Motorcycle madness

My brother had an old kinetic Honda , which he had bought while he was in 12th standard so that he could attend tuitions for IIT – JEE , AIEEE, CET and of course normal syllabi. I would ride it often even though I was underaged against the Indian law, but would refrain from taking it to main roads to avoid traffic and traffic police.  That kinetic Honda was the only motored two wheeler during those days, as my father was in Chennai and would come only during the weekends and he didn’t need one, however during May of 2006, he was transferred back to Bangalore and he needed one. He was looking for options to buy one motorbike, I suggested him to buy an autogeared moped like Honda Activa or Honda Dio, with the intention of riding it to tuitions early in morning and during weekends, but he was looking for a motorbike as he felt motorbikes were safe when compared to moped owing to larger wheel radius and telescopic suspension, of course there are mopeds these days that have telescopic suspension, he was a professional rallyist during his late 20s and so had a liking for bikes over scooters or mopeds. I also suggested my father to buy Royal Enfield bullet, with the intent of using it to college few years later and somehow convincing him to buy another vehicle, but he declined it stating it was heavy and hard for his age, I finally gave up suggesting him bikes after he shouted at me after losing his patience over my repeated suggestions. One Saturday noon, he was waiting for me outside my school gate, he had learnt his lesson that to not come inside the school and have a word with my teachers owing to an episode of him being in a apologetic position resulting from one of my many escapades, he was carrying a huge envelope, I suspected that he wanted to come to my school and catch me red handed, but he opened my bagpack’s zip kept the envelope and took me to honda showroom situated opposite to my school, I realized that he had bought the newly launched Honda shine, 125 cc 4s, with disc brakes and self start, it was one lovely vehicle, I have million memories with that bike, never really wanted to discard that bike when I bought another bike 10 years later, but had to sell it of due to space constraints. I was super excited about the purchase, I knew my father would always go for a honda owing to brand loyalty, since then I have remained a honda loyalist as well. 

My father was very particular that I shouldn’t ride until I turned 18, but he would let me park the bike outside our gate, I was happy that I learned how to park the bike in center stand, I would wash it every Sunday mornings to keep it shining. My father had theoretically taught me how to change gears, which gear to ride in which speed, how to hold and release the clutch, inquisitive as ever, one Saturday afternoon my father was taking an afternoon nap, he fell asleep on the sofa while watching TV, I noticed that the bike key had dropped from his pocket, I stealthily picked and went out without making any noise. I slowly unlocked the bike, cautious enough not to start the engine which would wake my father, despite the bike having the least engine sound, I pushed it towards the end of the street, got on it and started the engine, it took me few times to release the clutch, when I got it successfully, I felt the adrenaline rush my veins and changed gears in succesion , felt adventurous enough to take it to main road, was riding at a slightly higher speed, but was not reckless, this trait I inherited from my father, respecting the machine and the road. I went to BDA complex hoping to see my friends and impress them with my newly picked up skill, in those days riding anything higher than a bicycle was considered cool, but none were hanging out. Still ecstatic about learning the bike entered a street without realizing traffic police would be in that street, I wasn’t skilled enough to escape them, so stopped, looking at my face they knew I wasn’t 18, one constable took the keys, I pleaded them to let me go and hurled fake promised that I wouldn’t do that folly again, the inspector didn’t budge, I didn’t even have money to pay them and go, He asked my father’s contact number, my father didn’t have a mobile phone back then so gave my landline number, when he dialed that number, unfortunately my grandmother answered it, when she heard that it was a police officer she panicked and was in tears due to shock, she passed the phone to my father, he spoke and agreed to come in few minutes. He wanted to teach me a lesson and did not turn up for another hour and a half, officer was pestering me by asking about my father, I sat on the footpath railing tensed, but father was happily sipping coffee and watching a show,  he finally showed up spoke to the inspector and received the keys, to my surprise inspector did not take any money as a fine, he just warned me and let us off. My father did not shout at me or was silently mad at me, he was laughing in his sleeves, he got on the bike and I was about to get on it, he said “go home, I am going out for sometime” and drove away. I was furious that he didn’t even drop me home which was just two blocks away and did not even give me money to eat something, also I was scared to go home after realizing the reactions of my mother and my grandmother.

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Entry of the villain.

One of my friend named Suresh was being paired and teased with Spandana, this pairing resulted in her  being teased among her schoolmates as well, but she was a good sport and would give a hearty laugh and let go of it. However it reached the ears of one guy named Kiran, who was in 12th or (2nd PU as per Karnataka education board), who was smitten by her when she had entered Digvijaya highschool for her 8th grade while he was in 10th grade in the same school. Now he was in Digvijaya PU college, he had some younger friends in Spandana’s and people teasing reached him through them. He by nature was not a bully but wouldn’t take shit, he was amongst top scorers in his batch, also he had quite a few bad habits like chewing gutka, smoking and drinking, they were big scandals back in that age also cool factor.

