Thursday, October 26, 2006

My Rainy Day Experience

This has by far been my worst rainy day experience ever!
It was raining heavily and I was coming back from work. Usually the journey takes about 20 mins; and if the traffic is bad, about half an hour. Not more. Today it took me an hour and a half.
Dad called me several times throughout the evening asking me how I was gonna come home. Since I was in the middle of an conference call, I couldn’t talk to him properly. Finally I called him back at 9. He asked me to take an auto home. Ignorant of the situation outside my office, I walked all the way to the end of the road and tried to flag down one such three wheeler. No one stopped. Meanwhile, my dad called back saying that it was only drizzling and that I can come back by my bike. Since it was indeed drizzling there as well, I decided to take my bike home. Little did I know that it was the most idiotic decision ever.
Ever since the city’s traffic police have placed barriers in such a manner that people coming out from my office cannot take a right turn to enter Sardar Patel Road (SP Road), I’ve had to take a round-about route home. I have to go all the way to Saidapet, take a U turn and enter Sardar Patel Road via Chinnamalai. I had to follow the “rules”. So, I was off to Saidapet to take a U turn. That part was fine. Only after I took the U did I realize that the way back till Chinnamalai is jam packed. All of a sudden it hit me that my dear scooty was running on reserve. Great! Vehicles were inching along. Literally. I was worried about running out of petrol and getting stranded in the middle of nowhere. There was no bunk in the vicinity.
The only thing I could do was pray. It had started raining heavily. I was drenched to the skin and was shivering as well. For about 100 vehicles that took the Guindy route from Saidapet, one vehicle went towards SP Road. So the traffic was blocked completely by those taking the Guindy route. I had to take a left to the SP Road. All the vehicles that wanted to turn right were on the left extreme and did not even allow us to go our way. After about half hour of waiting in the traffic, I crossed Saidapet court. I started thinking of possibilities. What if I run out of petrol? Should I just leave my vehicle by the side of the road and walk home? But how will I be able to walk? I hadn’t even covered half the distance. I would have to walk about 5 to 6 kilometers.
As I passed Birla planetarium, another traffic jam was waiting for me. I least expected this place to be crowded cos usually traffic is smooth here. The reason of course was some of the vehicles that wanted to again go to Guindy/Velachery had to turn to the right whereas I had to turn left. They were blocking most of the road. Again there was an agonizing inch-by-inch movement with me constantly chanting Hanuman Chalisa, praying that the monkey God should somehow help me reach home.
Another half hour had passed by the time I entered the SP Road. The rain had become heavier and I was shivering. Nerves in my neck started pulling my jaw downwards which made it impossible for me to chant my fav mantra. Nevertheless, I carried on, hoping it would help me reach home soon. Upon entering SP Road, the traffic was smooth. I reached home in 15 mins flat.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Sign

My usual routine is to chant Hanuman Chalisa on my way to work everyday. Of course, I can make time for it at home, but that almost never happens:). The route I take is picturesque; trees on both the sides and cool wind blowing thro your hair. As I was driving, I saw a small monkey at a distance. It seemed to me that it was smiling. I was taken aback quite a bit but drove on. As I neared the ‘monkey’, I realized that it wasn’t a monkey and was in fact a large rock by the side of the road. I could have sworn that it was indeed a cute little primate. Anyway, as I smiled to myself and drove on I suddenly realized that I had forgotten to chant my favourite prayer. It dawned on me just then that my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me. I had been warned by the monkey God himself, not to forget Him.