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Road Reggae: Pather Punch Ally Wednesday, 22 April, 2009

Posted by ~uh~™ in Mumbai.
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The drive back home was real bad that day. I had started around 8:30 from office, with a faint hope that I could be counted among those hallowed lucky drivers who consider themselves intelligent enough to avoid peak hour traffic on Mumbai roads. But as usual, I was proved wrong. It was a real heavy traffic that evening.

It took me an hour to reach Bandra Bridge (9 km)and I was yet to do the regular ‘bumper to bumper crawl’ till the airport. One hour and fifty minutes later when I was at Malad signal (15 km), trying to change the CD, the incident happened.

The pale green Hyundai Accent standing before me started rolling back. It’s quite common for drivers to release the right foot from the brake pedal to adjust the sitting posture or scratch his demanding a bit, after driving for long hours. So I honk once and wait the car to brake. The distance was approximately 5-6′ between me & the Accent at the initial standing position and I thought there’s enough distance for the car to stop. But I was surprised to see the car continued rolling backwards. Now, the road at Malad signal is uphill and car was gaining acceleration while rolling down. I pressed the horn in an alarming tone, something like “Honk- honk honk-hooooooooooooooooonkkkkk !”

But the car, like a giant piece of shit rolled on and hit my fender. My hand brake was up, still I felt s small jerk. But there was more for my surprise. There was no visible effort of the accent to pull forward and release that ‘ass to mouth’ position.

Hooooooooooooooooonkkkkk-honk-honk-honk hooooooooooooooooonkkkkk !! I did it vigorously. Still, no change in ass-to-mouth. A ball of fire starts traveling from my veins upwards inside me. I can feel the shrill beep-beep-beep rising inside my brain like a fire detector, activated. By the time I undo my seat belt and come out of the car the frequency of the beeps were deafening. The ball of fire was inside my head, expanding fast.

I walk up and knock the door of the accent driver. A middle aged man with grey moustache comes out from the rear seat and shouts at me “Why did you hit our car?” That did it. The beeps were not audible anymore, as it crossed the supersonic limit. The ball of fire exploded inside my head and the thousands tentacles of poisonous fumes were about to exhaust from my ear, nose & mouth.

I screamed  “What?”. I could not say anything more than that. I tried concentrating on the moron behind the wheels and wanted to see what kind of asshole he was.

I saw inside the car now. The driver, a guy in his early 30’s, is visibly nervous and fiddling with the gear. On the front seat there were a lady, on the there are couple of ladies too. A case of a family with an amateur driver. The car then pulls ahead. The middle aged guy, most probably the dad of the driver chap tries to get in the back seat. The signal turns green.  The driver is trying to flee.

I kicked hard on the ass, the cars ass. That worked. The car stopped and the driver, now visibly agitated tried to come out while the ladies trying to hold his hand to calm him down. While he comes out his dad inspects the fender of my car and says ” See, nothing has happened”.

But didn’t you hear my horn? Why did your car roll back on the first place?”- I howled.

‘That’s because the car was standing on a slope’- driver’s dad says matter-of-factly. “Moreover, nothing has happened to your car”

” Why were you not pulling the window down or coming out of the car when I was asking ? It’s not whether the car is damaged or not, it’s about your attitude.’- thick fume comes out of my ears.

The dad, probably seeing the fumes coming out from my ears, gently puts his arms on my shoulder and says “cool down please, we agree it was our fault”.

‘Do you know I have been driving for the last 2 hrs?’ Don’t you think it’s not funny to be hit by a car rolling back wards? Why can’t you use your hand brake?’ -exhaust of the fume doesn’t seem to cease.

‘Okay, please cool down, let’s get going; we are also driving for 2 hrs’

I looked at the man, trying to defend his useless offspring. A sudden sense of pity engulfs my mind. The fire started subsiding, the fume gets thinner. I tried to say

“You should ask your moronic son to learn how to use the handbrake and it’s time to tell him that his driving sense is as good as the washer man’s donkey. First your son hits my car and then you are stupid enough not only to defend him but also to charge me for your mistake. What kind of ass family are you? “

But I could not say anything. It’s not easy to cross that border of decency I guess.

By then the other cars behind starts honking. In Mumbai time is Money.

I get back to my car and drive over.

I could not get emotional closure. Like many other incidences in my life it remains unconcluded.

So is this post.

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Comments»

1. bouncing-bubble - Wednesday, 22 April, 2009

unconcluded incident u say? but you’ve let them out here and got emotional closure.
…………
~uh~: Well, partly yes. But I wish I could kick that ass black & blue.

2. Rofl Indian - Thursday, 23 April, 2009

I thought I had already posted a reply ???

Anyway, this incident underlines the importance of learning all those finger signs which one could put to valid use when both words and brakes fail 😉
………………….
~uh~: If you search google image with key words ‘road rage’, first 10 pictures features the middle finger only ! But that works best when you overtake someone and divert to get on the flyover :p
The bangla translation of the title would be ‘Pather Punch Ali’ 😀

3. Ava - Thursday, 23 April, 2009

Dreadful ! Road Rage ! Sigh ! No way Out !
…………
~uh~: Urdu poet would say Self-e-steam !

4. eye-in-sty-in - Thursday, 23 April, 2009

U know how the bikers try to squeeze into any available space on the road. One of them tried to squeeze in front of the swift and royally nudges the bumper. The guy looks at me in the eye, looks at the bumper and does not even apologise! I got pissed. Thought, well, the bumper is screwed, why not fuck him up too . I put the car in gear and drove it a few inches. The pillion rider looks up and hits the hood of the car (as if I didnt know what i was doing). I get encouraged by the banging and move a few inches ahead and rev up the engine. Now the pillion rider gets scared and moves both his legs to the other side of the bike. The guy driving the bike gets off and comes up to me. I said well, looks like now I have your attention. “Next time dont squeeze in front of cars and drive with some dignity. You can go now.”
And the bugger went away without uttering a word.
I got out and guess what? Not a scratch on the bumper. Apparantly they must use good paint at Maruti, huh!

if only everyone drove with some sense, there would be atleast 1/4th less jams on the street!
This ought to be a post!
………………
~uh~: I think you were lucky to get away. I had couple of bad experience with bikers and refrain from taking punga now. Once I had hit three Muslim hooligans on a bike at Dharavi and fled, but they caught me. But that’s subject of another post.

5. Writer's Block - Friday, 24 April, 2009

I invite you to Delhi. It is the best place on earth to get into traffic related altercations.

~uh~: Delhi is hell. I got my ‘driving licesne’ from delhi and drove there for 7 years 😉

6. eye-in-sty-in - Saturday, 25 April, 2009

Can’t wait to read about it. Do post!

~uh~: The best thing is am alive to post about it…

7. Rofl Indian - Monday, 27 April, 2009

Hahaha. Pather Punch Ally too is good I suppose 😀
By the way, the pic is awesome. When/where/how did you take it?

~uh~: That’s the best titile. The picture is not mine, taken from internet. I have similar pictures though, but the effect is not this good.

8. Vee - Tuesday, 28 April, 2009

I have a friend who when on Bikes blamed the cyclists and the pedestrians. Now, with car, he only blame bikers. Such is life.

~uh~: Having driven bikes for around 10 years, I couldn’t agree more with him.
An interesting quote- ‘A pedestrian is a person who thinks one car is sufficient for one family’…

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