Tuesday, October 17, 2017

This Travelogue has no route - Confessions of a wandering mind

Have also published this post on Team-BHP here.


"And this guy wants to write car ownership reports. Blistering Barnacles!! I mean how on earth do you not even know how many horses your car packs in?" He was furious about the confusion I have with my car's power rating.

We were travelling to our Hometown. The distance was not much, just about 325 km. So, about 7 hours of journey including all the breaks.

"Hey Leo, look, look, that one appears to be a test mule. Which one is that?" Doc asked Leo who was busy reading texts in my Nokia 3310 phone. "What? Where is it? Where is it?" Excited Leo lifted his Kodak KB10 in a hurry. "See that one standing on the side of the road, be ready to click." Doctor pointed to left. "Where the heck is it? I can't see it!" Leo was still clueless after scanning the entire visible area. "That white one. Can't you see?" Doctor replied with a wicked smile on his face. That's when I realized something was fishy. "Oh Leo, its just the other meaning of the 'mule', chillax." I said trying to avert upcoming war. A small little innocent donkeyish creature was smiling at him all the way. "You bunko! I will have my revenge. Knuckling Barnacles!!" Leo sure was angry.

We were just half an hour into the road and I already knew this one was going to be one heck of a journey! Gundya (Doctor), Bandya (Leo), Bokya (Mamba) and I are childhood friends. We are friends from the day we started to cognize this world. We all know almost everything about each other. It always feels nice when you are in such a company.

Gundya, for the starters is an intelligent of the sapiens lot. We call him Doc or Doctor. By the way, he is an engineer by profession. He is calculative. He mostly thinks for himself. Always speaks in reserved manner. The only time he opens up is when he is with us. When it comes to cars, he belongs to the Stone Age. "If you want to buy a car, go to a Maruti showroom and pick the one which suits your budget." It’s that simple for him. He loves to write random stuff. And people seem to like what he writes for unknown reasons.

One hour after we started, we were past the city traffic and were cruising at 80 kmph somewhere on the Mumbai-Bangalore highway.

Our ride was my first car, White Maruti 800! "I love this little engine. It never lets you down." Leo had 'please let me drive her' written all over his face. Sure, I was NOT going to let anyone touch her steering wheel. My 800 was simple, old, second hand Maruti (Yeah, second hand car. I never knew words like "Used", "Pre-Loved", "Pre-Worshipped" being used for a car). But that hardly mattered. It was as reliable as a hundred rupee note. Just having a car was such a big thing.

My beloved Maruti 800. Photo clicked using Kodak KB10 Film Camera

Now, Bandya is a totally different character. He is the only one closer to "artist category" in our group. We call him Leo (Short for Leonardo da Vinci). He is simple, talks much and is careless. He is blunt talking and straight shooting. Doesn't care much about most of the stuff which goes around. Happy go lucky types you know! He also has a taste for music and so for good food. He even plays a few instruments (although a newbie) and cooks some good dishes. We all know, there is a hidden full blown artist inside him. But, we prefer to call him a "pseudo-artist"! He loves cars. He knows a lot about cars (at least in our group). We sometimes call him "Armchair Mechanic"! Everyone comes to him for "which car should I buy" queries.

"This thing doesn't even have an AC and no power steering. Thank god the previous owner fitted a tape. We can at least play cassettes." Mamba said while trying to change the cassette.
And this is Bokya, we call him Mamba. Short for Black Mamba. The aggressive, venomous snake with black mouth! He is someone who just can't help but criticize anything and everything he sees. Don't get me wrong, he is a good person, but it’s just his nature. He also has a peculiar habit of opening absolutely irrelevant topics. "This damn fish in the pond..! The tape is stuck. Oh, God help me."

Mamba is also a true (and forced) follower of Murphy's Law. Something always keeps going wrong with him. He is a person who is always present at a wrong place and at a wrong time. "Hold on. Use your brain some times. This screw driver here is there for a reason." Doc, the intellect, used screw driver to somehow get the stuck tape out and put it well back inside the cassette. Believe me, those damn cassettes gave a hard time to lot of us.

It was not a time for snack. But we were super hungry. We stopped by the roadside Misal specialist to quench the fire. When we were done with 'Misal', a lot of 'Rassa' and about eight extra breads each, it was time for some nice hot tea. Mamba being Mamba, had to mess something up, and so in a moment, some of the boiling hot tea was on the table, some on the bench and some on Doctor's pant. "Is there anything you can do properly??" Doctor's eyes were as big as a potato and his head was as hot as the tea on his pants. "Oh yeah, I help friends buy new pants to replace their ten year old cheap ones." Mamba went for the kill. "Shut the onion up, you two!" I screamed. Thanks to my big and light eyes, people still shut when I shout. A hand written, illegible bill was there on the table. Someone had to pay. Well, this is always an interesting moment and a very common too. Everyone was saying "Wait no, I will pay, I will pay!" But it was Leo, who never said a word, paid the cash and said "let's go!" Leo, being an artist, was most unstable of us all (Financially speaking). (And yeah, that's how the world works!). But, he is always the first one to get the cash out of his pocket. He is a car lover who can't afford one!
We were back cruising in my old 800.

All of a sudden things started changing. Transforming! Yeah, that's the correct word.

The seats transformed into super big ones. It felt like shifting from one BHK to a three BHK flat. The engine note changed. The potholes felt like drawings on the road. No bumps whatsoever. Cabin started feeling a bit cold. And to my surprise, I found myself in the comfortable back seat. The music quality felt better and guess what, the songs were being played from a USB stick!

"Hey, what did that guy put in Misal? What's happening? Are we drugged??" Leo was freaking out. "Well, the plastic quality went from bad to worse. And what are all these rattles? Are we sitting inside a rattle snake? And why do I smell petrol inside the car?" Mamba was relentless with his criticism. Not realizing he was on the driver's seat. "What do you expect? This is your car after all, Mamba." Doc pulled the papers from the huge gloves box and showed Mamba's name on it with wide grin on his face. "The steering feels lighter and direct." Mamba shifted his tone 180 degrees! "It’s also bigger" he added. "Yeah, like a dish antenna!" This time Bandya aka Leo pulled his leg. "People call your Indica Vista 'The white elephant'" He continued.

Mamba's White Elephant

"How could you even buy this car? That too, cab-like White Indica Vista? That too a petrol Tata? That too a basic Terra version? I mean, is this for real??" Never saw Leo being so furious about his argument. "Well, it is the most comfortable hatchback in the country. Plus it is made in India, by Indians. As solid as a rock. Plus it has an Italian engine. Terra version is good value for money" Mamba was making positive vibes out of thin air! "Come on. Are you kidding me? They should only build trucks. Oh, this AC, I have never seen such a weak AC, ever. My ceiling fan would chill this car faster. And yes, you will come to know about real 'Value for Money' when you try to sell it. And that pathetic 2nd gear. Feels like this engine just had a lot of Diarrhea." Well, we knew the real reason why Leo was so pissed off. Bokya (Mamba) did not consult him before buying the car!!

"This manual Window! Open it with one hand and I give you 500 bucks cash. God they are too hard and tight. By the way, what did you get from buying an Indian car? Felt patriotic… eh? And what about the quality? It’s as potty as the software you write. And what's with the Italian engine? 0-100 in 22 seconds?? I think I can run faster than that!! And what mileage do you get? Please put a poster on your dash similar to B.E.S.T. buses…'Our Target 3.5 km per litre!!' " How could Doc let go off this opportunity to hit jibes at Mamba?? But, this time he touched Mamba's profession! Mamba was being bitten by two Cobras. "What do you know of software mate?" Surprisingly, it felt as if Mamba was just about to lay his weapons!

Suddenly, there was uncomfortable silence. An amazing song sung by The Great Bhimsen Joshi started at the same time. His divine voice seemed to have calmed things down. "Well, agreed. I am one of those many people in software industry who are just there. For absolutely no reason. We get salaries for warming the benches!!" Mamba was opening up. "And this car, yeah, it gave me a lot of troubles. Look at this plastic. Did they recycle garbage bags to make these? And who puts all the dials in the center? And this damn digital clock. They cannot even give you a clock which shows correct time. Fantastic!" The Mamba was back, throwing venom like a spitting Cobra. That too on his own car! "But all said and done, I still love my Vista. She was a part of a lot of journeys, a lot of memories." Mamba's tone changed with emotional touch never seen before.

Mamba's Tata Indica Vista Terra Safire 1.2!!

"I respect Tatas for whatever they have done so far. Tata Motors is still young in passenger car market. What they have achieved is fantastic. And being an Indian, I feel proud!" Leo was praising Tata!! Bandya (Leo, The Pseudo-Artist) was making peace with Bokya (Mamba, The Venomous Critique)! "Are you going to kiss each other or what?? There is a lot of room in the back seat of Vista!!" Doc had the last laugh while both Mamba and Leo were ready to kill him! And for the record, this was not the first time I was going through this whole conversation. Anyways, almost all topics are repeated multiple times when you are with childhood friends. But the best thing is you never get bored!

"Hey what do you think about friends? I mean whom would you call your true friend?" This was not the first time Mamba asked absolutely random question, irrelevant to current situation. "I think those, whom you can share your salary details with. Those, who don't expect a thing from you. And those, who do not steal your girlfriend!" Not sure why, but Doc answered. He uses his calculative mind even while making friends!! "I think those who share their deep secrets and those, whom you can depend on for any help" Mamba answered his own question
"Guys, will you ever come out of Bollywood? I tell you the universal definition of a true friend." Leo was spot on with his Bollywood comment.

