Drive on

Rains are finally here in Chennai. A wonderful departure from fiery hot sun. For city dwellers rain isn’t necessarily the best things to happen. For few, slushy roads, mad traffic, sewer over flows, open man holes are nothing short of a living nightmare. However the other pack loves the rains especially the younger lot, my 8 year old neighbor has been off from school for the last 4 days and needless to say he’s extremely happy about the situation.

For the last couple of hours there is one incident which is making me chuckle and smile. An outrageous car ride. This happened towards the end of 2007. I was in bengaluru those days. I used to be work between 5am – 2pm. On that rainy afternoon. I got in my cab, usually I am the only one because of the odd work schedule. I saw this young boy in his late teens behind the wheel. The first thing I asked was his age, 19 came the reply and he quickly showed his driving license ( Guess he had got that recently ). He started off confidently but after couple of kilometers into the 25km odd trip the skys opened up, it started raining and then the young gentleman realized the wipers weren’t working.

I suggested we stop and wait for the rains to settle down but he had a timetable in place he had to pick up another employee at 4pm. At the same time I could see it in his face that he was really excited about driving in the rains he didn’t want to stop. So what do we do. This guy puts out his head from the window, with half body hanging out and legs on the pedal and yelled see I can drive, no problem I can drive sir. To be honest I was scared at the sight of a baby faced driver, dangling out of the car trying to dodge rain, traffic and nasty roads but after 5 minutes I felt better as he was doing a great job especially the way he handled the gear box, you had to see it to believe it. The best I could do was join the fun. Despite the language barrier we could communicate really well because all we knew was we were doing something really mad. I could see the on-lookers had a sense of disbelief seeing a boy dangling out from a car and speeding away. On my right under the heavy downpour the cabbie dude was absolutely loving every second of his maniacal effort. Despite the mounting fear I was having a great time because I never been part of such an outrageous law breaking, dangerous act. Surprisingly we got through all the traffic signals unnoticed and finally after a hour long circus in the roads we reached my place. It was a thrilling experience a little shaken up but hugely excited of having been part of a crazy drive.

I wouldn’t want such things to happen again but it was fun and enthralling yet insane.