Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Harley Davidson to Moto Guzzi and Men Who Love Both

It’s happening again just like the flu virus which goes around and comes back to infect many men and also my husband. Spring and Summer may not be here yet but the motorcycle season for my husband is here albeit with a difference. My husband is ready to give up his beloved Harley Davidson for the newest Italian buxom known as Moto Guzzi. Mind you, this is no flakey looking bike. It's big, heavy, black. Italians have figured out America's penchant for all things big. Why not, America is a big country with miles and miles of roads to be ridden and traveled. Italians have won over America and the way they did it was by quietly slithering into the name game. It was done through the good old art of flattery; naming their Italian creation by the name of CaliforniaNothing but the golden state for Bikers where Riders are found all year round, with or without shirts, where Liberal values roast and bake in the Sun and people look tanned all year round. 

So, now, because Moto Guzzi happens to be European, videos in all kinds of speeds and languages are being watched. So far, my husband has forced me to watch videos in French, Italian, Greek, German, Finnish, Portuguese, Spanish and other languages unknown to me. He has watched videos with riders going in slow motion, riding into the Sun, riding with the Sun behind them, riding into the mountains, emerging from the mountains; Moto Guzzi on straight roads as well on curvy and treacherous paths, roads merging into riders, lethal looking bike goggles, maddening head-banging-metal trying to keep up with the sheer beauty of the black beast of Moto Guzzi and finally riders-bikes-roads all merging into one entity. Some videos focussed only on Moto Guzzi's engine, others on its calipers, some on its headlight and one video where the camera did not move even for a second from the rider's head and Moto Guzzi's handles while behind them, everything did! 

My husband has sat without blinking looking at many Moto Guzzis and specifically the California 1400, going round and round, moving at dizzying angles, getting loving washes by owners, getting polished over and over again, listening to its sounds, reading slobbering comments by other Moto Guzzi lovers, not batting an eyelid with all the glowing French, Finnish, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and Italian accounts of the joys of staring at a Moto Guzzi or merely standing in its shadow or the ultimate of riding a Moto Guzzi. He has also watched other motorcycle maniacs declaring a change in their love from Harley to Moto Guzzi without a hint of guilt. The British actor Evan McGregor played his part in planting my ride, my pride right on top and thus furthering the cause of Moto Guzzi. This is the guy who definitely knows what a ride is; he has ridden on all kinds of Moto Guzzis around the world, many times, has complete sets of travel videos, films and documentaries to prove it and his own faithful twitter followers. I am now wondering, what markets, Harley Davidson, my husband's first love, will have to find. China and Japan come to mind; after all, China owns America and Japanese like anything American. Or maybe North Korea could come to America's aid with its new friend, the ever effervescent Dennis Rodman.

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

I am what I yam: Those Stubborn Principles

I am what I yam: Those Stubborn Principles: There is one thing that does not change in the world and then there is another thing that does not change as well; to combine both, it wou...

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Stubborn Principles and Bechara Bhala Aadmi

There is one thing that does not change in the world and then there is another thing that does not change as well; to combine both, it would have to be a man of unremitting principles. A principled person stands on a ground that is so solid that nothing can dislodge him. It's not that he is not surrounded by people working hard to dislodge him. In fact, some around may work their entire lives trying to displace people of principles. That is their mission and sometimes they succeed, at other times it's mission impossible. Nonetheless in India and other cultures, a principled man, a man without malice in his heart, is regarded as an object of ridicule, euphemistically known as Bechara Bhala Aadmi and loosely translated as the pitiful good man!

Apparently, goodness hovers in the realm of pity and ones that stick to their morals are quickly rendered as pitiful beings! The world has forgotten the close proximity of pity and piety; goodness is to be honored and good men to be seriously considered heroes for their simplicity of thought and deed. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, said Leonardo De Vinci and if the most complex concepts cannot be reduced to simple ones, they deserve to go away quietly. Wise is the man who avoids complicating simple truths and principles. No wonder people are terrified of the principled man; he is what they would be if they could.

Om by Joyce

Could a principled man be akin to a mule, the kind of animal that digs in its heels? Mules are common animals in India and many times are seen standing in the middle of the road, just sniffing air. Nearby the owner is seen going crazy trying to make the animal move. Nothing helps. He is wondering whether to leave the animal there and carry all that load himself and subsequently sink under the weight or take a stick to the animal. Only if he could find the right kind of stick, the kind just appropriate for the occasion. Maybe he could check with society's morality police, the kinds seen in repressive societies. Surely they will have an answer for the size of the stick, its length and breadth, that some cultures and religions encourage to keep their women in check! If women could be kept in check, why not a mule!

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines principle as a moral rule or belief that helps you know what is right and wrong. Principle is something a person believes in, something that is dear to him, a concept  he is willing to die for.  The truth he holds, is what embodies him. Herein lies a problem; one man's truth may not be another man's truth. Yes, many have successfully argued many facets of truth but truth is truth and viewing it from different angles will not add any more colors to it. Only lies and untruth have as many facets as possible and that too is in a constant state of flux. A principled being perhaps sees things in a clearer light, so clear there are no shades of gray. Is that what makes the principled man so obdurate? Why is it important for some to ruffle a good man, to see him shed his beliefs? Is it a flaw, the inability to sway with the winds of change? Does a principled man's beliefs  mark him an object of pity or is he ultimately the one pitying those who pity him?