Mind in a boat .. self in a …

The boats are feeling left out in my life. ‘An explanation?’ you ask, I concede.

Regular readers already know I use the public transit into work.

What readers don’t know is that through no fault of mine, I have sidelined the aquatic altogether. The ships and ferries of the world crave for my company, but I turn a cold shoulder on them. Life can be hard I tell them, and they understand, but wither away nevertheless. Just to keep the blighters happy, I’ve decided to take a boat ride down a river.

‘What is this frivolity about boats?’, you ask. There is a reason. My commute everyday now proudly includes a car ride to the transit terminal, followed by a jolly train ride, followed by a charge to the bus stop conducted at approx 30 mph  and then a frustrating ride on the bus. When you read this, you can readily imagine the plight of the boats. I mean if I were a boat or a ferry, I’d have raged and ranted. “Pure evil” I’d say and generally spread the message around on shore while docking at the yard and such. I am not sure about the vocabulary prevalent among boats, but I can assure you I’d have used the finest to make the constabulary shrink.

I am not a hard hearted person. In fact, I am soft hearted. So, the last time I went to a bookshore, I did something noble and wise that could appease the boats without actually getting on them. I bought the book ‘3 men in a boat’, and I must tell you I am perfectly enjoying the trip down the river.

Mind in a boat .. self in a bus

Service with a smile

I wonder whether the poor thing would have a roof over its head tonight, or be let to stand outside.  California is warm now, so it should be okay. Ever since I knew the husband, I knew the car. Better yet, I’d received an appraisal about the car and therefore the husband’s tastes from a friend who had met him before I set eyes on him or the car.

I loved our Acura Integra. I loved the moon roof, and the fact that it made a noise like a whirring jumbo jet when pushed hard. Come to think of it, I never named the car, or associated a gender with it. After my long ride home on the public transit, I would find myself humming something and walking towards my car, only to find the engine start up with the same song I’d been humming a minute ago. The whole day, the tune would have slipped my mind, but the sight of the car would bring it on again.

Not a single complaint from it when we posed in front of it, or parked it in front of national park entrances for the ‘Patel shot’. If ever a car had a smiling face, it was the Acura Integra model we had.

The husband’s write-up on the car when it reached 100K is here.

Today, we sold the car. I’ll miss you Acura – thanks for the decade long journey.

Mystery Spot

I have kept quiet for too long. KQED programs lured me, but I stood firm, and every time a bumper sticker from the cars mocked me, I held my ground. It isn’t for anything that we grew up singing

When temptation comes my way I shall not be moved
When temptation comes my way I shall not be moved
Just like a tree that’s standing by the water
I shall not be moved.

Then one day you realize that sometimes temptation is a good thing. Giving in is fine. Like the time you say okay to that piece of milk chocolate. And so it is today.

For the lost-count-of-sightings time, I saw the Mystery Spot bumper sticker gleaming from a navy blue SUV ahead of me and decided to just blog about it.

If you live in California, this menace is pervasive. The blighters are yellow and should blend in with taxis, only they don’t. They stick them on cars. When the father was visiting, it was his dear wish to stick them on our car after we made the mistake of taking him along to mystery spot. In fact, he got 2 of them for surety. I tried subtle hints to dissuade him. At this point, it is prudent to inform you that subtle hints don’t work with the father when it comes to aesthetics. I tore some tissues in my throat and the issue was amicably resolved. The bumper stickers were spared my cars’ butt.

They found another home.

I only found out the next time I visited my home in India where they had taken up residence. They were stuck on the toilet door. So you get the picture. You stand up to go the bathroom, and you see a yellow sticker called ‘Mystery Spot’ gleaming at you from the bathroom door.

• Folks have wondered what is it people do in there for so long in the mornings. Always a mystery one would agree. Especially when someone else is waiting for the premises, this mystery is a thrilling one.
• Mysterious sounds emanate from the room (both when occupied and not)
• The mind works in its mysterious ways, and produces theories and hypotheses waiting to be unleashed on the world in the mystery spot.

I confronted the mother on why this eyesore was plastered on the bathroom door. She wrings her hand up in the air, muttering something about kitchens not being the mystery spot, and how she takes particular care with all the ingredients she uses, and moves away with a tragic look on her face.

The mystery was solved. I have had cause to comment on this blog, that the father, while gifted with a mind capable of mastering numbers and analyzing stock market indices is particularly challenged in the aesthetics department. I wish to point you to this link about the décor in the house to refresh your memory.


So, while he was looking for a place to stick the damn things that had survived 2 customs clearings unnecessarily, and travelled round the globe, he had come upon the kitchen door. He seemed to have cracked a joke or two about the mysteries of cooking. I must tell you that the mother is as gifted with cooking as the father is not with interior decoration, and she took this onslaught on her creative domain personally. Consequently, the mystery spot remains the bathrooms, and every time I throw my mind back to the mysteries of the room, the revelations surprise me.

Drat that genius that came up with free ‘Mystery Spot’ stickers.

Common Sense?

The news delivers again. A california woman is suing Google for being hit by a car while walking on the Interstate in Utah. According to her, she googled directions to walk someplace on her BlackBerry.


Now, when you google from a computer, it gives you the warning that some places maybe missing crosswalks or something like that. But apparently, the blackberry neglected to give her this crucial piece of information and she being an all trusting sort of species, just went on. Even the fact that she was led onto a freeway without any traffic signals and cars and trucks cruising along at 65 miles per hour seemed to have skipped her. She was concentrating on following the directions see?

It must have been like that with that poor old demented soul who ordered hot coffee, and then sued McDonalds for making the coffee hot. Now, all coffee cups are helpfully labelled: “Caution, contents may be hot.”


There can, on the other hand be more generic and dire warnings to help people

Don’t procrastinate

Do today what you can do tomorrow, and do now what you can do today. But go easy with the coffee, it’s okay to procrastinate that, because you want it to cool down before drinking.

Read this thing completely before making decisions, and then proceed to a 35 page declaration of washing off responsibility.

Look before you leap. Caution: leaping is dangerous to health, and may result in injuries. Also, leaping between objects should be done with care. I mean building to building – better left to Pixar animation, cushion to cushion few millimeters apart, can be done after reading 38 page clause declaring you are responsible for the actions of your own leaping.

Or one can just be reminded subtly to use one’s common sense.

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