Sunday, April 23, 2017

As the signal turned green

With most of my driving time in the city getting spent on waiting for the signal to turn green, or listening to the radio jockey blabbering some inane ramblings, with the cops not allowing me to pick up my phone for even that iota of a second making it worse, I end up becoming a silent observer, and some times an involuntary contributor, to the tribulations of the common man at the signal. Here is a snippet ...

This happened near Sony Center signal in Koramangala, Bangalore. Waiting for the signal to turn green, I noticed a group of small kids trying to extract money from the vehicle owners stranded there. All the tricks of trade were used. Having tasted success with a kind-hearted lady (well, that was the best way for her to avoid getting her white hand-gloves from getting "stained" by their repeated touch), riding high on confidence, their next target was a gentleman in an SUV, with the windows rolled down, lost in his thoughts.

After a few rounds of persuasion and rejection, the gentleman couldn't stop himself, came our of his slumber and gave them a piece of his mind. What happened next left me stunned. One of the kids, perhaps the youngest and shortest of the lot, clearly rattled by the gentleman's gesture, stretched himself on his toes so that he somehow reaches the height of the window. The gentleman stared back at him, without anticipating the consequences. Lo and behold, the kid stretched some more, reached the gentleman's face, slapped him hard, and ran away. The gentleman was caught off-guard, for a second could not fathom what had just happened, and went completely motionless. By the time he regained his composure, the signal turned green, and he managed to vanish in the traffic ahead.

Needless to say, henceforth, my car windows are always rolled up whenever I am at a signal, with suspicious looking characters around. You never know what sound will I suddenly hear near my ear in the midst of one of my ruminations ...

Unfortunately for the gentleman, yours truly witnessed the incident so intently that he could easily identify the vehicle next to the parking lot in his office that day, and in next few days, could identify the owner of the vehicle somewhere on the same floor. Every time he raises his voice sitting in that cubicle, with one of the fresh interns at the receiving end, I realize, what if ...

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