...ramblings of a crazy mind
Sunday, March 14, 2004
the life and times of ms.padmanabhan
Weird, weird, life I lead.

The strangest things happen with me for some vague reason.
Maybe what my lil cousin, nikhil, says is true. Our life is a conspiracy and someone is controlling it. Mine would qualify as a B-grade, slapstick comedy any day!!

Take right now for example. A pal calls up from H’bad after a longish time. We are phaffing and generally talking nonsense and a good time is had all round. He is at some store called Lifestyle, checking out the shoes, strolling over to the café, whistle lamenting us not being in the same city et all. He barely sits down when some roughish looking dude strolls across and sits down at his table and says hi! (gay guy? That’s what I thought at this point too, read on!) well, yea, so this guy then proceeds to ask my perplexed pal where he lives! He understandably wary asks “why?” the dude tells him ‘cause I believe I’ve seen you around’. Being the simple unassuming chap he is, my pal tells him where he lives! Then this blokes says me too!…after a bit he pushes off. Barely do we restart talking …he just about starts recounting what has been happening (though I could catch snitches of it over the phone) he stops mid sentence and says I will call you back.
Two minutes later he calls back to report that a few tough looking blokes came over and “confiscated” his cell phone! They supposedly thought he was some dude called ashok who was harassing their sister!! He justifiable got angry, informed them he had never ever heard of their sister leave alone speak with her, was conversing with his friend in Bombay and if they didn’t bugger off he’d call the cops!
Good gosh, didn’t know this sorta thing happened!
For another one, I was to go to meet my lil sister all the way in the other side of town…unsuspectingly got a rick and said to the nice enough looking bloke “ho to mulund check naka” (ok, just mulund check naka you sticklers!) we were cruising along just fine (hope you noticed the word unsuspectingly!) till we came up to a signal. Our dude who seem quite normal until this point showed no desire or inclination to slow down, leave alone stop. Was wondering if he was on a mission (you never know, maybe he’d registered with Guinness book of world record for making it to check naka in the shortest possible time, and so small matters like signals didn’t hold water with him) …but then I spotted the milieu up ahead of us.. there very vehicles of every shape and size..everything from the bicycle man with his load of up side down birds heading to their early demise (how do you think you get chicken? No, it doesn’t grow in the fields next to the wheat lil one!!) to state transport buses to sleek looking cars (the new lancer is particularly good!) to trucks to other ricks. I felt a momentary twinge of pity for my driver..now he wouldn’t be able to make whatever record he was planning on making. Then I shrugged my ‘soul-shoulders’ and thought to myself life ‘ah life’.
Then I noticed that he still showed no signs of slowing down! The vehicles up head were close enough even for the most myopic eyes to spot effortlessly. I conjectured that maybe I was sitting in one of them sci-fi movie type ricks where the contraption would suddenly sprout wings and clear the entire lot and land safely on the other side. (wonder what our ‘pandu hawaldars would have to say about _that_) but no wings sprouted (I know, shucks! It would have been quite exciting had the damn thing deigned to sprout wings, but alas no such luck!!) and we were all set on collision course with the unsuspecting, credulous almost, tail lights of the rick ahead.
And collide we did!
All my Michael Schumacher does at the other rick driver’s angry glare is nonchalantly lean out of our rick and inform him “Brake nahi hai yarr”!!! (roughly translated mean “there aren’t any brakes pal”!) imagine my horror. I wondered haplessly if every signal between here and my destination would mean a brush with death (and btb, all that hog wash about your “entire life” flashing is just that! Hogwash!! The only thing that flashed was my morning breakfast and the mourn that I would have died without doing “it”!) I ask myself would stepping smartly outta the rick, quick as a tick not be the answer to my current predicament? I could even throw some money in the general direction of the rick and tell the bloke to keep the change (you filthy animal added for effect?) I know James Bond would have done it.
We were in motion once again. See that is the trouble with thinking. One tends to take up time in that fruitless activity and the chance to ‘act’ slips you by.
Anyways, I was trapped in what had suddenly become this chariot of doom for me. Praying like the dickens. (Ever notice how all agnostics become fervent believers around the time of exams btb?)
Will not bore you with the rest of the tale…suffice to say I kept my eyes tightly shut (I now understand why those people keep their eyes shut on those rides in essel-world/ Disney land) for the remainder of the journey. When we finally reached our destination I had to be told, twice, by the driver (if one can call him that) that we had arrived.
I got down on wobbly legs after paying him (though why I did that is quite beyond me, seeing he had taken at the very least 5 years of my life!) and went on my way, mumbling to myself bout rickshaws and rick driver and the unfairness of life…
Till later folks, always assuming I survive!
p.s : how did we ‘stop’ at the destination? Have not the foggiest notion. Had my eyes shut, tightly, remember?
p.p.s : for non indians, click on - http://www.roleximpex.com/rolex-impex-auto-rickshaw.html - to see what an 'rick' looks like. its also known as 'ricksaw' or 'auto-rickshaw'. It is best described as a small - 3 -wheeler taxi
which doesn't have doors, can seat three at the back, and one driver in the front.
Shocker of the day : the Scots deep fry their mars bars (yup, I am referring to chocolate). That’s it. That’s all I’m saying. Am totally shocked by it.
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