Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Motorcycle Diaries 3: Hampi

John Travolta in Hampi - Exclusive Photograph! Don't Miss!!


Wabb: Should I get the shaving kit? I have spare disposable razors.
Crap: Naaaah. More luggage space. I'm too lazy to pack it anyways. And I'm figuring that there must be a barber in Hospet.
Wabb: (Stops dead in his tracks) All right.


Four adventurous brats set out for the highway at 0545 hours on a chilly saturday morning. Conversations of a previous night, no sleep, Wabby-made coffee mugful, and a quick Navy Cut started this road trip. Tangled ought to have had a broken nose for reasons best left unsaid, but much to my chagrin, she didn't.

Wabb: "I hate milk powder."
Crap: "Why?"
Wabb: "Cos' it's surrogate milk. Fucking milk powder. Don't even know where it comes from. All you know is it's white!"

Oooh yeh, the highweh!

(And the road becomes my bride)
...And the road becomes my bride
I have stripped of all but pride
So in her I do confide
And she keeps me satisfied
Gives me all I need

...And with dust in throat I crave
Only knowledge will I save
To the game you stay a slave
Rover, wanderer
Nomad, vagabond
Call me what you will

But I'll take my time anywhere
Free to speak my mind anywhere
And I'll redefine anywhere
Anywhere I may roam
Where I lay my head is home

"Fair is foul and foul is fair,
Hover through the fog and filth air."

Shakespeare mama didn't know I'd be ripping his lines but the fog was amazingly... um... foggy and dense. Had to stop every 2 or 3 minutes to wipe the condensed water from my glasses. The balls were frozen. Oh yes they were. They had to be thawed out; pit-stop, with the help of tea and Navy Cut.

40 kms in 3 hours. Terrible time. But the lost souls found salvation in a coffee day where three of the four journey(wo)men laid their troubled and perhaps overfilled bowels to rest. Coffee, breakfast of chocolate doughnut and some-veg-roll-type-thing, and one small incident with the water-spray-gun-in-the-loo later, off they went. Photos were snapped. Cigarettes were smoked. Naariyal paanis were had. Horn was blown in morse code. After much ado, the adventurers shifted from a 6 lane national highway to a 2 lane state highway (with a few potholes, that caused much hurt to the region surrounding the orally antipodal orifices of the 4 crusaders) and headed straight for Hospet.


Hospet greeted us with no accomodation. But Tangled, the enterprising one , rose to the occasion and got us accomodation to rest our butts in. Tired. Weary. Proceeded for dinner. Masala papad would become the staple diet of the Wabb and the Crap.


Crap: When do you open?
Enthusiastic Barber: Seven. But I'll come at six-thirty if you want. When can I expect you?
Crap: (Looks at Wabb) I know! I know! Don't say it!!!
Wabb: We should have got the shaving kit.


Orion after dinner. Tangled and Crap in total awe of the crystal clear night sky. Discussion followed.

Tangled was supposed to wake all of us up at 0430 so that the group could watch the sun rise over the ruins of Hampi. Excuses and failed plans later, We left at around 1000 hrs instead of 0600. Mohammedan tomb en route.


Crap: (Looks at Wabb) I know! I know! Don't say it!!!
Wabb: Y'know, we could've gone to the barber's shop.


A few excellent pics of ruins, a somewhat-total waste of a government approved guide, a little dabbling in history, coconut water. And oh yes, smokes.

Crap: Y'know, every time I take a step, I am walking on lands where so many battles have taken place and gallons of blood have been spilled.(Points to a stone slab on the ground, walks and stands on that very spot.) For all you know, the slab of stone I'm standing on might have been graced by the feet of, say, Krishna Deva Raya or probably even Tenali Raman at some point of time. I'm literally walking over a thousand-and-odd years of history.
Tangled: Never thought of it that way. OHMYGOD!!!
Crap: Strangely, I don't seem to be fascinated by it. (Shrugs shoulders and continues walking.)


A 100 kilometre ride round the Tungabhadra after a gratifying lunch (there's a reason Masala Papad was the staple diet.) Mountains, landscapes and photos. Wabby's first night-highway-ride and my second.

A Thunderbird on low beam, a Pulsar on high beam. Side by side. High visibility. Stars above. Fell into the infinity of the night sky. Orion, again.

