Friday, January 27, 2012

na tha kuch to ...

It wasnt a choice i made,
  wish of heaven ,
or the dread of hell.

Why should i be a sinner,
when i control none of the moments
in this life
You gave.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tips for safe driving on Indian roads - Part II

The Drive:

  • The first thing you need is patience - loads and loads of it. 
  • Always drive at a comfortable(controllable) speed ( for my swift its about 80kmph) on new roads , roads which you haven't driven earlier.  If possible dont go for the top gear. 
  • Never try to overtake a vehicle when the road is curving, this reduces your visibility on a two lane road for any vehicle coming in opposite direction. This is must on a two lane road without any divider.
  • Reduce your speed when turning. You wouldn't know if a vehicle is parked after the turn and you may not get chance to stop after you view it.  This happens many a times on smaller roads which have trees lined and your visibility at turns is minimum.
  • Never tail behind a speeding vehicle, especially a bigger vehicle which obstructs your view ahead. If you do this basically you are giving your fate in hands of the decisions of the front driver. Keep safe distance so that you have a proper view ahead. This is a big problem at nights. 
  • If you are on a highway its tempting to go high speeds. This is too risky if you are not giving your 100% attention on the road.  A split second decision can change everything.
  • Watch out for some stupid vehicle drivers coming in opposite direction on the fast lane of your side. This is an experience I had almost every drive on the highway. I guess this insanity is due to a stupid thought that they have to drive on left side according to law. They don't realise they risk a lot by being on the fast lane of opposite direction. 
  • Drive very carefully at sunset time, this is the time for cattle to return home and they can come from any direction. If possible take a break when sun sets and there is still a bit of light. This time visibility is big problem, your headlamps wont help and sunlight isnt enough. 
  • On most highways there is reflective coating on roads , this helps a lot in night when the road curves. This can also be a problem if you are new to night driving, the lights from the opposite direction vehicles or the back-lights of the vehicles far ahead and the reflective road paint can confuse you and you may get a different picture of the turns ahead. 
  • On a two lane road at night, if a vehicle is coming in opposite direction , you need to slow down. Many vehicles on these roads may not have back lights or reflective coating, especially lorries or tractors. In the blinding lights of the opposite vehicle you may not realize that there is a slow moving or parked vehicle in front of you.
  • Heavy transport vehicles ( lorries ) on the highway go on a constant speed. These drivers are on roads for months together and they are very good at safe driving.  It is not easy for them to turn or change lane as quickly as you do for your car. If you expect them to give you a pass then make sure you slow down and wait till they change lane. Most of the time  I have seen car drivers losing patience after asking for a pass and try to over take the left side , and by that time the lorry would be about to change lanes. This can be risky but as the vehicles are slow the damage may not be much.
  • If a lorry driver is indicating a lane change, trust and slow down. Believe me its not possible for them to change lanes quickly as the cars do. Many times it happens that car drivers see that the lorry is slow in changing lanes , and try to whizz past it.  It can be risky as once the heavy vehicle turns to change the lane it is difficult for the lorry driver to move it back quickly if you fail to pass in time and can squeeze you.
  • When you are driving down a slope on mountainous road, never ever let the vehicle in neutral gear ( freewheeling) it will go out of control. Avoid brakes and use a lower gear ( 2nd ) for driving down slopes. This way vehicle will be under control.
  • If its raining  - slow down. Its not just about the visibility. If there is water on the road , it tends to swerve your vehicle if you drive on it fast This wont damage much, but the sudden swerve may take you off-guard and for a moment you will feel as if you lost control. There is high probability that you may do some mistake in his small period of time. There is this complete theory about how tyres behave on different roads, but for Indian roads and tyres this advice works. 

Tips for safe driving on Indian roads - Part I

Driving on the road comes with lot of risk that normally is not realised until its too late. Even if you take complete care while driving, its always possible that due to a mistake by another vehicle driver you risk your life. Driving in a four wheeler gives a comfort zone which creates a false sense of security to the driver and we don't realize how a split second decision can change everything.

I drive a lot and and enjoy it , its like a passion for me to go to new places - drive around. While on my long drives I have realised mistakes that are easy to occur and are dangerous and increase probability of accidents. I have driven at every part of day / night, treacherous mountain roads ( munnar ), and am aware of many small things that we can take care of and avoid danger. I am listing down those tips below with an intention that it may help someone sometime. Before going there I would want to insist that don't go for a long drive just for sake of it and for sake of the thrill that the idea of the drive gives to many. Avoid it if you can, realise that a small mistake (may not be by you) and you risk a lot - I have seen some incidents which changed lives for ever (including mine). 

