Saturday, 20 June 2009

Coffee is for closers only

I know a few people who could do with this pep talk.

The rest of the movie's equally amazing, Glengarry Glen Ross. It plays out like a play (of course it would, it is based on one). There's hardly any 'action'. Just a few great actors slapping well written dialoges and monologes over each other. (F words and "leads" rule the word count). Al Pacino, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey, Jack Lemmon, Alan Arkin, Alec Baldwin - the cast's a director's wet dream really. Must watch.

Friday, 12 June 2009

The life of your ride.

Bikes. Ubiquitous symbols of testosterone-spiked Y-chromosomes. Mean male machines. Dripping coolth and screaming attention.

Exactly a decade ago, those were the precise machinations of my mind as I stepped into a showroom and picked one up for myself. Like any correctly-wired male, I too am a bike fanatic. I dig them. Immensely. They are clearly more than ‘Point A to Point B’ transporters.

But I never came around to loving it more than my life. (Notice the ‘it’ and not a ‘she’ which is to further infuriate bike “lovers”). Mine was a case of natural selection. It just felt right to grow old with.

It had the right amount of firepower, enough acceleration, and optimum stealth to be invisible in spirit, but certainly not in sound. Its valve-less double-stroke heart never allowed it to be that way. So, along we went on our parallel roads that intersected every day.

I was relatively young then. So was it.
Life was stereotypically fearless. So was its throttle.
I freewheeled into a rock band. So did it, on campus roads.
As middle age approached, my body slowed down. So did its top speed.
Thirties rattled my bones a bit. Its chassis started wobbling.
Today, reflexes aren’t what they used to be. Its electrical system has also given way.
I still can’t have more than three large ones in a single sitting. It is still averaging what it did ten years ago.
Bad cholesterol has clogged up the pipes. Its exhaust is making strange noises.

Like I said, it has grown old with me. And I’m happy it did that.

Otherwise, what’s the point in spending your life in keeping your partner in good shape, when you yourself are victimized by time? I chose not to take the path of being a non-performing Hugh Hefner stuck with a supermodel everyone else letches at.

I didn’t give it any special privileges. No stickers. No rear-view mirrors. No dust-cloths tugged in between the handle bar. I remember watching, with unhidden amusement, newly-wed bikers turn into vacuum cleaners at the first sight of a speck. The only time I put cloth to my bike is to wipe off pigeon or rain droppings. And usually that cloth is my handkerchief. (Because the handle-bar is undersupplied, remember?)

So, yes, the bike has as many scratches as I have greys, and as many dents as I have wrinkles. It hasn’t honked in the last 4 years, neither flashed its indicators. Both because of the faulty electrical system. And I wear glasses.

It still remains, like me, very young in spirit (or that's what I'd like to think). And, unarguably, the most reliable piece of engineering I have ever laid my hands or legs on. It still ignites at the first kick. Like it did seven years ago, right after a 720 degree rotation that followed a head on collision with an auto. (Yes, those were our freewheeling days). But it still started after we both got up. That accident left a permanent dent on its tank and a bruise mark on my left thumb.

Nowadays, I sometimes let my eyes linger over it more than needed. Trying to catch a fleeting signal it might give me. Like how will it end its journey. Or, at least, how will it go from here on. See if I can pick some cues there.

And also to see if the exhaust really, really needs a cleanup.

Friday, 5 June 2009