The Motorcycle Diaries

The Motorcycle Diaries

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April 14th, 2016 – The Plan

The semester break is just two weeks away. We have almost two months of vacation and this is the perfect opportunity for us to set off for the trip that we have always wanted to go on. We have the money, the time, the ride, everything.

We just had to set off. Just the thought of feeling the breeze while riding made the hairs on the back of my head standup. It was just a matter of time, before the great dream became a reality. The great dream of a road trip to the Himalayas

We had to choose a route. Whichever the route, whichever the destination, it is always about the journey. But still, we had to choose the most the suitable route. Especially considering the fact that it is a long journey. We had to make sure the way was safe, had options for fuel, water and food.

We are ready to take detours and face whatever is ahead of us. No matter what obstacles we face, we were confident of reaching there. Because at the end of the storm, there is always a golden sky.

5000 KM in 10 days through 8 states is the plan. It’s going to be tough, but we are going to make it.

April 20th, 2016 – The Ride

Just one more week to go. Excitement was growing. With each and every day, we were getting ready more and more.

We being ready was not enough, our ride should be equally ready. Ready to face the odds.

Royal Enfield Electra 2000 model. He is quite old, but bold. He has never given up on us. Always been with us. This will be his biggest challenge, his biggest ride. He is going to cover places and road he has never seen before, roads which talk a lot.

He belonged to Madhav. Madhav is my co-traveller, my brother, my bud. Though our ride belonged to him, both of them had a big part in my heart.

Our ride needed some touchups and it took some part of our budget, but we would do anything for him.

Soon our ride will be ready like we are and hitting the roads is all that is left.

April 29th, 2016 – The Dream Begins

We never hit the roads. Dreams were still dreams. Responsibilities and fate had other ideas with our life.

We were in different parts of state, when we were supposed to see places. I could feel our ride missing the roads and us.

It was yet another cancelled trip. Yet another Motorcycle Diaries came to an end without even beginning.

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Dear me,

Dear me,

No, no, no. I won’t be following the informal and formal letter writing methods that were taught to you in school. Don’t expect me to. I am not here to impress anyone. I am here with a reality check for you. I am here with a reminder for you. I am here to slap you right on your face.

You are turning 19 soon and what have you done so far in your life? If somebody asks you what your greatest achievement is, what would you say? If somebody asks you what the best moment in your life is, what would you say?

You would say nothing and would just stand there blinking.

Every now and then you make lists of places you want to travel, but you never go anywhere. You don’t even look at those lists after you make it.

You say you want to travel leaving all the tensions behind. You never make an effort to strike out the places on your list. You just leave it as it is.

You make lame excuses for not packing your bags and not setting off. You say you are too bored, but you are even too lazy to do things you want to do.

You say you don’t have anyone to travel along with, when you don’t even talk to people. You are an introvert, you are a loner. Just accept the fact already. The more you try acting like you are normal, the more you fail.

Believe me. You better believe me. If you are going to continue making excuses for not doing what you heart wants, you are going to remain a loser.
God has built this beautiful world for you to ‘live’ in. The wild forests, calm sunrises, the mighty mountains and many more. All these are here for you to breath in. And also for your children.

If you sit there in your couch without getting out of the comfort zone, you are just letting the world die.

You have to get out. You have step out. The more you realize how good the ‘home’ we live in is, the more you will protect and embrace it.

Get out of your couch, stop making excuses, start the striking out the places on your wishlist and in the end you will not be the same old loser that you are now.

Pack you bags, set off and embrace the Earth.

Yours faithfully,
The person you have always wanted to be

Go With The Instincts

Every day I wake up with a fresh mind. I wake up looking forward to what the day has in store for me. I wake up excited. But today was different. Today, when I woke up from my bed, I wasn’t excited. I wasn’t feeling it. Instead I woke up with a thought. In fact it was a question. The question made me feel like lying on my bed whole day long. I tried doing different activities to get rid of this ‘question’ of mine. No matter what I did, it came back haunting me.

