Wednesday, October 20, 2010

When I took my leg off the breaks

Last evening was crazy. A policeman had stopped traffic at the cross roads. Then he said go and we started. Suddenly, the bike in front breaked and this guy and the policeman started chatting bringing the traffic to a sudden halt again. The car in front of me(behind the bike) applied his brakes, and I did too. No speed, nothing. Just started and stopped. Then I heard a bang, someone crashing onto my car. The car was still running, and I turned back to see who it was crashing into my car. I pulled the left passenger glass down. Then I heard the horns of cars blaring.......... blaring............... I just turned back to see what was happening and the driver at the back as well on the side were having their hands raised at me. I just didn't understand why they were shouting at me when they should be shouting at the bike guy who bumped into my car. The policeman had stopped talking and came up to me and told me to apply the brakes as the car was moving backwards. In the melee, I had somehow taken my legs off the brakes and the car had been moving slowly backwards and I hadn't realized it. So, I took the car a little front. Then I could see in the rear view mirror, the owner of the car at the back get out menacingly and charge towards me. I stopped the car. He had every right to catch my ear if I had damaged his car. He came shouting. I told him that I had turned to see what happened when someone bumped into me and had missed in the process and that I was really sorry. I think my bumper touched his bumper.

It was the first time I had touched another vehicle in all these 13 years of driving a car and the second time since 25 years of driving a vehicle starting with the humble cycle. The first time was when I was learning to drive the cycle. I saw this guy coming straight ahead of me with a basket behind in the carrier calling 'poove, poove'(flowers, flowers). I told the anna(brother) helping me to learn that I was going to crash into him and to help me avoid it. He said, 'look straight and drive, nothing will happen'. So, I looked straight and crashed straight into the flower vendor. He shouted at me, asking me what I was upto. I was too stunned to tell him anything. The anna took all the flowers and helped the flower vendor to get his cycle up again. I returned home that day, having had enough of driving. From that day onwards, I have never like the sound of metal on metal. It is a weird sound.

Yesterday, after the incident, I was feeling so bad and upset that I caused harm to someone else's vehicle. He had every right to shout at me. But then, this was started by the two wheeler who crashed into my vehicle which was almost stationery. So, A crashes into me, and I crash into B. So, A crashes into B - by the law of transitivity, right. So, isn't A responsible for the damage caused to B if any. My research oriented brain is trying to model the incident I guess. I thought of this on the way driving back from this incident, and laughed my head off, but still feeling very bad for having touched another person's car. I know how men feel about their vehicles, experiencing how my husband looks after his first wife(22 year old Maruti 800) with so much care, that he would carry her on his head if there was a pothole on the road. So, in this case, A was wrong to crash into my car and I was wrong to crash into B's car. Mistake is A's and mine and B got a raw deal. That is the end of story.

This is the second time when a person has crashed into my car in the past month, the first, a week ago when an auto crashed into my stationery vehicle at a traffic jam and pulled off the black beading above my bumper. My husband's pet is having a bad time with me driving her. Hoping the combined luck (me and the car) improves in the days to come and that I won't hear the sick sound of metal on metal. Also, that I will remember to have my leg on the break come what may till I apply my hand brakes, even it the whole world around me is crashing.........

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