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Looks like 42 is the new 23.
I suddenly discovered a lot of happy associations with 42…

Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything, John Irving, Casablanca, Summer of 42, 1942 A Love Story, Roger Ebert, Paul McCartney, Guadalcanal, Alleppey Express 6042 and 42″Ball.

Thanks to Hari, Pradeep and Kumaran. The cake and the snap inspired this post.

Tomorrow, I am 42. Boo hoo…

The probability of tailgating a car with the same registration number as yours.

Thousand Lights, Chennai

It started last Friday. On the way to office I saw a girl in a blue-and-pink churidar. Blue and Pink! Reminded me of the saree my cousin’s friend from Fort Kochi wore for her wedding – Blumme Pink.

The next girl I saw also was in blue-and-pink, so was the next, and the next…and this was just the first kilometre. By the time I reached my office (3 km. from home), the B-P girl count was 14, and my BP was like, high.

Luckily the girls in office stuck to their usual earthy shades and did not add to my woes. By evening I had completely forgotten the whole thing, but when I reached our flat, my neighbour’s kid…Pretty in Pink…and Blue.

I took the 6042 to Kochi that night. The journey was uneventful, but Kochi was bad. Vimala Raman in B-P for Alukka’s, B-P store displays in Jose Junction, every other mallu girl sporting the boy-girl-twin-birthday-bash-theme…

All can’t be a coincidence, perhaps the blue and pink dye syndicate is behind it, or the Yanks (you know, a watered-down Red & Blue) or ETs or perhaps I am going crazy…

I went and saw a doc, he assured me that ‘Blue and Pink is the New Black’ and gave me some pills.

I am OK now.

Jim Carrey’s ‘the number 23’, a movie about a guy’s obsession with the number 23, brought back memories of my own obsession with 23. My birthdate is 23, and according to numerology, all the important events in my life are linked to the number 23 or 14 or 5.

I had drawn up a long list then, let me see if I create a list of at least 14 now…

  • Born on 23rd January 1966
  • The 23rd kid of my generation on the paternal side, 5th on the maternal side
  • SSLC marks – 509
  • Pre-degree marks – 423 (we’ll bend the rules a little here)
  • Roll Nos. in School and College – 5 and 14
  • REC – 23rd batch
  • Last two exams on 14th and 23rd
  • REC’s phone no. then was 23 – yes! (see for yourself)
  • Reached Chennai on 14 August 1989
  • Quit Ashok Leyland on 14 October 1993
  • L&T Interview – 14 August 1993
  • Got married at 32, Annie was 23 then
  • Rohan born on 14 August 1998
  • This is my 14th year in L&T…

Luckily, my obsession with 23 wore off pretty quickly. But number 8 was something else…

Pradeep was called Pattar because my Cochin friend Pradeep was called Pattar (He was a pattar, but Pradeep was a Nair). He was from Bombay (Lucky Star Apartments. I remember all the addresses – Sudhag, KR 181, Puzhamudi, Mt. Wardha, Koodal – but have no idea what I had for lunch). My fav memories about Pattar include the game of ‘paru soap’ and the bharatmatrimony stunt he and Jaggu played in the final year.

Now, I am not sure if this really happened or of if this is a false memory – Did Pattar and I actually meet the Princi to request a day’s off when Gurdayal Singh failed to turn up after the 1988 Delhi riots? (Gurdayal did return; he fell to his death from MB 3rd floor in the final year. RIP Sardar).

News about a building collapse in Borivali triggered this post, now I remember.

Posted on on 1 June 2007

In Chennai, starting today, motorcycle riders are required by law to wear helmets. This law has provoked a lot of debate and I feel sharing a page from my motorcycle diary would benefit my friends.

10 May 2000
It was the annual performance review season, and that morning I was supposed to meet my boss with the appraisal form. On reaching office I realized that I had forgotten the form at home and decided to rush back and get it. I knew I was pushing the limits of my old KB100 but I did not want to be late – not on performance appraisal day.

The next thing I remember, I am in a hospital, drifting in and out of consciousness. I remember a doctor by my side; asking me my name and the panic rising, as my mind was blank.

I recovered from the shock after a few hours, but I still have no recollection about how the accident happened; from my memory, the event was thankfully blacked out. Based on what my friends could gather from the people who carried me to the hospital, I was driving at a very high speed, lost control, hit the lane divider, got thrown off the bike and landed on my face.

What I know for sure is that the impact loosened the bonding of the cranial plates in my skull (in simpler terms, I cracked my skull), and I was bedridden for two months.

I also know, without my helmet, I would have been dead.

So, to quote my favourite trucker,

Rule or no rule, Wear a helmet
OK TATA, Sound Horn

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