"True friends are those, in front of whom, you can FART with absolute ease, with absolutely no sense of guilt or embarrassment!! Juuussst like you guys!!" The damned artist dropped a nuclear bomb made of burnt tires in front of us. Doc suffered the most casualties.
"Ohhh, Ohhh God, Help Me!! Help Me!! Forget friends, I wouldn't do this to my hard core enemies. Ohh Gwaad, And this freaking damned Window Awww.. Awww!!" Doc was desperately trying to open Vista's hard, manual window, while Leo was laughing with no remorse whatsoever. "I told you, I will have my revenge! I feel so relieved." Leo said while circulating his hand on the belly. "If you ever face a question on anyone's loyalty, just remember me and try this method. It always works." Bandya was laughing out loud.

By this time it was already dark outside. We drove of off the highway and were on the small rural road. We stopped for a quick Tea and Pee break and were back in the car. Mamba put the key in and and…The car wouldn't start!! Mamba's car, something had to go wrong. "Great, that’s called 'icing on the cake!'". I was irritated. We had to get local help to push start the heavy white elephant. The car went back into motion and it went all dark outside.

And then, the transformation began, again!!!

Weird metallic sounds started coming and the cabin started to shrink. The sheet metal went from tank armor to thin potato wafers. The car went super cold inside. It felt like minus ten in a cold storage. The interior quality went three notches up! The plastics felt great, fit and finish became fantastic and the gaps filled themselves to become uniform everywhere. The rattles were all but gone. The steering size now felt perfect. "The engine noise has increased tenfold and I don't have space to keep my feet and oh, my knees hurt" Mamba was back to his true nature. "The gear lever is vibrating like a Nokia phone. By the way, have your turned on the headlights? Are you able to see anything ahead? Just compare that to my Vista, Yo!" He added.

The Doc was holding the steering with a just one finger and had no problems taking big turns that way. This time it was Doc's car…!

Our speed reduced to yawning 50 kmph. Doc is a sedate driver. "We know, you are trying to show us off that light steering wheel, Doc. But just wait till the ghat section, have fun then. And seriously, 50 kmph on an empty road?? You are driving too fast, Doc. Please slow down!" Leo said with a sarcastic tone. All this while we thought Leo was deep into killing the opponents on his cell phone game. The ride became so bumpy that we could feel each and every pothole. Vista's suspension felt like a glider compared to this. "Look, this display shows me when to upshift." Doc was trying to impress us. "And what about the" Leo knew well enough about this car. "Doc, how could you buy Hyundai Eon when all you know about cars is Maruti??" This question was going to come, Mamba was quick to ask. "Well, not all things go as planned. There are too many Altos on the road. So I went for Eon. I liked their quality. Plus Bandya also suggested me to go with the Eon" Doc justified his purchase. "But I suggested you to get a higher version. Not this Dlite+." Bandya aka Leo was quick to respond.

Doc's Hyundai Eon Dlite+

"All I need in a car is chiller AC, light power steering and fantastic mileage. All other things just add to costs." This was the calculative engineer speaking.

Eon's Milestone Pic!

"Forget airbags or other safety features. But omission of left side ORVM? I mean really? And a few other essentials like intermittent wiper and a damn music system. How can they even make such cars?" Leo was immersed into the conversation. "Well, you get what you pay for!" Doc didn't seem to have any problems with these missing features.

"This son of a bat. Why is this guy using high beam? When are we Indians going to learn? I just hate driving at night. And look at this mustard, driving on the wrong side of the road with high beams. Let me teach him a lesson!" Doc went straight very close to the oncoming vehicle and turned at a last moment just missing the dash. All this, still at 50 kmph! The guy in the other vehicle was least bothered, as he was driving a rusty old Tractor!! Doc is a unique sedate driver with hell of a road rage. And as this happened, someone from behind honked and honked even more. "No one honks at me. I will not give him side." Doc was chewing his teeth. Road rage made him look so scary. The Swift guy from behind honked continuously for a minute and at first opportunity, overtook Doc's Eon. Doc made finger gestures at the same time. Finally, when the Swift came at front, a big saffron sticker read 'Ex. Wrestling Champion'. I was terrified and petrified! Doc was shivering!! Thanks to The Almighty (and Doc's poor Eon), that Ex Wrestling Champion did not find us worthy of a wrestling match. "I could understand such a road rage if you drive Fortuner, Scorpio or an XUV. But road rage with Hyundai Eon? That too, with zero wrestling titles under your belt?? That's too much." Mamba could speak for he knew that the wrestler was already gone!

"Guys, why do I feel so uncomfortable? Is it because of Eon's back seat?? Let's take a break and have some tea again." I asked others.

And thus we found ourselves sipping nice, hot, Vanilla flavored tea from a local tea stall. Suddenly, all three started to laugh at me. "What?? What happened??" I asked. "How do you feel now? You were not comfortable in the car?" Doc had that weird smile on his face again. "I still feel uncomfortable. What's happening? Bad Misal, I guess?" I was irritated. "Well, it not just one bad Misal. It’s a lot more of them. Plus a ton of Burgers and Pizzas!" I hate that weird smile. "What? What do you mean??" These guys were irritating me more. "Look at your belly, Dodo! It's not just the cars which Transformed!" Doc pointed at my belly. "Oh that belly tire went from skinny 155/70 R13 to meaty 185/60 R15!!!" Leo's comparisons are a topic for some other day. "You lost some hair and I can see some silver there too!" Loosening the belt gave my thoughts some boost. Although, I was shocked to see the changed me!

Honestly, our transformations were not that great. The bellies were protruding, the cheeks were hanging and the chin disappeared into the neck. The kids at the tea stall called us "Uncle" and not "Brother". All of a sudden, all time enthusiastic boys inside us were looking pale and dull. But then a few questions popped in my mind. It sent down chill to my bones, for I knew the answers! 'Did we learn anything at all from the life as you know it? Do we have any plan for the future? Forget the plans, do we really have any future? Once a commoner always a commoner? The daily boring routine, is that what we live for?' and many more!

"Thank god, none of us have specs!" Mamba was trying to find some positives while I was deep lost in my discouraging thoughts. "Hey, hey, hey, look at my pocket! Big Cash!! I love these transformations! I will sponsor the tea, you babies!!" Bandya was hardly concerned with the mid-life crisis and fat bottoms.

And so, about two third of the distance was covered and we were cruising in Doc's noisy Eon.
An old man asked for a lift along the way, but we decided against to stop at unknown place at that hour of night. In a few minutes, it all went pitch dark and not a soul was present on the remote road. "Oncoming car, after such a long time." Doc whispered.
I also saw a cyclist, actually shadow of a cyclist ahead of us. The shadow was clear due to oncoming car's head lights. He was cycling peacefully probably about thirty meters away, on the left side of the road.

"Hey did you notice a cyclist on the left side a moment ago?" Mamba jumped into his seat. "Yeah, I did, I saw the shadow!" Leo joined in.

"Did you actually see the cyclist when we reached that spot? Not just the shadow?" Mamba had goose bumps! "What the Freaking Barnacles?? No. I didn't see him either. Actually I was looking for him, but he never showed up." Leo had his heart in the mouth. "There are no ghosts. Okay? By the time we covered some thirty meters, the cycle guy might have turned left, off the road." The look on that scientific face was giving away fear and not science. He sure was crapping in his pants. "So even you saw him Doc!! Well, I agree, there are no ghosts. But then, what the bullocks that man was doing in pitch dark? How was he able to see the road? Without any lights? And where did he turn? His house? His farm? I have traveled this road hundreds of time during the daytime. There is nothing other than dense jungle here. Even a dog would think twice before venturing into this dark." Leo was desperately searching for a bottle of water. "Guys, relax! We witnessed all those weird transformations today. This shadow of a man on bicycle is nothing. And by the way, how do you that it was 'he' and not 'she'??" I tried to calm things down. "Hit the pedal and run for life!" Bandya didn't care. He was sweating in that Hyundai cold house. "That's surely something we can do! There is no one on the road any which ways!" Doc, the sedate driver, had already started stressing the three pot engine to its limit. "Yeah, except the ghost bicycle rider, who probably is chasing us down?" Nobody seemed to like my joke.

We stopped for another tea break at the first sight of human habitat.
"Where are you going at this time? Where did you come from?" With only us at his tea stall, an elderly person, in his seventies, tried to start a conversation. But no one was in mood to answer him. "People generally do not travel so late from that patch of the road, that too on Amavasya!" He pointed to the road we had just traveled. "What? Why? Is it a New Moon night tonight?" We all asked in unison. Suddenly everyone was interested talking to him. "People say it’s a bad patch of road. Famous for unusual things." He continued. "What kind of unusual things?" I asked while sipping that super sweet diabetic tea. "You know, people have seen jungle rabbits chasing their cars with crazy speeds. Some have seen hundreds of rats running in all directions on that road and then disappearing suddenly." I don't know if any of that was real or he was making things up. "But, but I don't believe in all these stories, that's why; here I am, selling tea, at this time of night with no problems whatsoever." Suddenly, I felt good. He sure was one brave old bat. "But, but few people have also seen an old man asking for a lift. If you stop your car, he doesn't do anything and just vanishes. If you don't, he chases you down." He seemed like a nice story teller. "Chases cars by running like those crazy rabbits?" Bandya asked impatiently with a touch of sarcasm. "No!! He chases them down on a bicycle! Old, completely rusted, chain less bicycle!!" The one telling ghost stories is always the happiest person in the group, I think.

