The legend of Dilip Bam, a man after my own heart

By | October 17, 2016

The brightness produced by TWO bulbs being supplied thru a 35 watt cable is NOT as bright as a single bulb alone being supplied 35 watts. To understand this, just imagine: it is like one man marrying TWO nine-year old girls instead of ONE eighteen year old girl !

This is a piece from Dilip Bam’s review of the Yamaha R15. Many people might find this offensive, some might even find it downright derogatory, sexist, misogynist. To someone like me, who regularly uses even more disgusting language in his own articles, this is a brilliant comparison, crudely funny, yet beautifully poetic.

Through the course of this story, you’ll find many such items that stand right on the border between written artistry, and total fucktardery. From time to time, you’ll also feel really weirded out by the unnatural SMS-slang, combined with seemingly freakish hinglish words that’ll make little sense to those not in on the private jokes.

If either of those things make you unhappy, please stop reading right now. This is a post written about someone who never gave a single fuck in his entire existence, written by someone who’s desperately trying to follow the same path in life. Political correctness is something neither of them excelled at, and there’s no reason for you to take a dip in this river of vulgar filth and raw, creepy, unhinged imagination, unless you enjoy letting your mind wander into the dark corners of human depravity.

The beginning

Born on January 4, 1947, he cleared his 12th exam under merit in 1964. The next 4 years were spent at IIT Roorkee studying mechanical engineering. After a brief stint with Kirloskar working on diesel engines, he did his MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur, finishing among top 5 in his batch. This was followed by a series of jobs in apparently unrelated companies, ending as the CEO of Flexican Malaysia, which he left in 1987 to return to India.

Back in the country, he started working as a professor at BITS Pilani, while conducting evidently strange programs like “Presentations, Practice, and Decision Making based on the TV Serial Star Trek”, at respected institutions like Symbiosis, BIMM, ICFAI, IMDR etc.

As a guest lecturer on Personality Development at Symbiosis around 1995-1997, he was well-known for driving his own Auto Rickshaw to the campus everyday. He even wrote an article on making Auto Rickshaw the official vehicle of the President of India.

In June of the same year, he began his automotive career with Car and Bike International magazine as their road test editor. 6 years later in 1993, he switched to Auto India magazine. Then he wrote for Indian Auto Journal, Bike2Car magazine and Motorindia magazine, while also posting regular two-wheeler columns for Times of India, Indian Express, Eenadu (Telugu), Aikya (Marathi) and Pudhari (Marathi).

He was an Associate of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers of U.K., a Corporate Member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, USA as well as a Chartered Engineer and Member of the Institution of Engineers, India. He spoke Hokkien Chinese, Indonesian, Malay, Punjabi, Bhojpuri, Marathi, Hindi and English, and could also read and write Urdu.

I don’t generally care for such facts, boring numbers and abbreviations that don’t mean much on their own, but in the context of this man, they are everything. Combined, they give you an idea of his vast intelligence, his grasp over multiple languages, and his acumen for taking up jobs that involved both risk and responsibility. This will become relevant as we sweep through his life, and see the choices that he made with time.

But more than anything, in the giant web of distinct jobs that he did, the countries that he visited, and ideas that he pursued, I see a man brave enough to experiment, not afraid of the inevitable failures, willing to do anything to follow his drifting mind. The fact that he didn’t give a single flying fuck about anybody’s opinion is too obvious to mention here, and it’ll keep getting more and more pronounced as this biography progresses.

The legend grows

Within the first few years of his articles getting published in the Car and Bike International magazine, he was already famous as that skinny eccentric man who writes the way people talk. His reviews were unique not only in the language used, but the methods involved as well.

For example, one of his standard tests for any scooty’s capabilities was to see if it could carry a fully laden LPG cylinder in the foot well, tucked neatly between the rider’s legs. This might seem like a stupid thing to do for today’s generation, but back in the day when cars used to be absolute luxuries only a few could afford, this was the easiest way to bring home that fire which gave you food, heat and light.

I have a lot of memories of sitting behind my dad’s Bajaj Chetak, trying to balance the awkward 30 something kg hunk of liquid filled iron between us both. I couldn’t keep it pulled towards me, because that hurt my thighs, but I couldn’t push it too far forward either, because I didn’t want dad’s shirt to get dirty. If he had one of the Bam-approved scooties, I probably wouldn’t have had to go through this torture, although as far as tortures go, this wasn’t all that bad, the suffering was interspaced with some good father-son bonding time.

