Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Super Biker King: Mahendra Singh Dhoni!

Sometime in August last year, I received a phone call from one of my ardent biker friend requesting me to accompany him to some biker meet that was to be held in the city the coming Sunday. Having nothing better to do anyways, I agreed. However, the next few days were spent pondering over whether I had done the right thing by conceding to my friends request. After all, I was neither a biker nor someone who was overtly crazy about bikes. While I was still pondering, Sunday arrived and with it my friend on his TVS Apache, smiling gleefully with excitement palpable on his face, came to pick me up!!

I sat pillion as we rode up to the place where the meet was to be held. He told me how excited he was at the thought of attending the meet and he was bubbling with child-like enthusiasm all along the way. We soon reached the place, a huge "CASTROL BIKER MEET" poster greeted us at the entrance. Bikes of all brands and colors were parked in the parking lot! There were Royal Enfields, Harley Davidsons, Yamahas, Hyosungs, a Hayabusa and a gleaming red Ducati Monster!! While my friend drooled over the Hayabusa, I confessed to him that I was hearing that name for the first time in my life!! He gave me a look similar to one which I once remember giving an European friend of mine when he had told me that he did not know who Sachin Tendulkar was!!!

I just shrugged my shoulders as we finally started walking towards the hall. We occupied a seat each, somewhere at the back end as most of the front rows had already been occupied. The meet soon started and to begin with everyone was asked to give their introductions. It was followed by a small presentation about the sponsor of the meet 'Castrol'. Then there was some discussion about the technical aspects of bikes and biking, I remember yawning continuously through it even as my friend participated like he was a pro!!

Finally, there was a contest in which everyone who wished to participate could chip in.  The Question was - "Define the Indian Biker" The judges would decide the best answers and give them prizes which included United Motorcyclists biking jacket, 10 Power 1 Jackets and 5 Studds helmets. One by one everyone started defining bikes/ what bikers stand for/ biker qualities, starting from the 1st row. My friend, eagerly awaiting his turn (it would take quite some time as we were seated in the last few rows), kept rattling things he would say!! But as we reached the middle rows, his expression started changing. Most of the things he was planning to say were being told by those occupying the front rows. The bikers raved and ranted about how people from their biker community are cool dudes sporting long hair, keep stubble, wear leather jackets, gloves, chains and earrings, love to zip around on their bikes, travel long distances without getting tired, flaunt tattoos, love speed, etc, etc etc...

I suddenly asked my friend, "Do you want to win this?"

He replied, "Obviously man! It is not about the prizes but imagine the respect I will command if I win this! My name would reach far and wide as the Biker Community is a very closed one!!"

I said to him, "Then forget all that crap and run of the mill stuff that everyone else seems to be blabbering about!"

He argued, "But... but, That's how bikers are!! And anyways, do you have a better answer??", he asked more out of desperation than any genuine hope!!

I gave him a wicked smile and said, "Yes."

                                                            ---------------------------

Friends let me share with you all, the qualities of a hard core biker! Let us take MSD for example. He is probably the most famous biker in India. His love for the mean machines is unparalleled. That he owns about 2 dozen bikes which include Harley Davidson, Kawasaki Ninja, Yamaha 650cc, Hero Honda CBZ Xtreme and TVS Star City is ample testimony to the fact!!

Now let me come to the ideal Biker Qualities.

Dhoni shows his dare devilry and the heart to take challenges head on by agreeing to race his Bike with an Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter plane, Jaguar.

Dhoni posing with an Aircraft
Dhoni posing with an Aircraft

He displays his carefree attitude which all the bikers have in oodles by stopping at a roadside chaat shop to savor his favorite aloo chaat in his hometown of Ranchi!!

Mahendra Singh Dhoni
The Passionate Biker with his Harley Davidson

He shows that he has a heart of gold and a soft side to him as well by generously giving his jersey to a small boy immediately after India won the T-20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007. I mean he could have easily auctioned it for millions!!

Dhoni - The humble Indian cricket captain
Dhoni - The humble Indian cricket captain,
 pleasing the fans!!

Bikers always have that sense of humor and plenty of interesting anecdotes and if you listen to MSD at a press conference or even at the toss interview, he will always have that mischievous smile and some humor in his words!!

Mahendra Singh Dhoni  at a press conference
Mahendra Singh Dhoni  at a press conference

He also believes in the existence of a higher power and the respect for it, as he never fails to visit the Deori Mata Temple whenever he is in Ranchi (also probably explains all his luck!!)

Dhoni at a temple
Dhoni with wife Sakhsi at the Durga Temple

He has that childlike enthusiasm which takes over him whenever he sees a bike as he quickly grabs the seat whenever he himself or one of his team mates win a bike in any tournament!!! Off course like a good biker, he gives his teammates a free ride!!

Dhoni with Yuvraj enjoying a ride
Dhoni and Yuvraj enjoying a ride
Dhoni the biker dude
Mahendra Singh Dhoni - Carefree

Aren't these, friends, the main qualities of a hardcore biker??

Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni - The cool dude

A resounding 'YES' and a thunderous applause resonated in the hall as my friend finished his reply!

The showman that my friend was, did a little jig, clapped and pumped his fists and shouted, "These are all OUR qualities friends, WE are the Bikers..." More claps followed!!