(And the earth becomes my throne)
...And the earth becomes my throne
I adapt to the unknown
Under wandering stars I've grown
By myself but not alone
I ask no one

...And my ties are severed clean
The less I have the more I gain
Off the beaten path I reign
Rover wanderer
Nomad vagabond
Call me what you will

But I'll take my time anywhere
I'm free to speak my mind anywhere
And I'll never mind anywhere
Anywhere I may roam
Where I lay my head is home

Tired, weary, Hospet again. Dinner (Yes, Masala Papad again. This time, with whisky!) Whisky seemed to ease the throbbing headaches of the Wabb and Crap to a mellow steady headache. Sleep.

Wake up. Check-out. Highway at 0500 hrs. Night-ride. Weave in and out of lines of trucks.


But I'll take my time anywhere
I'm free to speak my mind
And I'll take my find anywhere
Anywhere I may roam
Where I lay my head is home

But I'll take my time anywhere
Free to speak my mind anywhere
And I'll redefine anywhere
Anywhere I may roam
Where I lay my head is home

Ride ride ride. Screech to halt at a dhaba on the highway. Breakfast - 4 coffees. 3 plates of Egg rice, 2 double-omelettes, 1 half-boiled. Cigarettes. Fields facing us. Mountains yonder. And a peeping sun rising from in between the faraway mountains amidst hues of burning hell and blue seawater.
Some moments are just priceless, timeless.


Crap: (Looks at Wabb) I know! I know! Don't say it!!!
Wabb: Shave?


More stops. More tea. Maybe coffee too. More kilometres under the belt. One more stop on the highway, at a coffee day.

Carved upon my stone
My body lies, but still I roam

Wherever I may roam [x4]
Wherever I may wander, wander, wander
Wherever I may roam [x4]

Mission accomplished.
Rode our way through history.
Created history. (Fossilized piss, remember?)
900 kms of sheer freedom.
Four people.
Three bloggers.
Two bikes.
One hell of a time.

PS: Egg rice for breakfast at a remote dhaba 320 kms away, anyone?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Conversations with the Josh Machine

AC: ***farts***
Nikhil: Boy! you sure have a lot of gas stuffed in your intestines.. :P
AC: And you have too little. that's why the exchange is taking place. :))
Nikhil: Hehe.
Nikhil: Exchange? There was no exchange there. It was mere transfer. :))
AC: I fart. Gas gets diffused. Apply inverse square law. And so much amount enters your respiratory system.
Nikhil: Thru the internet. Online diffusion. Nice concept. But I'll let it pass. :D
AC: Who's talking online diffusion? I'm talking 'bout distance from here to your place. Thus you have accurate numbers.
Nikhil: Won't work.
AC: Why not?
Nikhil: It's just a probability of those molecules entering my system. It won't really travel till here, not until a looong time later.
AC: Prove it. Chances are you can't prove it. ;)
Nikhil: The odds are that it will enter my system only when I get there. But then, it still is a far possibility. And by that time, it won't be smelly anyway. :)
AC: Chances are that the farts I have farted for the past 5-6 years would have ALREADY entered your system. =))
Nikhil: Yes. chances. Everything is only chance. :D
AC: Probability is very high.
Nikhil: Absolutely wrong. Because the molecules don't travel laterally towards my location, there is a high probability of people around you having inhaled those things.
AC: What if that's only partly true? What if they travel through higher dimensions? Then they can reach you in a fraction of a second. Heh!
Nikhil: Yes...that's only "WHAT IF".
AC: Maybe it's already happening.
Nikhil: Maybe, what if, etc - English language equivalent for mathematical term. Probability. :D
AC: Agreed.
Nikhil: You have no other choice. :)
AC: The crux of the matter is, no matter what, the probability is NEVER zero.
Nikhil: Yep. That's also agreed. And I will spare you from saying it - "I have no other choice."
AC: Result: My fart exists in your body, no matter what the concentration, no matter how minuscule a quantity.
AC: Thus proved. :))
Nikhil: Still not proved. Just probabalized.
AC: Proved. Because the probability will never be zero, just infinitesimally small.
AC: Ever heard of Poincaré cycles?
Nikhil: Nope. Enlighten me.
AC: A Poincaré cycle is basically a probability cycle, and it says that the probability of an event happening is never zero. It's just infinitesimally small. If you wait long enough, probability of an event happening becomes one and thus the desired event occurs.
Nikhil: well, so when you are talking about molecules and and stuff, what happens if the probability is so small that it constitutes something less that one molecule?
AC: Your question is incorrect. For one molecule, it is infinitesimally small.
Nikhil: Ok.
AC: But dude we are talking about 10^24 molecules. So probability increases dramatically.
Nikhil: But then, we also have to account for distance - 9000 miles (x 1.6 KM) and then for the movement of molecules.
AC: Exactly my point. Inverse square law. Diffusion and all accounted for.
AC: Hyok, we ARE jobless.
Nikhil: No. It is a mark of genius to eke out a brainy convo out of a seemingly mindless subject about farts.
AC: We are geniuses then. Just that the world doesn't recognize us.
Nikhil: B-)
Nikhil: So congratulations. Both of us are genii.
AC: I wonder if i can actually publish a paper on this.
Nikhil: Dude! That'd be super!! It will be a fucking rage.
AC: This OUGHT to go up on your blog. I was thinking in terms of my blog but since you're having writer's block... :-)
Nikhil: My blog. Hmm yeah. But too long a convo. Let me edit some stuff out and try.
But I ended up posting this. Peace be with all you confused souls.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Kingdom Of Heaven