Another bizarre methods of his was the way he tested for fuel economy. Unlike a normal human being who’d do the brim-to-brim test, he carried around his neck a 1 liter bottle filled with petrol for this purpose. The weirdness didn’t end there, here’s an excerpt from his review of the Kinetic SYM Flyte:

FOR FUEL TEST YOU HAVE TO TAKE OUT THE SEAT AND FULL DiCKY, AND DO THE PiPE-GiRi NATAK AS PER MY UNGLi POiNTiNG VICH U KAN SEE IN FOTO. UNGLi IS POiNTiNG TO WHERE THE YELO PiPE OF MY MEASURiNG BOTTLE IS FiTTED TO NiPPLE OF KARBURETOR.

I don’t understand either what he is trying to say, or why he’d do any of this rather than follow the simple way. However, it’s not hard to understand why someone of his talent did such idiotic things at certain times, the cost of following your heart for so long is the occasional and uncontrolled loss of awareness, a situation where you are so confident of yourself that logic is no longer a necessity of life.

Below is an actual screenshot of a real excel sheet that he used to calculate the fuel economy of the TVS Apache RTR 180

And here’s another one of those places where he explains the details of how he prepares the bike for fuel efficiency test:

I fill up the tank, upto 2-cm below the top rim of the tank neck. Close the cap. Shake the scooter front and back by locking the front brake. Sit on the scooter and hump it like riding horse. Tilt it to 30-degrees on both sides. I do all this to get rid of any air bubbles. I open the tank cap again (bike parked on level ground at the same spot) and see that the level has gone down (no fuel has been used bcoz the engine is off). I fill it up again upto 2-cm below the rim as before. I then again do the same shaking and tilting actions to remove more air bubbles if any. I do this three-four times, until no matter how much I shake or tilt, the level does not go down. This means there are no more air bubbles left, which means greater accuracy.

His busy schedule of teaching, testing and writing, never stopped him from answering queries that absolutely random people fired at him through all sorts of mediums, websites, messages, Facebook, even postcards. His replies to these questions only helped elevate his myth and stature through the automotive community, mainly because of their clarity, honesty, simplicity, and with time, sarcasm.

He was known as an opinionated guy who had some sort of strange love for TVS bikes, and highly recommended them above all else. He also liked Royal Enfields, though not in the divine sort of way that most Bull owners do it today. One of his most famous articles, certainly the one that remained etched in the memories of many a young bike aficionados. was a review of the Diesel Bullet.

This review contained epic sections, like the one where he tried to reduce the mileage of the bike by riding it with 5 people onboard, and even going long distances with the fuel cap open! His conclusion was that didn’t matter what you did, you couldn’t possibly get anything below 60 kmpl, which was rather insane for such a heavy bike.

Here are a few more excerpts from this review:

Enfield has chosen to name it the Enfield Diesel rather than the Diesel Bullet. It probably did this considering the pickup of the bike. The pickup is kaafi pathetic. I actually raced against a bicycle, and the cycle was ahead for the first 150 meters.

The quality of parts is in line with Enfields philosophy on quality………”our lips are sealed”!! I wonder why Enfield doesnt use the same seals on its front shockers as that which it uses to seal its lips.

Safety is an inbuilt feature of this bike. There is no need to lock this bike, Nobody can steal it because nobody can start it.

Though vibrations dont bother Dilip Bam, they do bother the bike. Nuts and bolts come loose and parts keep falling off.

As far as the vibrations go, the author notes that every time he took a pillion, he asked them to grab the tail lamp. After an incredulous look from the pillion, he would explain that it is not for the pillion rider’s safety but for the safety of the tail lamp, which seems to come loose every few kms with all the vibrations, and hangs loose.

At that time, and even today, it’s quite literally impossible to find such straightforward reviews of any motorcycle. Everything that you find online nowadays feels like a sad handjob, something that was supposed to be inherently fun, but became something violently boring, thanks to the manufacturer’s tight grip on the writer’s balls.

