Just keep trucking on.

One of the distractions when travelling on the highway is counting the wheels on the trucks you pass. I’ve always found this activity very pleasing. I think it stems from childhood efforts to see a truck with many wheels. The excitement engendered by one of these many-wheeled freaks was tremendous and I still feel happy when I see a truck with more than six wheels. One thing I’ve noticed is that there are a lot more of these trucks to be seen. When I was a kid, trucks were usually only six-wheelers, hence the excitement of spotting a truck with more than that number. Nowadays, most trucks on the highway seem to have ten wheels regularly. And there seem to be a larger number of container trucks, thus there are a greater number of fourteen and eighteen wheelers. But don’t think that lessens my excitement by any significant degree. If anything, it plunges me into a reverie and I emerge to write a blogpost about truck wheels.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on to more serious, more philosophical, more subtle topics. I am now unemployed. The government’s unemployment statistics have risen by one, or at least they would have if they weren’t calculated as a percentage. You don’t have to stare up at the sky to feel insignificant. You can just think that your unemployment will not move that figure up by much to realize that you are but one among millions. Of course, you have better skills or at least that’s what you tell yourself. For all you know, you’re one of those people who ensure that a company will be successful if you’re on the payroll of their competitor. I’m not saying you are, I’m just saying you might be. Of course, the silver lining here is that your employers won’t know you’re like this until you join them. You might become a pawn in some middle-level manager’s scheme to expand his corporate empire and thus will become a highly valued part of the company when he eventually succeeds. As you can tell, unemployment weighs heavily on my mind.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on to more serious, more philosophical, more subtle topics. It’s raining here. Finally! The weather is cool, with a pleasant breeze blowing and a measurable drop in the temperature. It’s on evenings like this that bad decisions are taken and people end up settling for second-best. The heat and humidity that people curse might make people short-tempered and irritable but they also clear the brain and prevent you from doing anything foolhardy. This pleasant weather, on the other hand, is a sneaky bastard. It’ll lead you places you wouldn’t want to go otherwise, and before you know it, you’re screwed. Which might not be altogether unpleasant, but you’ll regret it all the same. Read the weather report, not the horoscope.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on to more serious, more philosophical, more subtle topics. Music is a beautiful thing. The internet has made discovering some kinds of music so easy, the excess of choice is almost paralyzing. I could off-hand name at least three artists I’d never have found out about if it weren’t for the internet. These are artists I’d gladly support, but I wish they’d play a few concerts here. I’m not saying I’d go to these — they might be hideously exorbitant — but I’m sure that my tastes aren’t so esoteric that their concerts would be a total failure. It seems like a legitimate hope.

In other news, I’m trying to read three different books at the same time while rereading a fourth. The three books would be Tom Robbins’s Still Life with Woodpecker, Chuck Palahniuk’s Choke and Orhan Pamuk’s The Black Book. The Big Sleep is the one being reread. I think I’ll prioritize the Pamuk. It’s a library book and comes with a return date. The rest are mine and are here to stay unless they get whacked, lent out, misplaced or just rendered unreadable through acts of God. Tom Robbins is my discovery of the year. I picked up a book by him at the book fair because it had a catchy title — Wild Ducks Flying Backwards — and it was written in an appealing style. It was also relatively cheap and consisted of his short writings. I bought it because the first page I opened was a paean to kissing. The next was a tribute to The Doors. It was only after I bought it that I discovered that the volume also contained a tribute to Leonard Cohen. Robbins has an interesting style and his use of language is impressive. Choke was also bought at the book fair but it’s been part of the ‘to-read’ pile since then, mainly because I’ve been reading other books and doing other stuff. It’s also a highly enjoyable read and I’d like to read it with as few interruptions as possible.

I have tidings of greater import. The mess is gone, given up. I now have no abode in Calcutta except those provided by kind friends. This might change if at some point I find a source of gainful employment in that city but for the time being, it’s just another city that I used to know.

Call me maybe?


Oh! You did? Listen to better music, man.


One Response to “Just keep trucking on.”

  1. Animesh Ray (@Animesh_Ray_) Says:

    Even I count the wheels of the trucks on my monthly journeys between Kolkata and Durgapur! Great writing as usual. And yes, I do hate that song 🙂

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