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One Hell Of A Smog

When I watched the Blair Witch Project, I was sitting on the edge of my bed with the cell phone on one hand, matchticks and candles and my eveready hammer which I use mainly for killing centipedes that crawl up the backyard. The hammer is like my safety tool, which some day, says my sister, will go on my head instead, should a thief break into the house. It's a scarier thought than the ghost movies I revel in!

And I experienced a Blair Witch kind of situation last Saturday nite. My hammer was not with me but I got saved in the nick of time and for me, I think I got my second life that night.

Here is the spooky tale. I was invited for dinner at a friend's place in Gurgaon, the big hell hole as I call it - full of illiterate Jats with bug bucks and big cars but nothing in the head, lots of potholes and messy traffic. After a nice cosy evening of chit chats and a fish-ful of sumptuous dinner, I took leave. Just when I crossed the apartments, I realised that smog, unusual in November, had enveloped the air so much that visibility was almost nil. Still, I decided to drive on with a bit of optimism that the air will clear once I hit the ring road. But just as I approached the first roundabout, about two yards from the apartments, I saw somebody wave at me. I almost stopped near the person thinking he was probably the security guard wanting to warn or tell me something. But as I neared him, I realised he was some random chap trying to stop my car for all the worse reasons -- in retrospect. Of course, I drove off full speed but I could hear his "ROKO, ROKO.. (STOP, STOP)" breaking into the stillness of the night.

It was a voice that brought an immediate rush of fear. And when fear overpowers, the mind takes off on its own direction, and then the mistakes happen one after another. For some, the mistakes prove fatal. I drove on in full speed, missed the first left turn, then took the second left turn from where cars and trucks with blinkers were driving straight towards my direction. I was completely lost. I was so sure I would be hit by the speeding cars. That's the thing about GGaon and Delhi, be it smog, crowd or anywhere, vehicles always move as fast as the aeroplanes. You would think there is a Schumacher sitting behind the wheels of evry single, three-wheelers, two-wheelers or four-wheelers. So in all wiseness, I stood by the side of the road waiting for a good samaritan and calling up my friends.

It was 2 am, an unearthly hour, of course. Two blokes in a Santro came up to me. They looked decent so I told them I was lost. But such is the spirit of Dilliwallas that even at 2 am, they are out to dupe you. They wanted to show me the way but pointed at a completely different direction and tried to convince me I was wrong. I told them I had to just to take a U-turn and that I wasn't far off from my friends, who were on their way. When they saw the cellphone ringing, they realised I was a lost case for them. But talking to them helped in a way, because the idiots had parked their car in the middle and obstructed vehicular movement. I took advantage of the situation and quickly did a U-turn. In confusion, fear and sweat, I muttered a "thankyou and **** off" the same time!

Now I did not want to drive all the way back for fear of the ROKO man. So I waited for my friends, who were by now quite sure they would miss me in the thickening smog. So I waited by the side with the blinkers on, when another truck came and stopped just next to me. I hurled the choicest of abuses from the inside of my car and showed my phone to the driver. After five minutes, the truck moved. And true enough, my friends came but missed me as the bloody truck had obstructed their view. Finally, I was rescued and saved. The eerie part is, my roomate and her friends went to Gurgaon the same night and the next night the same day, but they never saw any smog. I have never heard of localised smog.

Comments

Laurie B said…
Sometimes in retrospect it is wiser, not to be in that mad rush to get to our destination, it is more enjoyable to take care of ourselves and to enjoy the journey. When surrounded by fog or smog our vision is often or short sighted or even obscured and our thoughts become cloudy.
We see and hear things that may or may not be there, and tend to make inappropriate decisions.
Good tale like reading this one.
Shanti Thokchom said…
amen to the above comment...
Anonymous said…
ha! just after you watched that movie :)

Vishaka

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