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(You might have read about my running the first \pi miles. This is a rather different experience).
(Edit: 6 July, ’12 — If you have fractured a jaw and are looking for a liquid diet, see this post I wrote recently).

Today evening I completed running \pi miles on the Wabash river trail. I have done it more than a hundred times in the last few months. But today was special. Completing the track was a liberating moment. For one, I completed it with less-than-usual oxygen; I breathed only through my nose and not once through the mouth.

As I write this, I feel the steel wires and rubber-bands in my mouth. My teeth are fixed, the jaws are immovable and there are six stitches on the chin. I can feel one molar chipped off and one week after the accident, I feel pain in my wrist.

It was on the evening of 26th May that the four of us set out for biking. We were around 10 miles from Purdue where I had this accident. It was a reckless daredevilry, something that I am not proud of & something I wouldn’t like to recollect¹. After the accident, we called a friend and also 911 (the latter came before) and I was taken to the Emergency room of the hospital². I had the X-ray and CT-scan done but already knew my jaw was fractured. The doctor stitched the chin-injury and discharged me with the desperately-needed painkillers. Three days later, I had a surgery with an oral surgeon who (after knocking me unconscious) implanted steel braces and rubber-bands in my mouth thus completely immobilizing any jaw movement. For six weeks, I shall not be able to open my mouth. No coughing or yawning please! And only liquid diet.


I realize that the pain-killers have subdued any painful sensation in my jaws. Most of me is perfectly fine, most importantly my brain. And I am doing Mathematics with acetaminophen. Just like Erdös!³ Hope I am able to come up with some theorem in these six weeks!

¹ In my defence, I blame the reversed role of left/right brakes controlling left/right cycle tyres in the America than India.
² In retrospect, although spilling out blood from my mouth, I was surprisingly relaxed. Rather, one of the friends had a panic attack seeing me spew blood!
³ If you are unaware, the legendary mathematician Paul Erdös took amphetamines and said the drug helped him do mathematics. Read his biography here.

I gifted myself a bicycle on my birthday recently. Its a cool Trex 7.2 hybrid bike. Quite expensive but I just got back my income tax returns. So these days, running has taken a setback and biking (bicycling) has been the new sport.

It was a lazy Sunday evening when I set out for a long bike journey. It was sunny with hardly any winds, an ideal weather for biking. I biked for about 25 kilometers without stopping. I found a place for kayaking and canoeing and inquired about the rates and all. I must have been 8 miles from home when all of a sudden the weather changed. It got very windy and riding became difficult. The clouds were picturesque. Here is a picture –

At the signal, a guy got down from his car and offered me a ride. I politely declined and thanked. Least did I predict the thunderstorm that would follow. It started drizzling and soon was pouring. My home was just 3 miles away from there but seeing that I might not make it in this heavy rain, I took shelter. As in the past¹, I called up Dabadghao for help. He was surprised I went biking as he just saw a thunderstorm and flood warning on the TV. I gave him my coordinates and he said he’d do something. He had a friend with a car having a bike-stand on it. I waited for them to rescue me. It was getting darker and colder. But since the rain subsided and he would take time to arrange the car, we decided I would ride back home. Here are iPhone screenshots of the weather and my biking stats till that point.

Note to self (lessons learnt)

  • Excessive dependence on the weather app to be avoided.
  • iPhone seems water-proof to some extent. Still should carry a plastic bag.
  • Although it adds to the bike weight, should carry the bicycle lock.

The journey ended at Dabad’s home with we both enjoying the spicy Thai chicken curry he prepared. Another adventure comes to an end!

¹ Earlier, I have called Dabad on numerous occasions asking for sundry help. Unlike the irreliable Avdhut, he has always helped.

You’ll miss the fun if you read further without seeing this video.

Its a commercial that Shashank told me to watch. Least did I know that one day, I would be the proud owner of it.

