Saturday, August 21, 2010

the auto miracle!

Only yesterday a friend of mine was narrating a long but a cliché story of the time he missed a train. It got me going back the old memory lane and I remembered the time when we nearly missed a train, if it wasn’t for an auto rickshaw driver we would have missed a train trip to Kerala to attend a hire certificate hearing. The incident took place 4 days before my first 12th standard board exam, me and my mom had to attend a certain send off and a prayer to write the exams well meeting at my school. At first we thought the program would last an hour or so, but we were sorely mistaken. The train was an 8.30 teagarden express to Cochin. And our original plan for the evening was- we attend the function, return home where we pick up the luggage and my sister then scramble to the railway station. But the function never seemed to stop, the principal so anxious to get a 100% result and possibly a state rank holder dragged on the prayer a little too long for our comfort. At 8.00 he finally thought it apt to stop the prayers and start reading stuff about the school’s new programs for the next year. My mom was practically shouting at me to go and talk to the principal to exempt me from staying any longer. And so I did with my mom accompanying me at the podium, where we explained the situation to him. Thankfully the principal being a good man told us we had to leave as soon as we possible to catch the train (like we didn't know that).
                                            My mom was running to keep up with me, she was panicking and kept saying “oh my god we definitely are going to miss the train.” (Frankly I thought so too, In fact I was confident that we were not going to go back home then to the railway station in time to catch the train) If we were to have any hope of reaching on time the timing had to perfect. In 25 minutes we had to make a 15 minute trip home, a further 10 minute of utter confusion and pandemonium there, and finally a dreaded 20 minute trip to the station. What we needed then was a miracle, and a miracle we got in its crudest form. A really rickety, fragile looking auto rickshaw pulled up at the entrance and asked us where we needed to go. Me and my mom jumped in told him the destination and explained the mess of a situation we were in. the driver suggested we call my sister and tell her to haul the entire luggage outside and lock up the house (which we followed to the word). After the call, the excitement drowned a little (only to rise, tremendously again) then I realized we were practically flying through the streets. My mom holding on to the seat for her dear life, as the auto driver made yet another death defying turn to miss being hit by a truck. In order to avoid the traffic he was literally driving on the wrong side of the road, but we weren’t complaining in 5 minutes we were home. Then the driver got out, stuffed the suitcases behind the seats and we were back on the race track. But you got to give it to him-the driver, I think he was in the wrong profession he could earn millions in the stunt driver business. My sister was too scared to even open her eyes throughout the journey.
                              I really enjoyed the movie “the transporter” of Jason stathom, now I was in the real life version of it and it didn’t look all that “FUN” all of a sudden. The 10 minute ride (if we had a police car chasing us and a helicopter above us taking in the whole scene on camera, the ride would be the best car chase escapes of the century) felt like a whole eternity, and my hands hurt real bad, after all holding on to the armrest so hard will hurt your hand (and I held on it because otherwise I feared I would be tossed out when the driver makes those sharp turns) the auto finally came to one of those screeching stops. (The ones you see in movies and think you want to do that too, take my word for it it’s not the same when you are actually in the vehicle when that happens) My mom handed him a 100rs note for a 70rs journey, well I think the driver earned every single paisa. And the pleasant surprise was that the train was still there and we got in just seconds before the train slowly started to move. We sat in our seat and laughed our hearts out for about half an hour. Of course everyone there were staring at us like we were mad people who just walked in, but if they were in the journey I’m sure plenty of them would fall on their knees and thank the lord for surviving the trip!