I love to drive. (Contrary to what my friends believe cause I'm forever asking them to fetch me!). I love my mornings drive to work everyday. I love swearing at everyone on the road. I love talking to people in the cars next to me knowing they can't hear me. (While most of my comments are on their driving skills, I must confess I do often also comment on their hair and their clothes and even ask questions like 'What did you have for breakfast boss'...all without them knowing of course!). I love listening to music. I love getting behind the wheel after a long holiday. The feeling is very liberating....the fact that you can get yourself to wherever you want to go. Having said this, I have the worst parking skills in the world, my car gets a new scratch every month and I don't have any aspirations of driving a Merc....In fact, I can't drive anything but my Santro!
So day before yesterday I was on my way to work as usual taking the Delhi-Gurgaon Highway. The office is 6 flyovers away. The office is 6 high speed flyovers away.
The traffic was smooth. Many offices were shut. The morning was lazy. I was done with 2 flyovers and on my way to the 3rd. A thought. What if I were to ever have an accident? Thought over.
I start my ascent on the 3rd flyover. Speed 70. (The limit is 90 so you can imagine the speed of the traffic). Am in the middle lane. There's a car parked on the left side of the bridge.
Suddenly a bike bangs into the car. Cannot see the man who was on the bike but his bike comes flying and lands up right in front of my car. I have a choice. Drive over the bike. Or swerve the car. I don't decide. I'm frozen. I'm on autopilot.
I swerve to the right. And then swerve to the left. And the car swerves to the right again....like a life of its own. I know my foot's on the brake. I know I'm holding the steering wheel with all my strength. I can hear screeching sounds. And they're coming from my car. I can feel the world spinning. I can see the road coming at me. I need to stop before I hit the divider. And inches away from the divider, I stop.
It's not over. I now realise I'm perpendicular to the traffic. And there are fast moving cars coming right at me. The only thing I can now do is raise my hand and hope it all stops. And it does....
I don't know if my car did a 360 spin. I don't know how I managed to stop. I don't even know if the traffic had stopped for me or for the bike. But I do know that my knees felt like jelly and I knew I had to have the courage to move on. Someone signals me to keep driving. I reverse. Get the car back straight. And move on. Like my near death experience didn't happen.
I wish I'd stopped and seen what happened to that man. I wish I'd helped. But all these thoughts came 15 mins later when I was in the safety of my office parking. Till then I was just completely numb....driving on complete autopilot....