Friday, 9 September 2011
F*ck-Ups Among Other Things
Seeing the drunkard of hadduland traversing the streets of Chennai isn’t something which one would call a rarity, but it isn’t commonplace either. So, when he announced his presence to me over the tele, I was quite glad… Soon, the venue and time of the rendezvous were fixed and with the car at my disposal, long distances daunted me no more.
Having completed a few chores, I called the aforementioned friend and told him that I’d meet him outside the gates of CLRI. And I did, after scouring the streets a little bit. So, with ‘Maine Banaya’ in the shotgun-seat, I decided to drive up to a decent bar – establishments which are as difficult to locate as Dragonballs.
All the same, I located a very respectable sports bar in Thiruvanmiyur and since the day was yet young, we expected no crowds and hence special service. Alas, the only beer he had was a Budweiser 675mL which cost a whopping Rs 290. Allowing logic to prevail, we touched nothing and left the place in peace.
“I’ll take you to another bar, man,” I told him. “Don’t worry, it’ll be much cheaper. But a lot less classy…” He nodded in eager agreement and I began the drive towards the slightly-seedy establishment.
Let me tell you up front that as a driver, I’m neither a zipper nor am I a vroomer. So, I don’t zip and vroom through the roads. Dodging the mean pot-hole might be something I’m yet not a master of, but my weaknesses end there. I am not a frequent driver either, so I’m still wary of the wheel: I’m not overconfident, see?
So how did the man walking alongside the car on my left manage to get his left foot underneath my left wheel? The question will remain unanswered as most important questions are, but the result was obvious. Blood.
One can drive in all the traffic in the world… It’s the pedestrians who fuck everything up. So, an onslaught ensued. While Rathish accompanied the man to the nearest hospital, which was luckily in clear view, I tried negotiating a tough U turn at a T-junction, which elicited questions like – “Dei, otta theriyuma? License irruka?” The incessant barrage of questions ceased only when I waved the RTO’s certificate in their faces!
I ran to the hospital to witness more blood. Then saline solutions, anaesthetics, sutures, analgesics and anti-tetanus injections… And then X-Rays. Well, I didn’t see anything wrong with the X-Ray and I can swear the man’s foot was perfectly fine. But he was in pain and perhaps the doctor wanted to make hay while the sun shined. So, I coughed up the cash.
And as my dazed luck would have it, the people involved would speak nothing but Telugu… So, I watched like a mute, illiterate idiot while Rathish and mom tried to make them see sense. What sense? Well, I don’t know.
In the end though, I’m left with one lingering feeling – that of pity. While I helped provide him with the best possible treatment, I cannot help but wonder what dastardly tricks fate plays on us. Two perfectly innocent beings going their separate ways – when this happens! It’s not my fault, but I’m not going to drive again… Not for a very long time.
P.S. Thank god we didn't touch that beer.