Sunday, 19 April 2009

And then he said the words


Place: The Commercial Street Signal, Bangalore.

It is late evening. I am driving down dispensary road, approaching the Comm Street signal. This guy in a white WagonR has been playing the normal Bangalore driver since Infantry Road: Cutting across lanes, zig zagging, no signals etc. right in front of my car.

At the signal, it's gotten red and I am about to stop at the front line. Suddenly, this guy cuts across from the left and stops at a diagonal tangent to two cars - one of which is mine.

Road-rage syndrome happens; and I turn Hulk-like green in my mind. But given the physique I've been endowed with, I am just content with a random finger gesture in his general direction.

Uhhhh... that really pisses him off. He gets out of the car, and approaches me with a look that is seeming to say "I've had enough of this shite dude, that's the last straw...." Yeah. Right.

Pretty well-built this chap, with a swagger of a RGV underworld movie sidekick.

In the surety of not surviving 30 seconds in a physical duel with him, I gather courage to roll down my window, so as to make our philosophical talk more convenient and comfortable.

He raises his finger, his voice, and spews out something about how he is being polite and i shouldn't have done what i did, and how he can bash me up, to which I nod in agreement. Actually I'm just waiting my turn to speak.

He manages to finish, and waits for my reply.

I blurt out something "Hey, you were driving rashly, you were cutting across, you were not following lane discipline," etc. to absolutely no effect.

This guy ponders over it for a moment. Then points at the road behind us, and asks "What lanes? Do you SEE any lanes on this road, dude?"

A quick WTF moment occurs in my head. I actually turn back to see the road, before realizing he was being unknowingly rhetorical.

I gather my temporarily-lost sense of perception back, and repeat the same set of questions, a bit more quasi-aggressively this time.

He ponders again, the questions probably too much data for his head to analyze.

An answer coming, finally, I can see the enlightened look on his face.

"Dude, THIS is how we drive in Bangalore....

I wait, with bated breath.

And then he finishes his proclamation with these words.

... live with it."

Multiple WTF moments occur in turbulent fashion.

He, once done with this traumatizing exercise of answering an actual question, rants off again in the 'bashing up' zone.

Just then the signal turns green, and my saviour.

He goes back to car, and drives off.

"Live with it" the words are ringing in my head as I drive back to home, along with other words that ALWAYS come to your mind after everything is over; words that you think you should have said at that time. But you never.

But "live with it" stays in my mind longer.

Everybody, including me, know that this has been our problem since ages. Living with it. Which I always translate the vernac "chalta hai" into.

But this is the first time someone has actually retorted with these words in an actual situation. Someone has actually used these words as defense (or attack, as in this case) for their actions.

Did he really think before he said that?

Yeah, he probably meant it too.

Ok, I said to myself.

We should all probably try and live with it; and wait to die of it.

Whatever it means.


jane said...

yup, this strikes a chord allright, slash. it's the old 'adjust maadi'... you gotta put up that fight though, or that finger...

single40grey said...

live with it? its a wonder we are alive despite it all.

maeshwar said...


we need to live with it. cause people don't think it's their city. the most of the people want to finish there jobs and go home they don't bother what problems others face while they drive rash.

Anonymous said...

well by saying live with it people are making the situation worst.all the hoardings saying follow traffic rules,follow lane discipline should be taken off from signal point.people who say that outsiders have spolied the city or whatever they curse them all time they should watch on the words they say for there homeland. live with it we drive like this in bangalore.

slash\\ said...

@Anon. Yes, Even I was wondering how the conversation meandered into "us and you". He immediately assumed I was an expat. What makes it even funnier that he was driving an Orissa registered car :)