Thursday, May 26, 2005

i hatE traffiC jamS

“Ameerpet, SR Nagar”

I yelled at the guy who was patiently standing near his rickshaw and helped myself in to its innards.

The three-wheeler set a relaxed start with a few noisy growls and crawled towards the main road. Through the side of a new-looking fly over, it reached the main road.

Life has been easy since I made a strategic alliance with Prabhat, my colleague, in terms of sharing of his flat, which eventually extended to the sharing of his bike. His house became a place to rest my head and his bike a place to rest my... Today unfortunately he was blessed with a client visit that I had to depend on this odd looking vehicle for my way home.

A lady in pinkish red top and light blue jeans rode past in a two-wheeler. Utilizing a single second stole from her cautious driving; she turned to let off a sympathetic look at the crawling rick and me who was sitting inside. Then she geared her bike ahead.

There has to be a traffic jam today, The Nostradamus in me woke up! (Actually, even he doesn't require any special power for this, considering the daily traffic jams at this hour of the day). Yes!! There it was! Eventually we three (me, the rick and the rick driver) became a part of the jam. Vehicles behind us started crying loudly as if the traffic jam doesn’t exist in front of them.

To my surprise, I saw the pinkish red top with light blue jeans on my right. The owner of them was looking to the front in different dynamic angles, exactly like a crow, for a way ahead. She was beautiful; I never hesitated in admiring beauty ;-)

Vehicles inched ahead. And she moved along with the rick. It was at one such pit-stop that her bike fooled her. It turned off! Even after her repeated efforts, it refused to start. I was watching all these from the side. She pulled the bike to the side of the road and came towards the rick and said.

“Hi, are you going through Ameerpet? My vehicle got a problem. Can you give me a lift?”

Now that was so unexpected. Without saying anything, I moved aside to give her some space. The jam seems to have come to an end. And I was sitting in the rick with this beautiful lady.

“So what do you do?” she asked.

“I’m studying”

“You are a student?” I saw the same sympathetic look once again.

“Yup, I’m doing my internship here at Hyderabad”, I continued, “By the way, what’s your name and what do you do?”

“Oh, I’m sorry, I’m Maya, I work for a software company here. And you?”

“My name is Hari, I stay in SR Nagar with my friend.”

“Cool! I also stay at SR Nagar. 4th block. So where are you from?”

“I am basically from Trivandrum, Kerala, but out for a while now. Currently at Ahmedabad. How about you?”

“I am from Ludhiana, Punjab”

“Oh, great, actually I like that place...”
... ... ...
... ... ...

And the conversation continued for a while, as we knew each other better. Maya was at Hyderabad because her job brought her there. Her's was a four-member nuclear family. Only she was outside the state. It’s been 5 months that she was here.

The conversation covered a lot many topics like the traffic problems of Hyderabad, Hyderabadi Biriyani being not good as expected, the ultra modern shopping malls of Hyderabad, the summer heat (water, water!!); with always herself leading the discussion. It is interesting to be a listener, I thankfully remembered the Spoken Communications Prof.

“So how do you spend you weekends here?”, She asked.

“That’s a problem yaar, The Sun Almighty ensures that I won’t go outside day time. Evenings, as for pubs, I need to get a girl”

“Yeah, that is something I hate here. So how about going to a pub this weekend?”

Whatt?? That was so unexpected of her.

“Sure”, I replied. We should never kick off chances.

I started enjoying the conversation that the rick came to a sudden stop. Even though I by-hearted Newton’s third law long back in school days and should’ve guessed there would be an after effect, I couldn’t take a precaution and my head hit hardly on the iron beam in the rickshaw.

“My head!” and I turned towards her. But she was not there. What happened? I looked around. The traffic jam was still on and the pinkish red top with light blue jeans and the bike was still at my right. Rubbing off the pain, I recalled. I slept late yesterday!