Thursday, 4 January 2007


So I am casually driving in to work this morning, already tons late thanks to that daughter of mine still being in vacation mode, and waking up really really late. I am at a circle, coming in from one of the four feeder roads, and intending to go to the perpendicular one by going around the circle and making the right turn at the appropriate point. Remember I said four roads feed into the circle. Nearly symmetrically aesthetically arranged. So in order to make the said right turn, or in fact, to do whatever it is you want to at the circle, you have to veer left. So here I am, veering a little left as I do every day and DISHUM I hit a guy on a bike. I mean just lightly touch his boot or some such being as he is in my blind spot, not that I was particularly looking left for such transgressions. I hope I have amply justified that that veering left is pretty much a given for souls at the circle. I pull up short, gave my usual, “yeh kya hai boss” question with my arm and move on slowly. Turning right and proceeding on, this time carefully checking that spot on the left using the ever-handy left side mirror.

Sure enough in a little while on my right there is lot of honking going on and I look to see said bike fellow coming after me shouting some things. I roll down the window and say “Hey man gotto watch where you are going” But he is all like “BLAH BLAH AAH OOO” of course neither of us can hear anything but the eyes speak for us. By now he is in front of me and dangerously turning back to have this intelligent conversation.

I recall my place in the world. I roll up the window and increase the volume on one of those interminable FM songs. Run a few dialogues in my head ‘Look, I don’t want to fight’ in a calm, mature, elderly person voice. ‘I honestly don’t think you can blame me entirely for that situation.’ ‘Are you hurt, do you need help’ ‘You have to not drive so close to cars - I literally moved 4 inches and managed to hit you, that’s too close’ ‘See the problem with you guys is that you think you are invincible’ I pull myself up for that last one, needlessly over-generalising to cover all young males on motorcycles is not on I tell myself. And come up with ‘Sorry boss’

In the meantime, the kid strapped securely in her seat in the back is like What happened, what happened. So I explain as best as I can, using few of the dialogues in my head from above. And also in the meantime, the bike fellow I discover is still in front of me. He is slowing down, oh cool, time to use the dialogues I think. Should we pull over I wonder. But wait what is this he is doing? He is going zig-zag in front of me. He is avoiding moving to the left lane when he can. He WANTS to be in front me, going slow enough to slow me down, and zigging and zagging. Then I get it, he is PAYING me back for that bump I gave him. Excellent stuff! All the dialogues and the calm, mature, elderly person voice go out of the window, and I just thank god I am not that young anymore really. I don’t need to react to this! He is physically unaffected enough to play games! This continues all the way up to the main road, and even beyond, to the next traffic light, where I mercifully turn left while he goes on straight – or at least as straight as the zigging and zagging will allow.

Of all the dialogues said, unsaid, heard, unheard, the best is attributed to kid ‘How can he shout at you, you are my amma, na?’ A dose of reality, a fall off the mommy pedestal, a tiny bit of guilt and a boot print on the side of my car – this is my collection for the day.

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