“What have you done during the last thirty days?” , a voice from within me asked.

I wasn’t trying to run away from this question. I was trying to hide myself from the answer to the question. But all that was a waste, because how could you hide in an empty room?

I knew the answer, but couldn’t tell….No.. I didn’t want to tell because it was too embarrassing.

Soon, I realized that I couldn’t hide. With my head hanging down I said, “Nothing”.

It has been one month since my vacations started. Before it began I had lots of plans in my mind. From waking up at 4 AM to learning to cook. Lots of stuff were there on my wish list. It is awkward to admit that it remained on paper and I was not able to strike off even a single one of it. I didn’t even bother doing the simplest one of it.

We often say stuff like, ” My mind says this, but my brain says that”. A similar kind of effect was taking place within me.

My mind wanted to do lot of ‘cool’ stuff during the summer vacation, but my brain held me back.
As I took my hand to rub my sleep off my eyes, the wicked brain of mine hypnotized it and forced it to switch the alarm off. “Don’t worry, the Sun hasn’t risen yet”, my brain said. And I ended waking up only after the 11 AM sunlight struck directly on my eyes.
Likewise, all the plans I had at the start of the month faded away. All the ideas I had on my wish list was like something you write on water. It all vanished.

When you suppress or ignore someone for too long, they will get impatient and the tones of their voice will change. The same was happening with my mind. Whenever my mind wanted to do something, my brain would come up with an idea that is completely opposite to what my mind wants. And me, always ended up listening to my head. I have to admit that I am a very partial dude. I always ignored my mind and now it’s frustrated with me.

And today, it got so impatient with me that it started shouting at me. That inner voice I heard today. It was my mind shouting. I guess, I should try listening to it. Listening to my brain had not given me any gain anyways.

Tomorrow is a new day. A new beginning. I have decided to ignore my head for a while and go with my instincts. And I hope, the wicked guy sitting in my head doesn’t start shouting at me.

Meet The Man Whose Hobby Is Trash Collection

Kishan Kumar. The Man Who Found Joy In Collecting Trash

Meet The Man Whose Hobby Is Trash Collection – Google Images

Hello,
My name is Kishan Kumar. I am 57 years old and I live in a small village in Kolkata, India. Any more further details about myself would be pointless, so let me get straight into what I am here for.

I am here to share with you my experience. My daily experience.
I am a trash collector and every day I have to wake up at 3 AM, go to the city and collect trash. I have been doing this since I was 39 years old.
You see, now a days people say that they have lost faith in humanity. They say that human beings are just a waste of fresh air and space. But ever since I got into trash collecting, I have never felt so. There is no species in this world that is more generous and humble than human beings.
It will be a pretty silent atmosphere when I come to the city early morning. It will be a very dull atmosphere and I always feel like the time is not moving. By 8 AM the city comes to life. It’s the rush hour. Some people will be rushing to their offices, some people will be rushing to schools to drop their children off, some people will be rushing to the market, and all those kinds of rushy activities take place during that time.
But despite all these rushes, most people find some time to help me out. Yes, they really do. The people who say that they have lost faith in humanity might have not seen the sight of kind hearted people, amidst their rushes, helping trash collectors like me. No other trash collector might have told you this too.

Everybody has their own passions and hobbies, but after we get a job or after we have a family we fail to find time for our passions and hobbies. Most of the people who are in a rush in the morning are also the people who don’t find time for their passions and hobbies. When they think about it, they feel sad and regretful.
And when they are on their way to their workplace, market, school, etc they find me engaged with my hobby. What? What is there to be amazed of? Trash collecting is also a hobby like stamp collecting and coin collecting. And I have been doing since I was 39 years old.
And these people become happy and sad at the same time when they see me engaged in trash collection. Nostalgic memories of their passions and hobbies fill their minds. A small smile appear on their faces. Those people who are happy for me, help me out. They collect all the useless stuff they have in their hands and throw it on the ground. In that way, they can see me collect trash and be content and happy.

