Thursday, December 7, 2006

Driving me crazy!

I first asked for my own vehicle when I was in class 9th. The Family initially seemed reluctant, but finally got me my scooty when I just finished I PU. I was mighty proud of my Black Beauty (still am!) After the initial month or two of hesitant and vary driving, I, one day, woke up to the realization that I just loved driving!! It was a manifestation of my independent spirit. No more waiting for the BMTC, no more bickering with the auto drivers. I was free, I was a bird, taking off whenever I pleased, on whichever route I chose, under the control of no one’s will but mine. I enjoyed driving not only on good clear roads, but also in the traffic, jostling with hundreds of other motorists. It was a jungle out there, Darwinism come alive, with only the fittest surviving. The unfit could be seen, sticking as close to the left as possible, driving with looks of absolute terror on their faces, at a pace such that a snail could overtake them! These creatures would, then, disappear into oblivion, maybe sell their vehicles, and drown themselves among the masses that travel in the bulging BMTCs, cursing the chaotic traffic of Bangalore with their co-passengers. The winners were those who survived the battle for existence long enough to discover an order amidst the chaos. These were the Chosen Ones who understood the Law of the Jungle and lived by it.

Driving was one of the things I really missed upon shifting to the Insti. I would satisfy my urge sometimes by beg-borrow-stealing CR’s or Twin’s cycle, but the thrill of driving 60 kmph, with the wind in your hair [figuratively, since I mostly wear a helmet :D] is something that a cycle cant ever give you.

The moment I came home this December, my hands were itching to get a grip on that accelerator and zoom off. But Providence had it that my first outing was in a threesome [which translates into an auto being the vehicle of choice!] As a backseat driver, I looked at The Bangalore Traffic with a whole new perspective. These people dint believe in traffic rules. The left-right turn indicators were vestigial organs of the vehicle, buttons that were added to fill up empty spaces on the handle bar. The only button that was important was the Horn, which they used to the maximum possible extent. The white bars on the road, marking the lanes, could have as well been graffiti made by street urchins, and no one looked twice (literally) before switching lanes. Signboards about School zones or Speed limits made just as much sense as Holmer’s Odyssey in pure Greek, unabridged! I kept dishing out this Gyan and lot more, about how Mumbai’s traffic though voluminous, was less chaotic, about how rash that auto wala was going, that a particular mo-bike driver dint have an ounce of brain in his head, and so on, to my poor sis and Sume [who probably put up with this commentary for the sole reason that I had returned home after 6 long months :D].

Thus, I took out my bike on the next day, with all virtuous thoughts about sticking to traffic rules and so on, and set off, with Nelly Furtado’s “I’m like a bird” going through my head. My bird soon had a bumpy landing when cyclists began to overtake me, with a smirk on their faces. I forced myself to remain cool, lecturing myself about good driving habits and what not, when an auto driver, who was steadily driving to my left, suddenly cut into my lane, forcing me to brake sharply. All virtuous thoughts were immediately banished, fours years of traffic-training kicked into action, accelerator turned and my engine roared [well, as much as a 60 cc one can!!] ! I was determined to show the auto driver a thing or two about driving. From then on, it was War. Along the entire stretch of road, lasting about 3 kms, it was a one-on-one battle between the two of us. I had the eternal advantage of a bike rider – the ability to squeeze between bigger vehicles - and used this to the hilt at all possible signals and halts. While he had the possession of an engine much more powerful than my poor 60 cc cylinder. At times he had the lead, and sometimes I could give him the Thenga. Finally, at a point, we parted ways, not sure who was the victor, but both having thoroughly enjoyed the Struggle for Supremacy. Grinning happily, I drove away, and while doing so, I caught sight of myself in my rearview mirror. I had fangs and horns.. I was a creature of the Jungle again, a Warrior, and “Home returned the Warrior, Alive” !! :D

6 comments:

Karthik Nayak said...

Hi this is the auto driver:
I was the winner

Bastet said...

That's what u think :P !! btw, must have a race with ur Apache someday! :D .. and, DA, when r u giving me a ride on ur new chariot??

suma said...

hehe
Babe you forgot to mention whats the secret of your energy- the yummy Peru bought off a cart at 4th block :D

Sadhana said...

Happy you enjoyed the "rumble in the jungle" :).
Hoping to make the transition from a bystander to a creature of the jungle some day.

Bastet said...

@ suma
Totally, "peru is the secrety of my energy" [this is the cue for you to say " ....." ] :D

Bastet said...

@ akka
Yup, dear, I hope so too! Going backseat is a pleasure, but driving is Divine!