Traffic troubles for all

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Those Empty Roads

Those Empty Roads

On the way to my office, I have to cross the most dense traffic of the city. Every day is a new challenge. And thanks to the repair works, even the footpaths are occupied by mud, slosh and huge circular pipes (God knows when they will finally be sent into the ground, and free up the footpath). So, the frustration levels of us commuters have crossed the limits.

The bike people: Now, the bikers are a bored lot. They just stand on the roads, and honk. While not moving, they are busy cleaning their rear-view mirrors, checking their smart phones for new notifications (Come on, everyone else you know is either also stuck in traffic or sleeping), looking at other bikes and cars while keeping a tab on the countdown on the traffic light. The countdown is like the start of a bike race. People start their engines at the count of 10, and slowly nudge forward and cross the lines already by the count of 5. Some people zoom ahead at the count of 3, and the idiots like me, don’t move an inch unless they see the green lights. But the funny thing is, somewhere down the road, I make a point to overtake all those who made a head-start. That gives me immense satisfaction, and is my way of enjoying the traffic. It even feels a lot better on the days when I am on my bicycle.

The car people: Well, they have already been past the frustration limits. They have accepted the traffic, and it’s troubles. They don’t care how much time it takes for them to reach their destinations any more. A car these days, might have a pair of faulty brakes, but their radio and the speakers would always be in prime condition. And the Radio stations, you have so many of them, you can actually tune in to your favorite song for just about any situation. The people on the 4 wheels are not as bored. Rather, it’s quite a comfortable ride for them. Just some time for themselves, their only alone time. It’s like being castaway, with a radio, and a smart phone.

The bus people:, first fight for boarding the already overcrowded buses. They fight for a seat. They fight to get a ticket and to get back their change from the conductor. They fight to get down at their stops. The only time when they are not fighting during their journey is when they manage to get a short nap, be it sitting or standing. The nap makes all these fights worth the effort. When they finally reach their destination, they are charged up, all because of this power nap. For that, I consider themselves the luckiest people on the roads.

People on foot: Now, the pedestrians are the happy lot. At-least they have got a few inches on the footpaths for themselves, which otherwise was being used as motor bike trails. More traffic is always better for them, since they can now cross the roads easily. The footpaths now have more space to walk on. The only thing that is bad for them is the copious white and black fumes that gets thrown on their faces. You can see most of them change into their “Daaku” costumes before they step out of their houses.

The rest: You must be wondering who else would be facing the troubles of traffic!!! Those four wheeled motor-less vehicles… No, not the hand carts. The four-legged animals. Yesterday, I saw a herd of cattle stuck in the middle of the road among vehicles all around them. And they were just clueless and stood their until the road got cleared. The only difference between them and the humans, they didn’t honk even once, unlike us.

Busy Busy Busy

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Busy Bee

Busy at home. Busy at office, and busy in sleep. That’s how the last month went.

At home:

Aadya (7 months now), is super-active now, and needs to have a few pair of eyes always on her. Within a minute, she can reach places which she is not supposed to. So, she has made me more alert, and I my brain is now programmed to always multi-task (well, at-least 2-tasks). My hand-eye co-ordination has improved manifold. All credit goes to her. At times when I try to force her to have lunch/dinner, she doesn’t like it. And expresses her displeasure by making it almost impossible for me to put spoon in her mouth. But, with lots of practice, I have now learnt to win against her. 🙂 No matter what she does, I can now make her have the whole lunch without even spilling a drop. Although she is restless, and always throwing her arms and legs around, my hand-eye co-ordination is beyond her understanding.

She takes power naps a lot. At times, she sleeps after an hour of soothing and coercing her to sleep, and she wakes up before even I have finished praising myself for the accomplishment. Her power naps can be of durations anywhere between 5 – 30 minutes. More perseverance, a lot more, I guess.

Weekends are no more rest days. They are now the busiest days for us. I am so busy, that at times, I forget to brush my teeth, or take a bath for days together. Anyway, taking a shower doesn’t make sense these days, since she spoils the best of my T-shirts without any warning, whatsoever. I think I have to change the T-shirt that I am wearing right now. I can smell something.

At Office:

When we are so close to a release, and think it’s going to happen anytime now, some new issues come out from their hiding. The release that we have been trying to do since the last 2 weeks, is finally out, and I can breath a little more oxygen. It’s been quite a busy month at office also. When I reach office, there’s always some fire burning.

The road to office is always busy. The traffic has been increasing day by day. The days I get stuck on the roads, I wish I could fly my bike, seriously, and then give up the idea, when I hear someone also is also thinking the same, but loudly. That situation would be much worse that the situation on the ground.

But now, since the fire at office has been in control, I can breath some fresh sleep into my busy schedule. And give some more time to do other things as well. And get a little order in my day to day activities, like brushing my teeth, and taking bath regularly. But I am worried if Aadya will recognize me if I shave off my overgrown beard.

