Monday, January 12, 2015

Open letter to all the kids in the world

Dear kids,
Hope you are having a good time! Since you believe in Santa, fairies, knights and all the mythical characters that are righteous, I am sure you live with eternal optimism (though you don't have a clue what that word means) through all the thick and thin.The stories you have heard of obedience, selflessness, honesty and all the other right virtues are probably shaping you into an ideal person. But this is not going to last! You will soon turn into an adult, which is a far worse version of yourself. Your parents will teach you to lie. All the kids will help each other in becoming adult humans with egos (I can't really describe to you what an 'ego' is, but is it what makes us adults, other than a moustache) bigger than the largest playground you have seen. We all adults wish that our kids remain kids, but we haven't so neither will our kids remain!
The purpose of this letter is to bust some myths about adults or grown ups, whatever you call us. I will go one by one so that you can quickly refer to any point as and when need arises:

  1. Adults have responsibilities: If any of us tells you that we have so many 'responsibilities' and that is why we are 'stressed', they are lying ! Most of our responsibilities are work we have created for each other. Auditors, consultants, police, judges and many more people exist because we adults don't trust each other.
  2. We go to work to buy you new toys: No! We go to work so that we go to fancy restaurants where yelling kids are not welcome. Or to buy a swanky car where each drop of ice cream you spill is going to count. If we had never introduced you to video games or electronic games, you would have never asked for them. Simple?
  3. We save money so that you can have a good future: If we wanted a good future for kids, we would be saving the planet. We use the resources from the planet, to earn more money which 'we think' will safeguard the future. 
  4. We are smarter than you are: If I gave you a glass of water and told you that's all you will get the entire day, will you drink it or wash your face with it? We adults are bathing  with that glass of water. And we claim to be smart. 
  5. We are careful & thoughtful: We drink, we smoke, eat stuff that we know is harmful to us (in fact we tell kids NOT to eat it) and how can we then claim to be careful? We are aware of the stuff we don't have in abundance like fuel, time or minerals and we still waste it. Thoughtful? 
This is just the tip of the iceberg. We do a lot more that we should not be doing and shun away from doing what we should be doing. There could be books written, research paper published and conferences held to highlight how we adults are not doing what we should be. But unfortunately all of it is created and consumed by us adults, for our own gratification. You kids know nothing of it. 
The day you will see through our facade of adulthood, it will arouse a feeling within you that you may not have witnessed before - HATE!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Is it good to be money-minded?

I have spent last few weeks trying to make choices between health, children's education, career choices, safe & secure environment for kids, time with parents and most importantly - money. People who have witnessed my dilemma have told me I am too emotional, not ambitious enough, 'wasting my talent' and what not!
At the same time, I have also seen people of my age and caliber make the same choices with ease. So, I got thinking. What is it that helps them make these decisions? After a lot of deliberation, I think it is money. I have grown up in a household that places minimal emphasis on money. My father once told me that money will help me survive but it's my passion that will help me have a life. So, money has been no more than a tool! In fact so much was my self gratification that I even looked down upon people as 'money-minded'. My definition of such people was - people who would make decisions purely based on monetary gain. While, I made my decisions based on my emotional quotient. 
Last few weeks though have made me realize, that money is a far more reliable and quantifiable goal to keep! If you take decision based on what (you think) is best for your kids, it may not always turn out to be that way. If you think your parents need you, they may not think in the same way. Besides, middle class parents have spent their entire life trying to make ends meet and earn some money. To them your earning opportunities outweigh their emotional needs. If you think you are awesome at some art, say painting and make career choice based on this belief, you may be in for some reality check. The one thing that almost always turns out right is - if you think you will make money, you WILL make money!
What do you think?

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Hyderabad to Goa by Bike

Happy new year 2015 to you! Hope you spend hours and days on roads without traffic in the coming years. I had a dream new year eve - on the road, going home. After numerous previous road travels on this route (read here and here), this time I decided to travel by my Royal Enfield Std 350.

I was short on any sort of planning time, so decided to use my experience and just take the route taken before. 
Google maps says it should take about 14 hours to do this journey. However, we took a night halt at Raichur and including the halt, completed the journey in 29 hours.



Our itinerary, roughly, was:

30.12.2014, 16:00 - Depart from Lingampally, Hyderabad
30.12.2014, 21:15 - Reach Raichur, Karnataka 
Night Halt at Hotel Kubera Palace @ INR1400 per night including complimentary breakfast
Better option is Hoten Kritunga which we took last time
31.12.2014, 08:30 - Depart from Raichur, Karnataka 
31.12.2014, 09:30 - Puncture in rear tyre about 40 Kms from Raichur
31.12.2014, 11:45 - Resume after fixing the tyre
31.12.2014, 15:00 - Reach Bagalkote. Karnataka [brief halt for snacks]
31.12.2014, 18:30 - Reach Belgaum, Karnataka [city traffic and halt for snacks]
31.12.2014, 19:30 - Depart Belgaum city limits
31.12.2014, 21:30 - Reach Ponda, Goa

All in all, we spent about 18 hours on the road and the rest in halts. 
The bullet behaved extremely well. I was riding with a pillion rider and consumed approximately 25 liters of fuel. Maximum speed was 80 Kms per hour.

Road condition:
This route takes the super smooth Hyderabad - Bangalore road till Jadcherla and then takes the SH20 all the way till Belgaum. The SH has a good tarmac quality but is single lane without dividers. Also, be watchful of work in progress, especially at night. These are small patches but extremely dangerous and fatal if you are not paying attention. And since this is a state highway, there are speed breakers near village crossings all along.

Happy touring!

P.S.: Detailed travelogue and some motorcycle touring advice probably later.