I would like to thank everyone who helped me to collect trash from the bottom of my heart. And to you readers, don’t lose faith in humanity. Humanity is alive. It’s around you. You just have to open your eyes.
Thank You.

Woah! That was a story never heard before right? Actually, it’s a familiar story told from a different perspective. Mr. Kishan Kumar is a very positive person. He sees everything in a positive way and finds positive in everything he sees. You could sit and moan about different things in life, but if you are a Kishan Kumar type of person you can tell stories like this.

I don’t know if the point or the message of this story is still clear to you, but please understand that there are many Kishan Kumars in this world who collect trash. And trash collectiong is not a hobby, it’s just a tiring job like any other. Next time you drop that empty Pepsi can on the ground, please think about Kishan Kumar. By throwing wastes on the ground you are only making someone’s life lot more tougher. Please keep the can or whatever useless stuff you have with you for a few more minutes and find a waste bin or something. Enter a nearby shop, and ask if they have a waste bin. Being little more responsible will benefit the society and will make the world a better place to live.

The Masterpiece

It has been about four years since I started writing. It has been about four years since I started searching for a Masterpiece work. A Masterpiece work that I would be proud of. A Masterpiece work that I would carry with me throughout my life journey. But No! To date I haven’t found that Masterpiece. I had written about health, hazards of smoking, the significance of complementing others, etc. But, all those were just articles. I am searching for a Masterpiece.’The Masterpiece’.

Have I already written my Masterpiece, but failed to recognize it? Or am I not good enough to write a Masterpiece? It’s 3am in the morning and the thought of finding my Masterpiece has made it tough for me to sleep. This is not the only night that I haven’t been able to sleep. My Masterpiece, which is yet to be found, has given me many sleepless nights. I often wonder that if I ever find my Masterpiece, will it give me a good sleep or will it make me even more sleepless. My Masterpiece, which is yet to be found, has raised many questions.

Will I ever find my Masterpiece? Is it just a ‘hope’, that such a thing exists? Is it just a myth?

I am heading to an unkown destination in search of a ‘Masterpiece’ which may or may not exist. I don’t know if I will succeed but I do know that my pen will keep going, unlike a vehicle which might stop functioning in the middle of the journey.

It is not Ink which keeps my pen going. It is my thirst to find my Masterpiece that keeps my pen going.

Lil’ Things Ep. 2: Band-Aids

Mangoes. Mangoes are a source of nostalgia for many of us. When we see a mango we automatically go to our childhood days. Those days we spend in our mom’s house. Running around and playing with cousins. Those were the best days. Grandma would tell us interesting stories, when we kids sat around her. And the best part is watching her slice those juicy mangoes.

Ouch! While you were floating in your nostalgic memories, you forgot that you were slicing a mango. Luckily, the cut on your finger is not a bad one. But, you see blood oozing out. You panic (Panicking won’t help you). You rush to the nearby store. The shopkeeper, Arthur, exactly knows what you want. He keeps ‘it’ in from of you and says, “There you go”. What is ‘it’? A Band Aid. The solution to your problem.

We have spent hours studying about the famous inventions made by scientists. Thomas Alva Edison’s light bulb, Wright Brothers’ Aeroplane, Newton’s Laws, Einstein’s Laws, etc. But there are so many Lil Things in our world that we don’t think about. I would like to talk about 26 such Lil Things. From A-Z. Hope it will be interesting.

Today, we will be talking about BAND-AIDS.

Lil' Things Ep. 2: Band-Aids

Let’s Talk About Band-Aids

First of all Band-Aid is not a thing. Band-Aid is a brand name of American pharmaceutical and medical devices giant Johnson & Johnson’s line of adhesive bandages. Adhesive bandages is the actual name for the thing that you stick on small cuts, but due to some unknown reasons most of us call it ‘Band-Aid’.

