Monday, June 28, 2010

Nutcase of a Race

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'Buddy, yo're forgettin... Lance Armstrong comes from our countree'
'Well... if you got Armstrong... we got strong arms'
'Bullshit! U sure you wanna do it? There'z laat of embarrassment ya'll be facin'
'Laat? Woh toh tumko padegi... angrez ki aulaado... we'll see'
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Those were some of the last exchanges between the Indian and American HR Managers. Excuse me!?! Which HR Managers are you talking about?

Well, it's the HR Managers working for AccentPuncture Consultants (ApC), a global organization with more than 20k employees across 30 different countries. ApC was in the process of hosting its first ever cross-continent 'sports event' for its employees. The venue was India.

...and the managers in question were throwing their pre-race tantrums. To be specific, they were talking about the cycle race that was to take place in a few days between an Indian representative and an American representative from the ApC.

That was an introduction, a prologue.

And now, it's time for the report. This comes directly to you from our journalist - Cheepad Kumar - who covered the sports event. He was well assisted by our cameraman, Jayantilaal.
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Date: 12th November'09
Start Time: 9 a.m.
End Time: 11:20 a.m.
Location: New Delhi, India
Distance: 15 km
Route: Kendi Po Colony to the ApC premises
Participants: 2
Participants' Description: Stig Heckeler, a senior consultant with ApC America, and Tukaram Janjeera, a janitor from ApC India

Key Facts
  • The event was very prestigious. Forget ApC, the participants were, in a way, representing their countries.
  • Due to the non-availability of the racing space, the contest took place on the road... in the middle of normal traffic. This is what had been told to the world; however, in reality, the Indian HR Manager wanted to make the full use of home conditions. He knew his racer would be skilled enough to handle the adverse traffic situations... and, at the same time, the American racer would not even start the race... forget about the completion bit.
  • Stig, the racer from ApC America, represented his university for a couple of cycling tournaments. There was nothing else to speak of his cycling... till the ApC race of course.
  • The Indian racer had been coming to office on his cycle since long... and so... somehow... by default... he became the first preference for the event. Smart choice, you think?
  • One day, before the race, the two participants had been shown the route, the pit stops and the finishing line. Stig was happy it was a simple straight-line route, and he did not need to memorize stuff.
  • The participants had also been warned about the impending traffic conditions.  They both knew traffic would be playing a big role in the event.
Cycles: Stig preferred a sports cycle. His favourite colour was blue. So, obviously, he got a blue sports cycle. When Tukaram was asked about his choice, he suddenly started feeling very important and became very excited about the whole thing. Anyways, he opted for his own cycle, which he was most comfortable with. On the left is the cycle that was used by Stig... and on the right is Tukaram's.

 







Participants (in their gear): We clicked the photos of the two participants just before the race began, but ApC did not want us to publish them. We have not been given any reason for the same. Anyways, we've cut the heads to at least show you the gear. Left is Stig in his cycling jersey... and a pair of shorts under it. On the right is Tukaram posing exclusively for us... looking ever so relaxed. Note that he changed into a brown pullover after we clicked the photos. Maybe this green one was his 'photo' pullover. His lower half was covered by tight and ill-fitting pants. It's good that Jayantilaal didn't capture the pants.













Helmets: The ApC made it compulsory for both participants to wear helmets. Stig asked for a blue helmet that would match his cycle. On the other side, Tuka did not want any helmet. He could not quite understand why he needed a helmet. Anyways, after being forced to wear one, he picked a helmet from one of his scooterist friends. Left is Stig's; right is Saif Ali Khan's. Kidding! Of course, Tukaram's!













Water Break Arrangement: It was decided that both riders would have to compulsorily take a water break at the 5 km mark. On being asked for their preferences, Stig chose the branded stuff... while Tuka wanted his usual.














Energy Break Arrangement: The managers had decided for another pit stop... this time at the 10 km mark. At this juncture, the participants were to be offered their choice of energy boosters. Stig was very happy with the idea of an energy break... he definitely wanted the best cycling drink around. Tuka got confused. He had no idea what to ask for. Eventually, he uttered 'khaini aur gutka'.













Any Other Requirement: Stig was unsure what that meant. What other requirement? He declined. However, Tuka knew what he wanted. He wanted to carry his tiffin box. He said that it helped him shoo away pedestrians. The American HR Manager agreed to this absurd demand.

Race-Day Events: We now bring to you the events captured by Cheepad Kumar. He was on his motorcycle with Jayantilaal, covering the event. Here are the details of the event... in the words of Cheepad himself.

