Day 65: God’s Scratch

I got scratched on the left side today. Oh wait! Not me. My car got scratched on the left today. A shady looking auto-tempo swerved into my lane, when the bus in front of him stopped. Of course, he expected me to disappear the minute he turned right, but I have still not figured that skill out. So, I now have three new scratches on the left side of the car and paint ripped off from the passenger side handle. He even managed to give me those wavy, curvy lines; not the boring straight scratches.

Something snapped in me when I saw the callousness with which he hit me, tried blaming it on me and then made nothing of the matter by waving me to drive on. I asked him to pull over, made a mountain out of  the mole hole of three scratches, and a ripped paint, and yelled my heart out. When he realized that I was not one of those girls who would break into a tear, or accept blame and walk away, he hurriedly pulled out a crisp 500 rupee note from his wallet, stuffed it into my hands, said Sorry a few more times and drove away.

I stood there for a minute, a 500 note in hand, and three new scratches on my car, confused about the seriousness and the triviality of the scene confusing me. A number of vehicles passed by, looking over this discussion. A teacher I usually rode with called me to check if everything was OK. Of course it was. This is India; you are expected to get into a traffic issue at least twice a month. No?

Earlier that morning, when I was about to step out of the house, I realized that I hadn’t done my morning prayers before heading out. My morning prayers typically constitute a general nod in the direction of the prayer room, a ‘Dude, thanks for everything, and take care of everything’ conversation, and a little game with Scotch and the vibhuti; she loves licking that ash. I brushed the thought aside and went out the door.

I hadn’t done this crazy morning routine today and that’s all I could think of as I drove to college after this early morning drama. Was it God’s little way of punishing me for not having our early morning conversation? Did he really care about such little shows of gratitude? Shouldn’t the almighty be more worried about bigger things? And anyway, what true-blooded brahmin would consider my morning ritual a formal prayer? I mean, which Hindu God really speaks English now! So, it wasn’t technically a prayer in the first place. And what if I went for a few days without this morning ritual? Would it then be a bigger dent instead of a beautiful, wavy scratch?

Hmm! This God that you speak of… Will he give me the power to control your mind so you can give me good whenever I want? Like right now?” Scotch 

Day 50: Staring at death

My broken wrist has kept me out of the driver seat for a few days, and buoy, have I had some junkie, adrenaline-fueling episodes since then! I haven’t gone bungee jumping, or sky diving, or white water rafting in the last year, and yet, I’ve not felt as psyched out as I did this week. I’ve been crossing the Outer Ring Road to get to the bus and back, and that is all it takes apparently.

Today, I almost killed myself…twice. A lazy truck was slowly catching pace, after going over the mountain of a hump, and I thought that was a good opportunity to cross over to the central median. This was after all 7 in the morning, and not what you would call ‘peak hour traffic’. I was absolutely wrong. I’d crossed over mid-lane, when a Fortuner overtook the lazy truck and sped from 0-60 in under 2.3 seconds and was heading straight for me. My body immediately juggled between the fight or flight reactions, and made it’s choice in under 2 seconds. It froze, right there, in the middle of the road. I was the proverbial deer stuck in the head-lights, and this was broad daylight.

So, this was how I was going to go. Not a bad look if I think about it now. I had showered fresh in the morning, put on my crisp formal blacks and white (Damn! I would miss the Council photograph day), had a good hair day too and had had a sumptuous breakfast. My picture in the newspaper would tell a good tale, wouldn’t it?

I saw the whites of the driver’s eye, as his Aana’s (Elephant) ABS kicked in, sensed the out of ordinary braking, cycled 15 to 16 times per second and halted, a feet away from me. If I had to pick between the lazy truck and the white Fortuner, this would have been it; maybe the driver was cute too. Who knew? I was busy staring at death in the eye. He smiled and waved at me to pass; like you would that spotted deer that was about to become dead meat.

I ran away to freedom! I did get to take the fancy photograph for the Council website.

Life went on, uninterrupted, until at 1 AM, Scotch and I hear a loud bang and we’re up. I fumble in the dark, trip over some metal on the floor that I do not remember leaving there, turn on the lights, and see the fan on the ground. The ceiling fan. That is meant to be hanging from the ceiling. Turns out that the fan decided to give way bang in the middle of the night. Scotch and I had our heads intact by the nick of a feather. One of the blades crashed on the side of the headboard, and that’s what woke us up.

I had stared into the eyes of death today. Twice.

That fan killed my beauty sleep. Without my required 20 hours of sleep, I will get dark(er)  circles, S. Cmon! Fix that fan.

 

Anyway, forget that now. Yayy! Mum and Dad are coming over. Let’s pick em up” ~Scotch