One day after our tutorials during the holidays, Suresh and I were walking towards our home. One guy was waiting in the street corner on his bicycle, he was athletic and tall owing to regular basketball​ practice and sported a spiked hairstyle with bronze coloured spikes, that was Kiran. He enquired who was Suresh near the gate of our class teacher and someone pointed him towards us, he came and asked us the same question and Suresh answered he was, “whom are in love with?” Kiran asked authoritatively, Suresh replied coolly “no one”, “don’t you lie you asshole” replied Kiran, “why will I ?”, questioned Suresh, “aren’t you in love with Spandana ?” He asked , “no” responded Suresh. 

Kiran pulled him towards a major drainage wall to warn him privately, I could see him make warning gestures while saying something and let him go after few minutes. Suresh came towards me as cool and calm as he normally is and said “some childish moron, he warned me saying not to talk to talk to Spandana And also convey the same to other boys, he also said no boy should talk to her without his permission”, “oh!” I responded, trying to cover my fear and act as normal as possible, I didn’t want anyone that I could be easily scared, I further added to prove I was not scared ,”what will he do, does he have the guts to attack us?” Saying this we bought a snack from a roadside vendor and left for the day.

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Acceptance!

After all misadventures, 9th grade finally came to an end. 10th was actually a milestone in a student’s life, firstly 10th marks card is the only educational proof which also has date of birth, so what you score there  will be noticed from time to time, although involuntarily and no one gives a flying fuck about your scores, as they are only concerned about what you earn and if your choices are acceptable by the undefined standards that the society has set, secondly, for its one of the filtering mechanism used during final year college placements, if you score less than 60percent, it’s confirm that you will spend a year or two as an unemployed graduate(with exceptions). As 10th grade is  largely overrated, our tuitions commenced during vacation itself, there were a bunch of morons who had started preparing for IIT-JEE exams which were  3 years away, but finally ended up doing engineering in some random engineering college and a random IT job in  some random IT company . Darshan, Indrajith and I were regular trouble makers, to spice it further Sashwat also joined our tutorials much to the delight of Darshan. 

All that mattered to me was Spandana continued our tutorials, that was something I was happy and few students from the school where I studied my primary had also joined, whom I hated as they belonged to that school, nothing personal, it was something I despised. 

It was April 2006, we used to have 4 hours of intense tutorial classes in morning and 2 hrs in evening. Physics was my strength, Chemistry and Mathematics were do-able, but I sucked big time in Biology, not that the subject was hard, I had made-up my mind that I would take engineering and Biology was not required for engineering entrance called CET, but developed an interest in microbiology few years later, so paid less attention to it. Amidst the lessons and our madness, my eyes would always end up scanning for Spandana’s eyes, she always sat resting her back to the wall and beside Shravya, I was always made to sit in the front near the board and would make myself comfortable by resting my back on the wall which was perpendicular to the wall on which Spandana used to rest, thereby ensuring clear eye contact. She would joke often, while her Kannada had traces of coastal Kannada influences which was kind of attractive, I would try mimicking coastal Kannada accent while I spoke to prove a point that even I had coastal Karnataka roots so as to impress her, but in reality I never could speak in that accent.

Our class used to have a friendly environment , our class teacher would joke often and make learning more fun. Sashwat was the butt of all jokes, I was a bit more harsh on him in my involuntary attempts to grasp Spandana’s attention. After classes we all would hang around for a while in the street corner, making fun of each other. This would some unknown reasons would bother an old lady who lived in the house on that street corner, she complained it to our class teacher about the cacophony and when we ignored his warning and continued our merry making, she complained it to cops, one day a SI and a constable came in a bullet and shooed us all away. While escaping on our cycles, I signaled Darshan to meet me in the parallel street, he did as I had told, “what?”, He asked, I looked at the ground and replied “I think am in love”, he started laughing hard and asked ” Baldwin’s chick?” I blushed and responded “no, it’s Spandana”. He laughed harder and said “Asshole, accepted it finally”.

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The after effects of music competition.

