Short Story – Indian Traffic is Karma!

[Or vice versa.]

[All incidents occurred in Hyderabad.]

Let me tell you a little story.

So about three years ago, on my way to work, I encountered a red at the Indira Park signal, which happens more than half the time. Most of the roads in India are fraught with potholes, speed-breakers, and uneven, back-breaking stretches of tar. And the road from Indira Park to the Telugu Talli flyover is no less. Especially on the left, just in front of Ramakrishna Math. Because I value my spine and my vehicle (a Honda Activa), I kept to the right, driving behind a white Maruti Swift till the Telugu Talli signal.

Anybody who’d overtake me would have to overtake the Swift in front to find a clear road. And that is also not guaranteed. So until then, we’re going pretty peacefully.

The peace, however, is shattered as a highly irritating honking sounds from right behind me. This man in a huge silver SUV (didn’t catch which) is impatient to go ahead. I chuckle, because there’s no place on my side, like I explained earlier. If he wished to, he could have gone on from the left. I swear there was enough place there. But he didn’t.

When we reached the signal there, this man, I don’t know why, decides he needs to wipe the road with his car. He doesn’t leave silently either. He takes a large, obscene curve while honking, and turns onto the flyover. I frown at the audacity of the man, driving alone in a big-ass SUV, and treating the roads like his personal dusting ground.

Soon after he climbs the flyover, I do too. And what do I see? There’s a lull in the speed and Mr. I-Deserve-To-Go-Ahead-Because-I-Have-A-Monster-SUV is stuck in that traffic. I’m not even kidding when I say I laughed out loud. A see-what-you-did-now-karma-has-you kind of laugh.

As I near the SUV, I see that the man is trying to claim every nook and cranny to himself, even those that can only accommodate a two-wheeler. The globally accepted code for when there’s space and you hear a honk from behind is that someone intend to occupy that space. And that’s exactly what I did. I honked one long blast, because I know this guy doesn’t listen to anybody but his own car. I drove past him, looking straight ahead. I think I hurt his ego while doing so because he started honking the moment I passed him.

Using the same logic as before, I drive on the right while descending the flyover. Lo and behold. Mr. I-Now-Have-A-Bruised-Ego comes over and has something to say to me. I feel special because he has rolled down his window and all. [:P] But I hardly pay attention to him, looking stoic as I stare ahead. But what have I done! I have mangled his ego this time. Of course, Uncle doesn’t take kindly to being treated like this. So what does he do?

Of course he does! He swerves sharply towards the right and ends up in front of me, missing my vehicle by a hair’s breadth. I am now incensed. I did not (might have) yelled at him this time, because this was taking it too far. But I needn’t have wasted my energy. Because Mr. I-Will-Obliterate-Everything-In-My-Way got stuck in traffic just as he was off the flyover. And I swear yet again, I smirked the hell out of a smirk.

This time, as I passed him, I glared at him. And he did not look at me. Bruised-Egomaniac was looking ahead. I guess he was looking forward (I did not make a pun!) to a clear road (impossible). My final vindication was when I took the U-turn waaaaayyyy before he did. One more glare and I was on my peaceful way again.

Moral of the story: What goes around, comes back around – St. Justin Timberlake.

Photo in featured image by Atharva Tulsi on Unsplash

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