Takes Two to Tango!

I just about managed to squeeze in. Seated rather tight, my mind wandered to the three days that I went to a gym after paying for the full six-months package. I should’ve done the six-months, in hindsight. “I am one size too big for this thing. Maybe two,” I said to the mechanic struggling to clamp my seatbelt in. It felt like my shoulders would come off and hang from my hyoid bone.

It had been almost a decade since I got into a proper single-seater race car. And there I was, in a foreign land, ready to floor the pedal to see if I was still half as good as I used to be in my years of whatever little racing I’d done. No words can explain how tense I was. With no idea of what to expect, I listened carefully as Paul gave me instructions on how to get the car moving. “Don’t worry, you’re gonna be alright,” he said to me. I had just been forced to wear a Matador outfit and thrown into the arena to fight an annoyed bull. I’ll be alright – I keep repeating this statement, almost in sarcasm.

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The Paradox of Human Spirit

It was early. In fact, for a tonic winter morning, it was really early. And for a nocturnal man like me, it was really, really early. Not that I wake up late, but let’s just say that at 5 am, it’s best not to engage me in generic prattle.

But it was strangely different this morning. I wasn’t miffed at anything, nor did I feel jumpy. I simply sat on the sofa, staring at the television screen which had been in sleep mode since the clock had chimed at 11 the previous night.

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The Sound of Music!

This was a couple of years back. I had a Jaguar F-Type for a week. It wasn’t the drunkard 500-and-few horsepower one. This was the substantially more docile and considerably less-drunk model — the one which is unimpressively called P300. 

The F-Type is offered with three power outputs to choose from: 300bhp (from a 2-litre, in-line-4), 450bhp and 575bhp (both from 5-litre V8s). Jaguar is great at many things but car-naming isn’t among them. The different trims of the F-Type are labelled as P300, P450 and P575. Some imagination, eh! Based on my experience, they should’ve been: ‘It’s fine’, ’This is nuts’, and ‘I shat myself.’

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Everlasting Few Hours

“Thank you very much. I had a great experience.”

I sent that message to a local conservationist who I’d met on my visit to Odisha (Orissa at the time) way back in 2007. I took up an engineering project there and decided it would be worthwhile to drive, instead of taking a flight or train. That was one of the better decisions of my life.

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My First Time

I am a fully grown, middle-aged man. Back then, I wouldn’t have been any more than — I don’t know — four feet tall, maybe. School was mostly about spending time with friends, playing football and being punished collectively. Standing in the middle of the open amphitheatre — getting roasted in the intense heat — seemed like a good idea. Now, decades later, it seems daft. 

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Most Alive At The Ragged Edge Of Life

If you enjoy adventures on two-wheels, slushy conditions aren’t painful experiences; they’re joyous instead! The repeated falls, the endless skids, mud coatings all over the bike and the rider — they lend a weird sense of satisfaction. It’s a strange and fulfilling fetish. But it can also be dangerous.

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Rural Lands, Rich Words

It was just hours before the issue was being sent to print that I wrote the editor’s note — causing many in the design and production teams to endure anxiety attacks! Those of you who understand the operational aspects of publishing would know that it is a borderline scary scenario. I couldn’t have done differently though.

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The Seesaw of Stupidity

I don’t often talk publicly about politics, politicians or the dramas unfolding around them. It’s not because I don’t have solid views or don’t like a debate, but it’s because I like my peace of mind and if you go verbal on social about any such issues, there’s polarity (which is great), constant trolling (which can be entertaining) and threat messages (which is shameful and disturbing).

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