I was feeling miserable for missing the music competition in which my first ever crush would be singing, secondly I was curious regarding the ‘hole’ that helped us escape from the school and happy looking at the empty Madhavan park. We wanted to play something to kill time, but we didn’t  even have a tennis ball to play catches. So we started discussing about our respective crushes, Darshan was crazy about Bhavya, he insisted that everyone should have to accept they feel for someone to elbowed me to explain my feel on Spandana, I replied I didn’t have any  and probed regarding Aishwarya, he always addressed her as Baldwin’s girl, I ignored his rants as usual and stayed put and looked at the clear blues December skies of Bangalore. Then thankfully he changed the topic to movies, he was a bigtime film buff. I looked at my watch and realised that it was almost 4:45 and we had to attend tuitions at 5:30 and we didn’t have cycles that day, so Darshan and I decided to walk from Madhavan park, all the way till interiors of NR colony , it is one straight road, but roughly 4 kilometres. We walked so carelessly and spoke so loudly, passers-by would stop to glance at us, uncivilized and in uniform. We abused each other in a jovial way and hurled abuses on every family member of people we mutually hated. Tie had been lowered, shirt untucked and first two buttons opened.

As soon as we entered our class teacher’s hall, he scolded us for being so unkempt and also he had heard us swear, we hadn’t noticed him ride past us on his hero Honda Splendor. He said you both will never learn anything and allowed us to sit, we sat silently. After few minutes Spandana came in, everyone started clapping and then I realised that she had won the competition and I had missed her song, I gave an angry look to Darshan. Shravya came and sat next in the next row, I asked her “you lost right the competition right?” and smiled mockingly, “bugger off, loafer!” She replied angrily, I could sense she was upset and jealous at the same time, Spandana who sat next to her whispered to me “how was my song?” To which I replied, “I was in Madhavan park as I had bunked” , Shravya exclaimed in a shock, Spandana responded” you are really an idiot” , I could notice she was upset I had missed her song. I hated Darshan to the core that day, he resumed his regular monkey antics, Spandana and I looked at each other multiple times that day, I had a strange feeling of unexplainable joy and longing simultaneously.

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A day in the life of an IT engineer.

Life of an IT engineer, well not all that glossy and glamourous as it seems, especially for a person who despised that line all his life and who always dreamt of working on awesome stuff like energy and power. Especially when you are supporting a customer who can’t speak English, well atleast not in an accent that you follow. People in other industries envy you, especially your classmates from Mechanical engineering class, those lucky assholes who managed to get to work on stuff they were trained to do.

As per Indian scale you are being paid peanuts and made to work with those people who can’t use a machine that’s dumb as shit, yes, they work at a time when Sun is directly looking at their cities while our city is plunged in darkness, with constant howling of dogs like we do on our headphones, ghosts, well have vacated the city after being unable to tolerate humans invading their life. You may work for a fancy multinational with fancy sounding names or work for some local firm, it’s all the same, you dress like a slob.

 Boring meetings, disgusting team outings, everyone seems so nice that they would put your closest and most trusted friends to shame, however they would bloody abandon you the day you quit the organization, of course out of sight is out of mind. Agreed employment is important, that doesn’t imply to sell your souls for few extra bucks. Did we all study different branches of engineering to work on same stuff? First of all choosing engineering when our passion lied elsewhere was a bigger mistake than joining a IT firm. Few brave ones who opt a course other than  engineering would end up earning more and being happy at the same time, however being mocked by your neighbors or relatives, but would also set up businesses hiring IT professionals, just like a major entertainment firm hiring engineers to resolve their technical issues. Maybe they would be avenging the insults thrown at them during their student year by comparing with engineering counterparts.

Lawyer working his ass off to resolve an issue with some moronic issue, instead of arguing for something that’s worth his degree, or an English language expert instead of working on teaching the language or use it to  write amazing stuff would work on servers and trying to understand the language of the machine by analyzing it’s logs.

This will not end, well I do not have the power to change it for everyone, but I surely have to change for me. 

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Music competition!

December of 2005 was one of the most eventful Decembers I have ever had in my life, starting with, Aishwarya getting angry, who called me a “capitalist ass”, my phases of being a philosopher/ scientist and a perpetual class nuisance. I used to feel that everyone enjoyed my antics, but in reality there were matured souls back then as well, who had the seriousness to study deligently, Darshan and I were starting to get on everyone’s nerves, we did have a considerable number of haters, all members of the nerd brigade.

Sometime before Christmas of 2005, our school hosted a interschool music competition, Shravya, Vaidehi and Sashwath were the members of our school team, they were hand-picked by our music teacher/most annoying lady in our school, who would torment us to the core, we were made to sing Carnatic classical music, we deliberately wouldn’t carry the music notebook to the class so that we would be sent out, this was the practice, out of 96 students in total and 78 boys, 50 – 60 boys would miss out on carrying the notebooks and would end up being sent out, just what we all wanted. The music competition was held after lunch, eating up the entire forenoon session, we knew this would be boring, so we stocked out pockets with chewing gum, masala peanuts and Parle rola-cola candy.

