Monday, November 07, 2011


I miss...
...having a simple cup of coffee
...having a simple conversation
...having a simple day at work
...having a simple life


Monday, October 25, 2010

Car Wash

I am a frequent car wash visitor. Having a fetish for black cars and wanting to keep them gleaming means I need to make these trips quite often. And having nothing better to do while waiting in line, I watch the car in front of me at the wash. Some owners display a few quirks. I first thought they were isolated cases, but having seen it on numerous occasions its time to put it down in words. On a short note this is all at touch free car washes as I only go to those.
Firstly there are the people that have trouble getting their car in the right position. Either that or they enjoy the loud and harsh noise of the buzzer in their ears enough to listen to it multiple times as they rock back and forth trying to get the car on that sweet spot.
Then there are the extra helpful ones. Being active people they cannot of course sit idly in the car while the wash is on. They must do their bit for the cause. So they will dutifully run their wipers every time something is sprayed on the windscreen. First time when the soap is sprayed. They must be scared the wash will just leave them with soap suds on. So on go the wipers. Then the high pressure wash starts and again the wipers are hard at work. This can actually be potentially damaging to the wipers as the water pressure is high enough to rock the whole car. And if that spray doesn’t clean the windshield, the flimsy wipers will do squat. The last attempt is during the waxing. Again this is counterproductive as the wax does not settle on the windshield thus taking away what little protection it provides. But hey, whatever makes them happy.
Most people keep the car running even though it has to sit at the spot at least for a minute. I never get why the waste of fuel. And finally there was the one person who kept the wipers going into the air dryer. I will not comment on that one!

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

He and the Sea...

It was that kind of day. Hot, humid and sticky as far as the weather went. The sky was a gloomy shade of gray. In many ways, this also represented the general mood that engulfed him. He had not slept much of late but still was not drowsy. His normal sarcasm was toned down to a few feeble attempts at humor. Thankfully, he managed to conceal this well enough behind a smiling façade to get by without raising concern. So when he was asked about going to the beach, he was not really jumping for joy. But he went along nevertheless.
It was late evening and the clouds in the sky meant dusk was rapidly approaching. The beach looked far from the portrayed ideal. Dull gray sand and the dull gray waters of the Atlantic. Again, he marveled at how the weather reflected his mood.
For a while he stood staring blankly into nothingness. Then he felt a stiff breeze blowing. Somehow it made the heat bearable. His attention drifted to the sea. It was angry. Wave after wave came crashing down trying to beat the sands into submission. As he watched them, it struck him how similar they were to the turmoil of thoughts in his head. Each one trying to outdo the other.
Slowly the rest of the world faded out and he stood there conversing with the sea. It was almost like he was looking for some kind of an answer. But the sea does not provide answers. Not in real life anyway. Strangely though, in that raucous cacophony and chaos of crashing waves, for a fleeting moment, he found peace.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

To Heaven?

The other day at work I got into a conversation with a very religious minded colleague. The discussion veered to the idea of heaven and what lies in wait for the fortunate who make it there. But during the course of that discussion there were a few points brought up that got me thinking. Before I present those points I must mention that I am not by any means a very religious person, so anyone who believes deeply in these concepts should probably skip the rest of the post.
My colleagues concept of heaven was the traditional one. One with good people and angels and golden streets and sweet music. So then I wondered who all these good people might be. From what the scriptures say is required of a person to reach heaven, I dont know of one person who would meet that criteria. Which means that all the people I know would be missing. Then I thought about food. (I always think about food) Most foods one likes are supposedly sinful.(Chocolate anyone?) So I asked him if there were cars in heaven. And he said mostly not. Now if I were to go to heaven, I would surely hope it had things that made me happy. And one such thing would be some stonking supercars. A heaven where I had to walk around after a lifetime of driving just doesnt cut it. similarly there are a lot of things we enjoy on earth that are apparently frowned upon. So what exactly is in store at this supposed utopia?
A bit of thinking gave me just one answer. Terrorists! Loads of them. Ask any fundamentalist about to go on a suicide mission and he/she will tell you that they will go straight to heaven after the big bang. There will of course be 72 virgins waiting for them. Now since these are supposedly some of the most fanatically devout people, I assume they will get there. So there, heaven is full of terrorists. As it is I don't think I stood a chance of making it there. But now maybe this cloud has a silver lining too!


Monday, March 22, 2010

Toyota ‘Brake’ing down?

Nearly everyone who has any access to some form of news media has heard of Toyota’s woes in recent times. What started off as a big recall for defective floor mats has culminated in a massive media blitz amidst reports of cars running amok like they were possessed. The spirit from ‘Poltergiest’ would have been proud of these cars. This has polarized the population into two main groups. One group believes that it’s the company at fault for selling cars with electronic ghosts in them. The other believes a small issue has been blown out of proportion with more ulterior motives than just public safety. Being an automobile fanatic, I have been following these events quite closely.
Before I begin, let me clarify that I am no Toyota fan. I have never owned one of their products and do not intend to in the future. I have driven some of their cars and I feel they are quite boring to drive. They will get you from point A to B safely and reliably, but they offer little else. They are more like an appliance which you use daily. Which is of course fine for the average person. Actually make that millions of average people. And I do not mean this in a derogatory manner. It’s just that Toyotas are rarely driver’s cars. And as far as the Prius goes, I detest hybrids. Period.
That being said, I am a little skeptical when people are out on the street waving their arms about a Prius running wild. A 4.3 litre V8 Ferrari is terrifying, but a 1.8 litre Prius? Adding to this is the idea that the people driving them did not come across as drivers with decent amount of skill or for that matter, common sense. One of them actually sat in his runaway car for 23 miles without putting it in neutral or hitting the emergency brake or switching the engine off. He even claimed to have reached down and tried to pry the stuck pedal loose. Now this is quite impossible to do in any car, lesser so one travelling at 94 mph. So forgive me for thinking there is more to this than meets the eye.
Is it just stupid drivers? Is it a plot by Govt. Motors (GM)? I do not know. But the downside to this obsession is that road safety takes a backseat. Toyota sells more than 2 million vehicles a year in the US alone. And these are largely driven by people who also call, text, eat and do many unmentionable things while they drive. The percentage of cars affected is quite small. But the media frenzy has ensured that there are a lot of nervous drivers on the road. And nervous drivers make more mistakes. Also the fact that such a large number of cars are recalled means there is a greater problem. This will probably never be of concern. Toyota sales are already going up since they have been proving the claims wrong. And soon the media will move on to something juicier. The funny thing about regulations is, a few cars with stuck pedals are a major issue. But thousands of drivers’ texting while eating a burger at 75 mph is not.
Meanwhile, global warming seems to have hit Tata Motors badly. Brand new Tata Nanos are spontaneously combusting without any apparent reason. Hopefully it is a ‘Nano’ sized problem for the world’s cheapest car.

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