1. Even though the race started at 9 a.m., Stig was first spotted at 9:12 and Tuka at 9:14. Because of the extreme traffic conditions, it had become impossible to spot the two racers earlier. I must say it was bizarre to organize the race in the middle of heavy traffic... and during the office hour.

2. At 9:20, apparently, Stig was leading the race by 12 cars, 18 bikes, 2 buses, 3 scooters, 12 other cycles, and 28 pedestrians. This may sound like a huge difference, but surprisingly, it was only 30 metres that separated the two racers.

3. Stig had never raced in such conditions. But to his advantage, he had prepared for all this. He had clearly been told what to expect on Indian roads... and he knew that vehicles could be found on his left and right and even above him. The thing that worked in his favour was that he hardly understood any of the abuses hurled at him for getting in the way and, at times, overtaking some of the 'engined' vehicles. No distractions!

4. Tuka stared at all the women he possibly could. Be it on the road, in buses, at home windows... just wherever they could be found. At the same time, a lot of women stared at this fair-skinned guy in racing gear... coming from nowhere... going nowhere.

5. At 9: 40, Tuka, around half a km behind Stig, took a left turn. Now that was not part of the race. However, three minutes later, Tuka was found back on track. It was later realized that Tuka took a diversion to return the helmet to his friend, who was about to leave for work... on his scooter.

6. Stig took his water break at 9:50. Tuka took his at 10:02. This clearly indicates Stig was ahead at the 5 km mark.

7. At the 8 km mark, the leadership changed hands. There was a heavy traffic jam on one of the red lights... and all Stig could see was the big butts of the guy on a scooter. There was no way out. However, when he glanced towards left, he could not quite believe the scene. Tuka was carrying his cycle on his head... and walking on the footpath meant for pedestrians. 'Cheater, cheater', he shouted. People around Stig couldn't quite understand what was happening. And so, we had a new leader in the race.

8. The next stop was the energy break at the 10 km mark. Tuka made it at 10:25 while Stig, who clearly had some catching up to do, was there at 10:34. Tuka took the khaini, rubbed it on his left palm, mixed some choona... and stuck the whole thing in some random corner of his mouth. A couple of Americans who were present could not quite understand what that was about. They suspected it to be some performance-enhancing drug. They wanted to complain. When Stig came, he took his energy drink and left in 20 seconds. It was more like a drink between two heartbeats... than on a break. He knew he needed to catch up.

9. At 10:40, Stig banged into a family... well, a family on a cycle. A man, his wife, and three children were going somewhere on a cycle... when Stig hit them from behind. Apparently, someone in front had pressed his brakes for no reason, and a chain reaction of breaks engulfed the lane... which ended when Stig hit this family. He said, 'am saari'. The family man stayed quiet... while his wife thought the stranger had passed a remark about her saari.

10. At 10:50, the mudguard of Tuka's cycle came off and started rubbing against the front tyre. Repair time! Tuka managed another 20 metres before he stopped at the Bittu Pincher Wala. Well well... the leadership changed hands again. Stig passed Tuka without noticing the events at the repair shop. A point to note—this shop was 3 km away from the finish line.

11. As soon as Tuka got the necessary repairs done, he restarted at full throttle. The only thing was... he didn't know where Stig was. At the same time, even Stig did not know where Tuka was. But we knew where they were. Stig was a km away from the finish, and Tuka was a km away from Stig. 

At that point, 11:15 a.m., Stig seemed to be the clear favourite. Standing at the finish line, just outside the ApC premises, Americans were extremely pleased on sighting Stig a couple of hundred metres away.

The Indian contingent had already started abusing Tuka; they even planned to fire him.

Anyways, just 50 metres were left... and Stig could be clearly seen in the left-most lane. The whole of his right was occupied by a truck and a tractor, moving exactly at the same speed, blocking the whole traffic.
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40 metres...
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30 metres...
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20
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10
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Finish!!!
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...and we had a winner - Tukaram Janjeera - representing the Indian ApC.

Wait... err... how come?

Thankfully, Jayantilaal clicked just at the right time... for you readers! We've highlighted Tukaram in the pic.

Damn! He was holding onto the tractor that had just overtaken Stig... and so he won... making the Indian ApC proud... and the American ApC clueless!

What an event... what a finish!
:o
~~Cameraman Jayantilaal ke saath, Cheepad Kumar~~











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28 comments:

  1. hilarious post K :) Loved the pic of the tractor....

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  2. Awesome! And the end is brillant. :-)

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  3. that was a lovely take!

    best wishes for the contest!