                                               ---------------------------

It was my turn now, and I remember muttering something indecipherable, best part being my voice was amply muffled by the deafening applause that had still not subsided. I was careful enough to end my 2 minute (or was it 2 seconds?) rambling promptly before the claps died out and hurriedly took back my seat. The remaining attendees soon finished with their answers and after a short tea break and get together the winners were declared.

The top spoils were taken by an avid biker Punit Dubey who had described about His Biking Journey right from the beginning, a serious looking young man who preferred to be known as The Fool who had narrated now-on-everyone's-lips 'The Legend of Baikadu' and of course also by my friend!!!

For others like me, we were happy… Nah! actually over the moon, to receive the complimentary T-Shirt that was given to everyone who had attended the meet!!! 

This was my first real tryst with Biking and Bikers and I thank my friend and Castrol for making my day memorable!!!

Images courtesy:

PS: This entry is posted for the IndiBlogger contest - The Castrol Power1 Blogging Contest (What Motorcycling Means To You?). Do not forget to check out their facebook page here - www.facebook.com/CastrolBiking.

PPS: If you are an IndiBlogger and liked reading this post, Do vote for it here The Super Biker King: Mahendra Singh Dhoni! - Thank You!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spitting Stains: We need Change!

You may be reading this at the uber cosmopolitan and the financial capital of India, Mumbai or in a small remote village lacking in even the most basic amenities in Bihar but there are high chances, you will find one sight very common at both the places! That is the ugly scene of people spitting here and there! Yes, to see people spit has to be one of the most familiar sights, no matter in which part of India you find yourself in.


Spitting Stains like these are so common in India

I vividly remember my apathy at my previous place of residence. Taking it's steps in the mornings, evenings or afternoons as a kid was quite an ordeal in itself. A red carpet welcome awaited me, every single day! The sad part, of course being that this welcome was neither pleasing nor was it appealing in any way! Add to that the foul smell, ewwww!! A thick mat of red colored stains was all I could see, at the sides of the staircase as well as in the small lobby. I used to feel disgusted and nauseated and would almost muffle myself while climbing up to reach my 3rd floor flat. Today, many years later I cant help but wonder why our society never took any steps to do something about it! Was it so difficult for people to learn about one of the basic lessons of our Moral science classes? Or was it plain carelessness on the part of all?

But then again, to think that this problem exists only in residential complexes would be naive. I have visited post offices, posh commercial complexes, banks and once even a police station (now before you all get your brains raking, I was there for getting my 10th standard mark sheet attested!)... Wherever I have been, I have observed and come to the conclusion that the problem of spitting and spit stains is basically everywhere.

Spitting tarnishes the image of our country as foreigners visiting OUR country India are horror-struck at the sight and I am sure, we all have noticed the disgust on their faces when they come across someone spraying the scarlet colored liquid out of the mouth. Besides cleanliness of course, it is an attack on the health of all, the citizens! Spitting can spread germs and cause grim health troubles. Tuberculosis or TB virus can easily be transmitted when a person suffering from it coughs, sneezes or spits!!

People have the habit of chewing paan, gutkha and masala (a mixture of suparis, gutkha and chuna) then spit it out freely. Interestingly enough, the very posters on buses and trains encouraging people against tobacco chewing are not spared by these uncivilized mass of rowdies either!

It’s an addiction, a ‘chalta hai’ habit that has rooted itself deep in the veins of our country, to say the least! Every hour, every minute, every second whenever someone insults our mother earth by spitting, we lose our dignity one strain more and my heart cringes to think of it! But it's not only the chewers who are at fault. We, the rest of the junta are equally to blame. How often have we ignored such sights by moving on and then forgetting all about it the very next moment? Ask yourself…

In such a scenario, the only call of the hour ..is CHANGE – Change in the mindset of not only the people spitting their hearts out but also the people watching it happen!

One of the many options which I have seen work very well is putting up images of Gods and Goddesses on the side walls of the buildings. This easily scares people from spitting there. Putting up spittoons at government offices, parks and other places on the roads or launching of massive anti-spitting drives and raising awareness in people might also help the case in the positive direction.



Fines like these do seem to have some effect


A few years back, the Bombay High Court touched upon this issue of spitting. "It (spitting) is an inherent character of our people. See the road. See the high court (building). There is a tendency among our Indian people," said Justice Majmudar. "It is difficult in our country. You cannot introduce any change," he had added. It is definitely tough, I agree but it has to start somewhere, someday... isn't it? Then, why not begin it right now... with 'YOU and ME?'

Together, with combined efforts and a bit of responsibility, we can surely do our bit to stop this red venom from spreading!

So, next time you see that rickshaw driver spit or your next door uncleji red-coat the building walls, stand up and raise your voice! Tell them, this is a public property and get them some water to clean it up! It is definitely not that hard and standing for the right is never wrong. Not every attempt of yours might bear fruit, not every positive action might meet with an equally positive reaction but for every step you take, and for every person you change, mother earth and humanity will surely bless you manifold! It's high time we stopped cribbing and started acting... Are you game???

PS - This contest is written for the Time to Change contest on IndiBlogger.

PPS - Images are courtesy,
1. http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m72/mpurchiaroni/World Trip/India/Trains and Stations/
2. http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4117/4884060305_245fd32c6f_z.jpg

If you like my post you can Promote it here - Spitting Stains: We need Change!

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