Saithan Cycle la Varuthu Ft. Me

I’ve been in Chennai all my life. There are lots of things to point out to Chennai for its glory and specialty. But, there are tons of directors that talk about it. Why am I here now? To talk about traffic- the one thing no one seems to want to write about… or have I missed it? My travel through the city can be divided into three major modes: Walking, Bus and Cycle. Riding in a/a Bike or a car is unbelievably rare for me, because I’ve got a mediocre knowledge of both. There is a very little to discuss about Nada-raja service because, to get caught in traffic when you’re walking is a skill. Either you must be “yo momma so fat” fat or you must be well, have lost your screws up there.
Coming to Bus travel I have already written about it in my previous posts and blogs about all the jannal seat conundrums and ticket kashtams. People who know me, must’ve read it. Here I’d like to tell about my general adventures of Chennai traffic and with my cycle too. Before I start off, I don’t know if bikers and other two wheelers face the similar or even more difficulties, if so, let the Road-u madha bless you with all the chilra you’re gonna vaarify.
Going on Chennai roads is an art. Oru vela athan namma aalungaluku varaliyo? Probably this is the only place in Tamil nadu where the “left la indicator potu right la porathu makes sense”, and might become legal soon. Enna? people want to ban momos, why not ban logic? My cycle has two blinkers, one in the front and one in the rear. I almost always never forget the blinkers when there is no sunlight since I met with a small accident. But I’m not sure, if all these people can see the blinking light. There will be this uncle in a Fuel economy bike whom I think might have asked his wife to make murungakka sambar, murungakka poriyal, murungakka kootu and all, oh and aththi pazham juice too. He will be in ulaga-maga rush to his home, when? When sun is out kolthing. Dei it’s 11.30 da, enga mela otitu nee veetuku poi o… seri okay avarukum vazhi vittuta there will be this couple on R15. She will be sitting in 1st floor and he in basement. I often think that this setup is a sly technique by boys to make the girl hug them during brakes since oru front brake will lead to angry bird action of launching the girl into the air.
Okay da, neengalum ponga, then there will come this share auto driver who must’ve been this kid who didn’t get to ride a cycle. He will take all the inch gap and centimeter gaps and will do his best to do the “Cycle gap la Sindhu paaduvan” thingy, with his share auto. Seri share autovum pogatum nu vitta then, his younger cousin, Auto will come. He will be blessing everyone with all the cuss words and profanities known to mankind and dinosaurkind. I even feel his skills in kazhuvi oothing your family is better than his driving skills. Though these auto annas are better maps than google but they give off more heat than a Redmi phone. Beside this auto there will be one guy in lungi on a RX-100 who will have a 90’s bgm as his horn and will scare all the pazhaya aunties and thathas. Sometimes there will be a girl in his pillion seat who’s face will be mummified in the dhupatta. He will give her heart attack instead of orgasms by driving through all the sandhu bonthu. Dei that is not the gap you must… okay.
Somehow coming past all this, we come to a Major signal in that direction of the city. And past that signal will be your college, home, hostel, bathroom ellam. That signal is the ultimate barrier for all the things in life and I’m pretty sure everyone knows what signal I’m talking about. This signal is designed such a way that, all the following things will happen.
  1. You’ll reach your college for 3rd sem arrear exam if you start for 11th half yearly.
  2. You’ll reach for your child’s 3rd birthday if you’re going to meet your 1st ex-girlfriend.
  3. You start for an interview and reach for your Junior’s promotion. Wait, that won’t happen! Avanukum vela kedachirukathu.
  4. You start during Sherlock Season 5 and reach when Sherlock season 6 promo comes out.
  5. You start for Saravanan Meenatchi… uh… you’ll still end up there.
Then there are these roadu janthus, the maadu-Ola, aadu-Uber, Chinna yaanai-Tata ace, The Karadi government bus who will be ruling the roads and they might even have a will stating, “This is my Grandfather road”. You somehow pass that “ootla soltu vantiya” scooty guy who scolds us for going by rules, and the “kanna enga vechitu vara” XL aunty, aiyyo I meant TVS XL. Barry Allen eh confuse aagura alavuku timeline changes nadanthu eppadiyo green signal vizhum.
When the Signal turns green there will be these idiots who will start honking 0.0001 seconds after green goes off, why da ivlo avasaram? In a nutshell, the only possibility where you reach your destination in time is when your destination is The Signal itself.
Once you’ve time travelled through this signal you’ll then face the bigger demons of the road, oh not the direct contractors of Mr.Yeman – The elemental combo – the Mannu Lorry and the Thanni Lorry – But the all cosmetic imperfections of the road which the cosmic entity in itself would not know why. First there will be a speedbreaker, but it will be taken because it would be too bumpy for vehicles, so they will remove it half-heartedly, apparam when sky goes chucha, the bad digging will lead to potholes which will lead to plot holes in our life. The hole will develop and they will announce it as metrotrain works soon. Escaping all the holes you’ll definitely be bound to find yourself to the surprise pan missiles from bus and lorry windows. Even Kaaka does kakka on you. Onnyum panna mudiyathu.
If you have somehow crossed all this to reach your destination, then the gods bless you with a splash of mud from the rain, and the rain itself to wash it off. Ivvalavum mudichi antha edathula poi sentha, oruthan kepan, “Dei nee innuma cycle otitu iruka?”.
Tyre oda senthu namma heart layum kaathu pogum.
#CyclingSambarthayam

