Tuesday, March 22, 2011

the triumph of murphy

disclaimer: extremely long sob story to follow. read only if you want to make yourself feel better about your own day. no sympathy will be accepted.

ever since the accident last month, which happened for absolutely no fault of mine, my life's been a little more painful than before.

there's the fact that i lost my backup phone, and was down to using other peoples' phones until i brought one for myself.

there's the thing about not having a bike, which makes getting everywhere more painful, time-consuming, expensive and...i guess painful is the word.

there's my leg, which wasn't so badly affected that i couldn't walk or anything, but is pretty bad anyway. over a month later, it's still painful to climb steps with it, i can't take a couple of quick paces even if i really have to, and i get cramps and stiffness when i sit or even sleep.

as a result, every single working day is a battle for me. i struggle to wake up because i have problems falling asleep thanks to my leg. it's always been hard to get rickshaws, but now it's even worse because i can't run towards or behind them.

rickshaws take twice the amount of time to get me to work than my bike used to. and my one way ric fare is close to a week's petrol money.

i wait in office till 8:30, because it's pointless taking a rickshaw at 8, to sit breathing fumes, caught in a traffic jam, paying by the minute. the airconditioned office drop is better, even if it means trying to work for half-an-hour when i'm already well past my saturation point. and then roaming all around the place to drop individual people, sometimes covering 1.5 times my normal way home, and taking close to 3 times my bike time.

as a result, i'm never home before 9:30pm. which means the only time i can meet my mechanic and make any progress towards getting my bike done is on saturdays.

anyway, i've been pulling through for 5 weeks in this fashion, when today happened.

the story begins with yesterday, actually. i was supposed to meet my mechanic in the evening, approve of all the parts he had purchased, and give him the go-ahead to start repairs.

unfortunately, i also had a meeting scheduled from 7pm-8pm.

when i called my mechanic, he informed me that he didn't get the chance to purchase the parts, so i should come over tomorrow (i.e. today).


except that come 7pm, i got a mail saying that the meeting is can't happen as one of the important attendees didn't realize there was a conflict on his schedule.

struggled to get through the day, got home via the drop.

woke up today morning, late as usual, and then discovered that my stomach isn't in the best of condition. so i couldn't eat the chicken curry that mom had packed for lunch. left it at home. since my lunch is pretty much the reason i carry my bag to work, i decided to leave it at home.

stepped out in the blazing heat, and started my daily search for a rickshaw. except that this time, it took me 20 minutes, covering the road around my block twice, and and atleast 5 refusals before i got one.

reached work late. barely 5 minutes before my first meeting. trudged through the day.

at around 5:45, i realized i had to meet my mechanic today. and also had the meeting at 7.

i called the mechanic. he hadn't brought all the parts yet, but would go to the dealer at 7, so should be back by 7:45 or so. he asked me to meet him then.

alright. so i had to leave at 6, to make it home before my meeting began, and after the meeting, rush to meet the mechanic (he closes shortly after 8). and then possibly finish some work from home.

got out at 6pm sharp. there were no rickshaws outside. i didn't realize the car parked opposite, that was just about to start moving, was the office shuttle to link road.

at 6:05, the shuttle and the extended shuttle were back at the gate. i asked the extended shuttle if it went to link road. and then was informed that that was the car, waiting on he other side of the road. and it leaves every 10 minutes, so i had just missed the 6pm one.

so i sit inside, wait for it to start moving at 6:10, and finally it takes me all around and drops me at inorbit, despite me being the only person in the shuttle. whatever.

inorbit signal. no empty rickshaws at all. but the road ahead seems reasonably clear, unlike at 8pm when it's pretty much gridlocked.

and then i see a bus waiting at the other side of the road, for the signal to change.

i limped across as quick as i could, and got in. it was a route number i recognized, so i was pretty sure it would go near home.

asked inside, and it did indeed go near home, but not very near.

that's when i realized there was another bus behind it, and that one definitely passed near home, as i recall seeing it when i was still biking around.

got in. the bus was packed. found a spot to stand somehow. the bus started moving.

it moved pretty quick, i must say. barely any traffic.

10 minutes later, i got a window seat.

i thanked my stars.

25 minutes later, i was almost home. happy. this is less time than the ric would take on a usual day at my usual time.

the bus then turned off link road, about a 10 minute walk away from home.

and proceeded to go in the exact opposite direction, but from an inside road.

it spent 20 minutes wandering around borivli, until it eventually got to another point around 10 minutes from home. that's where i had to get off.

this stop is the same place where buses that go directly to my home stop. so i decided to wait for a bus instead of walk.

5 minutes later, when i was getting restless and about to reconsider my decision, i saw a bus.

it was jam packed. i couldn't even get an arm in.

i gave up and decided to start walking.

2 minutes later, another bus passed me. empty.

i couldn't run for it, so i just kept walking.

finally reached home. 20 minutes late for my meeting.

rang the doorbell. no response.

rang the doorbell repeatedly. no response.

my parents had gone out.

they weren't expecting me home so early.

they also usually don't think about where i am and when i'll get home, as my house keys are usually in my pocket.

except that today, they were in my bag.

they reached back just as the meeting was probably got over.

i got home, logged in. meeting over.

called my mechanic.

his phone has been switched off.

i have nothing left to say, or think.

i don't even know why i try to continue.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

positive social networking

two interesting things happening this week:

the mumbai twestival, on march 24th, is raising money for Welfare of Stray Dogs. the twestival is an annual event, and supports a different charity every year.

you can donate, check the facebook page and rsvp for the event if you're interested.

and my cousin has set up a page for her friend anthony, for the cause of getting him to quit smoking. he has pledged to quit smoking if the facebook page for the cause gets 1000 likes in a week. so hop on over quickly, and save an 18 year old boy's lungs!

Friday, March 18, 2011


I think of luck the way I think of black magic:

if you believe in it, it has power over over you.

but you know what's the other thing about luck?

when you curse luck, it curses you back.

and it's not just luck. it applies to all sorts of creations of our minds. it's just that we don't usually think about what we were thinking before something happened to us. and usually, I wouldn't either. but something happened a few weeks ago that made me sit up and start thinking.

it was exactly 4 weeks ago (almost to the minute). I was riding home after a long day at work. it wasn't just long because of work, but because of something very personal. I was in a terribly dark mood, and frankly, I still don't know why I felt *that* bad.

that ride home, I was thinking about death. my own death.

I wasn't thinling about suicide, but in a way, I almost was. it was more like how I'm so near death so many times a day, and how easy it is to die, because of my mistake, someone else's mistake, or a combination of both.

I was thinking of what sort of things could lead to nasty injuries but not death, death with no chance of survival, all sorts of these things.

I also had thoughts about engineering some of those situations.

and then I turned to get off link road.

the rest is history.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

child abuse

I was travelling by rickshaw, when i happened to see a car slowly cross the intersection in front of me. a man was driving, with a woman (his wife, presumably) riding shotgun, and between them, a kid of about 3, a cute litte thing with curly hair, almost an afro.

the kid was probably refusing to sit still, and was pretty much standing between her parents' seats. A rather unsafe place to be, but still.

it was nothing compared to what i was about to witness.

as the car exited the intersection, the driver slammed the accelerator, throwing the kid onto the backsrest of the rear seat, and then onto the seat itself.

i didn't get to see what happened next as my rickshaw moved ahead, but what i saw freaked me out enough.

i'm speechless on more levels than one.

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