Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Traffic signal

Traffic signal.

10 seconds. I pushed the accelerator to the maximum. I was leading the traffic and the road was clear.
Five seconds, it was going to be close, maybe I could just pass.
The lights turned red, I still had some distance to cover, maybe I could still go. The traffic lights for the lift traffic turned green. It was their chance now. I had to stop.
I applied sudden brakes just before the moving traffic. I got a few stares from them but I waved my hand at them to continue moving.
I hated the afternoon traffic on my way back home. I always go home for lunch as it only about 10 minutes’ travel time but now, it took me 20 minutes because of the road construction which they started. I knew they would take a long time to finish it, at least a year for that small strip of road. And now, with the heavy monsoons it may prolong.
The traffic, it not only spoilt my mood but it was starting to affect my health in many ways. My Blood pressure had increased in the past six months; I had gained weight because I couldn’t go to the gym because of the traffic. I had difficulty managing my anger, I lost cool very fast. I shouted at every driver, pedestrian on the road but also it affected my work and personal life. I knew I wouldn’t be alive to use the self-driving cars, whenever it got implemented in a third world country like ours, maybe never. Our roads and traffic were too complex for any artificial intelligence to handle, even we humans couldn’t handle it.
I had to wait for 180 seconds. The radio was on and one of AR Rahman’ yet to release historical epic movie song was playing. The song was too good and for once I could relax.
Soon the traffic caught up with me, and again some of the idiotic drivers went ahead of me. I was already ahead of the crossing and they went ahead. This cause a slight obstruction to the traffic from the other side. But they kept managed to pass through. I had to shout at the guy in front. I rolled down my window and shouted at the bike guy in front of me.
“What, can’t see the crossing over her. Are you Blind” I shouted.
He was a middle aged guy, he looked like a banker or some average working job. He was just an existence in this world, who come and go without contributing anything. He was useless.
“You look at your, mind your own business “he said and turned away.
Then came one more nuisance, the beggars. A small teenage boy came to my window and started knocking on it. He was selling some helicopter which actually rose up when he pulled the string. It was fascinating but I knew it wouldn’t last more than an hour.
I shoed him away. But he tried many times.
A few seconds after he left, I felt a sudden thud, an impact on the back of my car.
Someone had crashed into my car.
Fuck….it was a brand new luxury car I had bought just three days back.
I would kill this man, if not at least take money for what he did.
I immediately got down from my car.
“What the hell is wrong with you” I shouted as soon as I got down.
It was again some student on a bike. I hated them the most. They had absolutely no control over their speed. And yes, I loved when I saw news of the teenagers dying due to over speeding. They deserved it. I didn’t even feel bad for their parents. Even they deserved it.
He was slowly adjusting his bike from falling down. He was very nervous.
I saw the car; it wasn’t anything major but there was a dent. I would take money from him no matter what.
“First of all, let me take note of your number” I took out my phone and clicked a picture his number plate. I wanted him to see that.
“Sir, I am very sorry about it. I don’t know how. I lost control over my bike. I’m sorry sir…. Please let me go”
“Give me your parents number, right now. No…. No I want to take to them. They deserve to know what their child is doing on the streets.”
“Sir……my parents will take my bake away sir…Please understand” he was almost crying.
“That is what I want. You should be stripped of you license first, never be allowed on the streets.”
A huge crowd had gathered, there was a huge block but the people still wanted to watch the fun. No one cared about the block.
“Sir….”
“Give fast……. this dent is going to cost me a lot of money. You have to pay me or I’m taking this to the court” I wasn’t going to let him.
The boy slowly told the number.
I took it down.
“Let me call right now”
I called his father exaggerated the situation.
 His father was a nice man, I could make out from his tone and voice. So I demanded a little of the cost. He agreed and it was solved.
The boy, I let go. I taught him a lesson and was very happy about it.
I finally got into my car. It was red again.
Now on the radio, it was an interview of some superstar about his upcoming movie, where he played a thief and the story about how he steals the most valuable and rare artifacts.
I was listening when I noticed that my wallet and my phone which I had kept inside my car was missing.
Damn. Someone had stolen it. I had no idea who it was. The signal turned green and I had to go.

From a safe distance, the beggar stood with the wallet and the phone. He would get a good price in the black market and the wallet had enough money to survive for the week. He had planned this all the way.
He applied some oily grease just before the car, which had made the bike skid and eventually leading to the crash.
Then he took advantage of the situation.
His plan had worked.


Breath

Breath. His face cuddled between his hunched legs, gasping. His lungs demanded more as he desperately changed maneuvers. His hands...