Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A country called S. India

Last night, I visited my friend Sidharth. He recently visited Kerala, so was generally talking about the culinary delights from Kerala. He told me something which I will share with you here.

A chef in Kerala gave Sidharth his visiting card. The card had the usual details - name, occupation, address, and contact details. The address part was broken down into the exact address - the hotel name, the street... The state was Kerala - obviously. What about the country?

The country was S. India. When the chef was asked "What is S. India?", he replied - "Obviously South India".

Is there a country called S. India? Is it different from India? Is it not a part of India?

We Indians have not risen above petty things like - my state, my religion, my caste. We do not even have the courtesey to talk in a language understood by all when we are in a group. Very often I have seen two people talking in their mother-tounge in the presence of 10 others who do not undertsand the language being spoken.

I will repeat the oft-repeated sentence -unless we stop thinking in terms of state, religion, caste, and language, "इस देश का कुछ नही हो सकता".

Very sooon, I will upload the scanned image of the card.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

हमारा बजाज - चुन्नु मुन्नु दे पप्पा दी गड्डी

हमारा बजाज. The बजाज scooter. चुन्नु मुन्नु दे पप्पा दी गड्डी.

The vehicle of choice for so many people of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and the 90s. The last such scooter rolled out of its Pune factory last year.

People of my father's age are still in love with their bajaj scooter. None of the various models of bajaj scooter were sleek. They were all bulky. It had a 150cc engine. It gave around 50kmpl. I at times felt like sitting on a tripod, and working with stuff on the floor while riding our bajaj scooter. The foot-brake was uncomfortable.

But people liked it. Earlier, there was limited choice, but later people liked it because most people say - it starts with a single kick, it doesn't stall, spare parts are cheap, doesn't break that often, works well with adulterated petrol, and "खराब रस्तों पर भी तकलीफ नही देती", and "इस पे एक LPG सिलिन्डर ला सकते हैं".

The number of bajaj vehicles sold in India, over a period of 40 years, is a testimony to its robustness.

No wonder the punch-line was हमारा बजाज.

We had one such scooter too. It was my dad's, bought in 1990-91 I guess. 3 days back, the scooter was stolen from श्रीवर्धन complex in रामदासपेठ in नागपुर. After 16-17 years of working well, without any problems.