yet another ride

had been to Horsley Hills yesterday. That's a small hill-station in andhra pradesh, about 170 odd kms from B'Lore. We are 7 bikers..oops... 8, cos Nikhil joined us midway. The roads were bumpy for most of the part but had a good tree cover throughout. On the whole enjoyable if you can resist the urge to gun the throttle throughout. Prashanth (PK for short) had a brief encounter of the road kind when he took a curve too fast and ended up on the wrong side of the road, fortunately away from a bus that had braked just in time. This was on the way to HH. Anyway we continued to the place and had some food there. Checked out a viewpoint and did a bit of rock-riding that took us to the edge of a cliff like place. Later we had fun with a few deliberate skids before turning back towards B'Lore. The other Prashant (PS for short) got a screw screwed into his tyre and thus a puncture. It took us about an hour to find a tyrewallah and get the puncture fixed. We were in B'Lore by about 6:00 or so. Luckily the rain gods decided to spare us from a lashing. Somewhere within the city it threatened to drench me with huge drops. But luckily I got home 90% dry.

Had fun. Had a good night's sleep. Now back in office.

P.S: This is a thought I have had for long. I have decided that I wont take *anyone* (friend,girlfriend, wife, brother, anyone else) pillion on long rides. Well, it is too risky and things have a way of happening unannounced.

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mindless entertainment

When you have nothing to do and when you don't want to do anything. That is when you need some mindless entertainment. What better way to do absolutely nothing than to catch some stuff on tv? And what better form of mindless entertainment than the new breed of not-quite-crossover;trying-to-be-trendy Indian movies and (hold your breath here) serials?

I do that every now and then. Especially with Star Movies running a movie marathon called "Colours of India". What amazing movies! They take the simplest of things and make a movie out of it. A guy brushing his teeth can fascinate you for a good 15 minutes. A girl cleaning her American home for a good half an hour. Oh and those wonderful cinematic tricks that are aimed at giving you a trendy hip feel!

You don't have to think about the plot (there usually is none). You need to merely allow your eyes to keep wandering across the screens. Scenes flick by on and on. You don't even have to correlate between two scenes. That's the absolute beauty of these. Your mind has nothing to do and can soon attain a meditative state if you so wish.

Most of these movies are the American-Desi aloo parathas. A desi guy/gal, first time in the US, almost always looking for a job. An US-born desi, a cool dude, lots of girlfriends and swear-words, always ends up learning civility and "Indianness" from the desi guy who would usually be a relative or a friend's relative. Thrown in some hip always partying girls and some bewildered parents. That's it. You are done making the perfect aloo paratha... err I meant movie.

Following in the footsteps of their luminous big screen cousins, a host of small-screen bonanzas are also available for the discerning users. These serials seem to have captured the imagination (or whatever is left of it) of a huge tv audience. The roster includes such luminaires as Remix, Kitni Mast Hai Zindagi. I must make special mention of Remix. This is such a hilarous comedy. The humour is not evident, but every action of the characters makes me ROTFL. I am sure these "young" actors will turn out to be the crowning jewels of Indian cinema. I deeply appreciate their humour.

Without these amazing creations of the intellectual film-makers, my evenings would get a drab boring. Who needs meaningful cinema, who needs food-for-thought, when you have the luzury of doiong "nothing"?!

P.S.: Don't bullshit me with "So, you watch these serials?" comment. Yeah I do, but like I said "mindlessly" :-)

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can i?

Last night, I was watching the Live 8 concert on vh1. As it always does, the visuals of children in various parts of Africa tugged at my heart. I have never really done anything to help people. I haven't given my time to any voluntary work, except for the annual volunteering day in my company. I don't necessarily feel ashamed about it though at the back of my mind there has always been a lingering thought. The thought that I am not incapable of helping, just that I don't do what I can. I am bound by my own introvert nature that makes me stay away from people. I have never been able to go up to a stranger and chat casually; not even a child. I know I can break out of this bondage. I know it is all in my mind. But I just don't do what I can.

I am bound by the norms laid down by society. I am bound to the notions of career and money and affluence. I sometimes wonder if it could've been different if I hadn't been born in India. A culture where independence is the norm. A society where a person is not questioned about what he wants to do with his life. I wish I could quit my job and spend a year or two helping people. In India or outside. I know I can, but I just don't do what I can. And then there is the thought about the people that depend on me. How can I forsake them? It's not that I don't do other things for myself, things that make me feel good. But this seems too huge. Or is it?

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