Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hundred and One

Its been exactly a year since I started blogging and this is my 100th post!

Although I write more for myself than for others, as I have stated in one of my previous posts, I also am a big fan of statistics. Hence I incorporated Sitemeter into my blog. Apart from keeping track of the overall count of visitors, it provides weekly stats of number of people who visited my blog in that particular week. And not just that, it even tells the actual location of the visitor!

And with regards to that, I must admit, I am flattered to have visitors from many parts of the world. While it is common to have visitors from US, it is still surprising to see visitors from states like Missouri, Arizona, North Carolina, Minnesota, Iowa, Texas, Nebraska, California, etc where I do not have much pals. But the killer astonishment arises to see visitors from places like Iceland (Reykjavk, Gullbringusysla), Cote D'Ivoire (Abidjan), Australia (Dandenong, Victoria), Africa and even some countries that are labeled as ‘Unknown’!!

Be that as it may. This post is just to celebrate the anniversary as well as for reaching the three figure mark! And no, I shall not stop blogging…not just yet!!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Unspoken Language

I rode along on my bike in the heavily congested road. ‘Congested’ is the right word. Not only does it state the population but also has a tilting connotation to pollution. I weaved through the chaos with utmost concentration and the summer heat topped by the mandatory headgear added to the frustration and perspiration.

I neared a junction and the red traffic light commanded the overflowing traffic to an abrupt halt. We all at the forefront of the road knew it was going to be a long wait and shut the engines. The traffic light number began at 120 and slowly started trickling down to 0. Funny I said ‘slowly’. A ‘second’ is in fact SI unit of time. There is nothing slow or fast about it. Yet, the relativity of the movement of traffic on road, the urgency in everyone, the need-for-speed attitude makes one feel even the standard ‘second’ slower than the pace of life.

My gaze turned to the right and I found myself very close to a yellow mini-van. The window closest to me was completely open. I could not help looking inside the window and from the angle at which I stood, I had a clear vision of the inhabitant beside the window. She looked up and my heart did a quick somersault when I saw her face. To put in a few short words, she was just ‘simply’ beautiful. There was nothing too gaudy or made-up about her. It seemed like a simple but wonderful artwork of Mother Nature.

A nice soothing face, perfect features and neat, obedient hair tied behind her back. But the thing about her that won hands down was her eyes. She had one of the most pleasant eyes I had ever seen. It was perfectly curved and deep set which seemed to look at everyone in a calm, peaceful manner. It was a pair of eyes which seemed to melt all the violence in the world into a sea full of everlasting tranquility.

She felt my eyes on her and looked up at me. She looked at the girl beside her and they both giggled, furtively looking at me. She became shy and embarrassed at my innocent stare. She looked down at her hands and fiddled with it. Then she saw me again and I smiled. She smiled, and looked at her friend and giggled again and turned her head down once more. The same pattern continued a couple more times. I couldn’t help smiling at her childish awkwardness.

I turned towards the traffic light. The number had come down to 10. I looked back at her one last time, flashed a nice smile and waved my hands, signaling that it was time to move on. She understood, returned my gesture by flashing an enthusiastic smile and waved back at me.

It occurred to me as I moved away from the kindergarten yellow mini-van how the unspoken language of a simple smile can bridge souls.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


One of the truest joys I experience is when I am in an automotive and the automotive moves by itself! The onset of such an experience is during the era of me driving bicycles. I used to carefully select routes which involved maximum number of decent descents such that I did not have to pedal and the cycle used to move by itself, and I always felt wheels is such a wonderful invention. I mean the very thought of moving from point A to point B without doing anything, and at the cost of nothing is - for me - simply magnificent!

I experience similar joyousness even in train journeys for I always feel the movement of the bogeys is all by itself although it is in fact pulled by the engine! Come to think of it, even in a train, after the initial pull, and when one can hear the ceasing of the acceleration, the train moves by itself in momentum and it is this automatic momentum that sort of gives me a unique joy!

People akin to my driving would have noticed how haltingly I accelerate and thereby enjoy the consequent automated momentum of the vehicle moving by itself! There is a stretch in Banashankari which we encounter en route to Padmanabhanagar from Jayanagar which I used to ride in my Kinetic with the ignition off for almost a mile! And every time I do that, I am in awe of this simple beauty!

The US car that I had was of automatic transmission. Such cars have built-in acceleration and left to itself will move at about 10 mph. If the road is empty and there are no cars behind me, and in places like the parking lot, I never used to accelerate and would allow the car to go on its own accord! I remember the time in office parking lot (which was sloped) where I used to wait to pick up people. Due to the upward slope, the built in acceleration was sufficient for the car to move constantly at about 1-2 mph till it reached the top of the slope which was the door to the office! Since I was in effect waiting, it was a nice pastime to see the car move by itself by no manual force!

But going back to the roots, so many other inventions followed the invention of wheels like bicycles, engines, motorbikes, cars, trucks, railways, aero planes, etc. It has generated so much of employment in areas like creating asphalt roads for hundreds of thousands of miles, shops at bus terminals and Road-side plazas and Railway stations and Airports. In aviation alone, it has bred pilots, Air Force personnel, Air Traffic Controllers, flight engineers, Air hostesses, etc. It has eased life in so many ways such as ease of commute, moving of parcels and packages, making travel easier and bringing remote areas of the beautiful world to man’s easy grasp. It has created enjoyment and encouraged competition in terms of Grand Prix Formula One racing events, and not to mention the layman’s version of go-karting and dashing-cars which is a popular sport in amusement parks. The list is endless.

Just felt like giving three cheers to man’s one of the most wonderful inventions: Wheels!