Pilaaan… The plan never works

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The day I choose to do things in a planned way, everything works against me, and throws my well planned schedule out of course. This has happened to me time and again, and still I keep trying. I sometimes wonder if planning has actually worked for anyone at all, or its just me.

I wanted to wake up early. Finally woke up at 8 am.

I wanted to do some exercise today. It was too hot outside.

I wanted to reach office early today. Couldn’t leave early because a meeting was scheduled right before I was supposed to leave home.

Strange as it may seem, I am much less worried or tensed when my days are unplanned. No expectations, to targets to run for, and a happy and calm day. But then, being a husband and a dad, I am supposed to at least act as if I have planned everything perfectly. And it better be a good plan.

Good plan is the one which has unlimited number of backup plans in case any one of those fail.

When my wife asks, “Have you made your plans?” I answer, “Of course. Don’t you know me? I don’t keep anything for the last minute.”

And think to myself, I just told the biggest baddest lie of today and look at my wife. She smiles and probably is thinking the same. 😀

Cycling chronicles: Over 1000 kms

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Rock Rider 5.0

Rock Rider 5.0

The distance to my office is about 16-17 kms one way, and the days I chose to cycle to office, it feels like a really long time. 34 kms, in a day, cycling, I had never imagined that I would be able to do it regularly, without fainting. I haven’t fainted yet. But, I do sweat a lot. And after reaching office, I have to take  a mini shower before I can start to work.

It’s a Rockrider 5.0. Weights 14.5KG (Light weight comes with a higher price tag). 21 speed 3X7 grip shifters.

Overall cost: 11, 000 INR

I have already crossed 1000 kms on the odometer. But, I am quite far away from my target, 3500 kms in a year. And there are only 5 more months to complete the remaining 2500 kms. That’s about 16kms a day, which doesn’t look realistic. Let’s throw that target of mine out of the window for this year. I don’t want to revise the target for obvious reasons.

A few things for people who want to buy bicycles.

  1. Don’t go for the geared ones unless you are planning to ride it for more than 10 kms at a stretch. It costs you more, and is not worth the trouble dealing with all those gears. Although you will get used to the gears, you would hardly use them during short commutes.
  2. For Bangalore roads, you need good mud-guards which would ensure that your own tyre don’t throw mud on yourself. The shopkeeper was suggesting me not to fit the mud-guards while buying it. He asked me to come back after a month and get it fixed, since it was summer time then. I am glad I bought them. 4 days later, it did rain while I was out cycling.
  3. A bell and a night light, (Rear view mirror is optional). You would probably think that they would never be used. But trust me, you will definitely need these.
  4. A pair of gloves, if you are going for long rides.
  5. And of course, a good helmet.

You might now want to buy everything here in one shot. If you are coming back from a long break, some practice before going on longer rides is definitely required. It will take some time to get adjusted to just about everything. Right from your posture, pedals, handles and the seats, it will be very uncomfortable. I took about 2-3 days to be absolutely sure that I could handle all kinds of roads, traffic and my fellow commuters on the roads. After all, I was starting to bicycle again, after a gap of 12 long years.

The Switch

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Finally, switching to WordPress from Blogger. Looks like Google would be retiring Blogger soon and I should be ready before that happens, sooner or later.

The switch wasn’t easy at all, and I have just started. Exporting all the posts from my blogger blogs into this new place. The complete migration will take some time, since I have about 300 posts to import. That’s quite a bit of work.

30 Days of being a father

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fatherShe came into my arms a few days before I was expecting her. And the first time, I was very scared to hold her. She was probably fast asleep, and I didn’t want to wake her up. May be she would cry out loud if I disturbed her, and I still didn’t know how to soothe a crying baby. Although I wanted to hold her, I wasn’t sure if I was ready yet.

My wife asked me to bring the baby nearer to her. I was scared, and I tried not to let anyone else know. I hesitated. She smiled and said, “It’s OK. Even I am scared”. And then I picked her up, as slowly as I could, trying my best not to wake her up. And after a few seconds, she was in my arms, still asleep, and that was a feeling which I would never be able to express. And from then on, I realized, I was already ready to be a father.

It’s been a month now. She is doing great. So is her mom. And I am doing great as well, as a father. 🙂

5 Things About Life

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1. It is never fair. Never ever. Well, may be at times when it is unfair to your enemies, or people you hate so much that you wish them death.

2. You always need help. Wherever you go, and whatever you do, no matter how intelligent or rich you are, you always need someone’s help.

3. There’s never enough time. You might be the kind of person who loves to sleep, or like me, who hates sleeping. Either way, you never get enough time.

4. You will not be understood at times. It was the same even with Einstein. An Einstein could only understand Einstein. And since most people are no where near like you, be ready to have heated arguments at least 5 times a week. At times you would be crazy, just like Einstein, and you wouldn’t find an Einstein who would listen and understand you.

5. Don’t believe in destiny. Believe me. Hahaha.. OK don’t believe me. It’s just a concept. It just doesn’t work in real life. I wasn’t destined to write this post. I wasn’t sleepy, and was thinking about life.