The legend of Dilip Bam took a flight to space with his 1992 trip to the Sahara Desert. During this unbelievable adventure, he became the first person to ride across the largest desert in the world on a non-geared, small-wheeled scooter, the pathetically comical Kinetic Honda. During this trip, he also became the first person to get kidnapped in the desert, and then use sand to wipe his shitty ass.

I was lucky enough to watch him talk about this trip live at the MTM 2015. Here it is.

I wish you were there. Even with the faltering projector, and his age, the storytelling skills he displayed were absolutely captivating. Also, while talking about the skin color of the natives, the guy he pointed at was me.

In 1997 came probably the biggest push to fame that Dilip never wanted. In the October issue of the Auto India magazine, he reviewed the Hero Winner, under the title “Winsome Lose Some”. At that point, Auto India was one of the leading magazines of its genre, and sold more than 100,000 copies a month.

The folks at Hero didn’t seem to enjoy such harsh criticism of their beloved creation in such a casual manner, published in a popular auto magazine. They responded with a legal notice threatening to sue Dilip, the magazine, and the printers, for an absurd 100 Crores, apart from initiating criminal action against them.

Why they did what they did has always remained a mystery. They obviously didn’t think these magazine writers, owners and publishers carried 1,000,000,000 bucks in their bank accounts, so it’s safe to assume that the number was just meant to be a large enough sum to psychologically pressure them into submission.

However, given the reputation that Dilip already had in the market, combined with the super-relaxed way in which he thrust his arm into Hero’s asshole and pulled their guts out, they should’ve known better, they should’ve understood that slapping him with a notice for a such a comically absurd amount is only going to make him more famous, which in turn is only going to make more people want to read that very review Hero wanted to suppress.

As expected, it backfired spectacularly. Dilip, in his usual no fucks given way, went ahead to create a hand-written response to the legal notice, which was then used by the lawyers to reply to it. Hero probably hadn’t expected this outcome to their childish impunity, and had to quickly abandon any hope of legal help. Dilip on the other hand, had become an overnight sensation.

As it always happens, his fame brought in a number of mythical stories attached along with it. One of such stories said that Sunil Gavaskar, the cricket legend, personally dropped Dilip’s motorcycle and bent its front brake lever. Since then, every time he came across a bike with a front brake lever that wasn’t ergonomic, he would joke that it felt like “something designed by Sunil Gavaskar”.

In 2000, he was involved in a bike accident and lost a large part of his left ear. Here’s the story of how that happened:

“I used to stay in Prabhat Road and I have been riding bikes since 1967. Bike testing is my profession and I take all the required precautions while riding. Whenever I ride a bike I make sure that I use a helmet and other protective gear. Somehow, on that particular day I forgot to wear a helmet. It was probably the biggest mistake of my life.

In the year 2000 I got a new bike to test. It was the Hero Honda CBZ with disk brakes. On May 27, 2000, I decided to go to my friend’s house in Bremen Chowk in Aundh. I left without my helmet. Soon after I reached his house, it started raining, so I decided to wait there till it stopped. It was late by the time the rain stopped and I left his house. Although it was not raining, the roads were still wet. Despite this, I was driving at a high speed.

I had reached near Symbiosis, when a car suddenly came onto the main road from one of the lanes. I saw the car at the last moment and applied the brakes. Since it was a disk brake and I braked sharply, the bike skidded badly on the wet road. I fell down on the left side. I fell on the left side of my head and my left ear was completely sliced off. My head was also badly injured. When I got up and tried to check myself, I saw my ear lying on the road in front of me. I fell unconscious.

Later, a passer-by named Prakash Kunthe took me to the hospital. A huge blood clot had formed in my brain. The doctor operated on me and removed the clot. It’s been nine years and I am now living a normal life but I still regret that I lost my ear because I was not wearing a helmet.”

All through this time, his reputation as a fun and honest motorcycle reviewer kept steadily climbing up. Here’s a response he gave to someone who asked him the question “How can i modified my cd dlx?”