We were in no mood to stop. This time Doc paid for the tea in tenth of a millisecond and we started from there at once.

"Guys, did you notice the bicycle parked on left side of that tea stall? It surely felt different. All rusted, absolutely no paint on it. And yes, the chain was missing." Leo was shaking. "Hey, you said, you have traveled this road hundreds of time during day light. Have you ever seen this tea stall?" Mamba asked Leo with a weird expression on his face. "No. I don't remember. But I never noticed. So, probably it is always closed during day time." Leo's face turned white. "So ghost chased us, then prepared a nice hot Chai and then told us his own story? Is that what you are saying??" Gundya, the intellect, said while trembling and increasing the speed further.

We would have gone on and on with that crazy ghost story, but the car transformation started again!!

First the clutch paddle vanished. Gear lever changed to an Automatic one. Car's speed increased even further. The interior quality went from better to awesome. Outside noise went from hundred to zero. After few hours of drive in Eon, I felt as if I was wearing Bose's noise cancelling headphones in this new car. The seat height reduced and felt super comfortable. No more jumps on the bumps (Although it did not match Vista's suspension). The steering became meaty with a flat bottom. Many buttons appeared on the steering. The dashboard looked like one from a plane's cockpit. The space on front row increased a lot while the space at the back remained the same. But the biggest change, to everyone's surprise, was the person holding the steering wheel of this seemingly expensive car. It was Bandya! Leo! Yeah, the one with financial problems!

"What? How? I mean how?" Calculative Doc asked with awe.

"Play Old Hindi Songs" Bandya talked to that butch steering wheel after pressing some button. And voila, the car started playing Rafi's amazing songs! "Is that awesome or what?" Leo was too excited. "I am in love with this engine, guys. That sweet sound. It’s poetry in motion." Looked like Bandya didn't care about anything else at that point and joined Rafi with his fantastic 'Main Zindagi Ka Sath...' song. "Which car is this? And how much did you pay for it?" Doc still couldn't believe! "You know what; I will just stop the music and let's hear this sublime turbo petrol engine." Bandya wasn't even listening to us anymore. An empty and straight stretch of road came ahead. "Just see this!!" Bandya pressed the accelerator hard and in a moment we were pushed back and jolted to our seat. "This is 175 Nm of torque hitting your face. Babes! Oh, I love this." Leo was having super fun while we were scared to death. "And you know what? This is just a 'D' mode. The regular Drive mode. Let me put it into 'S' mode." He pressed a button on the gear lever and pulled it back to Sports mode. "This is pure aggression. No mercy!" By now he was completely lost. The engine became louder and I could feel the scary punch. "I have never traveled in such a fast car before." Mamba opened his mouth first time after the gho(a)stly shock. "You betcha!! Feel this 30 to 80 magic. It's simply brilliant." I think Leo was feasting on our fears as much as his car. "And by the way, did any of you notice even a single gearshift? This is not your regular Automatic transmission. This is Dual Clutch Auto Transmission. It is made using Amul Butter!" Please don't ask about Bandya's comparisons, please!

"This is my Red Hot German Babe. Volkswagen Polo GT TSI." Bandya said with tremendous pride on his face.

Leo's Red Hot German!

Yes, the car was awesome. But, I was more worried about the money this guy had put in.

Polo's Cockpit!

"Bandya how much did this car cost?" Like others, I was impatient on this front. "10.5" Bandya murmured. "Ten point freaking five??? Are you freaking insane?" I almost had an attack. "Yeah, I had 11L in my account." Leo answered with no expressions on his face. "So you just blew 10.5L out of 11L you had, that too on a car? Have you heard of something called 'SAVINGS'? Do you know there is a concept of bank loans? Do you happen to know the word 'investments'? Do you know about cheaper pre-owned cars?" Doc was shouting at him. "And is this thing going to run on water? Are you going to eat thin air? I mean are you..." I had no words. This was stupidity.
"Money comes and goes. Let me just enjoy the drive, man!" He didn't care. "10.5 on a hatchback, Hu hu.." Mamba murmured. "It's not just some other hatchback, man. Respect, it's the Polo GT." Bandya quoted VW ad!

This is one thing I always wonder about car owners. Where all that car-brand-pride does come from?

Respect, It's the Polo GT

"AT is a boon. No more stress on my left leg. No problem creeping in traffic and no more backward roll on the slopes, say thanks to hill assist. Total peace of mind." He continued. "I thought real car enthusiast never drives an AT." Mamba poked by a pin. "Do you know the best part with Automatics? You can pick your nose all throughout the journey! My left hand is free." Leo had no reservations about doing or speaking of things considered improper by most other humans.
"Aww, that’s disgusting." Doc had super expressions on his face. "Oh come on, everyone does it." Bandya didn't care

"Well hello, at least not in public!" Doc added. "Stop this topic, people. Bandya, tell me more about your GT." I stopped that uncomfortable conversation.

"This car is loaded with features. Super Engine, Fantastic AT, Beautiful design, Sturdy build quality, Good Safety Features like strong structure, two airbags, ABS with EBD, Electronic Stability Program, It has sporty rear black spoiler, Spotless paint job, Good looking alloys, Top notch and all black interiors, Meaty, flat bottom and fairly accurate steering, it has rake and reach adjustment too, Automatic wipers, cruise control, auto dimming IRVM, electronic ORVMs, One touch power windows, remote controlled windows, cornering lights, hill hold assist, auto creep function, Automatic climate control, Cooled glove box, height adjustable driver's seat, one touch lane change indicators, Touch screen infotainment system and above all the GT badge!" Bandya was not going to stop singing songs about his GT-beauty.

At a point he sounded like a waiter from Udupi hotel listing all the types of idilis and dosas from the menu.

"And the audio quality is just fantastic. Yeah, some may say it is okayish, but let me tell you, I am an audiophile! I have heard the Harman Kardon in Tata Zest. I think Polo's music quality still FEELS better. Thanks to end to end insulated cabin. Just listen to this." Leo maxed volume and started Rahman's new 'The Humma Song'. Heck, that was pure sin! Mind blowing!!

Bandya doesn't stop singing songs about his GT-Beauty

"Hope your pocket stays happy too!! Have you heard of VW after sales service stories?" Mamba started again. "That is the only thing I am not sure about. Keeping my fingers crossed." Leo found some sense after-all. "I tell you, this is the most selfish purchase I have ever seen. This car is only made for the driver's seat. What does your family says about this low seating position and lack of space at the rear? Yes, the design is good, engine-gearbox combo is good too but it is not a proper hot hatch! And I am sure you know that replacing this gearbox costs more than a Nano, just in case something goes wrong. Just Google DSG failure hu hu! I am okay with the safety features too, but you know Fords provide six airbags? By the way, the first and foremost safety feature in any car is fantastic brakes! While GT provides average brakes! What's the use of all that power if you can't control it? And do you think you are going to need ESP anytime? Is that sporty spoiler enough to distinguish this car from a 6L sibling?" We never knew Mamba knows so much about cars.

"I couldn't help but notice that ugly scratch on the bonnet paint near right wiper. You can't open wipers like other NORMAL cars? Can you? The car wash guy gifted you that scratch. German engineering, he he..! The flat bottom steering wheel is nice, but where are the paddle shifters? And they give you Auto wipers, what for? How many times are you going to use them? GT owners need to beg the rain god to test this feature!! Plus, I don't think it is that effective at night. It should wipe the windshield more often when the headlights are on. And talking of headlights, the throw is poor to say the least. Compare that again to my Vista, dude!" Mamba was at peak of his biting while careless Bandya listened to it patiently. "And they made a joke of you with those cornering lights. All they do is turn the fog lamps on? Hehe, this is the same way we add 'features' to our software!! That infotainment system only supports Mirrorlink and not Android Auto or Apple Carplay, have you ever seen a phone which supports Mirrorlink?" I couldn't believe one can find so many shortcomings in a car that good!

"Well, no car is perfect. And let me tell you, this is not just a car, this is work of ART! And master pieces do not retail cheap." Leo was un-affected. Looked like he had developed anti-venom for Mamba's bites.

Work of Art!

"You know what, unlike you tightwads, I will allow you guys to try her out. Tell me then!" Bandya parked the car to the left. It was me who first got the chance to experience Polo GT and it was fantastic. "I simply don't care what Mamba thinks. This is a GEM!" I was exhilarated to say the least. I didn't want to let others drive, but I had to, anyways.

"What's the average?" Doc asked while driving her at punishingly slow 60 kmph.

Average with Doc's driving style!

"With these crawling speeds, I guess a hundred kilometers per liter!!" Leo said with a sarcastic smile on his face. "Wow, this is all so smooth. My left hand keeps going to gear knob only to find out there is nothing to do! This is just cool!" Even Doc, the sedate driver was impressed.
It was Mamba's turn now. And we all wanted to hear what he had to say. Ten minutes passed but he didn't say a word. He was checking all the features and all the buttons. "Try the manual mode as well; just move the gear stick to the left when on 'D', then push for Up-shifts and Pull for the Down-shifts. Have fun." Bandya was excited. Mamba tried the manual mode and still not a word.

