Monday, March 10, 2008

It's not about the bike!

Finally, long at last, the self imposed exile is over, and I have emerged, determined now, to post at least twice a week.(Thrice is what I have in mind—but I am commitment-phobic –and as it is I am getting the jeebies committing to twice a week---so ‘twice a week’ shall stand!) Anything over and above is the cherry on the cake.


Last week was crazy. I am glad it is over. Nothing earth shattering—just the pressures of daily living, catching up. The good news is that I’m writing regularly for local newspapers and national magazines and it is very fulfilling to be read by many.(Though I suspect most might not even glance at something that does not interest them and the newspaper with my precious article ends up in the junk pile at the end of the day!) Still, it feels good to know that what I have to say is considered worthy of publication. (and also when someone calls up telling me they liked what I wrote)

My last article published was on city-bikers. (I clicked the photos that are appearing in the article too —and am happy with the way they turned out. That is a picture of the published article. In case you want to read--I have put two separate close ups.You can click and enlarge.) On this particular assignment, I had taken my kids along because it was a chance for them to see these bikes closely and also meet the bikers. They behaved so well and I was proud of them. They also liked their mom’s work and said it was ‘cool’. (I reminded them that for one of my assignments I had trudged three hours into slums, narrow lanes and tiny alleys to do a piece on the children from the poorest section of the society—and so it is not always about glamour and it isn’t always ‘cool’ stuff)

It was great to talk to and interact with the bikers. What really astounded me was their humility and simplicity. They are so down to earth, with feet firmly on the ground. They don’t boast or show off and when I asked them about the ‘coolness’ factor in wowing women with their super-bikes, they simply said “Women are so much smarter than to be impressed by just a guy on a bike who goes vroom vroom.” I couldn’t stop smiling.

Especially because in a few years, my son will be old enough to go vroom vroom. (And secretly I am hoping that he turns out to be as sensible as these guys I spoke to.)

45 comments:

  1. hey two posts a week? do do tell me how u wil manage that? pls...:)

    this article was verrry interesting and of course well written...

    enjoy the perks of work ;)

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  2. Coolios! I would have been hopping crazily if even one word in my name was published on any magazine.

    This newspaper is distributed in Delhi?

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  3. Thinking aloud: i was hoping you could tell me!! :P :-) Yes--fringe benefits!! ;-)

    NM: This is Times of India's Eastside Plus.It is available only in Pune.Yes--first time I was thrilled too.

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  4. great... good to see ur wrk in print.. and that too, esp abt Bikes. RSA is a very responsable gang who takes biking seriously. and it is not just RSA, but there are lot of otehr groups too. But sadly, there is a section who dont come to the limelight - the Indian bikerss who rides anything otehr than Bullets. many artciles abt BIG bikers and Bullets have come in papers, but very few about the enthusiastic middlecall Indian biker - who takes his ordinary Splendor to karizma and tour teh whole country.. Riders who have got Saddel Sore and BumBurner riding awards by riding Karizma and otehr indian make bikes...
    but no complaints - as long as teh right picture (as in your article) is painted about biking, we bikers r happy lot :-D long live the freedom, and teh wind on face...
    kudos to you - someday, it wil be my honour to meet you in person...

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  5. Interesting article. I love riding my bike continuously and vroom vroom will always be the back ground music.

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  6. Congrats Ps. Way to go.

    my question may sound stoopid but were u intimidated to do an article on a machine which is more interesting to a man than a woman(well v love to go for a ride on it but dont generally care about what goes in2 making it, right:-P)?

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  7. xh: You made a very valid point there--about the middle class Indian Biker not being noticed. i shall surely be taing a note of this.The thing is not many come to know about people who tour the whole country on those--If I did, i'd surely be trying to highlight their achievement.(Provided of course the Editor thinks it makes a good story)Yes--we shall meet.I have to come to Bangalore sometime.(Many ties with that place)

    Fruitu: Thanks! Vroom Vroom is music to any guy's ears i guess :-)

    Nancy: Not a stupid question at all--very valid. To be honest I love bikes.I read up a LOT about bikes before doing this article.A friend who is a biking enthusiast sent me more than 400 pics!(Imagine!) S helped a lot by giving me an angle which guys would notice but women wouldn't.So you see--I had a lot of help from my male friends--not to mention my son.(Who is a small little biker in the making) Else it would have been difficult to hold a conversation with the bikers and do this piece.Thats why i'm proud of this piece!(Because it wasnt very easy)

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  8. hey P!

