Thursday, June 24, 2010

The ride

I wonder... When was it that we realized that Bombay has terrible weather every day of the year and floods easily if a shower lasts for longer than 15 minutes? Still, we get annoyed every time the rains mess up the system.

 I was in a rick today, traveling from east Andheri to the west. Funny how the rick driver (who was totally excited that he now drove one of the newer models of rickshaws) decided that this was the best time to test the suspension and steering of his pimped up "ride". Suddenly he was oblivious of the potholes, extreme weather and the fact that his new rain curtains served no real purpose (but actually caused more damage by aimlessly flapping around and drenching me). He was on his way to try out for the position for 'pseudo Schumacher'. He swerved, dodged and took turns so sharp, that I felt the need to constantly shift my weight to avoid tipping over. Over the sound of the mad rainfall (pitter-patter here, would be an understatement), I am sure he thought I was enjoying and not really screaming for him to stop. And today was one of those days that god decided to shuffle through my prayer list and grant me one of my regular requests.

God, let all the signals be green! 

My hands were hurting from holding onto the bar in front of me. My purse was tucked-in between my outstretched arms. My wet umbrella was drying itself by sticking to the legs of my denims. Even the east-west bridge had no traffic. God was being kind today. The seat of my denims was, now, a darker shade than the rest of my pants.

Finally, we reach Costa's and he slows down. I think this is when he realized that his ride doesn't have the "float on water" function. The area in front of the coffee shop had a little more than ankle-deep water. Here he annoys me more by telling me that the fare was Rs.39.

What? Really? Just that much for the best ride in town? 

I'm not stingy, but the fact is that the meter showed 31. So, he argues and reminds me of yesterday and the reason for the strike.

Yes yes, bring back memories of my previous day's misery while attempting to make it to work. 

I know that the new fare probably only comes into effect once the rate card is printed. But by this point, I just want to get away from the scary man. So, I pay him the fee he asks for and start to make my way to the coffee shop steps, wading through water that soaks the rest of my denims.

It crossed my mind… maybe "Bhaiyya jaldi lena" was a bad idea.