"I am in Love. Pure love. With all said and done this is by far the best machine I have ever handled. You know what? 10.5L is 'value for money'. This is a no compromise deal. Sticks to the road like a chewing gum in your hair. Acceleration is brutal and the engine note is straight from symphony orchestra. The feature are just so cool. This beauty is real mean. Sorry you guys at the back, get used to it!!" Mamba was finally speaking, and how!!!

We never realized that our destination had arrived. We were in hometown!
It was time to say good bye and conclude this memorable journey.

We also didn’t recognize that our belly R15s were further upgraded to R16s.

If you have made it thus far....

Hey, hey, hey, I just noticed, I didn't say a word about myself!!!
Well, to tell you the truth, I was travelling ALONE to my hometown in my new Polo GT TSI!

Thanks to AT, there was nothing much to do. So yes, this post is a product of daydreaming!!

All the cars are real. Basically all the cars I have owned so far and of course, all the characters are figments of imagination. Just the parts of brain fighting with other.
Does this happen to you?

Hope you liked it!

Leo here says "Thanks for reading, You Bombastic Barnacles"!
Mamba wants me to send his regards to those who choose not to comment!
And the Doctor standing next to me says,
"No… I don't have any multi-personality disorder (as of yet)!!!!!"

Thursday, December 08, 2016


Advertising the software product which doesn't exist:

Watch this Mad-Ad here:

Script follows (There are some changes in actual performance):

----- Pirates Of Carribian Music (Violin, Guitar & Bongo) ---

4 guys start running in slow motion with extreme expressions of exhaustiveness. One guy is chilling and just walking faster than others.

Cool guy wins the race (music slows down).

Arun V: I am the new gen Reflexis Performance Engine in RWS 5.0....!

(Loud Chorus) RWS 5.0, क्युंकी ये आराम का मामला है!

---- Security ----

(Pirates theme continues in the background...)

Agastya (With Pirate Band on Head... and one eye covered) (Just a Guitar jam) : आउSSS... Crime Master Gogo नाम है मेरा... आखे निकालकर गोटिया खेलता हू मै....गोटिया... आया हू कूछ तो लूटकर जाऊंगा मै... खानदानी चोर हू मै...!

Types various things on laptop (Background score on Bongo).. Gets frustrated and bangs the keyboard on the floor.

Ranga: (Parade on Bongo) परेड सावधान....!! I am new Reflexis Kernel two dot wo. I make RWS 5.0 as secure as a Fort....!

(Loud Chorus) RWS 5.0, Hack me if you can!!!


---- Multi lingual ------

Chorus: Sing a famous A R Rehman song.

Rohit comes and tweaks some switches.

Chorus: Same song in Hindi.

Rohit: Globalization is at the heart of RWS 5.0. Get the data in the language you understand.

(Loud Chorus) RWS 5.0, आओss माओss चाओss...!


----- UI ------

ओss चेहरा है या चांद खिला है.. जुल्फ घनेरी शाम है क्या? सागर जैसी आखो वाली ये तो बता तेरा नाम क्या?

4 guys do a ramp walk during the song. Do girly things (No obscenity please).

RWS 5.0 is all about beauty. With our new Fluidic Design user interface flows like a water in a smooth river..!

(Loud Chorus) RWS 5.0, हमजैसा हसीन कोई और नही...!!

--- Pulse ----

(Increase the pace) धक धक...धक धक...धक धक..... धक धक करने लगा... ओ मोरा जियारा डरने लगा.. तू है मेरी दिलरुबा क्या लगती है वा रे वा...

धक धक करने लगा.... ओ मोरा जियारा डरने लगा.. धक धक...धक धक...धक धक.....

Rishabh: Oh yeah... As much as it seems impossible, RWS 5.0 is fully integrated with Store Pulse!!

(Loud Chorus) RWS 5.0, Stores की धडकन...!

--- UX -----

(Harry Potter Theme if possible in the background)

Ishan: I liked your software. But how do I publish a schedule?

Pratik: Just wave the hand and say the words!!!

अनुसूची प्रकाशित भव!

Chorus: Schedule for this week has been published... Ta Daa....

Pratik: New Reflexis Gesture Control Magic API provides User Experience never seen before.

(Loud Chorus) RWS 5.0, Abra... Ka  Dabra...!

--- Forecast, Workload & Schedule ---

Chorus: आवड मला ज्याची मी त्यालाच आणलं, त्याच्या गं बोलण्याला आता मी मानलं.. आवड मला ज्याची मी त्यालाच आणलं, त्याच्या गं बोलण्याला आता मी मानलं
शेजारचीही काळी मैना लागली डोलायला...तेवा लागली डोलायला... जेवा नवीन पोपट हा लागला विठू विठू बोलायला... जेवा नवीन पोपट हा लागला विठू विठू बोलायला...

Akshay: अरे ओ तोते... बता इन बेचारे लोगोंका भविष्य!

तोता (Amrit): (Picks up 1 card from the lot..) ये लो ज्योतिष महाराज... (Card says "Next week's forecast"..)

Akshay: क्या ये भविष्य सही होगा?

Amrit: जरूर जरूर.. क्युं की मै Reflexis का तोता हू! और मै सब जानता हू!

Amrit: Predictive Analysis module of RWS 5.0. Our algorithms are guaranteed to give you accurate forecast.

Ajinkya: अरे ये महाराज तो कुछ् भी फेकता है...

Akshay: अच्छा ऐसा...? Let me take a look at your workload & schedule.

Akshay: ॐ भजे भगभुगे भगनी भागोदरी भग्मासे येऊने ये... ॐ फट स्वा:....

आने दे... आने दे... आने दे....आ आ आ..!!

Akshay: बेटा तुम्हारी तो Band बाजा बारात बजने वाली है. You will get a call from Store Manager in 3...2...1....!

(Cellphone rings on guitar).

Manager On Phone(Monika): Hey Ajinkya, SM100 here..... Heads up! We will be working over weekends for next one month and 9 to 9 every weekday.

Akshay (Ajinkya trying to squeeze Akshay's throat): As a part of RWS 5.0, we generate Super optimized workload and our brand new NSGA is guranteed to give Super Perfect schedule. Perfect to the minute. Employees की बजाओ... खूब पैसा बचाओ...!!

Manager On Phone (Monika): Sorry Ajinkya..... but winter is coming..!

(Loud Chorus) RWS 5.0, We see the future... We are the future!!


------ Final Game of Thrones Music ----

Everyone to have a printout of the feature in one hand. Everyone slowly moves behind one (preferably huge) guy holding RWS 5.0 printout.


At the end everyone shouts... "RWS 5.0 - The Elephant is Marching" !!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Smashing Dub - Singham Way

Developers Vs QA battle in Singham way..

Starring -

---- QAs (The Police) ----

Bajirao Singham - Lead QA
Head Constable Savlekar - Senior QA who has put down his papers
+ Trainee software QAs

---- Devs (The Gundas) ----

Jaykant Shikre - Lead Developer
Shiva Nayak - Senior Software Developer
+ Trainee Software Developers

DSP Patkar - Team Manager (The one who likes developers more than QA)

And a poor support guy.

Hope you like it....!

Watch it here:

Script follows (There are some changes in actual performance):


QATL: JIRA मे बग डाल. Backend मे exception है, UI पे javascript error है और alignment मेभी गडबड है उसपर. अब दिखाता हू सालोंको.

AS: Chuckles

QATL: क्या हुआ?

AS: कुछ नही कुछ नही. लिखो लिखो.

QATL: क्युं? तुमको कोई तकलीफ है?

AS: तकलीफ... हं.... ये..ये बग डालके क्या फायदा है सर? आपको मालूम है ये कोड किसकी टीम ने लिखा है?....जयकांत शिक्रे..

QATL: जानता हू. वही जयकांत शिक्रे जिसने पेहले वाले की बँड बजाई थी. और अब तुम जैसे QA अपना जमीर मारकर उसके बग report नही करते.

AS: Ooo साहब. अब मू मत खुलवाओ. ये सब बोलना आसान है. ऊस दीन आपने क्या किया? मॅनेजर की डर से टेस्ट केस छोड दिया.

XYZ: ए टेस्टर चूप बस.. काय बोलतो तु?

AS: ए.... मी भीत नाही कोणाला. मुझे डर नही किसीका. ये ऐसा लेक्चर मेरी सालोंकी जॉबमे कई बार सुना है. मै भी यहा Angry Young Man बनकर आया था. दो दीनमे गांधीजीका बंदर बना दिया ईन onsite वालोंने. न देखो, न बोलो, न सुनो. आपको क्या है? आपको बग का भूत चढा है? सबसे लढना है आपको? लढो.. मारो. दो दीन मे बग डालनेका भूत उतर जाएगा. अरे... कोई साथ नही देगा आपको.. कोई नही देगा. चलो.. ये टेस्टर आपके साथ खडा है.. जैसे दो महिनेही रेह गए ना मेरी Notice period के. मै पूरा साठ दीन आपके साथ खडा रेहता हू. क्या ऊखाडलोगे देख लेता हू मै. ये.. बग... हड....

QATL: जितना अच्छा बोलते हो.. काश उतनी अच्छी टेस्टींग भी कर लेते.