THERE ARE 291 DiFFERENT TYPEs OF MODiFiKAiONs WHiCH CAN BE DONE. WHiCH ONE YOU WANT? YOU HAVE TO TELL NO? HOW CAN I KNOW WHAT YOU WANT? EVEN IF YOU PUT A SEAT COVER, WHETHER BLACK, BLUE OR YELLOW, THAT IS ALSO A MODiFiKATiON COSTiNG ONLY Rs.50/- THE MOST EXPENSiVE MODiFIKATiON WOULD BE TO GET THE BiKE GOLD PLATED, FiT A SOLiD SiLVER SiLENCER (It is best bkoz Silver is the best conductor of heat in the world). THiS WOULD COST ABOUT FiFTY CRORE. APART FROM THiS THERE ARE 289 OTHER MODiFiKATiONs WHiCH YOU CAN DO.

At this point, it’s important to talk about the strange, half-literate language that he slowly moved onto in the later part of his career. As you can see from the example above, some of his replies are just unreadable. The Is are always in lower case for some reason, the Os are always replaced by zeros, he uses the caps lock far too much, the grammar was all but non-existent, and the sarcasm is bordering on sheer anger. Why did he do this? Why did a man of his credentials and education talk like a total imbecile?

The answer is quite simple, he was tired of the stupidity in this world. As a man who had been answering people’s motorcycle related queries for well over 2 decades, you can imagine the kind of retards he would’ve encountered, and the amount of frustration that would’ve built up over time in an attempt to still try and help these poor sons of bitches.

I have first-hand experience of this shit, and the only way I’ve found of dealing with the level of assholiness in this world is to be sarcastic, all the time. I’ve more or less lost complete control of this reflex now, it’s not up to me to decide when sarcasm is appropriate and when it is not.

Dilip’s language is a simple middle finger to all the shitty street racers and the half-eaten words that they use to express their skill. It’s true that this silent protest of his against the stupidity of the younger generation did make reading his articles quite a pain in the ass, but like all beautiful things, he never asked for attention. If you can’t get over the words he used and focus on the sentiments he wanted to express, you can go fuck yourself for all he cares.

Another mythical story about him says that he actually owned all the bikes that he reviewed, and that his garage was filled up with bikes of all shapes and sizes, some 50+! How much truth there is in this statement is hard to test, he was a genius in the true sense of the word, had some staggering educational credentials, held top posts in giant MNCs, and spent little, if anything, on his personal appearance and clothing. This would mean that he would’ve been a man of sound means, money shouldn’t have been a hurdle in filling up his house with motorcycles. His belonged to a well-off family as well, his father used to be a GM in the Indian Railways.

However, I doubt that he was a hoarder of 2 wheelers, his personality and his general vibes made it look rather unlikely. Having said that, it’s not impossible either, and we’ll just let it be another one of those stories that don’t really matter.

One example of why this may not have been the case is the way he used the word “Munny”. This was one of those personal jokes that Dililp seemed to incessantly crack to himself, and probably laugh out loud. His reference to money as “Munny” might in some way point to his disdain for it, which was rather obvious in the way he dressed and behaved generally. For a man who in some sense hated the concept of money, spending a shitload of it to own a bunch of different motorcycles seems out of character.

All this while, his hilarious retorts to people’s queries continued. Here are a few examples.

Question: hi, I am planning to go for a Pulsar 180.But I heard from someone that in Pulsar,the seat design is such that if u apply sudden brake and become a bit unsteady,your reproductive organ can perish.In fact somebody cited me few cases as well.Can you please suggest?? Surajit

Dilip’s Answer: NO SUCH THING. THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN. HOWEVER, IF AXIDENT, THEN ANYTHING KAN HAPPEN ON ANY BIKE. EVERYDAY IN HINDUSTAN, HUNDREDs OF BIKE RIDERS ARE DYING ON ALL BIKES, NOT ONLY PULSAR 180. THE IMPORTANT THING IS NOT THAT YOUR REPRODUKTIV ORGAN IS GETTING CRUSHED. THE IMPORTANT THING IS HOW MUCH YOU USE IT BEFORE IT IS CRUSHED, BCOZ FINALLY EVERYBODY DIE==CRUSHED!

Question: Are all gas filled shock absorbers filled with nitrox(nitrogen?)?

Dilip’s Answer: Not necessarily. I would say it is 99% pure hot air. 0rdinary air is also a GAS by definition & contains 14% nitrogen in natural air. So you can call it Nitrox / Botox / or any other tox. It is just a catchword for media hype. When natural air is FREE, why will anybody spend money on fancy gases? I think nitrox / botox is just bullshit media hype. it is just ordinary free air – inklooding all the pollutants, which also come free!

