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The other day the L&M and I were on our way some place when a man driving into the traffic from where he was parked came directly in our way. There was a heart-in-the-mouth moment when the L&M applied brakes narrowly avoiding a hit while the other car, a blue one is all that I remember, drove merrily away.

Even as we were trying to recover from the shock I heard a thud, then another a little more louder, and turning to the window on driver’s side saw a girl on a two-wheeler slam on to the side of our car with a third and last thud. She appeared to be standing still much to our relief, but her two wheeler was down. She tried vainly to extricate its wheel which was passionately ‘kissing’ the front wheel of our car.

Before we could get out and help her, a Samaritan from those who had gathered, as people are won’t to around an accident site, stepped in and helped pull up the scooter.

The morning traffic on that particular road meanwhile came to an effective stop on that Monday morning, with the lined up vehicles growing in number by the minute. Predictably so this immediately brought a traffic policeman on to the scene.

In such situations people usually assume the bigger vehicle to be the one at fault. Here too the policeman assumed the worst and in a nasal twang enquired if the L&M had been going to fast. He looked sceptical when told the girl had appeared from behind us, that we hadn’t rammed into her.

As if on cue, a man in yellow shirt pushed himself to the forefront and pointing a finger at the girl said, “It’s all her fault! She was going too fast!” Apparently the girl had also rammed into Mr Yellow Shirt’s motorbike before going thud, thud, thud onto our car. One could see the man was still smarting from the unexpected hit and the almost-fall he had had.

Meanwhile the girl, a college student in a hurry to get to her classes, called up her father. I heard her insist she was fine, it was okay, he needn’t come to get her. I felt sorry for her, she was was quite shaken up. But she told him she was fine and would make her way to college. Her scooter had only minor scrapes, she said, just as the car she had rammed into.

With no one having any complaints, the policeman reluctantly let us go our separate ways after noting down particulars. But I still have nightmares thinking about the day and the things that could have gone wrong. What if the child had hit her head on the divider in the middle of the road? What if she had fallen on to the path of the incoming traffic on the other side?

Drive carefully, people. Leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front. That way when someone brakes you won’t crash into them and endanger yourself. And it goes without saying, please don’t speed on roads not meant for speeding. As for the jerk driving the blue car who started the whole thing, may you rot!

© Shail Mohan 2023