The ad shows a man riding a cruiser bike on the streets of Ladakh. A very cool music is played at the background. The man says, “I forgive” – cut- & a B&W scene – shown a man slapping someone – cut – “my father.” Continues riding, and thinks, “I forgive women” – cut again to a B&W scene – A girl in a bridal gown.  “I forgive my boss” – B&W scene of his boss throwing papers at him. “I forgive my boss.” While riding, he bumps into a pothole and we hear, “I forgive the government.” Goes on riding smoothly again. Cut again to his barber shaving him and back to him licking his upper lip which has a cut and saying, “I forgive my barber.” Further, another man is seen struggling with his bike. Our hero exclaims, “I forgive my past!”

His thought: “I feel like God.

Feel. That is the key. The rider has achieved a sense of Nirvana. His soul is liberated. His bike ride has made him feel so.

What an off-the-beaten-track ad! No engine piston, no shock absorber, no racing tyres and no wind shields. And of course, no cute kid, no sexy girl and no celebrity! Yet this ad stands out among millions others.

Indeed, it feels like God! Do test ride an Avenger and drop me a feedback!

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Today, I went for servicing my Avenger. I showed up there at about 9.10 am. My time was supposed to be 9 am. 10 min late. This cost me three-bikes-servicing time. I was told to wait as there were previous day’s vehicles pending to get attention. It proved to be a long long wait. I had almost finished Galois’ Theory by then. The Mirror and TOI were read and re-read. Twice, the junk-foodie in me woke up and had to be pacified with misal-pav, vada-pav and fanta.

At last, after 7 (seven) eternal hours, the servicing was done. (It seemed सात जन्म though!)

I looked at my shining bike. Its steel body polished like the-other-side-of-a-newly-purchased-and-first-time-opened-DVD. I cruised back home. Gears shifted smoothly like a hot knife through butter. I could ride like this for eternities. With a good (looking) pillion, I could ride for two eternities. (Kidding!) There were, but, very few bikers who overtook me. I could have easily accelerated and sped past them. But something in me prevented me doing this. I was reluctant to transform this cruise into a race. I didn’t want to prove my biking skills to anyone. I just wanted to cruise. Relish every bit of this dream ride. Feel the air going through my body.

I felt… like God!

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It was the first day of this semester. I was on my way to college. I was speeding through the Eastern express highway on my Avenger. 

At the Vikhroli-Jogeshwari link road signal, I saw a man symbolizing for a lift. He seemed to be a carpenter or an electrician. Some worker, perhaps. I had heard of highway robbers who ask for lifts from bikers and pick their pockets or worse, loot them point blank. Yet I decided to take chance. I don’t know what went through my mind, but I decided to offer him a lift. The look on his face must have been a pathetic one. 

I rode through the village of Kanjur marg. The guy received a phone call. The way he answered it, it seemed from his boss. He assured the boss, that he would reach Jogeshwari by another half-an-hour. He tried to convince him, that the work would be completed today. Seems he got a firing for being late. Though I looked forward, I could imagine the look on his face. Hell, he knew even a chopper wouldn’t take him in half hour. 

I thought of the problems a common man faces. He has to struggle everywhere. Be it job, be it transport or be it the drudgery of survival. A human is no more a resource. He has a stomach to feed. God forbid, more than one stomachs. He is a liability. I don’t want such a huge population. Oh, God, I want India to flourish with its talent and resources. Is it possible? In my lifetime?

As I neared IIT, with a to-be lighter bike and a heavier heart, I told him, “अभी उतरो. मुझे यहीं जाना है…”

Why was IIT not at Jogeshwari?

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About me

Abhishek Parab

I? An Indian. A mathematics student. A former engineer. A rubik's cube addict. A nature photographer. A Pink Floyd fan. An ardent lover of Chess & Counter-Strike.

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“Do not think; let the equation think for you”

”You cannot be perfect, but if you won’t try, you won’t be good enough”

“Don’t worry about your maths problems; I assure you, mine are greater”

"A comathematician is a device for turning cotheorems into ffee"

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