Sunday, October 2, 2011

Driving You Crazy.

It's 9.10, and I have class in ten minutes. I gulp down the last bite, race down one flight of stairs, race back up to take the keys, then race down three floors (stopping at second floor auntie's landing to check my hair in the mirror) and sprint to the parking place where my stately car is parked, knowing that it is about to endure another arduous journey.

Driving in Delhi is always fun. It's like one of those roller coasters that offer a thrill, but you know you're not going to get a cardiac arrest halfway through because of its steep turns or sudden twists. Like a predictable, tame, roller coaster. Leaving you with a warm fuzzy feeling, that you generally get after drinking Hot Chocolate on a cold night.

No, I'm serious! And this is coming from someone who only drove a car for the entire distance of about ten meters into the garage. After having had a license for over five years. Among other things, Delhi gave me the courage to get behind the wheel. The wisdom to calmly step on the accelerator when you may have caused havoc due to a bad U-turn. The knowledge of profanity in several languages (mostly Kannada, though. Given that Delhiites don't know the native language of us Bangaloreans. Or that this language even exists.). The thrill of overtaking a flashy neon car with weird bumper stickers and yelling 'Baap ka Raasta Hai Kya?' And the suspense of watching a signal meltdown as two irate drivers bring out their weapons to fight about a harmless bumper-touch-bumper accident.

But living near the ring road spoiled me completely. In two minutes, I'd be cruising along the flyover-ridden, signal-free wide lanes with no worry about oncoming traffic. And the campus spoiled me further with ample parking space and empty lanes.

But then I came home. And so did my poor car, which no longer had the distinction of being the only KA on campus. It has to endure a 7 km journey across narrow roads with two way traffic. What's worse, is that I go on this creepy flyover that becomes a one-way after 9 in the morning. So if I'm caught on it at, like 8.59, the oncoming traffic just decides to bombard me.

The other day, I was harmlessly stalking a auto-trailer type gaadi. No, seriously, I was going on the same road as him for over twenty minutes, and the man sitting at the back with all the furniture or something was convinced I was following him. Of course, I didn't feel the need to overtake him despite having lots of room. And I kept smiling cheerily at him. And it hit me (a thought, not the gaadi.)

I missed driving in Delhi. I missed switching on the morning radio and listening to Mausam Mausi's bekaar vichaar, despite having the mad rush to reach on time. I missed cursing every git who drove in the wrong lane on that IIT-Delhi-Adhchini crossing. I missed turning smoothly into my green campus and having the choice of picking *any* slot to park. Most of all, I missed being the sole KA in a roadful of DLs.

Delhi, it took you just two years to drive me completely crazy about you. And now, I take this wisdom and drive everyone else crazy with my crazy driving. And it's totally worth it.


Note: When I'm bored, I like to drive at the speed of 40kmph on an empty road while singing 'Hey There, Delilah!' loudly to myself. This is just a statutory warning for those who sit beside me in my car, or have the misfortune of being behind my car. No, I don't let people overtake me. And yes, I get bored easily. I have the attention span of a fruit fly.