Tags: india

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How I marked Earth Hour

How did I mark Earth Hour? By watching episodes of Top Gear on my computer with my A/C on.

Why? Because I had to suffer through a six-hour powercut earlier that day. Also, my entire house is lit with a single CFL light bulb, the water that goes down my bathroom sink fills a bucket that is recycled by flushing my toilet, and I ride a bicycle whenever possible. Here's the really funny part: I save huge amounts of water, but I don't actually pay a water bill, so technically I'm not even saving any money by doing it.

So it was kind of anti-climatic. I also find it funny that my country makes such a big deal out of Earth Hour when almost every single one of us suffers powercuts regularly all year round, some of us daily, forcing us to sit around sweating by candelight while waiting helplessly for the power to come back on. What's so special about doing this voluntarily?

If Indians really gave a shit about the environment they'd stop littering, shitting and pissing on the streets, and stop worshipping cars and motorcycles and start walking / cycling more.

What a load of hypocritical bullshit.

End rant.
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Tour of Nilgiris 2010: India's biggest, baddest, most epic cycling event

ZOMG Actual post?! Cross-posted from my cycling blog, Critical Mass New Delhi:

A rider in TFN '08.

So I signed up for the Tour of Nilgiris, arguably India's biggest cycling event, which takes place once a year in the scenic Nilgiris mountains in South India. This non-competitive cycling tour covers 1,000 kilometers (~600 miles) across three states in ten intense days.

It's basically India's Tour De France. Except non-competitive, so it's not a race so much as cyclists getting together from all over India and more, and feasting on the best that cycling and India's natural beauty have to offer them, for ten incredible, unforgettable days. It's nothing short of legendary among Indian cyclists, and for good reason.

Registrations opened on June 1, and the website was flooded as hundreds of cyclists sent in their applications, hoping to be the lucky 70 riders to be picked. I am among those hopefuls:

Moments after posting that Tweet, the Tour of Nilgiris' official Twitter re-Tweeted it with an encouraging reply:

Which made me squeal in delight like some delirious schoolgirl.

Of course, I won't know if I've been selected for it or not.

Forget that: I don't even know how I'll afford to pay for this. Or the logistics of Indian travel (something I am NOT good at) and transporting my precious Bianchi (which I haven't even bought yet, right now I ride a Trek 3700) down to south India. Going by plane will be hideously expensive because of taking a bicycle along; by train will be hideously dangerous and psychotic regardless of the bicycle.

Even if I get that far, I don't know if I will even be able to pull off this tour. It's over 100 km per day, including uphills and downhills and altitude. This means serious training, which is already a challenge since I work nights. Right now I brag if I pull off 50 km in a week (I only ride on weekends).

But all I know is, I HAVE to do this. I just have to.

Even some of my cycling friends were like, how will you pay for this? Do you really think you'll even get in? Where will the sponsorship come from? And I was like, I don't know. But I don't care, I'm signing up. I'll figure it out somehow.

This is one of those things that you have on a list of things to do before you die, or your life will not be complete. I don't even know why. I can't explain it to myself, let alone to you.

But if you live in India and love cycling, you'd probably understand.
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Found on 4chan. What?

Um. Wow. I tripped balls when I read this, and it took me a while, coz my Hindi sucks. I found this on 4chan, and I'm like, who would have made this? More to the point, who would have gotten it? Are there a lot of Indian 4channers mad that there aren't enough Hindi image macros? And what's with the three wolf moon shirt?

Seriously, how many people in the world would be bizarre / diverse / confused enough to get this? This is a LOT of very culture-specific randomity intersecting way too many unrelated references O.O

Oh. What it says:

"America: Give us your oil, motherfucker!"

I mean literally. It's not even a bad translation, that's pretty much exactly what it says.
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Men armed with machine guns and grenades storm Mumbai's tourist hotspots and hotels, killing over 80 and injuring over 250.

MUMBAI (Reuters) - At least 80 people were killed in attacks apparently aimed at tourists in India's financial capital Mumbai on Wednesday night, and television channels said Westerners were being held hostage at two five-star hotels.

At least 250 people were wounded in the series of attacks, police said. Local television channels said the army had begun moving into one of the hotels, the Oberoi, containing hostages.

Apart from the hotels, attackers also targeted the Cafe Leopold, perhaps the most famous restaurant and hang-out for tourists in the city, as well as hospitals and railway stations.

"I guess they were after foreigners, because they were asking for British or American passports," said Rakesh Patel, a British witness who lives in Hong Kong and was staying at the Taj Mahal hotel on business. "They had bombs. They came from the restaurant and took us up the stairs," he told the NDTV news channel, smoke stains all over his face. "Young boys, maybe 20 years old, 25 years old. They had two guns."
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(no subject)

The Forbes current list of the 20 richest humans on earth.

4 of the top 10 are Indians, including the feuding Ambani brothers. One of the Ambani brothers is the richest man in all of Asia. Another Indian in the top ten, steel king Lakshmi Mittal in London, is the richest man in all of Europe.

Only one in the top 20 is a woman (Lilane Bettencourt of the L'Oreal empire).

At least 1 out of them are high school dropouts. 4 are college or university dropouts, including Microsoft's Bill Gates and Oracle's Lawrence Ellison.