Friday, November 18, 2011

Random Rant-5 : The Shoulder Block Part 2- Boxed Out

The morning commute is such a hassle. Millions of bees all bludgeoning their way through traffic to the hive to churn out the honey. Everyone's already pissed off, you shouldn't try to do anything that would piss someone off any more.

Well, on my commute to through the bottleneck that is Hinjewadi (through which a hundred thousand vehicles must squeeze through on their way to Rajiv Gandhi Biotech Park, which is actually not a park at all, but a large industrial and commercial zone), I have to cross the highway.

It's often the best part of my journey... open road, bright sun... but sometimes it becomes an arduous task. Like if some fool goes and kills himself, it backs up traffic for ages. Or it may simply be a case of many vehicles accumulating at the same time at the "end" of the highway under Wakad Flyover, at which point I must take a turn.

Anyway, there are two lanes on the road, and to the far left there will be a guard rail and a line marking off the legally navigable road (the guard rail need not necessarily be there, I have included it to represent the total extremity of the road). Now there is a certain unwritten rule that bike-wallahs will form a single line and go along this thin strip of road, while the car-wallahs and other big vehicles will go along the main road (see diagram below). This is highly beneficial to bike-wallahs like myself, and no really minds it.

Line of bikes moving along smoothly,
all is well in Middle Earth.

However, in a move indicative of the epidemic of stupidity prevalent in this nation, sometimes some extremely bright and enterprising car-wallah will endeavor to occupy that thin gap thereby blocking me entirely.

Stupid troll car does the unthinkable. Normal
traffic moves along steady but slow, while I
am fucked.

Behenchod. Madharchod. Fucking chutiya. Asshole. Haramkor. You stupid babboon, You fucking inbred neanderthal. 

My blood is boiling. The stream of abuses forming in my head is limited only by my range of language (which is 1 proper and I can only curse in like 3 or 4). I nearly break my thumb off honking the horn.

Why? Why why why? Why would you do something like that? Does it serve any purpose at all? Is your car going to change shape and slither through this small gap? Are you even going to give another car on your other side space to move? No. What the MUTHERFUCK are you going to accomplish by this astoundingly brilliant feat? What Einsteinian stroke of genius led you to attempt such a monstrosity of idiocy? I am literally humbled and baffled in the face of such high level moronity.

And you know that it is 99% of the time one of those fucking white taxis with the red "T" on the back, which for some reason I call "touristers." I can only assume they don't own the cars they drive, which gives them license to drive like F1 drivers on crack. They are the ones that are always speeding and swerving in a fashion to put Jason Bourne to shame. They are the ones that come behind you and honk like the fucking Devil was behind them, and then when they do overtake you, they don't go away- they are dodging and weaving in front of you, hogging the whole bleeding road because they can't go in front on account of the very traffic that was blocking you in the first place! They have no respect or regard for life! I hate you fucking illiterate* scum!

So I am now boxed out by super intelligent troll car in slow moving traffic. All because I am surrounded by apes that refused to evolve. I shout obscenities and the sound reverberates in my helmet rendering my temporarily deaf. God, help me.

*by "illiterate," I don't mean the literal meaning. I have nothing against illiterates. Only idiots.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Random Rant-4 : The Shoulder Block

So here's the situation: I'm riding my motorbike on the highway, and I need to take the exit so I can get off and get home. In essence, this could be any road, and any turn that you need to take. The exit off a highway is usually marked by a shoulder (if you don't know what that is, you can check here). This is generally a very easy operation.

So here's the problem: there's a big fucking truck in the middle.

Now, navigating around trucks is a part and parcel of taking to the road, I can't complain about that. But Murphy's Law has a way of augmenting the situation.

Inevitably, it so happens (in my case, several times) that there will be a truck trudging along in the vicinity of this very important exit, which in itself is not a horrible scenario, BUT it does so at a frustrating pace. The frustration arises not from the fact that it is slow or fast. The truck, or other heavy vehicle steamrolls along the road on the very side of the exit you need to take just in range of your exit and its speed is such that
1. You cannot overtake it in time to make your exit.
2. You cannot choose to go alongside it, for obvious reasons. Also, the gap on the near side of the truck is too small for you to fit into.
3. It is going far to slow for you to be able to stay behind without losing your temper.

Too slow                            Too fast                       Ah, just right

Clearly, neither of the above mentioned scenarios is navigable with much panache, lest you wish
to risk ending up as road kill, which you most likely will.

How it can be all these things at once, only Murphy can tell.

However, after a long, annoying day at the crap factory, why must I have to deal with this? Stupid troll truck at the point of the last exit blocking me off the shoulder? How is it that in the all the infinite permutations of traffic, and considering the arbitrary and highly variable nature of the moment I left my destination and the moment the truck left its destination, that the two of us would cross paths in that very 100 meter stretch of the universe... it seems highly unlikely, yes? It would seem I had a better chance of getting struck by lightning while getting attacked by a shark, yes? Maybe even a higher probability of getting a girlfriend, yes? But then how does this keep on happening? Murphy's Law be damned, and the truck driver be damned!

And you can't even do anything about it! Because goddamn if the driver is going to pay any attention to you. No matter how many pointless visions of using Magneto's powers to angrily fling said truck into the horizon, you have to ride it out, or risk death. The choice is yours.