Dev: ए... बाजिराव सिंघम. क्या रे.. मेरे कोड मे चार बग निकाले तुमने? आ? साला उधर जयकांत गरम है... इधर तु गरम है... इसलिये मामलेको थोडासा मै... कूल करने आया... अरे बापरे.. खुर्सीपे बैठू ना?
नही खुर्सीपे ठपाक करके लाथ मारके मुझे बोलेगा तो नही..."जबतक बैठेनेको कहा ना जाए तबतक चुपचाप खडे रहो.. ये QA cubicle है तुम्हारे बाप का घर नही... हाए... हा हा हा हा ह्हा...
क्या फडणीस... कर्रेक्ट बोला की नही... चल एक चाय मारके आते है.. सुट्टे के साथ.
क्युं सिंघम... (Kiss Sound).... छोड देना मेरे पेज को.

QATL: बग रिपोर्ट हो चुका है.

Dev: तो close कर दे ना उसको.

QATL: JIRA Issue है. close करना allowed नही है.

Dev: छोड दे रे. ऐसे पचास बग दुसरोंके कोड मे निकालके दुंगा मै. छोड दे.  Pause...

Dev: ज्यादा सोच मत. Seriously बोल रहा हू तेरेको.. छोड दे.
सिंघम tears papers..

Dev: शाब्बास.

Dev: येही तो समझा रहा था मै तेरेको सिंघम. ये फोकट की गर्मी..और वो...

QATL: बग क्यूं क्लोज किया?

Dev: हा?

QATL: बग क्यूं क्लोज किया?

Dev: ए फडणीस...

QATL: बग क्यूं क्लोज किया?

Dev: सिंघम तेरेको पता है? मै कोन हू? जयकांत कौन है?

QATL: हा बोल. कौन है तू? बोल ना कौन है तू..?
Support Guys: सर बग...

QATL: जानता है ये कौन है? ये सपोर्टवाला.. मेहनतसे, इमानदारीसे कोड देखके एक दो बग fix करता है... तू कौन है? Java भी ना आने वाले.. गंदी टीम के किडे. औकात क्या हे तेरी? बोलो? बोल ना..
आता तुम्हाला तुमची औकात दाखवतो. इसने कदमके worklog डिलिट किये थे...अब इसकी worklog मे गालिया लिखते है.
(music) और एक issue बनाओ..ऑनसाईटसे मिटींग बुलाओ...

Manager: ए सिंघम.. क्या हो क्या रहा है? पागल हो गया है क्या तु? फालतू का बग डाल दिया.. उपरसे worklog मे गालिया? उसके बाद खुद बग close करके शिवा की मिटिंगमे मार दी??? काय चाल्लय काय?
अरे बाप का राज है क्या?

AS: साहब. शिवा नायकने हमारे सामने बग close किया.

XYZ: हा सर मैने भी देखा.

ABC: जी सर मैने भी देखा था.

Manager: अच्छा..? तुम लोग सब अपने आप को बहोत स्मार्ट समझते हो ना? ठीक है. शिवा नायक ने बग close किया. फिरभी मे बोल रहा हू की तुम उसके सारे बग resolve करो..अभी इसी वक्त.

QATL: अभी जो बोला वो मेलमे भेजो.. फिर सोचुंगा.

Manager: हा..? जानता है किससे बात कर रहा है? मै तेरा मॅनेजर हू...

QATL: अबे... चूप. जानता हू किससे बात कर रहा हू. उस मॅनेजरसे जो बग रिपोर्ट होनेसे पेहले dev को छुडवाने आ जाता है. हमारी ड्यटी बग निकालनेकी है... उसकेलिये पॉवर या Designation की जरूरत नही. सिर्फ दम की जरूरत है. दम...

Manager: तू इस कंपनी के manager से बात कर रहा है.. manager से.

QATL: और आप बाजीराव सिंघमसे. जो सही के साथ सही और गलत के साथ सही करने की हिम्मत.. ताकद औरे जुर्रत रखता है.
Manager: मै.. मै... मै...

QATL:  मै.. मै... मै... क्या मै मै..? टीम चेंज करेगा? फायर करेगा? तो कर ना.. तुम लोगोंको इन चिजोंसे फरक पडता होगा. मला फरक नाही पडत. गाव जाऊंगा.. मेहनत करूंगा.. अपनी startup शुरू करूंगा. मेरी जरूरते कम है इसलिये मेरे जमीर मे दम है.

Manager: चुप कर... छोटेसे टीम का मामुली Tester.

QATL: अरे.. Developer हो या Tester. कंपनी हम सबको एक जैसी नौकरी देती है. जिसमे सारा काम दिमाग से करते है. लेकीन मै यहा से करता हू... दिल लगाके.

Manager: अपने Managerसे जबान लडाता है...? अपने Managerसे...??

QATL: नही मै ऐसे Manager से जबान लडा रहा हू.. जो सारे Employees का नही... एक developer का... जयकांत शिक्रे का servent है.

Manager: भूल मत मेरे control मे दस टीम्स है जिसमे से तेरा एक है..

QATL: और मेरे control मे सिर्फ येही एक टीम है. उसमे जो टांग अडाएगा उसको Documentation team मे डालूंगा.. आईच्या गावात..

Thursday, January 29, 2015

जाने भी दो यारो

Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is nothing but "Repetitive Mahabharat" between Pan'dev' (पां'डेव्ह') and 'QA'rav ('क्यूए'रव).

This farcical skit is a mix of Software Development Life Cycle,  1983 hit film "Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro" (जाने भी दो यारो) and Macchindra Kambli's famous Marathi/Malvani Play "Vastraharan" (वस्त्रहरण)

Watch this farce skit here:

Script of the skit follows (There are some changes in actual performance):


नमन नटवरा विस्मयकारा । आत्मविरोधी कुतूहलधरा ॥

-- Announcement on mic --
...कृपया ध्यान दे... ९ बजके २ मिनिटपे छूटने वाली लोकल आज...... Ooops Sorry...

...कृपया ध्यान दे... इस नाटक के सभी पात्र काल्पनिक है.... ऊनका किसी भी Employee या Manager के साथ कोई संबंध नही है... अगर ऐसी कोई समानताए नजर आई तो ऊसे मात्र एक संयोग कहा जाएगा |

--- Mahabharaat music......

Anchor - उपस्थित मान्यवर तथा आदरणीय प्रेक्षकगण... नमस्कार...! मै संजय.. मुझे ये Software वाले लोग Functional Expert केहते है... और प्यार से मुझे "तात्या" बुलाते है...
हा... तो...ये IT वाले लोग आज "महाभारत" पेश करने वाले है... और आने वाले तीन घंटे आप इसका भरपूर आनंद ले...

-- मै समय हूं music in background--
-- (On Mic) No No No No... How can you do this?
(South Indian Accent) तीन घंटे??? मैने तो सिर्फ दस मिनिट ही बोला था... अब weekend पे रुको और दस मिनिट मे खतम करो....
केहते है असली महाभारत तो सिर्फ अठरा दीन चला था.. दस मिनिट मे नाटक तो खतम कर ही सकते है |

Anchor - (Surprised) क्या.. बस दस मिनिट?... अछ्छा २०-२०... Short मे निपटाओ... चलो ठीक है.. वो भी कर लेते है... |

ध्रुतराष्ट्र - तात्या, ये सब क्या हो रहा है तात्या..

Anchor - हे व्यासपुत्र ध्रुतराष्ट्र यहा ऐसाही चलता है | कृपा करके आप ध्यान से देखे.... अ अ अ मेरा मतलब है सुने....|

Anchor - तो अब... हम पात्र परिचय करते है| सबसे पेहले... महापुरूष अर्जून |
-- Mera Man Dole... Mera Tan dole.... song ---

अर्जून - (Completely Drunk)  तात्या आप हील क्यू रहे है? हिलना मत... और मेरा माऊस किधर है?

Anchor - माऊस? मेलो ह्यो माऊस कुठुन आलो? अरे चूहे को बिल्ली खा गयी... चल तू अपना डायलॉग बोल...याद तो है ना?

अर्जून - (Drunken Accent.. And hilte dolte)... ए... चुप, मुझे मेरे डायलॉग Context है...

Anchor - Context?... हे पार्थ क्या आप "कंठस्थ" केहना चाहते है? यानी रटे हुअ...?

अर्जून - हा वही वही... रटे हुए है... चालू करू?

अर्जून - कुत्ते कमिने भीम मै तेरा खून पी जाऊंगा.. मेरी पादुकाए द्रौपदीके महल के बाहर रेहते हुए भी तुमने वहा security breach
करने की हिम्मत कैसे की? मेरा chance चला गया ना...?

Anchor - हे अर्जुन, जन की ना सही मन की तो पर्वाह करो.. वो था एक अर्जुन जिसकी कोई तुलना नही... और एक है ये, जिसको कोई संतुलनही नही...
कुत्ते कमिने? security breach? chance? इस महान धनुर्धारीको कोई निंबू पानी पिला दो...

अर्जुन - मुझे English बोलना है... You see... I good English... I have had been English... मुझे नागिन Dance करना है... Music......
नागिन dance music.... Arjun goes to side and sits swaying in both directions.

Anchor - हा हा ठीक है हे श्रेष्ठ..! जैसी आपकी ईछ्छा |

--- Taar bijli se patle hamare piya song ----
भीम runs down from inside the crowd on the stage...and shows body and laughs like a ravan...

