The road was filled with vehicles, spitting smoke and honking at will. I have a problem with both cases so I rolled up the window and sat inside cursing silently. The driver was a rather ruthless one who believed in constant gear shifts and lane changes. With a little luck, I thought, he’d one day make it to Hollywood stunt films.
Ever since the accident, I have been paranoid about safety. I check my seatbelt all the time and imagine scenarios. I never liked the fifteen minutes that I hung upside down, thinking that the vehicle was going to blow up. Oddly enough, all I could think was ‘Shit! I am never going to watch that film.’ But, at some point of time, my brain kick-started itself and I opened the seatbelt and broke the windshield to get out. The vehicle was never going to blow up. It only happened in films and that too when your fuel tank was seriously messed up. When I staggered onto the highway, I remember the first question someone asked me, ‘How are you still alive?’ The incident left a permanent mark in me and I stopped trusting any driver.
Finally, the car started moving. We went past a horde of scooters and took the exit from the Express Highway. These Highways are good, I thought. It goes over a lot of obscure villages that no one cares for. People live and die there and you wouldn’t know a thing when you look at the speedometer going above 150-160… it could be the number of kids died there in a year or a number of accidents happened in that road because you know shit about traffic rules. No one give a damn… Way of the World… William Congreve… Dad’s library… Teak Almirah… I broke the glass panel… He told me to change it with my own money… I sold my cricket bat and changed the broken glass…
‘Kis station ke saamne chodna hai, Saab?’
‘I don’t know… Kisi bhi.’ It came naturally to me. The one language I am reluctant to learn just because people naturally expect me to speak it. I do not like being taken for granted. Here I am, sitting like a sick joke, trying to control the stream of my thoughts and he wants to know which station I’d prefer to be dropped in. Do I look like a fuckin’ drunk? Do I, you sick fuck? I yelled and the driver looked back. The car changed lanes. ‘Do you think you could take me for a ride?’
‘Speed bahut kum hain. I want you to drive beyond 180 and take the left entry to NH- 76.’
He may be dumb but he looked like he understood what the cold feeling behind his neck was. He probably did not want his brains splashed on the inside of the windshield. It is much more difficult to wash than the outer side, ain’t it? Sometimes it is funny to see how reluctant the needle of a speedometer can become. Speedometer… motor cycle… it wasn’t working… cable broke…
The car was speeding. It was getting there… the awaited breaking-point. The bridge came. I opened the door and jumped, hands extended as if embracing the chilling wind outside. Behind me, the car swayed on the highway, the driver trying to figure out why the pistol hasn’t fired. But, since when did beer bottle mouths started firing bullets? With that happy thought I aimed for the clouds…
- NHTSA Debuts Terrifying “Click It or Ticket” Seatbelt Campaign (smartsign.com)
- 13 Reasons Why Women are Better Drivers than Men (cheapcarinsurance.net)
- Holiday Driving Rise Means Crowded Highways Over Christmas and New Years (cheapcarinsurance.net)
- Buckle It. (nclawyer.typepad.com)
- Driver airlifted from crash in Oakdale (modbee.com)
- No Seatbelt + Sneezing Causes Fatal Accident (fox4kc.com)
- New seatbelt automatically unlocks when submerged (slashgear.com)