Cringe Attack: Senses

I was a northern state for a week and it was a great stay. The capital city of this state was a lovely one albeit its little discomforts. But one thing that reinforced in me was that your senses are sure to be the first point of attack every time you go out. As I returned home I realized that we wage a war of senses with the world we step out of our home. We win sometimes, we lose most times, but that doesn’t matter because every smell, every temperature, every sound, every pressure is an experience. I’ll leave the shade of feeling you feel to you. If this post makes you cringe, my job is done.

Eye-o!

There are lots of things that you see with your eyes, like the orange coat sunset over the clouds, or the trippy half-cut side of a purple cabbage, or the way the coffee powder mixes slowly into milk. These are some soothing sights that you see in your day to day life which have a positive effect or not effect you.
Here comes the Attack.
The first attack I want to talk about is the one where you’re sprayed with Influenza infected droplets of death, Saliva. Sneezing is one of the most ungodly acts of human nature when done without closing mouth. I’ve been in a situation where a light behind a man highlighted his open sneeze and I saw the particulates fly off in every direction. Brrr. I ran before I got a fresh coat of Saliva.
Everyone loves eating, but some people manage to make it the most undesirable act of the century. They chew with the mouths so open that a Crow could come and pick some food off. Also, that sound that accompanies it. “Chowk Chowk Chowk”. Please.
Human body makes a lot of wastes, some of them are disgusting, some of them go unnoticed, I’m going talk about the disgusting one. Oh, not that one, but the one that comes from your eyes and nose. Doesn’t that little white goop in their eyes want to scratch out your own eyes? Or the gummy boogers you see having a fun time swinging in their nose hairs make you cut off your own nose? If you have felt the same way, Hello. Once I saw a man whose boogers slipped and fell into his soup. I wanted to jump out of my skin. I’m not saying everyone will be aware every time, but please for the love of god!
Have you ever sat in a restaurant or a coffee shop and someone bent down right before your face? Yes, getting a butt in your face is not the greatest thing while eating food. But that’s not the worst part, it’s the butt crack that makes you spit out your intestines. If you manage to think that, ‘it’s Butt, nothing but’ then you might be built for something stronger like the spitting.
Oh. It’s not the normal spitting. This is a special kind of spitting that makes you hate physics. The spit that curves. The phenomenal bus-window spit. This guy who has been ‘arachifying’ that pan in his mouth for the past 30 minutes chooses the exact moment right before you get up, before the vehicle halts at your bus stop, and he goes “plicchhhh” towards the windows. You must have seen rainbows? That’s how the spit curves. It curves from his mouth and hits the one behind his seat. That is, you, painting you in Red. As your tears mix with the pan, I’ll let you deal with that scarring image.