What is a Band-Aid/ an Adhesive Bandage? An adhesive bandage, also called a sticking plaster (or simply plaster) in British English, is a small medical dressing used for injuries not serious enough to require a full-size bandage. They are also known by the genericized trademarks Band-Aid (as “band-aid” or “band aid” in the US) or Elastoplast (in the UK).

Now, let’s talk about the origin of adhesive bandages. It has got a small story behind it.

In 1920, a newly wed woman, Josephine Dickson, was living in New Brunswick (New Jersey) with her husband Earle. A cotton buyer at Johnson & Johnson, Earle came home every night to find dinner on the table courtesy of his loving wife Josephine. She worked hard to keep their home beautiful; and sometimes suffered for her work by getting cuts or minor burns on her fingers. Since adhesive bandages were not available at the time, Earle and Josephine would cut pieces of adhesive tape and cotton gauze to make bandages of their own. This became rather time consuming. They were in a real bind.

Finally, Earle hit upon an idea. He sat down and prepared some ready-made bandages by placing squares of cotton gauze at intervals along an adhesive strip and covering them with crinoline. Now all Josephine had to do was cut off a length of the strip and wrap it over her cut. In a way, it was a mother who was responsible for the invention of the adhesive bandages.

Earle soon told his boss at work about his new invention and soon the first adhesive bandages were being produced and sold under the world famous BAND-AID® trademark. Earle was eventually rewarded with a position as Vice President in the company, where he stayed until his retirement. Josephine, and countless other American housewives, now had plenty of BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages available for any instance. Earle Dickson may not have realized what a cutting edge product he was inventing, but it certainly stuck around. (Story taken from http://www.band-aid.com).

Now it is easy to understand why most people use the word ‘Band-Aid’ instead of the word ‘Adhesive Bandages’.

A Kid With Band-Aid.

Band-Aid – Getty Images

At first Band-Aids were handmade and were not so popular. In 1924, Johnson & Johnson invented a machine that produced sterilized Band-Aids.

You might have seen decorated Band-Aids. Band-Aids with different themes like Spiderman, Mickey Mouse, Barbie, etc. It was in 1951 that such decorated Band-Aids came into the market. They continue to be a commercial success.
Few years later, coloured Band-Aids were introduced. Colours like brown, light brown, dark brown, etc were used. This colour system was introduced so that the Band-Aids could match the skin colour tone of the user.

Since The World War II, Johnson & Johnson currently has estimated a sale of over 100 billion Band-Aids worldwide.

Now let’s talk about the materials of a normal band-aid. The outer covering is made of coated paper or sometimes plastic. The adhesive sheets are usually a woven fabric, plastic, or latex strip. The absorbent pad is often made of cotton, and there is sometimes a thin, porous-polymer coating over the pad, to keep it from sticking to the wound. The pad may also be medicated with an antiseptic solution. Water proof Band-Aids and other varieties are also being produced.

Along with Band-Aid Elastoplast, Nexcare and Curad are other noteable adhesive bandage brands.

That’s it. That’s all you need to know about Band-Aids. I would like to thank Mr. Earle Dickson for saving our lives. Sources – Wikipedia and band-aid.com.

 

Read the previous episode of Lil’ Things here – https://zakwriter.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/lil-things-ep-1-autographs/

Lil’ Things Ep. 1: Autographs

Your friend, Josh, has won the lucky draw which was conducted by the shopping mall you both visited last month. He has won two tickets to Hollywood and guess what he has invited you to go along with him. Who doesn’t want to go to Hollywood right? So, you accept his invitation and start packing your bags. But hey, he has asked- no he has ordered you to not tell anyone about the trip. Atleast until you get back from the trip. He has invited you ahead of his girlfriend, so you have to follow his orders. So, no Facebook statuses allowed or any other stuff on social media.

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