अर्जुन - ये देखो हमारा Two Dimentional Array आ गया... भीम...

भीम - ही ही ही हा हा हा... बोलो बोलो बोलो किसका कोड फोडना है?

Anchor - (Self Dialog) वो अर्जुन उसका माऊस ढुंड रहा था.... यही है क्या वो चूssssहा?
(Addressing Bheem) हे गदाधारी भीम, कृपा करके आप आपका अभिनय चालू करो..

भीम -  (Bhim takes the bells off the stump, hits it on the ground like chanderpaul, acts like sachin... and says..)
चल बॉल डाल...

Anchor - हे महा बलवान... ये पिछले साल का है...  ए.. इसको साईड मे लेलो यार कोई...

Anchor - तो अब आ रहे है महा खलनायक दुर्योधन...

--- Azeeemo Shaan Shehensha -- Akbar song.... ---- (Anchor puzzled)
Side person -- Attteeeeension...... अकबरजीके लाल.. अनारकली के पाल... महा भयानक... महा लालची... सलिम भाय... पधार रहे है.... |

दुर्योधन - असल्लामवालेकुम...

अर्जुन - वालेकुमस्ल्लाम... भाई कैसे हो... और क्या हाल चाल.. सब ठीक..?

Anchor - Dioalog बोलो, Dioalog बोलो ...

दुर्योधन - कहा है मेरी अनारकली... और कहा है वो कंबख्त पांडेव...

अर्जुन - आयला अनारकली? ये तो change request है....|

ध्रुतराष्ट्र - सलिम? अनारकली?? पांडेव??... ये सलिम कहा आ टपका... ये सब क्या हो रहा है तात्या?

भीम -  तात्या ये दुर्योधन मेरे डोके मे भोक कर रहा है... उसको फोड डालू क्या?

Anchor - शांत गदाधारी भीम... शांत.... जाने भी दो......
हा.... तो अब आ रहे है...... कपट से भरे शकुनी मामा....... Musicccc.......
--- Hello All... The bus is the ready at the gate... the bus will the leave at the 6:15 sharp....

All people on the stage act of packing the bags...

Anchor - अरे... रूको रूको... कहा जा रहे हो... ये musician कहा से पकड के लाए हो?

Anchor - Come on..... शकुनीवाला Musicccc...

---- केहके लुंगा song ---

Anchor - अरे... मारो यार इस musician कोई.... दुर्योधन तुम्हारा Dialog है....

दुर्योधन - हे मामाश्री आदाब.... आप कहा थे इतने दीन? आपको देखके मै धन्य हो गया... मै आपके चरण स्पर्ष
करना चाहता हू...
(Toches legs and remains there for some time... Meanwhile shakun is busy smoking....)
(Moving legs of shakuni)... मै आपके चरण स्पर्ष कर रहा हू

शकुनी - अरे... s s s s s s sorry sorry ... I I I I was very busy... didn't have ब ब ब ब bandwidth to l l l l look into your issues....

Anchor - अरे Dialog बोलो, अरे Dialog बोलो |
--- शोले गब्बर music....

शकुनी - (हकलाते हुए) कि कि कि.. कितने पांDEV थे...?

दुर्योधन - पांच मामाजान....

शकुनी - और कि कि कि कि कि कि कि कि कि.......?

दुर्योधन - आज खतम होगा.....?

शकुनी - कि कि कि कि कि तने QAरव थे...?

दुर्योधन - सौ मामाजान.... आप क्या status update ले रहे हो..?

शकुनी - ए... शूssss.... पांच पांDev और सौ QAरव...? येतो बहुत ना ना ना ना ना नाइंसाफी है.... लेकीन अछ्छी
है.... मोगँबो... खूष हुआ..... |

ध्रुतराष्ट्र - गब्बर...? मोगँबो.....? This is too much... तात्या ये सब क्या हो रहा है, तात्या?

शकुनी - Release क क क कब है.. कब है Release???

दुर्योधन - पांच मिनिट मे देना है सरजी... Its like mission impossible...

शकुनी - बस पांच मिनिट?? ... (Bhojpuri Accent) भय्या ई हमसे न हो पाई....

-- मै समय हूं ---

--- On Mic --- No no no no no... How can you say this? हम ऐसा क्या पेहली बार कर रहे है? You have to do this.... पांच मिनिट मे तो देना होगा...

भीम - मै सोच रहा... मै सोच रहा... मै सोच रहा... मै सोच रहा... मै सोच रहा... मै सोच रहा... (In various actions till he sleeps on the ground..) ये सब कैसा करेंगे..?

Anchor - तुम क्या ऐसे सोचेते हो??

दुर्योधन - Yessss... we will do it..! (Starts jumping vigourously...)

Anchor - अरे अरे अरे ये क्या कर रहे हो...

दुर्योधन - मै performance testing कर रहा हूं.... मेरा मतलब है मै अपने महान ताकद की परीक्षा कर रहा हूं...

Anchor - अरे रुको... रुको... रुको... धर्मराज युधिष्ठिर को तो आने दो....

----- Main hun don... main hun don... song.....

भीम - (पिछेसे) ये लो आ गया TL.... सबसे लेट... खुद तो कुछ करता नही... हमसे सारा काम करवाता है...

Anchor - युधिष्ठिर... Time नही है... जल्दी अपना परिचय दो....

युधिष्ठिर - हं... मेरा परिचय...? मुझे जानते नही....? मेरा नाम... विजय दिनानाथ चौहान... और प्यार से सब मुझे VJ बुलाते है..... हाए...

शकुनी - धर्मराज... तुम्हारे पास द द द द द द दाव पे लगाने के लिये कितने Dev है..?

युधिष्ठिर - मेरे पास...? मेरे पास... मनीष है... प्रशांत है... रवी है... और बताऊं? मेरे पास जय है..... तुम्हारे पास क्या है QAरव???

शकुनी - हमारे पास.... हमारे पास.... म म मा म मा मा म मा मा म मा मा मंगेश पाटील है.....|
(Silense for a minute while everyone looks at each other with puzzled expressions... Sans bhi kabhi bahu thi types music....)

शकुनी - दांव लगाओ... और फांसे फेको....
युधिष्ठिर फांसे फेकते हुए केहता है... ये लगे मेरे पाच Dev
शकुनीभी फांसे फेकते हुए केहता है... ये लगे मेरे सौ QA

शकुनी - ही ही ही हा हा हा.... जीतम् जीतम् जीतम्.... ही ही ही हा हा हा....

दुर्योधन - ही ही ही हा हा हा.... (With finger guestures of counting money) सारा धन तो खतम हो गया... (With स्तन finger guestures)... अब क्या बचा है?

----- O womania music ---- Draupadi comes on stage with random dance -----

भीम - ए लो... आ गई Productivity....
Anchor - Productivity नही बलराज... द्रौपदी...|

द्रौपदी - भीम.... Daarling... You are so naughty...

अर्जुन - (Wakes up from sleep) Looks like this is the bug in the system. We are looking into it... and we will fix it ASAP...

ध्रुतराष्ट्र - ये सब क्या हो रहा है?

भीम -  तात्या ये अर्जुन की तो ऐसी की तैसी..... फोड डालू क्या?

Anchor - शांत गदाधारी भीम... शांत....

दुर्योधन - इस Product का अब सब QAरव मिलके चीरहरण करेंगे... हा हा हा हा हा हा...

युधिष्ठिर - नही....... इस Product का चीरहरण करने से पेहले तुम्हे मेरा सर फोडना पडेगा....

दुर्योधन - ओए हटाओ यार ये ले..... (दुर्योधन युधिष्ठिर का सर फोड देता है... युधिष्ठिर गिर जाता है....) लो... ये लो हो गया.... फट गया Security Test...

भीम - भ्राताश्री को मारा... हे महापापी दुर्योधन, तुमने हमारे भ्राताश्री के कोड मे बग निकाला?? अब देख... मै मेरी गदा से तुम्हे कैसे ऊद्धस्त करता हूं |
(दुर्योधन एक फूक मारता है... और एक धक्का देके भीम को गिरा देता है)

भीम - (रोते रोते...) अपुनको मारा... अपुनको....? सारी यारी दोस्ती भुलादी? ये भाईगिरी अब नही चलेगी... मुझे नही करना नाटक वाटक...!! I Quit.... I Resign....

ध्रुतराष्ट्र - ये सब क्या हो रहा है?

दुर्योधन - JIRA मे डालो.. JIRA मे डालो..

अर्जुन - This is not a bug.... Resolving it as wont fix....

दुर्योधन - Won't fix...? Ye le..

शकुनी - ओए हटा सा सा सा सा सावन की घटा... दुर्योधन मार सब को....
(Total chaos and maramari on the stage.... and similar music....)
(After the fight... everyone gets up and shakes hand... )

ध्रुतराष्ट्र - ये सब क्या हो रहा है? महाभारत का क्या हुआ? और द्रौपदी का क्या हुआ?

