noob slayer

I look at the window, trying to find the source of the floral smell. Seems natural and not some artificial room freshener sprayed. I can barely move my neck without feeling the stiffness and pain so I don’t even try.
I try to sniff but it hurts even to do that. And I doze back, only to be woken by the nurse walking by me and checking something. I try to ask her, but it seems she looks at me and replies in sign language. Seems my mutterings are illegible and she seems to be telling me to keep resting.

I close my eyes, maybe someone who visited….., maybe I can ask them, what , how….

I opened the lid of my helmet, to let the cool wind hit my face. woo!! hoo!! I gave out a scream, wanted the world to know the world we won. I mean, every gunner in the world would be ecstatic today, as I shifted to the top gear and saw the speedometer flash triple digits.

I saw the flash of colors up head in the sky as it lit the nightscape, i slowed down and wondered. Maybe some crazy fan must be celebrating arsenal fc winning the Champions league. I stopped at the side, and started clicking that perfect burst of firecrackers to put on my insta story.

When I was just about to close the phone, I happened to scroll through someone’s insta-reel, and some noob just posted a 0-60 time of 4.99 seconds claiming you can’t beat the speed-demon. I smirked, “lol! thats not fast!.

I will show you, whats speed. I put the phone into my jeans back pocket.

And already feeling invincible(thanks to arsenal win), I went into race mode. Crouching onto the fuel tank, I revved the bike hard in the first gear and let go. Yamaha R15 or as I call it the NightWing, pranced ahead, as the rpm revv limiter hit 11,000 rpm I would perform the quickest gear shift using techniques of an ace taijutsu shinobi (lets hi five if you got the reference). The buzz of engine, the howling wind and the adrenaline rush saw me zoom past 60kmph, and nearing 100kmph I gave out the f-word.

I hadn’t mounted my gopro to the helmet, so there was no evidence of 0-60 kmph record breaking time. And as I sat there cursing by the side of the road, I reached out to my pocket and it dawned on me that my phone wasn’t there.

The way I reacted could make Mr. bean’s panicked behavior look normal. And rest of all is a blurred, with scant memory of me running behind on the road that I was speeding, scanning the tarmac for my broken phone (it shouldn’t be, I had a tough case and protector glass on it..aah!)

Maybe it was either the lights or the rush or the confusion, I only remember being hit and feeling wet warmth in my limbs and then some sound of scraping of metal quickly drowned by shooting pain through parts of my body finally as I closed my eyes I could smell petrol.

And here I was inhaling with great difficulty, the soothing smell of carnations. Waiting for someone to come and tell me if they found my phone. Can’t wait to comment to the noob, that I can beat his useless speed record of 0-60 on r15…….

What Is The Fastest 0-60 Time Possible?

Book review “Gangster on the Run”

Initially I felt I could only review this book upto page 250 but that could make this an incomplete review.

The reason being when a book becomes too emotional, it could cloud my judgement. (I am not ashamed to say a couple of pages from pg 250 made me cry, muffled crying but still it did)

Coming back to the review, and the subject matter. I haven’t met him in person, but I felt I knew him not just from his running post, but also from the text of his running posts. Other runner/athletes post talk about training/technical terms which are helpful, but his running posts had a depth with a take on mental state which was surprising to me.

So that was the reason for me to pick up this book, and I skimmed a few pages and left the book untouched for a few days. Its not because the book started slowly but instead the initial story felt to me the actual shaping of his mind core.

Lets digress and think about this core as what some call instinct, or even his chakra(anime reference to nartuo). This is something that is shaped up in our childhood, and we rely on it subconsciously (some do it consciously is what makes them genius)

And that is why I had to give myself time to process the chain of events that happen at the start of the book that have such a huge role to play in rest of his story. After picking up where I left off, I was quickly drawn into his past, and it was more than a eye opener. I could even call it shocking and claim its worthy of a movie script.

Again I keep digressing, but the reason is that I don’t want to give away much. Not because its a thriller story. But because its not book where you skip a few pages and understand whats happening anyway. The writer has done a delicate job of maintaining chronology/protecting identities and weaving it into a biography that compels you to keep reading. And you keep reading because knowing how the person is currently, and to read about the chronology of the falls that he kept making along. And when you read about how he climbed back up through all that, is so sensitively presented. It could easily have been made into a boast post, because it is an incredible thing to see where he is know compared to what he has gone through.