Of course, death may be a better option than trying to overtake evil troll truck and pulling out at the last moment. For if you miss the exit (at least in my case) you have to face the humiliation of riding out the rest of the highway- because the next turn is 10km ahead.

Invariably, the situation results in the precipitation of pure rage. Road rage. Fffffuuuuuu!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bell The CAT

CATastrophe. CATaclysm.

There are problem half a dozen more such puns I could make. Mercifully, these are the only two I can think of.

The point is, hopefully, clear. The CAT (Common Admission Test, for the uninitiated. One of the many entrance exams in India for MBA programmes) is a fighting animal, a dangerous one, and quite intimidating. And much like the lolcat pictured above, it means BUSINESS.

I've always wondered what in tarnation does "bell the CAT" mean. Every year, around this time, I would see articles in the paper with the same stupid headline: "Belling the CAT" (or something to that effect). And then I would laugh at the morons that would be tripping over themselves to give this very competitive and difficult exam. And then, a few years later, here I am, giving it. Well, just gave it. Anyway, "bell the CAT" brought to my mind an image of hitting a cat in the head with a cricket bat (not a baseball bat, mind you. I'm losing touch with my roots. Hmm. That's a private joke, please carry on) after which the cat vibrates with a loud gong sound, much like in a Looney Tunes cartoon. But apparently, it is an actual phrase derived from a fable, with a pretty interesting history, which you can read here. Oh, what a wonderful mix curiosity, the Internet, and Wikipedia make. One learns so much these days!

Right, so the CAT is in itself a pretty difficult exam. Added to that is the competitiveness. In a year, no less than 200,000 give this exam, and the number of seats in the "good colleges" are, predictably, quite less. The scores they require are stratospheric, and the spread in that rarefied region is razor thin. People miss a seat by a matter of a fraction of marks. One could do an MBA at one of the many spore colleges that have popped up on this rock, but every wants the Main Mushroom.

My point being, of course, that this is the reason that people make such a big deal out of giving CAT. If you are going to give CAT, you might as well do it right. And if you are going to do it right, you DO NOT want to fuck it up. Yes, the previous paragraph flows properly into this one and from the one before. Mon dieu, I'm treating my blog like a Reading Comprehension... which pretty much sums up my state. I have been attending weekend classes for the past few months, and have taken all of last month off from work to prepare for this exam. I wake up thinking that the ratio of time left to sleep is inversely proportional to speed, so I need to sleep faster, at which point I jerk awake wondering what the hell I'm thinking. I'm finding remainders of ungodly division (like 3 raised to 2011 divided by 7, which is actually quite easy once you know how) in my dreams. I'm beginning to doubt my English- my first, and only, language.

Yes, I've prepared as best I can. I would give practice tests and do miserably, and almost throw my new laptop against the wall. Such has been my state. But it's over. I've burned through all my official leaves, gone through several notebooks practicing sums, gone mad trying to understand and then remember a hundred concepts in math, while leaving English largely to an instinct which I found out is not as developed or refined as I once thought it was. And the test got over in a flash. But that's the funny thing about tests, isn't it? You spend countless hours that add up to days and weeks preparing for it, losing sleep, losing hair, losing your mind, and all the while the grains of sand are falling, counting down to the inevitable. SO MUCH TIME has gone by... and yet the damn thing is over in under 3 hours. All the work you've done in a week, in a month, in a semester, in twelve years of school, in four years of college: it all comes down to those three hours. That's pretty fucked up, and a concept that has always amused me.

I always envisioned studying as arming myself with weapons, and the final act of giving the test is personified by myself and the test in corporal forms going at it in an epic Jason Bourne-esqe battle. In the vision, I always come out on top, albeit battered and bruised. In reality, it hasn't always been so. Hopefully this time, it will be. Perhaps I should have thought of working with the CAT, treating the CAT as a friend, as someone whom I must go through this journey with together, instead of something that needs to be attacked and conquered (blame the male ego, or whatever Freud-esqe psychological or Darwin-esqe evolutionary theory it is). Maybe I've been giving exams wrong all along...

Whatever. The whole reason behind giving the CAT in the first place is that I've been failing in the exam that counts the most, the one that begins as soon as you pop out of yo' mama's womb. And that's something I mean to amend.

And hello, Blogger. I'm back.

Answer the following question on the basis of what you have read in the passage:

1. The author earlier despised CAT aspirants because:
A. They're a bunch of wankers.
B. They are way smarter than him, and hence prove a threat to his fragile ego.
C. Because coaching classes and geeks are making more difficult an already difficult situation. Just because you can crack and exam (be it CAT or JEE) doesn't mean you deserve to be or are ready to be in IIM or IIT. The whole system is corrupted by what may have once been a high ideal, but is reduced to something resembling a joke.
D. He has no idea what he's talking about.

2. What is the purpose of the author referring to the "Main Mushroom"?
A. Because all these tiny little colleges are wank, and it's pointless to go to them.
B. Isn't it obvious?? He's a fucking hippie!! Mushrooms indeed, I bet the fucker's high!
C. College students like pizza and you can put mushrooms on pizza.
D. Isn't the picture of the lolcat funny?

3. The author is:
A. A wanker
B. A delusional, egoistic moron
C. Pissed off (and a closet Glee fan)
D. All of the above