शकुनी - (Speaking to audiance) ये US में बैठा हुआ client ना... एकदम बिलकूल अंधा है... |
(Looking at ध्रुतराष्ट्र): हे महाअधिपती ध्रुतराष्ट्र आपकी जय हो.... आप महान है... क्षमा करे परंतु, अभी आपके सामने जो हुआ वोही तो महाभारत का महायुद्ध था... और द्रौपदी... Ummmm?
(Looking at others...): ए अरे दे दो रे ऊसको वोही द्रौपदी नई साडी पेहनाके....
Everyone talking to each other in a group...
युधिष्ठिर - हुश्श्श्श् हो गया release.... हो गया महाभारत.... Yessss....we did it once again...
And we are number ONE in client satisfaction... Well done guys.... चलो पार्टी करते है... Dance करते है...!!
------ लुंगी Dance ------
Anchor - And that, my friends, is known as Software Development Life Cycle... AKA SDLC... AKA महाभारत !

Thursday, February 20, 2014

3 Idiots

२०१४ मध्ये लिहिलेली एक मुलाखत 

परवाच पार्ल्यातल्या जीवन हॉटेलमध्ये गरम गरम चहा मारत बसलो होतो. एकटाच होतो. दिवस फार कटकटीचा गेला होता. 
शेजारच्या टेबलावर कोणीतरी तीन तरूण बसले होते. पार्ल्यातलेच असावेत. फारच मोठ्या मोठ्यानं गप्पा मारत होते. त्यामुळे मी जरा त्रासूनच त्यांच्याकडे बघू लागलो. सहाजिकच त्यांच्या बडबडीकडे माझे लक्ष गेले. 
"ताडोबाला हे लोक अक्षरशः पोटभर जेवले. वाघडोह मेल पंधरा मिनिटं.." त्यातला एक जण म्हणाला. 
मला काही कळेना. मी जरा नीट ऐकू लागलो.
"लास्ट बॅचचा बर्ड काऊंट शंभराच्या वर गेला. एकदम खूष होतं पब्लिक." दुसरा टिवल्या बावल्या करत होता.
"ए लोक्या, पुढच्या सिझनला कान्हा नक्की रे. आणि नागरहोळ पण. मस्त जंगल आहे तिथलं. पायलटचे हे फोटोज आणलेत, बघ रे तू फक्त. एकदम कडक." तिसरा कॅमेरा काढत म्हणाला. 
आता मात्र माझ्या त्रासिक नजरेची जागा कुतुहलाने घेतली. वाईल्ड लाईफ बद्दल ते काहीतरी बोलत होते हे कळलं पण ही बॅच, ती बॅच वगैरे असं काय बोलत होते ते कळेना.
"अरे बाप फोटो आहे रे हा. बोले तो एकदम झक्कास. आणि त्या वाघिणीचा कॅटवॉक.. च्यामारी.. अफलातून.." कॅमेराकडे बघत पहिला ओरडला.
इतक्या वेडेपणाने ते तिघे बोलत होते की मला पण तो फोटो आणि वाघिणीचा व्हिडियो बघावासा वाटला.
"ए ऐका ऐका, विजयनगरच्या ऑफिसमध्ये हा फोटो लावू. भिंतीवर एकदम सुंदर दिसेल." हातवारे करत तिघांतला एक पुढे म्हणाला.
"पुण्यातपण ऑफीस सुरू करायचं रे लवकर. साला बिझनेस चांगला वाढेल त्यामुळे."
बिझनेस म्हटल्यावर आता मला थोडी कल्पना येऊ लागली. यांची मुलाखत घ्यायचीच असं मी ठरवलं. 
आता तुम्ही म्हणाल मुलाखत कुठुन आली मध्येच?
तुम्हाला खोटं वाटेल पण मला एक वेगळीच सवय आहे. कोणी जगावेगळी गोष्ट करताना दिसलं तर मी सरळ त्याच्याशी बोलायला जातो आणि चक्क त्याची मुलाखत घेतो. आतापर्यंत  अशा चाळीस मुलाखती घेतल्यायत मी. ही एकेचाळीसावी असणार हे जवळपास नक्कीच झालं होतं.
"माफ करा हं, पण मी तुमच्या गप्पा ऐकल्या. जंगल आणि बिझनेस या तशा दोन विसंगत गोष्टींबद्दल तुम्ही काहितरी बोलत होतात, खूप interesting वाटलं म्हणून तुम्हाला जरा त्रास देतोय." मी त्याची बडबड थांबवत विचारलं.
"छे छे, त्रास कसला. सवय आहे आम्हाला. जस्ट जॉइन इन. हा लोकेश, हा विदा आणि मी अर्चिस." हा अर्चिस, आम्ही अगदी बालवाडीपासून एकत्र असल्यासारखं, बिनधास्त बोलू लागला.
"नमस्कार. सॉरी तसा जरा त्रासच देतोय.. पण मला तुमची मुलाखत घ्यायची आहे."
मुलाखत म्हटल्यावर तिघांनी मांजरासारखे (की वाघासारखे?) कान टवकारले.
"मुलाखत वगैरे काय? आम्ही कधी मुलाखत नाही दिली बुवा. पत्रकार वगैरे आहात की काय?" लोकेश म्हणाला.
"नाही नाही. माझा छंद आहे तो." तिघांच्या कपाळावरच्या प्रश्नचिन्हाकडे बघत मी म्हणालो. हे काय मला नवीन नव्हतं. पण मला पुढची reaction बघायची होती.
"वा वा.. पहिल्यांदाच ऐकला असा छंद. चांगलं आहे. पण मुलाखत वगैरे नाव नका हो देऊ याला. आपण मस्त गप्पा मारू. चार मिसळ आण रे..." विदा पोर्‍याला ऑर्डर देता देता, हसत म्हणाला.
"संध्याकाळी मिसळ?" मी चटकन बोलून गेलो.
"हात्तिच्या त्यात काय? मिसळ पेटवायला काही काळ वेळ असतो का?" लोकेश पोटावर हात फिरवता म्हणाला.
पण मुलाखतीला त्यांनी लगेच होकार दिल्याने मलाही बरं वाटलं. नाहीतर, मुलाखत किंवा Interview म्हटल्यावर लोकांच्या ज्या काही प्रतिक्रिया असतात ना, काही विचारू नका.
"धन्यवाद." मी स्माईल देत म्हणालो.
"सॉरी, पण तुम्ही नक्की काय बोलत होतात? जरा सांगाल काय?"
"प्रत्येक वाक्याला सॉरी म्हणायची सवय आहे का तुझी? झाली की आता ओळख. सॉरी बिरी नको." अर्चिस एकवचनावर येत म्हणाला. दोन-चार वाक्यातच त्याने मला मित्र करून टाकलं. 
"बरं, सांगतो आता आमच्याबद्दल. We are founders of Twine Outdoors. आम्ही टूरीझम क्षेत्रात काम करतो." गरम चहाचा कप हातात घेत अर्चिस म्हणाला.
"मराठी माणूस आणि धंदा हे समीकरण बर्‍याच जणांना जरा अवघड वाटते. पण धंद्यासाठी लागणारे सगळ्यात मोठे भांडवल म्हणजे डो़के आणि त्याहूनही अधिक महत्त्वाचे म्हणजे बरोबरची माणसे. आमच्याकडे दोनही गोष्टी होत्या, त्यामुळे ठरवले की Business करायचाच.." एका दमात विदा म्हणाला.
"अगदीच पुस्तकी वाटत नाहिये ना?" मी काही बोलणार त्याआधीच त्याने माझी विकेट काढली.
"नाही नाही तसं काही नाही, तुम्हाला जे वाटेल ते बोला." मी हसत ऊत्तर दिलं.
"बाय द वे, सुरूवातीला काही कुसक्या कांद्यांनी आमची थट्टापण केली. पण अशांकडे दुर्लक्ष करणं फार सोयीचं असतं." लोकेश. 
"बरं, आम्ही तिघे CA, बरेच जण आम्हाला 3 Idiots म्हणतात. आणि खरं सांगायचं तर आम्हालाही ते आवडत. Its really feels better to be an Idiot Chartered Accountant...!"
"मुळातच आम्हाला भटकायची प्रचंड आवड आहे. प्रचंड म्हणजे अगदी राक्षसी. जंगलाबद्दल तिघांनाही आकर्षण आहे. मग काय.. एकदा अशाच एका संगमेश्वर जवळच्या डोंगरावर करवंद खाताना आमची ओळख झाली. ती पण एक भारीच गोष्ट आहे. पण ती नंतर कधीतरी. हा तर, एका ओळखीतच आम्ही मित्र झालो आणि हा हा म्हणता बरीच जंगलं एकत्र सर केली. तिघे भारतभर फिरलो. तुमचा विश्वास नाही बसणार पण असंच एकदा आम्ही नागझिर्‍याला गेलो होतो तेव्हा तिघांच्याही डोक्यात एकदम विचार आला, की या क्षेत्रातच आपण धंदा का करू नये? एक वेगळेपण कोणाला नाही आवडत?" अर्चिस चहा फुर्र् फुर्र् करत म्हणाला. 
"म्हणूनच Wildlife Tourism म्हणजेच आमच्या भाषेत Live Tourism किंवा Dynamic Tourism. जर फिरायची आवड असेल तर वेळेचं आणि त्याहून जागेचं बंधन रहात नाही. आणि आमचंही तसंच होतं, म्हणून Tourism Beyond Boundaries. आणि काहीही झालं तरी 'छोडेंगे दम मगर तेरा साथ ना छोडेंगे' अशी आमची मैत्री. आम्हाला एकत्र फिरायला हे जगही अगदी लहान आहे. या वास्तवातूनच जन्माला आलं आमचं नाव, Together, World Is Not Enough, TWINE, TWINE Outdoors." विदा अगदी excite होऊन म्हणाला.