And that’s where this writer has absolutely nailed this story. There is a unique lesson for any person in this book, a different one depending on their outlook on life.

So a book lover should definitely read this, especially if you are into biographies. But I would also recommend this to anyone who is struggling with depression/self harm not as therapy or preaching instead as another experienced voice advising through experience.

And it goes without saying my running friends should read this, the last few pages are full of emotions of an instinctive ultra runner ( here ultra isn’t by definition but instead any distance which is out of your comfort zone).

I will be honest, I am not a regular reader or a regular book reviewer. So I am not able to list out any con. Maybe the second half could have had more insight, felt a bit rushed. But it has only marginal impact overall and more a nitpicking.

This book will surely get a second reading from me, and I will be marking some gems from this book and use it as inspiration when I need it.

Fish – My first attempt at combat fiction.

whizz! whizz! zoop! splattering of dirt flew around!

He is getting close as I slid even lower from my crouching position.

I winced as a sweat drop singed my eyes.

Distant gunfire was drowned out by radio sputtering somewhere “Viper-3 Actual, this is Viper Actual….radio static…sitrep”

“There has to be a way to reach the radio. But I am pinned down under the scope of a sniper somewhere probably ..” whizz ! my thoughts were interrupted by another close shot.

I started crawling to my left, trying to guess the probable spot where I heard the radio chatter.

Jax was lying face down, as I tried to pull his radio pack, and it seems I kicked up some dust, because soon two more bullets kissed earth.

“Viper-3 Actual, this is Viper Actual give me a sitrep over” click!

“Viper Actual this is 3-Bravo Echo-4-Sierra! 3-Bravo Actual, 3 Bravo Mike, 3 Bravo XRAY KIA!

“I repeat! 3-Bravo Actual, 3 Bravo Mike, 3 Bravo XRAY KIA!

“/Break/”

“We are down to just me. How copy? over!”

Felt my throat dry and I reach out for my bottle

“Solid copy 3-Bravo”

“Be advised: I’ve Warhammer standing by, switch to TAC Freq.19 and go to town over”

“Roger that switching to 179 OUT”

whoop! Where did that come from as I dragged myself further lower.

As I smell the burning flesh and soon enough my foot started to go numb, “must be below knee or maybe”… still prone I dragged myself, guessing to stay out of shooters line of sight. “I was hit in the calf muscle 5” below the knee”

As I turned on my back, I felt it. It wasn’t a bullet but a sharpnel. Tears shot out of my eyes and clenching my teeth I reached for the radio “175 CA315992” “Break” ” 3-Bravo Echo-4-Sierra” “CAS ” “Awaiting MEDEVAC “”How copy? over”

“Solid copy over”

Radio chatter continued, as I looked for POO.

“I have 3-Bravo on the ground requesting immediate CAS at map grid CA315992”

“break”

“Push to IP Buick” “how copy? over”

“solid copy”

“Map grid:CA 315992 Pushing to IP Cadillac”

“3-Bravo, you have Warhorse 5-1 Flight of A-10 at Angels 10 pushing to IP Cadillac”

“3-Bravo Copies all out!”

I opened my IFAK and growled “Take that you suckers! And I lay there waiting to be fished out of this disaster mission as the ground rumbled with pounding of guided bombs.

Terminology:

KIA = Killed in Action

CAS = close air support

EVAC = evacuation

IFAK = Improved First Aid Kit

Nothing (Fiction)

A dark night, would sound like a paradox. But if its a moonless night, it may not seem as odd.

But the highlight of this moment, isn’t darkness but the vibes I am getting tonight.

“You should drink less” my mind remarked, I zipped up as I realized I was done answering nature’s call.

I was sure nobody saw or heard me, as the waves crashing onto the sea face would cancel out splashing sounds. “I chuckled”

I stumbled and kept walking back, looking for a cab to take me home, but could scarcely recognize from oncoming headlight if it was a cab or a private car. “Maybe I should stick to beer, next time”

“Come on! your drinking is what makes people invite you to parties, right?” I tried hard to come back with a snarky reply to my own mind but failed.

“uggh!” ” this stupid bag is weighing me down” I shifted the bag onto another shoulder.

