low and made sure that she wasn’t disturbing anyone in the waiting hall. One of the older, pot-bellied staff in the police station, whom I shall term as X, did not like the sight of her speaking over the cellphone in a police station. He rudely asked her to cut the call or asked her to get out and do the talking. This was strike one. Ms.G ended the call she was on and sat waiting there for the verification staff to come in.

A few minutes later, Ms.G got another call, which she received outside the police station. She wound it up in less than 5 min and came back in to the waiting hall, sitting with her legs crossed, one on top of the other. At this moment, a jeep rushed outside the police station, which made X and the other staff in the police station stand up. I also observed that he hurriedly wore his hat, which is a part of his uniform. A few other people who were waiting stood up looking at the others. X observed that Ms.G and I did not stand up in response to his act and shot us a glare. He also gestured Ms.G to uncross her legs. Strike two. A lady sitting comfortably in a government office when an officer walks in is supposedly disrespectful! She was as confused as I was and we didn’t understand what he was trying to say. A lady sub inspector walked in to many people standing up and saluting her. I neither stood up not saluted her as I didn’t find the need to do so.  She went into her chamber and was not seen thereafter.

The guy who verified the identities of all these people was a youngster, in his mid 20s. I was pleasantly surprised to find him being extremely courteous and polite to all the people whom he was interacting with. The verification process started at about 1230, and went on for half hour. I noticed that X was shooing away people waiting outside the police station. Where are they supposed to go!!

The waiting area had 3 vacant seats at the time as most people were in the relevant rooms where their respective queries were catered to. Meanwhile, X did not find anyone to bully or boss over for the next few minutes. He glanced at me, and concluded that I must be his next unfortunate victim. He approached me and asked in Kannada if I had any work to be done at the police station. I responded that I had just accompanied my cousin who is getting his identity verification done. He promptly asked me to get out, as I was supposedly crowding up the area and taking up unnecessary space! Strike three.

I was shocked for while about the audacity and rudeness of X. All people present there were seated, and I would have gladly offered my seat to anyone who would have come. It’s not the seat that I am bothered about. X’s attitude and apathy towards fellow humans disturbed me. I got up and left the place giving X a cold stare, not once looking back.

As I stood waiting outside, my mind was seeking answers to many questions –

  1. Why is apathy shrouded in most government servants? Are they doing us a favour by doing their jobs?
  2. Why is there not enough respect for women even in today’s times? I cannot understand why making oneself comfortable is a matter of concern.
  3. Why do these people demand respect, instead of commanding it through their actions?

This incident has left me with serious doubts regarding the senior or older government servants. They need to set examples to the younger generation, and if this is the mentality of the vast majority of the work force, the future doesn’t look bright.

As Christopher Nolan puts it in “Batman Begins”, I would say that “people need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy”. I would suggest that a special commission be set up to monitor the behavior of people in government offices, and their attitudes towards the general public. Their pay needs to be proportional to the quality of their service. It is because these people get their salaries irrespective of them doing or not doing their jobs, that they are so apathetic to others’ needs. The rudeness exhibited by X demands a dismissal from all kinds of service if you ask me! A guy who thinks he is above the general public just because he is wearing the police uniform, which earns their respect , is a disgrace to the whole police community.

I just hope youngsters do not follow in the footsteps of the likes of X…

 

The year gone by . . .

Yet another year passes by, as it always does, in rapid succession.

Looking back from the events that have formed the crux of the previous year, it has been a year of mixed emotions, of trials and tribulations, of waxes and wanes, crests and troughs; and a myriad of experiences.

January – [to March]

2011 started off on rather slim note, with work taking up most time along with my third attempt at MBA exams; with XAT being the usual finisher. What followed a set of unexpected results. The first shocker was CAT – I had presumed that I had performed decently well, but it turned out to be the worst outing of the three! The other exams were fiascoes, barring NMAT & XAT which managed to get me calls from NMIMS, XLRI and XIMB. Of the lot, GD and PI, NM was horrendous and XIMB was decent. I didn’t take up XLRI as it was a call for their HR course. Having deftly screwed up my chances of getting an MBA seat in Operations management, I looked in the other direction which was to go the tech way, the MS way, which was the equally interesting and better plausible alternative.

February –

A bunch of us college buddies came together of the best trip we had ever been on together. After the Wonderla outing that came as a compensatory and consolatory trip to the fiercely failed Coorg trip; we set out on a trip to Goa – the state that’s always on a holiday! Abhishek from Bangalore, Hari from Coimbatore, Yesahavant from Chennai – came together at Bangalore; and I from Mumbai; met at Mapusa in Goa. We spent three memorable days roaming around the streets of Goa on non-geared vehicles, going well late into the night. Specific details in a separate post maybe 😛

March to May –

This was the period I truly enjoyed my stay at Mumbai – seeing around places that define Mumbai –  CST station; late night Marine drive outings including Tanmay’s farewell and the free roam with roommates after India’s world cup victory; Gateway of India; trip to Water Kingdom, Paintball at Powai with friends at office. Work was not very demanding too as many of us were leaving 😛

It was time for another Goa trip 🙂 This time with office buddies. To summarise – an unforgettable train journey with 12 of us sitting on 2 berths playing Antyakshari all night/day, stay at Tanmay’s place, exhilarating late night rides on Avenger, getting caught by the police at Panaji, cricket and football games, futile attempts to learn swimming, adrenaline pumping adventure sports at Baga beach, to the bumpy bus ride back to Mumbai – it was one helluva trip that all of us will cherish for years to come!

The last day of May was my last working day at Accenture. A sense of redemption, juxtaposed with the feeling of going away from friends for life, who wrote the Mumbai chapter of my life, crept into me. Wishing all well, and bidding farewell, I moved to Bangalore.

June – July

Time to spend at home, Bangalore. Mostly characterized by meeting up with relatives and friends before leaving in pursuit of the MS dream. Packing up stuff, finishing up tasks and also parting with my steed of five years, Apache :(. The sinking feeling of parting with my bike is something that I cannot find words to describe. The slick clutch, the seamless gearshift, the flaring acceleration, the feather touch manoeuvers is something that I would miss for a long time 😦

Bade adieu to close relatives and friends, whom I am not sure when I would be meeting next, and set off to Bhiwadi. The Rajasthan trip that ensued was culturally uplifting. It reiterated that India is such a diverse country with rich history and culture. Sad to see the current state of affairs. Cannot expect much except that Indian polity needs a revolution. More on this in some other post.

Had my fill of home food, movies and serials; which will have to wait once I started off on my MSE.

August – December

Started off with the “honeymoon period”, characterised by the excitement of being in the USA, all on your own, exploring places and meeting new people. As the semester progressed, I was brutally exposed to the true colours of the course. Stuff that I had supposedly ‘learned’ in my Bachelors had evaporated, even my from thick skull! However, one course [of the three] posed the most problems, as it was completely unfathomable to me! Bad choice for a rookie. Learned the hard way that I had to do some serious damage control.

All in good time, hopefully.

And now after the fall break, looking forward to a better 2012 – full of life, benevolence, optimism and yeah of course, learning 🙂