One of his most identifiable characteristics was the way he compared motorcycle related stuff to something totally outlandish, usually involving boobs and actresses. Here’s a collection of few of his thoughts on a wide variety of subjects:

Dilip on Buffaloes: These are the stupidest of God’s creations. A buffalo’s brain weight is the lowest among ALL mammals. Thus when a buffalo is in motion it will NEVER change its mind, simply because it has no mind.

Dilip on Cats: Crosses roads in a flash. So unless you are superstitious, let it cross first. Even if you ARE superstitious, let it cross first and then let two other vehicles overtake you so that they carry away the bad luck.

Dilip on the Bullet 500: If the 350 is ego, the 500 is ego plus. Though slower and much less powerful than the Yamdoot (RD350) this is more than just a bike — it is something that has to be owned to be believed. It is not the fastest, nor the most powerful, nor the prettiest, nor the most ergonomic. It is also not many other things. But it is a name. Like Helen of Troy, you’ve GOT to have her. That’s all there is to it. All else be damned.

Dilip on mileage: Truth is, each bike is designed for a specific performance. A Cheetah, which weighs 50 kg, can run at 120 kph (bhp) but you cannot ride it. It does not have the carrying capacity (Torque). An elephant can carry 20 people, (high torque) but cannot run faster than 40 kph. A Cheetah lives for 12 years and an elephant lives for 100 years. The giant turtle of Galapagos lives 500 years, but its speed is just 20 metres (65 feet) per hour and it eats very little. The quantity of food (fuel) which these creatures eat (consume) is also very different.

It is the same with bikes. The faster you drive, the higher will be the rate of fuel consumption. That is why the “STANDARD CONDITIONS” at which most manufacturers advertise their bikes’ fuel consumption is at steady 40 kph. Indeed, fuel consumption at 20 kph in 4th gear would be even lesser (turtle).

Dilip on looks: I am generally averse to commenting on looks. Personally somebody may like Bipasha, others may prefer Aishwarya. How to say? My personal choice is Pamela Anderson, which in bike terms is Bullet==fully naked. No faltu paneling-baazi. Just front mudguard and rear mudguard==Bra & Panty. Other people may like Yamaha FZ or Pulsar. It is a very personal thing.

Dilip on the Toro: One curious thing about this bike is that it has a distinct tendency to pull on one side. I tried three other pieces. Thus, out of four pieces, two pulled to one side, while two did’nt.Therefore, if you decide to buy a Toro, go to the dealer, try out two/three pieces, choose the one that does not pull to one side and note down the engine and chassis number.

Dilip on the Honda Eterno: Being a geared scooter, more solid males would opt for it than liquid females.

Dilip on the TVS Wego: But the pushlever of the side stand is not visible from my stance. If the pushlever had a different stance or been longer by two inches, my report would have been shorter by two sentences.

Dilip on the Hero Panther: If I changed my name to Bruce Lee, wore a kung-fu suit (paint job) and put on a helmet (fairing), could I hope to beat up Dara Singh? They did this to the popular 240DX model and called it Panther.

There are so many other examples I could give you that’ll show the extent of this genius’s grasp on your imagination. Here’s a link to his Linkedin profile, scroll down. Here’s a 15 page thread about him on Team-bhp, here’s a 6 page thread about him on The Automotive India, with the full text of many of his reviews, something that’s really hard to find nowadays.

The end

Dilip Bam died on October 13th at the age of 69, I’m sure he had decided long ago to die at that age, given the significance of that number to the slang community, a place that where he truly belonged.

Over and above everything, he was a thrill-seeker. He traveled far and wide, repeatedly put his life in danger, trekked like a boss, and dedicated his life to do the things that made others uncomfortable. He started his career when I wasn’t even born, peaked when I was learning to walk, and died when I have just about started my own. In that sense, it might be hard for me to understand his mentality, but then again he wasn’t someone who’s easy to understand at all.

In more ways than one, he was an extremely selfish person. He wrote for himself, never compromised, never gave in to pressure, never changed, and in fact progressively kept becoming worse, farther and farther away from what was expected of him, running in the opposite direction to the world. When someone asked him why he had stopped working for major auto sites like he used to in the past, he said “Because nobody will hire me, everyone is afraid!”. That was the price he paid, or that would’ve been the price he would’ve paid if he gave a shit.

