I rode an autorickshaw to work today. I thanked my luck when the first autorickshaw in sight agreed. Usually they dismiss me with such utter disdain that it completely erodes my self esteem, no less! So I hop in with delight and that delight doesn’t last long. The vehicle jerks off (yeah literally!) a few times, coughing black fumes and shudders and shakes. Then it moves forward. Slowly. And it keeps moving slowly, never going beyond 20kmph. The driver is an old man and he hums happily as I frantically look outside for hope. Maybe, just maybe, we are actually moving fast enough and I am not able to sense it. Speed is relative, right. So maybe the other vehicles are on turbo speed and hence zipping past in a flash. Then, the Wipro chappie from my apartment whizzes ahead on his bicycle. Yes, bicycle. No, this can’t be happening to me. I beg the old man to speed up but he gives me an injured look and says, ‘Whaaat madam…I am 74 years and you are asking me to speed!’ WTF? I am not asking you to run the marathon old man. Now, surely the rickshaw isn’t that old. I bite my lips. This feels like a toy train ride on the mountain rail to Darjeeling except I am not on a holiday and I have a meeting in 15 minutes. But it would have been good if the torment ended there.
While we stop at the Silk Board signal, Wipro chappie is right next to my rickshaw. He grins and pipes in, ‘May be you should come with me….’ Look fellow, bugger off ok. Just because I smile at you on the elevator doesn’t mean I am going to jump out and squeeze myself on the narrow crossbar of your cycle ok, even if I were to be slim enough to fit there. Listen, my-knight-in-neon-helmet, yours maybe a geared ATB, but it is no steed ok. So, vamoosh! What’s wrong with mankind this morning? And I mean man-kind. All I have is a pasted smile on my face. But Wipro chappie is relentless. ‘You work around MGs right?’ I nod. ‘Oh, it’s going to take a while for you to reach’ Thanks pal. Like I wouldn’t have known at all if it wasn’t for your brilliant insight.
Finally, oh finally, the lights turn green. Wipro chappie waves off with, ‘Bye, see you back home.’ Home? Yeah, like hell we will. May be I will figure out a way to let the air off your tyres eh. Don’t mess with me.