    U get bylines?? cool cool! I dint know u were a journo kinda writer tho! Havent read th articles yet. Will take more time out to do tat.

    @ ur comment at my post
    Why did my confession take u by surprise?!?!

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  9. PointBlank: If I write then of course I should get my name there, right--Otherwisw whats the whole point?!!:-)
    As regards your confession--It took me by surprise because I have never ever wished to be somebody else and cannot imagine why you would not want to be YOU!!

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  10. yeah... sometimes pointblank just goes blank and misses the point totally! so ur rite bout getting ur name;)

    Well.. the rule of the game was to give a shocker of a confession. I think I lived upto it. But then, it is true...

    I dunno y... mebbe cuz the grass is always green on the otherside!

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  11. Its wonderful to see how your door of oppurtunity is opening wider and wider. Thats really awesome!

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  12. heyy... dropped by from suma's... really liked the way u write... :) so thought would drop a hello! :)
    here's hoping u do stick to ur twice-a-week commitment! :)
    now off i go to read the rest of ur posts... :)

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  13. thx Ps :) if u ever decide to do a story on that, let me know - i can give you lot of contacts @ pune...

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  14. I'm guessing John Cena will be substituted by those bikers in their little hearts pretty soon. Of course it's cool - wow, my Mum interviews bikers for a living ;)

    We can't really aim to please everyone, let alone in a newspaper! So this seems very worthwhile as it is!

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  15. Hey, your article looks great on print! And I loved reading it, I'm a biker too, but a city biker (and only when it's not raining! hehe) But I have a friend who has travelled the whole country and South America on his big bike, and even wrote a book telling his adventures :)
    Despite the danger, feeling the wind against my face when I ride it gives me a sensation that's unique!

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  16. how are you doing ps?

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  17. It was nice to know about these guys. I was misinformed that they are generally spoilt brats who hit the road on the high and are responsible for rash driving and accidents.(If you have got this twice, its due to my poor net connection which has been erratic of late)

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  18. amazing....you are a journalist...a writer...a sports writer too. Simply amazing. Didn't know about that facet of you. Should be more careful in writing the comments..or writer madam may punish me :) I am not responsible for any grammatical error...its all my 6th grade english teachers fault.(She was too beautiful)

    Did you happen to try any one of those bikes?
    How come the highway is named F1 and then bikes go racing on them? We need ferrari's and McLaren's racing on that highway.

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  19. Great write-up as all others :)(Read lots of your posts)
    I wish to be as good a writer some day.. (that's one of my dreams)

    And Thanks for leaving msg. I am in need of such motivation.

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  20. WYVERN: When I submitted the piece I called it "Life in the fast lane." When I see it in print, I see that they have changed it to F1 highway!(will surely be telling them that my original title was so much better) And hey--Writer madam does not enjoy punishing--so relax! ;-)

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  21. Life begins: Thanks so much--I appreciate your telling me.

    Arvind: on no--they aren't spoilt brats at all--they are responsible, sweet, humble and nice.

    Kaylee: I'm doing good?How are you??

    Guto: thnaks!Great to know that you have a biker-author friend, and great to know you are a biker too.BTW there was a typo in that article they printed.(They printed 'than' instead of 'then')

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  22. Wow!!!! This was a great post.
    Especially now that my sons are always wow!!! ing at all those huge biggies that go past my house.....
    They just love the sound and the stunts thos eguys perform.
    And it is really neat the way you've written about them, because, the general opinions about them are not like this...and its good to know about them.

    Should get my son to read this, he'll be so impressed.

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  23. Heyyy ! Thats a nice piece of work. Interesting...

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  24. Now, I know. :-)

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  25. Prats: :-) Thanks..Yes--general perception is different--they are the guys who remove the silencers and go real loud--The desperate to attract attention types.But these guys are not like that. i guess empty vessels make more sound!;-)

    Chitra:Thanks!Appreciate your letting me know.