Dilip Bam spent 26 years of his life reviewing bikes, talking about bikes, telling people which bikes to buy, which bikes not to buy, and why. Much of the language he used in those 26 years was crude, immature, full of creepy examples, objectified women, made fun of pedophilia, and generally fell far short of what a man of his education, talent, stature, age and experience should’ve used.

Many of the test methods he used to review bikes were grossly illegal, many others were illogical, most were irrelevant. He did not care at all for what the consumer wanted, he cared only for what he wanted, what he thought a bike should be, how it should run, how it should look, how it should feel.

He did not care for your opinion, he did not care for my opinion, he did not care for the manufacturer’s opinion. His entire life’s work is nothing more than the ramblings of a narrow-minded man who couldn’t see past his own prejudices, and that’s exactly why I loved it all.

I’m sure he had his fair share of troubles too. He was married, kept a job for most of his life, had his father’s expectations to meet as well. It’s easy for us to look at his life and see one straight line, one path that he followed because that’s what he wanted to do, but I’m sure the reality would’ve been far different, the line much curved, broken, jagged.

It’s impossible to find people like him nowadays, people who spend their entire lives as one individual. It does not matter how insurmountable the odds, how gigantic the pressure, how massive the rewards, people like him don’t change who they are, simply because it’s never worth it, and also because they can’t. In a world where “adaptation” and “compromise” are supposed to be positive qualities, it’s not hard to understand why beautiful souls distort themselves into grotesque shadows of themselves. Dilip Bam didn’t, and there’s no bigger achievement in life as far as my thoughts go.

I obviously don’t agree with everything he said, nor did I enjoy all his ideas, but that’s not important. Any individual whose sole aim is to do what he wants to do, will at some point or another step on your toes, simply because he wanted to. The more intoxicated you get on freedom of thought and independence of the mind, the more number of people you want to piss off, the farther the limits you want to test of human conformity. The end game of this thought train is total and absolute hate for all humanity, the belief that everyone else is either a dick or a pussy, and you alone are the ONE. He displayed the symptoms of being at that stage from time to time, but thankfully he managed to claw down to reality more often than is expected.

He was, in my opinion, the only real 2-wheeler journalist that ever existed. Many people called him the Clarkson of motorcycles, but I believe Jezza is far too decent and under control when compared to this mad fucker. The reason why I think he was the only bike journalist who ever lived, is because he didn’t give a single shit about bikes.

His motorcycle reviews were just meant to be an excuse for him to be able to tell his weird jokes, information about bikes was just an unintended side-effect of his exercises in humor. If not for 2-wheelers, he could’ve dedicated his life to eggs, coolers, mosquito repellents, condoms, plastic chairs, talcom powders, tiles, or shoe laces, it wouldn’t have mattered, his words would still have been the same, his attitude would still have been the same, just that a completely different set of humans would’ve found his work interesting.

Dilip Bam’s life is a rare example of one well lived. He rode a shit scooty through the fucking Sahara Desert, got kidnapped, sold Hashish in Vietnam while being constantly under attack from the Vietcong, fucked in broad daylight on a boat in the middle of the sea, got sued for 100 crores by a giant motorcycle company, studied in some of the most prestigious institutions of India, taught in some of the most prestigious institutions of India, cleared the IAS exam, cleared the personal interviews, and then said “fuck it”, worked at some of the most prestigious companies of the world, wrote for some of the most prestigious auto magazines of India, drove an Auto Rickshaw to teach everyday, lived life as a Taxi driver, smoked like a chimney, took his 60 year old wife on the back of a Hyosung GT650R, became an icon of the Indian automotive journalism, lived life on his own accord, and died at the age of 69.

I don’t think most people will get inspired by his life though, our priorities are fucked up nowadays. People would rather have big houses and fancy cars, than sail pirate-infested seas on a tiny sailboat with Janet, Janice, and Jim. We have far too much shiny stuff to distract us from the real purpose in life, to live for yourself, to foolishly and selfishly follow a path of your own making. It’s also true that “following your heart” has become too much of a cliche to be something truly remarkable, but I hope you understand what I’m talking about.

