The Ceat Tyre advertisement warning: “The streets are filled with idiots...” brought home the truth a couple of days back. I had a busy schedule, with a new assignment keeping me on the edge. So I wasn’t sitting so easy in the car as we drove out to work.
Barely fifty yards into the drive and the car screeched to a halt and my heart almost popped out of my mouth! We had barely missed a child of about three, who decided to cross the road on her own. Her parents, a young couple, stood by the road and called out to her but didn’t think it prudent to stop her physically. As if that was not enough, they had a younger one of about a year and a half, running along ahead of them in the middle of the road. I thought both of them would be shaken but was in for a surprise, when they stood there giving us the kind of dirty looks one could kill someone with. The kind that said, ‘Don’t you know there are unattended kids on the road?’
“There are Idiots on the road,” I muttered, “and they have to be out so early and in my way!”
When my heart slowly made its way back to where it belonged, I settled in, praised the driver for his quick reflexes and cautioned him to keep alert. Things went smoothly, we were on a stretch that does not have much traffic so early in the morning and I was thankful for that: It was premature. I lurched forward as the brakes hit the floorboard once again. Thankfully, I had on my lumbar support and cervical collar. Another “Idiot” had conveniently stopped his car in the middle of a turn around a traffic island, and was talking on his mobile phone. He was so engrossed in his conversation that he remained blissfully unaware of his foolish action and its potentially disastrous consequences. He did not hear the screech of brakes and neither did he notice the strike down dead looks we gave him, as we drove off. “Please God no more,” I pleaded as my heart took its time settling into a more comfortable rhythm.
I was shook up nice and proper and decided it would be better to close my eyes for a while and shut out the idiotic chaos. Before that, I gave the driver who was new, directions about the route he would take to my workplace. We would be getting into the rush hour traffic and I had some time for a bit of shuteye.
It was taking too long to reach my destination. Was the congestion heavier or was there a jam? I opened my eyes and looked out. There was no traffic jam; in fact, there was no familiar landmark either! Where were we? A wrong left turn and many other wrong right and left turns had brought us to unfamiliar territory. The driver sheepishly admitted we were lost and he had forgotten to get his mobile phone.
“As if the Idiots on the roads were not enough, I had to get one in the car too,” I muttered.
“Kya baat hai ma’am?” he asked.
“Kuch nahin,” was my deceptively sweet reply.
As he asked passers-by, autorickshaw drivers, cycle-rickshaw riders and whoever was kind enough to stop and give us directions (none of the cars stopped!) I searched for my mobile phone in every pocket in my handbag. It wasn’t there. Well, well there was another idiot in the car who had forgotten to carry her phone too.
Ah! Suffer the Idiots!
Kya baat hai ma'am........what is it ma'am or what's the matter
Kuch nahin........................Nothing (at all)