    Arvind: Yes--now u know.. :-)

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  26. What a fun assignment! It's great to be able to take your kids with you too.
    Having you for a mom, I am 100% sure your son will turn out just fabulously!!
    Hope you are well! I am off now, to read back.
    xo

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  27. Cool .. congrats for the new job and I hope it is the one you were looking for.
    And the bikers are nice bunch you saw. I guess it is all nice ..

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  28. To write so that others may read? What a wonderful thing that must be. The
    most I can normally hope for is that I write and someone trips over it
    accidentally on their way to a better site...

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  29. A new visitor here n nice to know I can come here quite often :)

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  30. hey PS...wowww, i have always wanted to freelance for a magazine, good job man, personally, i am not totally into Bikers, but i would be very interested in your article about the poor children that you mentioned...

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  31. Priya: Thanks.Shall mail it to you if U email me.(There are several others too as i write regularly now--but I dont know if they will interest you)Personally i write about things that i am passionate about.The slum children ws one--Bikes are another!

    Dhanya:Really nice to meet you--have left comments on three of your posts too.

    Vinay: thanks!

    Freelance: "All cool girls put your hands in the air and say 'om shanti--freelance guru om" :-) :-)

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  32. Wow! Thats great! Congrats !

    Cheers :-)

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  33. hey u regularly write articles?? thats gr8..so where can i c ur work?ya good that u gewt byline too...here in kuwait in some cases we never get our names on many of our articles...

    2 posts a week..thats good..so now i can regularly read ur stuff...and u write very well..hence i enjoy reading all ur posts...

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  34. way to go cool mom!!

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  35. Gangsta: Whoa--you scared me there with your new avatar! Thanks!(For the compliments--not foir scaring!)

    Karthik: thanks!

    Enigma: You dont get you name in?!!That's outrageuos! Thanks for encouraging.

    Diyadear: Thank you dear!!

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  36. sorry i took so long to check ur blog...was too busy telling my folks i was in the paper...my dads mailed the article to all the people he knows!uffff!neway thanks a ton for the synonyms used for us bikers and helping people understand that u cant generalize bikers,each one is different.Thanks
    mukul

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  37. Moto/Mukul: Pleasant surprise to see you here! I can imagine how proud your dad would have been. I too would have done the same if I was in his place.As regards the synomyms--they are well deserved and it was truly a pleasure talking to you all!

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  38. Yeah! Like what enigma said, even out here u dont get bylines for ALL stories rite! I mean, all stories in a newspaper and its supplements dont carry bylines. I interned with a newspaper here and used to write smthg everyday for a month and got like 2 bylines! Lol!

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  39. Pointblank: Oh!! And I wasnt even aware that newspapers will not carry by-lines. Some of them say "By our correspondent." and when they did not mention names I just presumed that it was ripped off the Internet!!

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  40. u r back ! and how!

    iam a biker...atleast i was, abt a million years ago...now my next step is to own a Harley...I love cruisers..

    congrats on ur column...does it hve an online presence?...

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  41. What a simply fantastic and wondeful privilage for you to meet with a write about the Bikers. In my experience, Bikers are among the most caring and humble people on the planet..n ot many will believe it, but it is true! Congratulations on your article!!!!

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  42. :)) well written! i like ur space here. keep it goin.

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  43. Tys: I think someone has scanned and uploaded it. Nice to know you are a biker too.

    Niall: I did menion what you said to them. You are very right in what you said.:

    Roop Rai: Thanks so much.

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  44. Hi

    I am Sri and I am a lurker :P
    I thoroughly enjoy all your post, You write "direct dil se" and that it reaches to every reader's heart.

    You have surely changed my life better with your good thoughts. Long live your hubby children and you.

    I am asking my friend in bangalore to buy me a copy of your book. And those book marks were lovely, just brought tears to my eyes. he he I am very sensitive.

    p.s: the only reason i did not write comment was bit shameful that u might read my ameture writings :P

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Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate your leaving a comment! Okay--I appreciate your leaving a comment if you have something nice to say ;-)