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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Chp 162. Peer Pressure

Dark was the sky and cold was the night,

        the bustle of Aizawl, now reduced to null.
There in the darkness at its deepest height,
        screams out a man, breaking the silent lull.

Sanga was just 18, a bright lad from yore,
        Smart and educated, an aspiring gold-mine.
His pa was an officer, his ma a pedagogue,
        Together they nurtured him, nice and fine.

Today he’s a destitute, high on dope,
        Struggling for a fix, on anything that he finds.
Ma and pa were anguished, they lost all hope,
        They blamed themselves, guilt filled their minds.

How could this happen? What did they miss?
        He felt so normal, just like any other kid.
And then they saw it, the pattern and gist.
        One friend was in jail, the other had OD’d.

They never imagined, he could be influenced,
        Oh how wrong you are, the parents of Mizoram.
Things are different now, things have changed,
        There’s no more zawlbuk, there’s no more farm.

The youth of today, wallow in empty hunger,
        He’ll do anything his friends do, be it fag or beer.
Moving from there, to other substances stronger,
        A hunger for acceptance – such is peer pressure.

Tluangi was only 17 - fair, attractive and tender,
        She was a popular girl, in her esteemed school.
Her folks are divorced; she lives with her mother,
        All the girls envied her, and all the guys drooled.

But everything changed, the day her picture appeared,
        On the local newspaper, for everyone to see.
She was caught one sultry night, all oiled up and geared,
        Ready to sell her body, at the back of a taxi.

The mob called her whore, all her respect were gone,
        They wanted to burn her, their hatred enhanced.
Who would have thought, she only did it for a phone?
        For she didn’t want to be, a girl with no balance.

Such is the peer pressure, our youth of today face,
        Being an outcast from a group, is not an option.
They will do anything, to remain in this twisted race,
        Be it drugs or theft, even murder or prostitution.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Chp 161. Auto Expo - 2008

Chilling out at the much hyped Auto Expo for a couple of hours seemed like a great idea, which didn’t turn out to be so once you get there.

All you could see was disappointment after disappointment, making you wish at the end of the day that you could have spent that 100 bucks entrance fee for a more useful purpose like buying blank papers to design origami or enrolling in a “How to wash your clothes using a washing machine” coaching class.

That’s what happens when the media builds up so much to the event that you go there expecting to see at least 50% of what they write about, only to see a bitter -20% of what you read in the papers.

For starters, they kept on mentioning about those ravishing models posing by the cars. My girlfriend and I couldn’t find a single girl that made us go “wow”. And I am not just saying this because of my girlfriend’s sake. We are in a very matured relationship where we candidly point one strangers that we find hot --- guy or girl.

And the few models that could have looked really beautiful, didn’t because they all had this big frown on their faces, making everything feel so… cold and frigid. Their unfriendliness was probably because of all the gazillion requests for their phone numbers demanded by the cheap Delhi crowd, making them hate their job. Unprofessional, but in my honest opinion, completely natural. My girl has been in the entertainment industry for more than 5 years now here in Delhi, and even though she can now let most of the cheap comments pass by, there are times when she still feels like smashing their heads into smithereens.

TOI mentioned about 23 Australian models specially flown in from Down-under for the Czech car giant Skoda, but when we finally reached the Skoda section that day, all we could see was one Australian model sitting on a table drinking some beverage with no signs of the others. Bad timing probably, but it only added more bricks to our big basket of Disappointments.

The only place where I really enjoyed was the Vintage section, where I couldn’t stop drooling over some of the astounding vintage cars and bikes. And also partly because my friend Mapuii and my girlfriend’s friend Anton and his rock band “Black Slade” were performing LIVE at the Vintage section. They completely rocked the section with "vintage" rock songs such as "smoke on the water" and other popular numbers of that era. You can find them performing at "Crowne Plaza" on other days.

I love the Vintage section. Funny thing was, even though I had absolutely no reason to feel nostalgic about, I still felt nostalgic It’s not like my father in black & white used to drive me around in one of those exotic and rare 1947 Chrysler Windsor or 1932 Austin 10. But still, a feeling of nostalgia definitely overcame my senses and I suddenly started snapping my fingers and combing my hair backwards and sporting imaginary sideburns for the short duration that we were in the Vintage section.

The thing I hated the most about the Expo was the over abundance of people. We couldn’t even enjoy the sights of the cars properly because half the time we were jostling through the crowd and the other half I was continuously protecting my girl from all those cheap bastards waiting to feel women up.

And during that entire time at the Expo, we actually counted and it turned out people called us “chinkies” only 16 times (I mean the ones where they intentionally said it out loud so that we could hear them) which was a really good improvement according to my Mizo friends that day, because the racial abuses were much worse the previous year. Wow, Delhi, you are improving! I’m impressed.

Maybe one day the good people of Delhi will actually realize the racial abuses they inflict upon their own fellow Indians (read: north-eastern people) everyday instead of just whining about the racial abuses by the Australian cricket team or other foreigners in a tone that seem to absolve them from any such crime here in our own Country. That would be a great Delhi dream.

Outside the Expo, the Traffic Jams were sheer torture, but we kinda expected that after reading about it in the papers. Good, at least one truth the papers wrote about the Expo. Over all, I didn’t enjoy the Expo at all because I made the mistake of going there with such high expectations.

Special mention must be made about the “gem of the Expo”: The Nano. I was dying to check it out, but when I finally got there, we were barricaded so far away from the display that the Nano actually looked nano-sized. I got a better view at it after raising my hand above the gargantuan crowd and clicking pictures of it with my digicam at maximum zoom.

Likert scale 5 at the two wheelers section though, because there wasn’t much of a crowd when we got there and all the bike displays were absolutely mind-blowing. Plus I met a couple of real time Bikers with large tummies and beard and leather jackets (the complete attire) at the Royal Enfield stall who were extremely friendly, and immediately got into a loooong conversation with one of my friends who was a part of the “Aizawl Thunders” gang in Mizoram.

All in all, I honestly felt the 9th Auto Expo wasn’t as great as I expected but it was a different experience and I can at least tell my children years from now that I was there when the Nano was unveiled, and remind them again that the Nano car was the precursor to the Nano-planes and Nano-rockets they are flying…



[The Nano with me stretching to take the snap]

[More of the El-Nano Effect]

[My Friend Ngura from “Aizawl Thunders” finding his Shangri-La]

[Mapuii, Anton and “The Black Slades”]

[Vintage Bikes]

And the Vintage Cars :