#3 A Roady Affair

Eda I am feeling bored here. Let’s go out somewhere.

Have any place in mind. I was thinking of going for a movie. It’s been a while since I went to a theatre.

Naa. I don’t know. I just wanna feel the fresh air and all. Take your bike.

Ok

Bike rides with your girlfriend is something every guy looks forward to. Forget the brake and make scene. That is too old a number but admittedly one of the best ones. I feel the ride, or the journey with her behind me, hugging me tight through the corners and the traffic makes it special. And the talk, even though mostly inaudible makes you feel loved.

So I start my bike, put on my jackets and get ready for the ride. She hops on behind me.

Let’s just go for a ride. I don’t want to get stuck in traffic and all. Just drive through marine drive and all.

And here we go. I expected a bit of traffic as I exited the bye lane but was lucky enough to escape it and get an early signal. The Metro work is coming up good and all and when it gets completely, I guess couples can travel from one end of the city to the other, soaking up the beauty and charm of Kochi that has offered so many memories for millions of us. I love this city. I know it is congested, polluted, stinky and a haven for mosquitoes. But I had spent my teenage days here. My school and my friends there will always be remembered and their friendship will always be cherished. And then my colony friends. The evening football matches are still being missed by us and the occasional badminton and volleyball matches we used to play.

I have passed St. George church and I can see here strike a cross. She is a believer. An ardent one too. I am not. Although churches are good and all. It is the sole place where you can peacefully watch beautiful girls among the company of your parents. And then there is that added bonus that if you have found your girl from among the many from your own church, then the hurdles of cast and creed have been crossed to an extent. And in the society that I am a part of, caste and creed still rule with their minions. Pity to all those social reformers and visionaries who have tried to curb this and were only temporarily successful in it. They failed to see that the roots are buried deep inside and to uproot it is a tumultuous task.

Isn’t the church wonderful? I sometimes come here with my parents. Mostly when someone has a bad dream about serpents and all.

I have heard that story. Pray to St.George, light a candle to him and he will ensure that you are safe from serpents. Great.

No harm done na.

Ya, I guess. Sometimes I can’t digest it but when something of that sort happens to me, I remember my ideals for a while. And a make who cannot stick with his ideals ain’t a man. He is like the chameleon, blending with the surroundings whenever needed; all the while being pale and full of angst.

Look ahead and drive the bike. Regress the poet in you dear.

So you acknowledge the poet in me. Well that’s a start. What should I name him for he surely will need a name by which he will be later renowned for?

I have some quirky name but then they won’t suit you. You are way above that.

Thank you my lady. So shall I take to marine drive? Maybe we can take the Goshree bridges and just have a stroll near to the lighthouse and all.

I don’t want to walk or do anything. You just keep on driving. That all. And when you feel tired just drop me off. Ok. At seven I have to meet a friend of mine near Padma.

So you guys going for a movie or what.

No. She stays in that vicinity only. It’s been a while since I met her. Two years to say. We were good friends in college. Then she went her way and lastly I met her during a marriage function. It was totally unaccounted for. And that marriage function went smoothly.

I take the turn towards Menaka from High Court Junction. This straight stretch has seen a lot change over the years. The roads have been widened and have been tarred and re-tarred plenty of time. There were potholes sometimes and they would worsen during the rains. Now the roads are in good condition and just like any other road in Kerala, enjoy it while it lasts.

The sun in ready to take a nap. It is weaving its magic as it finally sets. People have come out to enjoy this Sunday, take that much needed break. There are couples, friends, and families all wandering about the streets in search of food or clothes or what not. A day to bust the accumulated stress of the week. And it’s nice to see such commotion around you. You are not seeing the normal working day people. This is their weekend avatar. A tinge of fashion here, a hint of craziness there. That makes them different and pleasant to watch.

She hugs on to me as I take a sharp curve. She is saying something to me but I can barely hear it among the blaring horns.

What did you say?

It’s already six thirty. Let’s just go to the end of this road and take the left turn to MG road and then you can drive me to Padma.

Ok. Whoa. Time flew really fast. It was only five o’clock when I revved my bike. And an hour and a half has just passed by. And who says time is linear. It ain’t not. It just accelerates when you are having the time of your life and then strolls by during your ill hours. That’s my frustration talking physics and what not. I slowly accept my fate and then drive to Padma, as slow as possible.

Take your time. I am behind you only. But make sure I reach by seven. Ok. I don’t want to be the latecomer.

She that. One of the many reasons to love her. She can really read my mind and make a pun out of it. And that make me a slave to her mindfulness.

The destination is reached and she get downs. She looks good in her polka dotted top and denims. She always looks good in any attire to me.

Well thanks for the ride. I feel all freshened up. Kochi never ceases to amaze me and I love this city. Now you drive back safely. And do text me when you reach home. Ok.

Yeah I will. And do let me know how the meeting went. Expecting some girly stories to come out of this meeting of yours.

Ha ha. Will try. Bye. Take care.

Tataa. See you.

I turn the bike. The signal is red. I wait a while and then I am off. The fifty percent off at Nike catches my attention and so do the other shops that line MG road. And a moment later I find myself hard on my brakes, trying to stop the bike before I hit the auto that is coming towards me.

Screeeeech.

My heart is pounding fast. Sweat is breaking out profusely. I look around. A faint light is glowing from my right. Red in color. Like that of a brake lights. It takes me a while to get my bearings. I am not in a hospital. I am in my own bed. The red light is that of my ACs stabilizer. I am ok, not in any kind of pain. It’s hot in here. The AC is off. Must have been tripped off. There is some problem in it. Will have to call the electrician tomorrow. I grab the bottle of water and take some huge gulps. I am ok. All is ok. I lay down, breath under control, kick away my sheet and try to go back to sleep.

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