With a held breath,
I entered
The promised land
Of dreams and relief

And there
Did achieve salvation,
Bliss untold,
Of a dream long gone.
Plop plop was the sound.
Some might say
Worse than system of a down

Mankind knoweth not
The pleasures
Of transcendence
For it is there
That ideas are born
Thoughts are grown
Moulded into reality known

Fear not, my friend
For your time shall come
That be the heavenly kingdom
The kingdom of kakka come.

In memory of
Tangled who killed herself as soon as the last line was composed on GoogleTalk.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Twilight Zone

"Twilight. I have always loved twilight."
"Me too." she said.
"There's something magical about twilight."
"I know. I've felt that way a little too often." she said, as she ran her finger around his earlobe. Much to her satisfaction, he winced, and she wore a smug look of satisfaction, almost delight, on her face.

As the setting sun shone golden-orange on the bed of salt-water, he looked deep into those blue eyes, eyes that could almost resemble a dragon's in fierceness.

She guessed his thoughts correctly, and told him - "And your eyes are intense. Bottomless. No beginning or end. Like that of a vacuous abyss."

"Vacuous abyss?!? Sounds gothic."
"So are you, my love." said she, bemused.
"What's so gothic about me?"
"Imagery, my love."

He smiled, but said nothing though he felt he ought to have. She crossed her palms with sand, and blew the sand away; "Mi amour..." she whispered to the winds.

"Make my night." he whispered in her ear as she blushed a shade of crimson.

They say that the human mind has a very strong sense of smell. It is connected to intuition. Almost, perhaps. Bah, I digress. Some sights and smells are enough to drive a man crazy. Water on naked skin. Or as a song goes, "Black lace on sweat". A woman's love is one of those very things.


I woke with a start, gasping for breath, watching hues of hell hem down to harmony. Recurring dreams. Or visions of truth? Heh. I glanced around to check if she'd been woken up. To my relief, she was still sleeping so peacefully. Childlike, almost.

I lifted the white linen off, tucked her properly and walked round the room a couple of times. On opening the doors of that particular balcony, was something I loved much, because of the effect it had on a person standing there. It would always seem that the person was balancing himself on the very top of a tall cathedral spire, crouching with the ease of a skilled Ninja warrior: facing the elements, stalking his prey in perfect silence and waiting to jump off into the sky.

The wind on my body and a fine spray of the facing sea on my eyes. And the night sky.

Billions of hot balls of gas burning billions of miles away.

I can ride any road, go anywhere; but no highway can take me down the inner catacombs of my mind. While I did that- you, my love, were sleeping.

I looked back at her, smiled a smile within, pulled a cigarette out of the pack, ran my thumb down the rotary wheel that lights the flame of a lighter, and lit my stick of enlightenment. A deep drag and an exhalation followed.

This smoke, this sensuous night, this love, how much of it is real? Instruments of the universe to condition our minds to be blind to the real. Deception. Maya, as the ancients would say.

Or reality.
One of the many words to describe the cosmic truth.

Who are you, my love? Rather, what are you? What am I? A few molecules bunched up to form a shape. With a bit of consciousness, perhaps.

I want to look through the eyes of the cosmos.
I want to be the universe.

A heart stirred, and so did the body connected to the heart. She was waking up, confused in her sleep, as to why the comforting hand was not beside her.

She'll wake up soon.

I stared into the sky, saw the constellations fade away into light as the sun rose and I flicked the butt away, filling me with a warmth I've come to know and love.

There's something magical about twilight.
Twilight. I have always loved twilight.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

16th - 17th - 18th

Road trip to Hampi.

One Royal Enfield. Two bloggers. Three days.

Anyone interested?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Addendum : Bike Trip To Coorg a.k.a Kodagu Valley

"As I ride through the valley of the beans of coffee, I fear no tea, for you are with me, the cigarette and the lighter, they comfort me..."