Ke’Kadhu’

Ears are a wonderful sense to enjoy the world, the sweet music of the nature swishing and swooshing with winds, or the consistent tapping of rain on your window or the eargasm you feel when you hear the waves rock you to sleep. But there is another side to sounds. Naaais.
Here comes the attack
One might think this is the lesser of sensory attacks, but I have some tricks for this one. You might’ve experienced this, you’d be having lunch and there would be this one guy that will have his lunch and make sounds like a whale. You can literally hear him drinking his water, or munching his murukku.
Or those loud talkers in theatres who seem to make the most irritating noises of all. And there would be another couple that will making noises that mimic rats squeaking. Get a room please.
There are those idiots who tap the table during an important meeting. Man, that makes you so mad. They must be hung with their ID cards.
And you bathroom singers. Pothum da dei
You know, you’re moving in a line, standing in a que for a bank or even Pongal in kovil, then you hear a sound, “darrrrrrr”. Let’s pray to the mighty power above it was a one of those times where a hole was made in a fabric by tearing and not the people tearing a hole in the fabric of time by releasing body air. Ewww. IKR.

Mooku Varmam

This is my favourite/unfavourite part in this blog. My special wishes and condolences to nose for enduring so many things in life. Seriously Nose, You da man.
As the heading says, using nose is an art, it has a million good purposes, like taking in the sweet smell of vadai, or the fragrance of a flower or the olfactory treat of breathing in a new book. But at times certain things are thrust upon you and you can’t hold your breath always.
Here comes the attack
First let’s start with all bodily odours. I think a bus is the place where one can experience all the human based odours. First of all, sweat, that little salt droplet that rolls down from your underarm, ever so slowly that it progresses like the dooms day that’s coming towards us. While you’re engrossed in tracking that sweat bullet on your skin, the person standing behind you is grossed out by the unmissable gappu it creates. His poor nose is bombarded by nasal bomb from you. As he tried to move away from you, someone else releases something else among the bus crowd. This thing as strong as the Bomb Trump dropped over afghan. Beware, this one is the sum product of multiple dishes from the previous day that didn’t ferment properly inside your body. I really wish there was a fart detector in public places. People would run for life.
You go to the conductor to get ticket, but your heart stops for a few minutes as your face goes into different corners of your head. The smell of bad breath demands you! It demands you to be felt! This is such a horrible experience you know. You can’t express the insane amount of discomfort your nasal cavity faces wanting you to rip off the nose but also must continue the conversation until you get what you need. All his pan, unbrushed teeth, the onions he had, makes sure you count your blessings post this experience
Seri, okay you get down from the bus and another war. The mighty koovam. This ever-present river will make sure your olfactory senses are deactivated for a few moments such that you can’t breathe.
But the other thing that trumps this is public bathrooms. If there is a place where you want to train your senses, this is the ultimate dojo. Nose, eyes, and ears will be made sure you grow a new pair.
Nose Knows Everything.
After all this if you survive you’re the best.
Remember. Everyone has problems related to body, don’t take it lightly, make sure you fix it. Also make sure you don’t offend anyone with your words.

What the Bus!

Today I was met with a peculiar situation whose ending left me searching for questions for which I knew the answers.

I got onto a local bus today evening. My stop was at least 50 minutes away from then, and I was frantically waiting for an empty seat (the bus had a few standees only) as my laptop bag was heavy. A stop later I got a good seat opposite the front doorway. In the next stop an elderly man, probably around 65 years got into the bus, he had a small lunch bag and a shoulder bag in his hand. He politely asked me to hold his lunch bag and went to get ticket from the conductor who wouldn’t step down from his conductor throne.

By the time he came back I had put on my earphones like I usually do. He came and stood near the pole beside me. No interactions between us after that except one. In the next 5 minutes I had the most intense conversation with myself. As I began fidgeting the strap of his lunch bag, my mind wandered and a question rose into the void, that was my mind.

