Wednesday, August 06, 2003

They are thinking so loud

Were it not for the stereo in my car, I would be a singer. I get so much spare time when I am doing nothing. I could do riyaaz in that time. The wise say time is money. I have plenty of time and I need money.

If I had money I would buy a new car stereo, but who would give me a stereo in exchange for the time I spend in my car. Where are you, the wise one?

I leave home at 9.30 am like about a million others in my area. All cars are out on the road at the time I am on the road. The cars fall short of road. And then everybody starts thinking. They think so loud and so together that I can hear it from about two and a half kilometres: “Oh No. Not another jam.”

I can’t sing because the car stereo has no ear for music. Since I have a couple of ears, I let it sing. But damn these people who think all around me. And they think so loud and so together: “My God! I’ll be late again.”

The view of the road ahead as far as I can widen my pupils is a white with little spots of whatever colour you’re thinking. Most cars in India are white. We like our cars white. We have a fascination for whites. The Whites ruled us for a long time. They built most of the roads we used drive on. Now we crawl, whenever I’m going to the office.

And it’s around that time people in the other 13,578 cars on a half-a-kilometre stretch of road shift to neutral, switch the engine off and begin thinking so loud and so together: “Tomorrow, I’m going to take the other route.” A slight sense of movement somewhere far ahead brings all left hands to action, gearshifts to drive and right hand goes for the horn.

Honk! Honk! Honk! The start is a little jerky but by some miracle the cars cross their maximum speed of 6.5 km an hour in six minutes. The stereo sounds nice till all eyes all fall on one Premier Padmini broken down in the middle of the road. Then there is this noise because people start thinking so loud and so together: “This is the one. One (expletives deleted) car conks, and we are late by an hour.”

Everyone slows down to look at the poor breakdown car. And then speed away in second gear. By this time nearly all the cars have clocked as much as three kilometres. It’s not even 11.30 am and I can hear orgasmic sounds from nearly 1,000 cars ahead of me and another 1,500 hundred behind me because they are thinking so loud and so together: “Aah!” I am thinking I would buy another car stereo. I have so much time. I just need money.

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