The Cycling Experiences

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cyclingI have been cycling for the last few days, after a long break of about 12 years. I had my doubts if I will be able to utilize it for the purpose I had planned for. Recently, I changed jobs, and my new office is twice as far as my old one. So riding to office daily, or even twice a week is completely out of question now.

I thought I should do about 12-16 kms a day, at least 4 times a week. Not from the very first day, but gradually reach that target in a few weeks. The very first day, I did about 5 km. The next, 11 km and yesterday 15 km. I got to my target pretty quickly, which I had never thought I could. Cycling is a lot easier than running in the treadmill I thought. But I used to run about 30 minutes and complete 5 km. So, I thought to reach the 15 km mark, I have to push really hard. But I got to that pretty easily.

Talking about the roads, about 30% of the distance I bike is just gravels or pot holes. The other 70% of it is quite decent. But the BBMP is hyperactive all the year round. And you should expect the unexpected when it comes to roads here. One fine day, you notice, the road you always take to your office is dug up and you would barely able to be walk over them. At times like this, you feel elated and proud when the frustrated gas guzzlers are sitting ducks, and I just lift my bike up and cross over to the other side.

Even on roads which are pretty bad for cars and motor cycles to vroom by, I could still maintain a decent amount of pace. I lift myself up from the seat, curve my shoulders and flex my leg muscles to prepare for those rattly shocks from the rocky terrain, and feel like John Abraham, when my bicycle overtakes all the traffic, and I murmur to myself, “Dhoom machale!!!”.

Its been just over 2 weeks, and I have done 75 km already. By this year end, I am planning to complete at least 3000 km on my bicycle. I think that’s a decent target for me.

Got something, for the New Year

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cycling track Finally, I got it. After months of planning and postponing, I got myself a bicycle. OK. Now stop sneering please. I know you must have heard this plan of mine last year. But, it’s finally official. I am a proud owner of a two-wheeler, which doesn’t run on petrol.

And that was my first ride. The Bangalore roads are so bumpy, that I realized that it needs a seat cushion urgently. Or may be I should wait for a few more days, and see if I get adjusted to it. I haven’t been on a bicycle in the last 12 years. It’s quite surprising that I still remember how to ride one. The first few minutes were very awkward, but then I got used to it.

As for accessories, I just got one unusual one, an Odometer. 😀

I guess, that would help me motivate everyday, to keep counting the distance and speed.

I wanted to buy a bicycle, the cheapest one, without all the hifi stuff. But when I walked into the showroom, I kept thinking. And I couldn’t control my urge of upgrading to a better one. My brother-in-law, who accompanied me, didn’t do anything except laughing. He tried to help, but failed at stopping me from spending away all the cash for that extra odometer.

with cycleI ended up spending almost double of what I was prepared for. Only time will tell if it was worth.

The current reading on the odometer shows 15 Kilometers, that’s for 2 days. My first experience on riding a bicycle on Bangalore roads was not pretty nice. Bumpy roads, pot holes and other crazy drivers are not at all friendly to people on bicycles, but for now, I am determined to ride on.

“Happy Cycling.” The bicycle shop guy greeted me when I got onto it. It was a feeling which was a little weird but nice. They don’t say the same thing when you buy a car or a motor bike. I hope there’s some good reason for that.

The Christmas Invite and the Plum Cake

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Well, my wife didn’t buy me a Lamborghini, yet, I am writing just one more post.

We were just siting and watching some boring TV program, and could here a distant noise. After a few minutes, we could tell that there were some children singing songs, beating the drums, and knocking on all doors. They are very loud, louder than we were used to, but we wondered what the children were up to. After some time, there was silence. We heard the footsteps, the hustle-bustle and the murmurs. We know they were coming towards our door. It obviously was something nice, we hoped.

The bell rang, and my wife opened the door. And that was the view. They started singing, beating the drums again, and shouting.

The little Santa offered a bag of gifts, and we took 3 chocolates. And then they invited us for the Christmas celebrations which would happen the next day. Here are some photos from the event.

It was red all around. Kids and their parents, all in red. And there were 2 Santa Claus(s). There was some dancing, singing and some more.



We got plum cakes as well, which the wife was craving for so many days now. And she was really excited when the kids invited us to the party. She was, actually, in her mind, hoping that they will distribute Plum Cakes after the party. She just randomly makes a wish, and wishes for the wish to be fulfilled that very moment, just like magic. If she doesn’t get what she wants at that moment, she doesn’t want it again the next moment. I really can’t express how it works for her, but she is like a wishing(not washing) machine. And most of the wishes don’t come out from her mouth. I am supposed to read her mind. The only thing I could try is keep playing the guessing game. Believe me, it’s not as easy as a multiple choice question with 4 options. It might well be a question, which has either no options, or has millions of them.

But now, since she got her plum cake, I can take some rest, and breath normally, until she wakes up in the morning.