"जन्माला आलेलं हे बाळ हळू हळू बाळसं धरू लागलं. Wildlife बरोबरच Corporate Outing आणि Concept Tours या शाखादेखील सुरू झाल्या आणि ते बाळ दुडू दुडू धावूही लागलं." लोकेश म्हणाला.
"ए...ए... फार सेंटी होतंय हे. रडू का मी आता?" अचानक विदा अक्षरशः ओरडला. पण त्याच्या चेहर्‍यावरचा मिश्किलपणा काही जात नव्हता. 
"पण काय करणार असंच काहिसं झालं आहे आपल्याबरोबर... आणि मुलाखत देतोय ना.. जरा अलंकारीक का काय ते बोलायला नको?" लोकेश डोळे मोठे करत म्हणाला.
मी फक्त समोर जे काही चाललं होतं त्याची मजा घेत होतो. मला वेगवेगळे प्रश्न विचारून ऊत्तरं काढून घ्यायची गरजच भासत नव्हती. कोण म्हणतो कपाळावर आठ्या आणूनच बिझनेस करता येतो? कोण म्हणतो मित्रांना सोबत घेऊन बिझनेस करता येत नाही?
"आम्ही Wildlife शाखेअंतर्गत, भारतभर, Wildlife Tours, Nature Tours आणि Monsoon Treks अशा निसर्गाच्या सान्निध्यातल्या टूर्स करतो. आम्हालाही जंगलाच्या जवळ रहाता येतं आणि लोकांनाही कधिही न बघितलेल्या गोष्टी बघायला मिळतात. आमच्याबरोबर अगदी पहिल्यांदा आलेले Twiners, म्हणजे कावळा, चिमणी आणि कबूतर एव्हढेच पक्षी माहित असलेले लोक, आता बघताक्षणी जवळजवळ कुठलाही पक्षी ओळखतात." विदा अगदी अभिमानाने सांगत होता.
"माणसं आणि पर्यावरण जपणं हा आमचा मोटो आहे. Twine ची टूर जिथे जाईल तिथल्या वातावरणाला आणि जैव-विविधतेला काहीही त्रास होणार नाही याची पूर्ण काळजी आम्ही घेतो. आणि माणसं जोडण्या आणि जपण्याबद्द्ल सांगायचं तर प्रत्येक टूर झाल्यावर, Twiners ची आमच्याशी आणि एकमेकांशी अगदी घट्ट मैत्री होते. अगदी लंगोटी यारांसारखी. आणि मग टूरनंतर, फेसबूक आणि व्हॉट्सअॅपवर अगदी कल्ला चालू असतो." लोकेश म्हणाला
" 'Wildlife Tourism म्हणजे फक्त जवळून वाघ बघणे' ही समजूत किती चुकीची आहे हे सगळ्या Twiners ना आता माहिती झालंय. आणि त्यामुळेच आमचे Twiners अगदी मनसोक्तपणे जंगल अनुभवतात. समोर येणार्‍या प्रत्येक प्राणी, पक्षी आणि झाडाचा आस्वाद घेतात. आणि अगदी खरं सांगतो, समाधान का काय जे म्हणतात ना ते हेच." विदा आता खरंच जरा सेंटी झाला होता.
"Responsible Tourism हेच खरं Wildlife Tourism. हा आमचा फंडा आहे." लोकेशही जरा गंभीर होत म्हणाला. 
"चहा थंड होतोय तुझा. मध्ये मध्ये जाऊदे तोपण घशात. बाय द वे, Corporate Outing बद्दलही जरा सांगतो." अर्चिसने मूड चेंज केला.
"Corporate Outing मधून वेगवेगळ्या companies मधल्या टीम्सच्या outbound events, picnics, trips आणि team building events आम्ही सुरू केल्या. Corporate Outing ला आम्हाला खूप चांगला प्रतिसाद मिळाला. पिरामल, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Citiustech अशा बर्‍याच corporates च्या टीम्स आम्ही नेल्या. पण पुढच्या काळात आम्ही या शाखेवर अजून जास्त लक्ष केंद्रित करणार आहोत."
एव्हाना मिसळही आली होती. पण माझं सगळं लक्ष त्यांच्या बोलण्याकडेच होतं.
"आणि आमची तिसरी विंग, Concept Tours! Concept Tours is something unique to us. टुरिझमची जी चौकट आहे, त्याबाहेर जाऊन या टूर्स होतात. वेगवेगळ्या themes आणि नाती यांवर या टूर्स असतात. 'Day out with Dad' या आमच्या टूरला जे जे Twiners आले आहेत ते कधिही भेटले तरी पहिली त्याचीच आठवण काढतात. आईला घरीच टाटा करून फक्त बाबांबरोबर फिरायला जाऊन लहान मुलं जी काही खूष होतात, ते अगदी बघण्यासारखं असतं. आणि मनसोक्त मस्तीही करायला मिळते." पुन्हा डोळे मोठे मोठे करत लोकेश म्हणाला.
"मिसळ संपवल्याशिवाय पुढची मुलाखत मिळणार नाहीये हा तुला !!" आता विदाही अरे तुरे वर आला.
"अजून एक सांगायचं तर 'लहाणपण देगा देवा' या टूरमध्ये सगळी सिनिअर मंडळी अगदी लहान होऊन खेळतात. मजा येते!" अर्चिस मिसळ हाणत म्हणाला.
"आज तीन वर्षे झाली आणि हा प्रवास उत्तम चालू आहे. तिघांनी रोवलेल्या या रोपाचा आता हळूहळू वृक्ष होत आहे. वर्षाला साधारण पाच-सहाशे लोकं आमच्या टूर्सना येतात. आणि आमचं वेगळेवण अनुभवतात." जरासा थांबून विदा म्हणाला.
मी खरोखर खूष झालो होतो. दिवसभराची कटकट, थकवा गायब झाला होता. हे तिघे माझ्यासारख्या अनोळखी माणसाला अगदी बिनधास्त आणि प्रचंड ऊत्साहाने त्यांच्या venture बद्दल सांगत होते.
"पुढचा काय प्लॅन आहे तुमचा Twine साठी?" मीपण मिसळीचा शेवटचां घास उडवत विचारलं.
"प्रत्येक सिझनला नेहमीच्या टूर्स बरोबरच २-३ नवीन ठिकाणी, आणि २-३ नवीन प्रकारच्या टूर्स करण्याचा आमचा प्रयत्न असतो. त्यामुळे अगदी येत्या ऊन्हाळी सिझनबद्द्ल बोलायचं तर ताडोबा, नागझिरा, पेंच, रणथंबोर, बांधवगड, गिर यांबरोबरच कान्हा आणि दक्षिणेतलं नागरहोळ या दोन नवीन ठिकाणीही wildlife tours नेणार आहोत." लोकेश हातातला कॅमेरा हलवत म्हणाला.
"आणि Concept टूर्सअंतर्गत 'Day Out with Dad' आणि 'लहाणपण देगा देवा' बरोबरच 'Foodies Day Out', 'सफर-ए-दूर्ग' अशा टूर्स नेणार आहोत. अनेक प्रायोगिक टूर्सपण करणार आहोत. नात्यांना घट्ट करणार्‍या Relationship टूर्सही नजिकच्या काळात नेणार आहोत. आणि तुला सांगतो, जर तुझ्याकडेसुद्धा एखादा वेगळा Concept असेल तर नक्की सांग. तोही घेऊन जाऊ. या टूर्समध्ये म्हणजे अगदी.. Playground is open !!" अर्चिस जवळजवळ खिदळतच होता.
"वेगळेपण आणि आपलेपण हा आमचा USP आहे. त्यामुळे येत्या काळात जास्तीत जास्त वेगळ्या प्रकारच्या टूर्स आम्ही आणणार आहोत. सध्या सर्व भारतभर आम्ही टूर्स नेतोच; लवकरच परदेशातही Wildlife टूर्स नेण्याचा इरादा आहे. Concept tour मध्ये नवनवीन टूर्स नेणारं Twine Outdoors हे एकमेव नाव आहे आणि राहील. Corporate शाखेमध्ये अधिकाअधिक corporates ना सेवा पुरवण्याचा ऊद्देशही डोळ्यासमोर आहेच. पण सगळ्यात महत्त्वाचं म्हणजे जे काही करायचंय ते सगळं माणसं जपूनच." अर्चिस अगदी भारावून गेला होता.
या एका चहा आणि मिसळीवर झालेल्या छोट्याश्या पण अगदी रोमांचक भेटीला आता महिनाभर झाला. परवाच मी बारामतीजवळच्या भिगवणला Twine Outdoors बरोबर त्यांच्या 'Waders Special' टूरलाही जाऊन आलो. पक्षीनिरिक्षणाबरोबरच जी काही धमाल आम्ही केलीय ती शब्दांत सांगणं कठीण आहे. पण नुसतं घरगुती आपलेपणंच नाही तर, टूर हाताळण्यामध्ये या लोकांचा प्रोफेशनल टच, हातखंडा एकदम वाखाणण्यजोगा आहे.
हे नक्कीच पुढे जातील. या 3 Idiots चा हा प्रवास असाच चालत राहील आणि Twine Outdoors चा लवकरच वटवृक्ष होईल यात मला काहीही शंका नाही !