Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Chennai Racetrack MMSC beckons!

So, its been all quiet on the motorcycling front. Easy to put that down to loads of work, not enough time and also the intense onslaught of the monsoon here. However, that hasn't stopped me from riding out before, and I'm a bit perplexed as to why it has this time. I guess, I'm just growing lazier than before, perhaps sedentary is an apt way to describe this. Although I have a feeling that a nice long ride will be very welcome to blast the cobwebs from my mind, I guess it will happen when it does. For now though, I am preparing the scrambler for its first outing at the track, with an upcoming trackday scheduled for August 15,16 at Chennai's iconic MMSC race track. Track days have always been great fun, with all my previous track days happening at the Kari motor speedway at Coimbatore with a fun bunch of riders from the Kawasaki Ninja 650 brotherhood to which I belong. Though I sold my Ninja 650 last year to get the Ducati Scrambler, once you're in the Ninja brotherhood, there's no getting out. And honestly, I wouldn't want to distance myself from this stellar bunch of motorcycle mad petrolheads, who are quite literally the best bunch of guys to spend a few days trackside with. All the track sessions are incredibly intense and also fun, but the off-track banter and camaraderie is a very welcome distraction from the regular mundane existence.
I will update this blog with a post containing several pictures from this trackday, and a report of the entire experience. As it is my first time at the Chennai track, it will take me many sessions to get to grips with the track layout, only after which will I be able to push myself and the bike to any good laps. However, it is all a labor of love, and I look forward to it! Also, we have been promised a nice time in Chennai, with the guys there eager to treat us to their hospitality. I have no doubt that they will take good care of us. I am getting street tyres for the scrambler this week, as taking the bike with the semi knobby Pirelli MT60 tyres to a race track is a very bad idea. Although the Pirelli's give great grip on tarmac, they are a 70-30 balance of road and off-road tyres, not perfectly suited for the blemish-free tarmac of a racetrack. So, onwards and upwards we go towards August and a good time at the Chennai track! Here's hoping there are no untoward incidents and we make it back in one piece, motorcycle and man both.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Sexist? Me? Really?

So I was recently called out by a friend for posting the above image as my twitter background. The image was of my bike, a Ducati Scrambler, parked against a wall, spray painted with graffiti stating 'VROOM!', standing alongside the graffiti was a hot blonde in a shirt with folded sleeves and short shorts, derriere facing towards the viewer. The image was in no way risque, by any measure, was just, in my opinion, a cool graphic to represent the hot bike. This was deemed to be sexist by the friend, who is more knowledgeable than I in most matters. And I do not understand why. There was no discrimination, or victimization of the hot blonde in short shorts, rather a hot motorcycle placed alongside a beautiful woman, to my uneducated-in-such-matters, eyes, was just appropriate. Although, I have since learned, that just by placing the image of a pretty woman alongside the bike, made this rather engaging graphic, a sexist one, consequently I became unwittingly a sexist for putting the image on my twitter.

Now, I do not dispute any of my friends opinions, she happens to be a very knowledgeable person, better equipped to make such judgements than anybody else I know. However, isn't this just taking it too far? Pretty ladies images have been used for time immemorial to make such graphics, and so long as the images stay within the domain of polity and are not rude or vulgar, is it really sexist? How does an image like this, with a pretty woman, in short shorts, I grant you, promote sexism? One could argue that objectification of the woman is wrong, however, one could also explain that a similar graphic with a man instead of the woman might not be as good, and I would not want to use that image on my twitter at all.

I will now go out on a limb and categorically state that I have, throughout my life and in my every association with women, only been respectful and admiring. Never have I ever, by thought or action ever behaved rudely towards them, it is not how I was raised, and I was raised alongside an elder sister, whom I love and adore, and due to the 8 year age gap, she has been more a mother to me than a sibling. So there is definitely no possible way in which I would even conceive of being rude or sexist, especially not sexist. I am also accused sometimes of being patronizing, however, I have been raised to be chivalrous, and if that is taken as being patronizing, I decline to apologize. I am old fashioned that way, and make no apologies for being a gentleman.

I guess what really got me worried, was how quick my friend was to pounce on the image, and just as quick to label it as being sexist, and by extension, myself as one too. If it was offensive, and I still do not fathom how, then I admit my guilt. However, is it really offensive? Maybe you can make your own judgement, and let me know. Is my rant all explained away as ignorant mansplaining? As has been proposed by my friend? Am I really a shallow sexist? Despite my upbringing as a gentleman of high moral values? If anybody has answers, please do let this poor sod know! Would hate to be an offensive idiot, even unwittingly.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


So, its been a long time since the last time I posted. For those handful of people who might have noticed. However, in the intervening time, life did go on. Here's a quick summary of things I got up to.
1. I switched from listening to and following commercial bands to getting into Indie music, more specifically Indian Independant music. The genre's are as numerous as you can imagine, however the talent on offer is unbelievable. Coupled with the ability to view most of these bands at music festivals that happen from time to time, like the NH7 Weekender (personal fav), and being able to follow these bands on the internet and soundcloud, makes for very entertaining and musically satisfying times. I must list out the bands that I follow as the subject of a later post. Remind me. No don't.
2. I switched professions from being a professional software programmer and techie to leading service delivery at a technology company (been a year now). The transition, while difficult, continues to give me a lot of pleasure watching my work make a difference in the real world, and leading and grooming a team of engineers that help me achieve it.
3. I got into a relationship, that sadly, did not work out and crashed and burned. The reasons/faults etc are things I will not go into. They are not for the interwebs, they are only for us to know and deal with. The resulting turmoil, I am glad to say, peaked a few months back, and has now become like a lingering ache that although isn't going away, isn't breaking me down either. It was bad, quite earth shatteringly so, to be honest, and walking away from it was possibly the toughest thing I have ever done. Still standing, though. That has to count for something.
4. I'm 34 this year, a tambrahm single boy, well employed, not too ugly looking fellow that is still not hitched to a nice, eligible girl. Not for lack of trying on my part, however a clear case of lack of succeeding for sure. The Parents are trying too, but I'm not ready to leave this to them, no matter how well networked the mami-mafia may be in these matters.
5. I sold my Kawasaki Ninja 650, and bought a Ducati Scrambler. Effectively choosing the scrambler lifestyle that goes along with it. This lifestyle is simply a ride everywhere, explore, chill, let your inner child take a stroll through your life kinda deal. It's working out fine, and honestly I picked the right motorcycle for my life.

Thats that for now, you're all caught up. Seeya sometime later.