Readying for the drive

Make sure your car is in good condition - take it for an oil check , condition brakes, wheel alignment and balancing. If possible fillup your tyres with nitrogen , it costs about Rs 300-500 for five tyres. It keeps the tyres cool and improves its life. Avoid starting at night , if unavoidable then take good sleep the previous day. Start at a time convenient for avoiding city traffic. If driving with kids make sure you plan your breaks appropriately for food and resting. Most of Indian Highways are well provisioned with on road motels and many HP outlets have restrooms , food joints. Check that your wipers are working fine - it may be nightmare if it rains and your wipers stop working. 

Take a good rechargeable lamp, helps if you drive at night and have to change tyre. Believe me its important - I used to be confident that my car tyres are tubeless and even if a puncture happens it will work till atleast 80 kms - this confidence broke when on a pitch dark moonless night near Bhootpur (yes there is a place by this name near Mahboobnagar on NH7 from where i take a shortcut to my hometown) - a cut on the road due to rains created havoc - it cut one of my car tyres in two pieces. Even the rim got bend. And to add to the situation , this happened near a graveyard :P.

 I am not writing the very obvious ones - like always wear your seatbelt , or dont drive if you are feeling sleepy etc.

--- to be continued in next post

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

random bits

Its been a long time since I have written here.  much longer it has been since I have written something sensible on a paper - except for scribbling some algo on my pad - if you call that sensible.  A couple of weeks back - inspired by my sweet wife (if you know me personally - you wouldnt agree on that word as yet - but what the heck - we consider us married :-) ) i took to writing my diary - every day. its childishly innocent and nice. Helps me get some sense on my mind about what I am and should be doing.

Much has changed since my last post here.  I moved to Bangalore - found myself amongst a nightmare of a team - only relief that  its a big big organization , it has huge presence on net and has infrastructure + develops software processing petabytes of data.  Being in Bangalore also means that I am closer to my girl , and can go to meet her without burning a hole in my pocket.  I do miss hyd a lot , the late night drives I used to go on ,  eating at banne nawabs , and real good time spent with super good friends there.

 I also realised that apart from programming I do have a passion for driving. So much that - given my road trips - an old friend commented that I might have been a highway driver in my previous birth :-).  Did some really long drives - from Hyderabad to Trivandrum , and a couple of times from Bangalore to Alleppey. And numerous times between Hyderabad and Bangalore. Its an addiction now - the thought of going on a road trip makes me excited and I love every bit of it. I have crossed through four states , 1500 km in about 22 hours once.

Its International Women's day today - was watching a video a friend shared on facebook titled 'If You Are Looking Only For Out Ward Appearances ... You Will Miss The Value of True Love '.  There is another one thats good -    I guess the society is already moving towards a state where women are powerful. Women today are more stronger - independent and are contributing in more ways to the society than earlier times. 
While on this topic - I am reminded of two people who influenced me most, apart from my own family - those who were unrelated to me but always have inspired me.  I wish I could wish them today and let them know how I feel about them, but will let that wish go - 'maslehat cheen gayi quwwat-e-guftar' :-)

ek bas tu hi nahin mujh se khafa ho baitha,
maine jo sang tarasha wo khuda ho baitha.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Like the rain parts from the clouds..

this album was a random pick while browsing at the music world yesterday. I never knew its goin to be such a beautiful one. Sar Masti , renderings of Amir Khusro by Zila Khan. I always believed that it is only in love that one can feel the highest form of ecstasy and what can be better medium than music. This album has a mix of different moods of love..and as it is a sufi album you find it a bit religious too.

have heard the one 'abr mi barad' about tens of times by now and am still listening... no words to describe it ... just amazing.

i could not find a good translation for it though. here is the song in persian as sung by Zila Khan and a tweak by me to an available translation at

Abr mi barad o man mi shavam az yar judaa
chu kunam dil ba chunin roz ze dildar judaa

abr bara o man o yaar sitaada ba vidaa
man judaa giryaa kunaan abr judaa yaar judaa

sabz a nau-khez o hawa khurram o bustaan sar sabz
bulbul-e-ruye siyaah maanda ze gulzaar judaa

husn-e-tu der na maanad juz-e-khusro rafti
gul basey der na maanad chun shud az khaar juda

The rain separates from cloud and I am separated from the Friend.
How can my heart be separated from the Friend on such a day?
The cloud, the rain, I - and the Friend taken away.
I am alone, crying, the cloud is alone and the Friend is alone.

Greenery, newly-sprouted, joyful air, a green garden.
but the nightingale, disgraced, remains separated from the rosegarden.

O, what are You doing to me, with the root of every hair
Of Your tresses, bound together?

I am enchained by being tied up,
and all of a sudden,

Monday, July 21, 2008

insomnia == madness

late night posts like the previous one ..... i guess am going crazy.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

like earth , i welcome ur every step

dear one,
i spend days and nights
trying to find
every possible reason to hate you
zillion justifications
to keep you away from
my mind and heart
but just a footstep heard
a delicate echo
burns all these attempts
in a moment
that brings hope...
could that be you.

was that you?