We were all made to sit on the ground of our prayerhall, girls sat on the corridor skirting the prayerhall. I entered the prayerhall with my pockets stuffed with candies, snacks and gum, while I was entering, I heard someone call out my name, when I turned towards the direction of the sound, it was Spandana. I was stunned, stood there speechless, I pulled my voice and trying to act as normal as possible, asked “are you singing?” , With her trademark reaction of laughing combined with tears rolling from her eyes, she said “no , have come to dance to Shravya’s song” with influences of coastal Kannada influence, I noticed that Shravya was also present there, she was previously chatting with Spandana, I said to Shravya “ah fuck! Had I know that you would be singing, I would have ran away”, she replied “get lost you loafer”, Spandana added “that’s mean”. Sashwath was standing in corner humming a song that he would sing, just to prove that I was cool to Spandana, I shouted at him “you son of a bitch, you are also singing is it?, Our school’s reputation is fucked for sure”, Sashwath didn’t react, I felt offended because he dared to insult me infront of my crush, I went and grabbed his hair and raised my hand and was about to punch him, our Sanskrit teach saw me do that, so I made it look like it I was wishing him through tough love, and whispered in Sashwath’s ears “come outside, you bastard!”.

After this I ran towards Darshan and excitedly announced to him that Spandana had come, he announced it to our entire group in such a way that my actual crush had come, I myself had not declared it to myself. Everyone looked at her and were mesmerized by her bright eyes, Darshan came and secretly showed me a cigarette which he somehow had managed to smuggle with him, he said “let’s not stay for this crappy competition, let’s go to Madhavan park” and pulled me to boys toilet and he showed me a huge hole which was dug to build an additional toilet, for some unknown reason it was left unbuilt, he asked me to enter it, I trusted him and entered it only to exit to the road behind. From there we walked toward Madhavan park and found Mahesh, Indrajith and Raghunath. Darshan lit the cigarette and took a deep drag and coughed hard, he passed it to me, which I declined, Mahesh took it from him and took two drags and finally handing it to Raghunath followed by Indrajith. I put my bag on ground angrily as I wanted to listen to Spandana sing.

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The misfits among the misfits.

The next day, after the embarrassing episode of being publicly mocked for my theory of universe and secretly appreciated, both by my class teacher, at the tutorial class of my class teacher, he started a new chapter called Electro magnetic induction, after walking through Faraday’s laws, which I had learnt previous year, I asked him why can’t we use a dynamo to run a car, everyone laughed as usual, my class teacher explained it would not generate sufficient electricity to power a car and to accomplish that we need to use a huge magnet which would increase weight and hinder speed, I probed further why can’t we use a supermagnet and latest lightweight magnetic material, ofcourse I was being ridiculous at this point, I had not considered studying material science. Which was pointed by my class teacher, he was amazed that I was looking for something new always, he mocked me affectionately this time saying that I was the craziest person he had ever seen his 16 years of career, as usual everyone laughed, my eyes of course scanned for Spandana, she did not react this time, as our eyes met, she just gave a smile, I smiled back.

After the physics class, we had social studies, it was being taught by a college lecturer, it was usual practice to make Darshan sit in front row, I followed Darshan, he shouted at me to sit where I was already seated, I made myself comfortable and sat next to Raghunath. He was teaching a lesson on Rajputs, Shravya was being teased by pairing her with a guy named Niranjan, our lecturer to make the class interesting narrated a story of Prithvi Raj Chauhan and Samyuktha, Darshan compared Niranjan to Prithvi Raj Chauhan, Shravya to Samyuktha and Niranjan’s cycle to Chetak, the famous horse of Pritvi Raj Chauhan. Everyone guffawed, Shravya made an action saying she will slap Darshan, she was red with embarrassment, to add to the alternative history I compared Darshan to Mohammed Ghori, who will ultimately get killed by blinded Pritvi Raj Chauhan. Everyone laughed even more. Our social studies leacturer got mad asked us both to take our bag and go out, Darshan replied casually, “Sir I have not got my bag, can I just take my notebook and go out?” , Our teacher lost his cool and threw a piece of chalk on Darshan and thundered to get out, we both walked out laughing in our sleeves. Darshan while going out of the gate, released air from our social studies leacturer’s scooter tyres, I asked him “are you crazy, you moron, as we are sent out, he will know it’s us for sure”,Darshan replied coolly saying “we are misfits among the misfits, he will know it’s us even if we were not to be sent out”.

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