In the end, none of this matters anyway. You will read this, probably get emotional for a few minutes, and then get back to existence, soon forgetting everything about the man and what he stood for. What doesn’t help much is the fact that Dilip wasn’t the sort of guy who wanted to “inspire” anybody, the whole world could burn and die for all he cared. There was nothing he wanted from anybody else, nor did he believe he had anything to give.

I don’t really know why I wrote this 5400 word article, I read only a few of his posts while he was alive, although I deeply understood the general direction that his work took. I don’t think I was ever a fan, or still am, I find that to be a rather sad thing. I think my entire aim in writing this thing was to just process his life and his work for myself, but I could be wrong.

One of the most difficult things in life seems to be the ability to live it on your own terms, Dilip Bam showed me that it can be done, with some violently beautiful results. Rest in peace friend, you are a fucking legend.

To read more of Dilip’s incredible stories in his own words, check out his autobiographical articles here. 

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  • AviNasH Shukla

    Perfect tribute to the genius. Had come to know about him 3-4 years ago while looking out for some bike reviews. Read a lot about him on his site as well as various riders forums. Interacted as well with him on his site forum before buying a bike. Used to discuss with him on Indian politics. Had come to continue our political discussion where we had left in June and then shocked to know he is no more. I’m feeling empty, my eyes are teary. RIP Dilip Sir. You will continue to live on hour hearts 🙁

  • Samir Singhania

    Thanks for letting me know all this and get inspired..may be just for few mins but it did.. definitely.

  • Abhijeet Baruah

    A rebel, a bad-ass and a man after my own heart. A man who lived the good life and lived it on his own terms. No eulogies, no you-will-be-missed messages for him though; after all he simply would not care for those.

    • Akhil Kalsh

      🙂 absolutely true.

  • Amol Marwaha

    kudos man. well written

  • Kim Philbi

    I was always a fan of his writing. I regret to have never met him. I have read almost each & every article published by him/or written about him. This article will always stand tall. Perhaps the best piece of work ever written about him. Really great job Akhil.
    Regarding Dilip Sir, I wonder, I suspect something somewhere has really gone wrong for him. You can clearly make out a difference is his writings pre-2000 & post 2000. His writing became insane in later days. When Auto Journalism flourished in late nineties & early 2000, new kids like Shirish Chandran, Bert D’souza made names for themselves. Dilip Bam was never part of all this mainstream media; rather he chose to work with small time websites. I don’t know why this happened. Why did he parted from Adil Jal Darukhanwala (whom is refers as best boss in his autobiography) is a mystery. I suspect there would have been some emotional turmoil or may be some health issue (due to Accident?) that made him extreme person; which eventually became his identity.

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Mainstream was never his style anyway 🙂

  • Rahul Sen

    Just try to imagine Dilip Bam try to hit on Janice and Janet by singing Beast Of Burden on the Axara…

    Damn he was good at being awesomely himself…

    • Akhil Kalsh

      🙂

  • rishabh kaushik

    Hope I’ll learn something out of it!

    Even after spending the riding pants budget, I couldn’t make it to the MTM15…
    Made me realize me that availability of ‘Time’ is as important as availability of ‘Money’.

    • Akhil Kalsh

      🙂 true.

  • Vishwanath Natarajan

    RIP Dilip .. Back in the 80s ( when i was in my 20s ..) I remember looking forward to his bike reviews on Car and Bike international .. Still remember his immortal reviews of the Rajdoot 175 ( on how its headlamp made him realize why light is measured in “candle power” since its brighteness was about the same as lighting a candle in place of the bulb ! ) or the RD 350 ( he termed its rear view mirror as the most unnecessary piece of appandage , since the bike’s pickup was so phenomenal that there was nothing to look at in it anyway ..) or for that matter making a relative comparison between the two .. a mule vs a race horse : – ). His unusual sense of humor will be missed ..

    • Akhil Kalsh

      True.

  • Mohsin Zaidi

    Diesel bullet? Taurus right?

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Yes.

  • GaribNawab

    Dilip Bam was a legend! He will be missed. RIP

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Indeed.

  • Rohan Bawa

    Amazing write up! I guess, in this world, where everyone stands up for conformity, you really like someone who does not give a f**k

    • Akhil Kalsh

      True.

  • bp

    Lovely man! Wonderful yet again. Keep them coming

    • Akhil Kalsh

      🙂

  • Rakesh Narayanan

    Well! Thanks