I regret saying yes to my colleague who told me to carry his super zoom camera home, as he wanted to avoid damaging it in local train. “You will go by cab na, just don’t leave it in there” he had laughed thinking its some kind of a joke.

Now you must be thinking why would I want to carry this load, and I have two words for it. “Zoom lens” and “apartment window”. I giggled in my mind. “thats like four words” I said “lol” loudly

After a while I realized I was too drunk, already talking to myself and to a third person. I think I will just sit down and let the sea breeze refresh me.

“Uggh! this bag” and just like that I opened it and had the camera in my hand. I was sad to see how badly my colleague handled his gear looking at scuff marks.
“I wonder if this zoom even works” and almost said it loudly. I had fixed the lens and was peering into darkness until I saw something. “Is that some commando team that got off a small boat?” “at this time?” “what are they doing here” “why are they..”

I tried hard to track the moving lights through the viewfinder, as much as I could in my non sober state “why do I drink so much”, I started drifting. “Maybe its because I am a mediocre employee and want to feel more as part of team so that people don’t forget me and boss doesn’t find me expendable” I shook my head.

Time to get home, “taxi ! taxi!” I stumbled into the back seat, took a glance at the seaface trying to remember. “bhau! ek minute!” I jumped out and went and picked up something I had dropped from the bag. As we drove off I dozed off, and ..

And then, I … (sobbs) … (sobbs).. I mean I should have. I could have…. I worked in media (sobbs) I knew people who knew people.

I paused.

It was morning the next day, I was sitting there recalling the chain of events, as I watched on the news

At least 125 people have been killed and more than 300 wounded in the attacks on several sites in Mumbai, including the Taj Majal and Oberoi hotels.

And I did nothing. (sobbs)

I saw and did (sobbs)

Bubbles

I have always been fascinated by bubbles. Not just the soapy kind, just about any.
I remember dunking my head in a tub full of water, holding my breath. And the slowly let out bubbles from my nose. All this while imagining I am diving under the sea.

I also remember once, when someone was at the door so mom told to watch the boiling gravy. I was supposed to turn off the flame, once its starts boiling. But I was so enamored by the thick bubbles, I just kept staring at it. And got thrashing for day dreaming.

And actually many such events cause me to go into a daze and I am fixated by such occurrences. And also they stay with me in my memory longer. They may even be nasty, like that one classmate who would blow bubbles of his nose snot. Yuck!

Also brings back memory of learning physics, without knowing its physics. Like if you press down an inverted mug into a bucket of water. The pressure goes up as you push it in and if you slowly tilt the mug you create big bubbles that make such a nice sound. boobook – boobook.

And so to implement the same theory, I remember throwing rocks into a gutter full of thick sewage. You have no idea how much that bubble stinks but the sound is “epic” in today’s lingo.

Well nasty stuff aside, of course today’s kids have so many options to create bubbles, right from basic that need dunking into soapy solution to bubble guns that create a barrage of bubbles.

But maybe in this quantity craze, they may not be able to appreciate that one perfect bubble. The one that shines in multitude of colors when light passes through at just the right angle.

And this bubble isn’t the only thing that comes to my mind. It also reminds me of this girl in my school. I actually read in an interview, that you could describe a person as bubbly when they referred to Preity Zinta as someone with a bubbly personality. And this girl was exactly that, always a bundle of energy be it any assignment or classwork.

Finally, last but not the least. Let us remember fondly bursting bubbles on a bubble wrap sheet, which is slowly being phased out for environment friendly options.

You

I was clueless as to what I should write about. I mean at first, I thought it would be easy to write about. But ten minutes passed by and I was left staring at the blinking cursor. I tried to look at the only window in my room, to bring a fresh perspective. Being night, the glass only reflected me back. Clearly that wasn’t helping.

So I closed my eyes and started to think what it would mean to write about “You”. And the whole day flashed by me in seconds, and soon I was tripping into my childhood nostalgia. I opened my eyes, and glanced at the three empty coffee mugs on my table. Maybe it’s just caffeine that’s creating chemical reactions in my head.

Maybe a dictionary could help, but staring at the definition of the word “you” left me with a confused frown. And as I sat there, shaking my legs hoping that it would help me concentrate on the topic at hand. I wondered if I need more external stimulus. I browsed Spotify thinking I should play the first song that came to my mind. Again my nostalgia pulled me back and made me select “My sacrifice” by Creed.