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  4. ha ha ha ... great post buddy. Once again...you excel in nomenclature (whatever)....marvelous stuff. AccentPuncture Consultants - from where do you get such ideas?? Brilliant .... I had a great time reading it....especially with all the supporting pics, I could visualize the race in progress. And yeah....I think I know this cameraman Jayantilaal....Someone liked the pic also, so will pass on the compliment! Cheers buddy...keep entertaining!

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  5. Good one...mention the race-route as well...sounds very familiar :)
    ~Gunjan

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  6. LOL!!! Very clever and funny post :-)

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  7. LOL! That was very funny :) Poor old Stig, good ole Indian jugaad paid off, huh :)

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  8. Hilarious my friend... simply loved it.. all the best!

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  9. awesome... don't sue me if I make a short movie on this :p

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  10. ROFL! What a race!! Really enjoyed it. All the best

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  11. :D

    don;t want to repeat my words.....i knew this one gonna rock since the first draft.........

    you gonna retain the title too.... \,,/

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  12. very nicely written.. u titled it right dude! :)

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  13. One of the best posts just like the last time!!

    Very well presented!

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  14. cheater cheater!! why didn't the american just tukaram toh eating some possible chemical war-agent... or whatever they call them not

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  15. Hey thanks everyone. Those who liked the last pic, the credit goes to KM (Neo).

    @ Vini - ThanQ Vini. It's great to have a team. I pushed harder when the first one was kinda... not liked... by the team. :)

    @ Maddy - Hey Maddy! Aapke comments to eid ke chaand ban gaye hai. But am happy you liked this one.

    @ Magic eye - Thanks ME. Yes, need wishes. BPL has got everybody on a move.

    @ KM - Firstly, thanks for the pic KM. I mean it. Glad you liked the post. And about nomenclature.. how about handing me the zimmedaari to name your kid(s)? So we have a deal?

    @ Gunjan - Sounds familiar? My familiarity comes from Batra to Modi Mill waali road. It's a Tour de France every morning between the mill workers. By the way - are you the same Gunjan who keeps popping up and surprising me? M waali?

    @ Writerzblock - Thanks. Your name means a block of writers (like a union).. or our old writer's block?

    @ Smitha - Yeah :) Do you get to see jugaads where u are?

    @ Tavish - Thanks Tavish. I am optimistic for your post this time as well. :)

    @ G2 - You make movies? I have been waiting all my life for someone to look at my weird stuff and ask me to write for movies.. so, are you the one? :) Yeah go ahead - you can make a movie... and I will later create a controversy if I dont get the due cut and credit.

    @ Ritu - THanks Ritu. Good luck for the contest.

    @ Hitesh - Hitesh ke bachche. Jazbaat kaboo mei rakho. You are a wonderful team member.

    @ Leo - Thanks Leo. And thanks for the compliment you passed on through the messenger.

    @ Sanchit - Hey, thanks Sanchit. You're new here. and welcomed now...

    @ MM - Abbey... oye... err... yeh kya pic aa rahi hai tere naam ke aage? Toone Tuka ko copy kar liya? Ya koi error aa raha hai? hahaah... but it's looking funny. thankuuu.

    @ Rishi - Man... you're coming after ages... and leaving a comment that needs some level of expertise in interpretation. But - the Americans did not stop Tuka after he consumed the gutka because this is India. Home conditions mere bhai. Now - i dont know the bit about chemical war... no no.

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  16. Dude, I am so in love with your blog, Im putting it up on Facebook. Cheers dude, keep writing more.

    P.S: Probably if the post could have encompassed some more typicaly indian things like stray mutts and thela-walas etc., the story would be more fun, but no complains bro!

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  17. Hey Thanks Aditya. Long time since I saw you.

    Yea - agreed.. thela wallas and matthis would have made it even better. Tuka could have taken an ad-hoc break at some thela... :)

    Thanks.

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  18. :) :) Hilarious! Your blog is the best cure for any boring or frustrating day !

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  19. @ Ini - hey... thanks.. and you are such a smart commentor.. why dont i see you on MKS?.. oh, wait a min.. you are Ini, right?

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  20. Yep.. thats me, Iniyaal.. forgot I used to select the Name/URL option while posting comments in your blog :p

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  21. kitze the part where the american looks on his left and sees tukka carrying his cycle and walking ....hilarious...hahaha good one:)

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  22. Am glad you like it my friend.

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  23. Awesome post !! Your blog is one of the funniest I have come across. Real fun and you have clarified every aspect, the changed pullover, to the tiffin box carried :) :) :)

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  24. @ Lil high - Hey! Your comment talks about just what I want the blog to be.. fun.. Thanks for the appreciation buddy. Means much.

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  25. Beautiful hilaious post. I'm still laughing. Very well written. Awesome, you've made my day !!

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