What would a man of 60 odd years be doing with a lunch bag? Shouldn’t he be ideally retired, or at least be at home at this age? if he is working who would he be?‘ Maybe he had his own company, or maybe his car broke. No, no, sounds too far-fetched. I tried to Sherlock his appearance and deduce his background.  The Lunch bag looked like a branded one, one that middle class people could afford with some hesitation. His attire was also decent, with crumpled yet neat dress, so I was assured that he was working in some kind of office. I tried and failed guessing his exact job from his bag and his phone, which was a mid-range smart phone.

At this point almost 20 seconds had passed, believe me when I say this (because you have no other go, sorry). In the silence between the song change, I heard him cough. It was a fierce, vehement cough and there was faint scent of cigarette every time he coughed. I judged him almost instantly. ‘What kind of old person smokes even after having a cough like that. Doesn’t he realise it time he should let go of the habit’. Then I noticed his lips were darker than usual and his teeth were unnaturally yellow, which led me to the conclusion that he must smoke often or for a long time now (getting better at Sherlocking ain’t I?).

His coughs were louder now that I was conscious of this human’s presence. Now that I heard an old man in distress, my morale bot had come out, replacing the detective bot. Then began the profound conversation between myself and the morale bot. ‘You should stand up and let the old man sit, irrespective of his habits you should be kind. That is you. That’s how your parents raised you.’

I became indignant with myself. ‘Even you have shoulder pain from your heavy bag, plus with this traffic and the newfound crowd you won’t know when you’d be able to sit again next. You might have to travel for another hour (my selfish logic bot was taking various factors into account, that scumbag) Do you really want to offer your seat. If he is coughing, it is probably because of his smoking habit, why do you care about that? Just sit down. No one is going to bother even if you give your seat’.

The Morale bot used its important weapon, future. ‘Imagine yourself in the same situation 40 years later, wouldn’t you want a seat to sit, hell you we’re scrambling for a seat few minutes ago.’ (My bad joke bot tried to cut the tension by saying that there might not be bus seats in future, but it was shut off).

After an internal groan and an eye roll, I agreed to offer my seat.

He had moved to stand beside the seat in front of me, I tried to call him but he was not at arm’s length. So I got up, but before I could utter another word he turned and got back his lunch bag and asked me, “Eranga poringala, Sir?” (are you going to get down, Sir?)  and got down in the next stop and went his way.

In these few moments I didn’t realise that my seat was occupied by a middle aged woman.

I was standing there staring into dead space, thinking how stupid I was to let my seat unguarded in this Warfield. After asking my Morale to ‘kill and laugh’ a few million times I stood there awkwardly looking at the woman who stole my seat. Maybe she was judging me too. ‘Dear, George R.R. Martin look at the real Game of Thrones here’, I thought.
Almost 55 minutes later, I got down and came home.

In all this ruckus, I never took a ticket.

Moral: You tell me.

Quit Job to Travel? Edit

I see all those posts saying, Quit Job and go travel. I personally feel that particular statement is wrong, it irks me to see such a wrong message being portrayed. You don’t need to Quit your job to travel, You should Quit your job if and if only you’re not satisfied with it at the end of the day. You might have other interests which might fetch you a job, or you might have skills that other jobs require, quit your job and go there. Simply letting go of your source of income to travel is absolute bullshit. Yes, you need to travel, not because the world says so or because you want to take a vacation. Travel because it would give you experiences that your routine life wouldn’t, travel because it would give chance to push your body or mind or both, travel because it would be a way to learn new people and new stuff from far and wide. So many posts roam around the Internet with horror stories of people who quit their job to travel and ended up on road after a point. They only fair reason to quit your job to travel is if you know how to make money by travelling, if you don’t, then let nature help you. We’re all social beings, though ideally we shouldn’t be controlled or micromanaged by our societal pressure, we have certain responsibilities to do. If you travel without taking steps for those responsibilities, then travel is just a luxury.
Never let that travel spirit down, kindle it every now and then.
Travel far, Travel Wide, Travel Free.