And still the blinking cursor mocks me at my failure to write something about “You”. It was almost the end of song, and I was curious as to what the next song in the queue could be. Few minutes into the song, I can be sure this song summed me up correctly right now. The words being sung by the singer were “I wish I was special, but I am a creep, I am a weirdo….I don’t belong here” (Creep by Radiohead)

And then I got goosebumps, trying to fight back negative thoughts I tried to remember anything good anyone said about me. “You need to grow an attitude” I can never forget what my friend back in Class 12 told me. I mean, I have tried everything, even grew my hair. But I don’t think I ever grew an attitude.

Maybe I should just talk more, and that reminds me of my onshore boss. This American from Michigan. He once said, “You have good baritone, you should speak up more often”. And all I could say was “ok”. Not that I hadn’t thought about it. But on some drunk nights I think I should try my hand at voiceovers.

After a while I sober up and realize who really cares what I think. Eventually I came to my senses and is there a single redeemable quality that I can think. That someone would associate me with.

I mean my last boss during his farewell day, said this about me. “You are complicated”. And to this moment, I still wonder deeply what to make of it. Maybe I should stop this roundabout way of getting the point I make.

Maybe I should just man up and say it. I don’t know myself, I sometimes feel like I am a tree branch flowing down a river, taking wherever the flowing water takes me. Getting bashes up against the rocks, or enjoying the warmth of the sun during the day. Watching the moon during the calm moments or scrape the river bed during turbulent times. Waiting and eventually hoping to meet an end that’s quick.

unease

Tonight I sleep with unease,
blood throbbing my veins.
throat dry leaving me speechless,
mind fried leaving me clueless.
feel the weight of past,
on hollowness of present.
I stand on the precipice,
swaying in winds of self perpetrated calamity.
shining on me a light of honesty,
own shadow laughs on my cowardice.
all that you can is cry it mocks me and saying
go back to stumbling your way through life.
I keep my eyes dry and stare at nothingness,
and acknowledge the end will be worse than this.

Maybe I am just tired

Not physically really, not mentally. I am just tired, to accept any of those two or both.

I remember I would freely say anything here on this blog. Without worrying what the world would think about me. But due to instant gratification on social media apps through likes and comments has made me worry about judgement.

So maybe I should just stop worrying about it. I mean at the age of 35 why worry really. What great acts will change people’s already formed perception about you. And even if they do, do I really care. Have I really cared.

And this way I keep pinging between thoughts of self depreciation or public glorification. But something has happened. Lets leave it for another time.

There are times at night, I feel a darkness engulf me. I feel the weight of my past weight upon the hollowness of present. Oh I wish if I could turn this thought into a poem. But I am lacking the breadth needed to string a rhyme together. I am just letting my fingers glide over this keyboard.

I feel contempt for myself. How come others are so good at so many things as compared to me. Why don’t I have compassion and empathy. Am I a sociopath?


Hunters: Review

I will be honest, I watched only because someone told me to watch it. And I felt it to be slow at times. Maybe having the option to skip the scene by few seconds makes me do that. But the scene should really be worth my time, and most of the time it isn’t. Especially the flashbacks, which became too much later on. I understand the need to have them at the start for character development, but keep doing it and makes it feel like its trying to fill a hole in the story. Somewhat like filler material. While the cast does well, to play their roles well. They get limited dialogues to really make an impact. And so sometimes when you feel a character is going to really move you by doing or saying something really interesting. You end up waiting, and then once you become bored you just want to skip to the ending. As a thriller, there is enough going on otherwise. I won’t paddle into its socio-political context since its irrelevant to me. There are some cheesy bits that could turn off many. All in all, worth a watch only if you have patience and nothing else to do. Its been a week or so since I saw this. So I really couldn’t go in depth to review this show.

shaved my head

Backstory:-

My son’s hair had grown out, and due to covid-19 lockdown the barbers are closed. And since we didnt have a barber’s scissor or any skill with it, using my beard trimmer seemed like a good alternative. I realized he was not happy with the result of losing all the hair, so I thought it would be better to join him with no hair on my head.

So from having shoulder length hair till December, to now sporting a shaven head. Thats one hell of a transformation.