Monday, February 29, 2016

Freedom at last?

She looked at the dove she held in her hand. The white bird fluttered its wings as if begging to be freed. She had held it captive all these years; letting it go now was difficult. She had fed it lovingly every day with the choicest of grains; sometimes an occasional fruit if she was in the mood for an indulgence. But today, as she opened the cage, and held it in her hand, it still wanted to be free – this was how loyal it could be?
So much for emotions, she sighed.
She thought of all the times she had sung to it. She had even read out passages from Macbeth, enacting little bits, to keep it entertained. It would flap its wings when she'd dance and shake its head in a rhythm when she'd sing. She had shared with it, her joys and her sorrows. She'd imagined it understood everything that she'd say. It would turn round and round on its perch if she was sad, it seemed that it was sad too. It would jump from its little swing to the door of the cage and back and keep repeating it, when she was happy, and she thought that it shared in her happiness. So why did it seem so eager to fly away nowShe would never know. 
But now it wanted to go and she wouldn't stop it. It was free to do its bidding. She looked at it one last time and then lifted her hand high above her head and put it out of the window, and then she unclasped her hold over the bird. It hovered outside her window for a few minutes before flying away forever. 

Somehow, it was she who finally felt free.  

Friday, February 19, 2016

60 seconds to life...

It’s a busy Friday morning. People zipping past with extra energy—it’s Friday after all!

I drive along with the traffic from the Ashoka pillar circle to the junction where it meets Hosur road. I need to take a right and an immediate left to Wilson garden. About 10% of the vehicles take that road.

Most vehicles either take a complete right turn towards Hosur or a left towards Lalbagh. There’s a small triangular fenced divider at the junction. That should ideally separate the vehicles moving in either direction so they don’t create a jam. But it doesn’t. Traffic rules are not for people.

Many people (read: rule breakers) who ride two-wheelers prefer to go around the triangular divider taking the road that leads to Lalbagh and wait for the right signal. That way when the signal turns to green, they are the first to zip past towards Hosur road.

Risky. Very risky. Not so much for the rule breakers as for people waiting in the right lane.

But today was different. Or should I say a notch higher.

A BMTC bus decides to overtake from around the divider. No one suspects the bus is heading to the right, because it stands on the left side. The signal turns green and we all take a right turn. Some vehicles including myself will take the first left and move towards Wilson garden. Unexpectedly this huge bus comes hurtling towards the right hitting an auto in the process. The auto hits a biker and the biker hits the rear of my vehicle. In the process, my vehicle is violently jerked to the right, and is almost about to fall to the ground. My leg is stuck trying to break the fall, and I can’t move because the bike has fallen on my vehicle.

The biker is in no hurry to untangle his bike from my vehicle, for he is engaged in a verbal dual with the auto driver. All this while traffic continues to flow unabated. Even as I’m screaming for the biker to lift his vehicle, a bus grazes past my head, just an inch in between. This leaves me so shocked that it takes me an hour to get over the trauma and shivering.

The appalling aspect of the whole incident is that there’s a cop manning the junction. He does nothing. He never does. He just watches lives pass by, maybe sometimes literally.

And yes, by the way, I also cross the junction where the Double road turns towards MG road. There’s a cop who sits under the flyover. People drive atrociously, breaking signals, driving when there’s red light, but he does nothing too. He just sits.

When one drives on Bangalore roads, God alone can save you.
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