ravings, rantings and ramblings
Got off a 0230 hours flight and booked myself one of those quintessential yellow and black cabs.
The cab looked like it has been in service since the time of Prithviraj Chauhan… and hence took me sometime to figure out that it is a Maruti Omni van.
In the dark, I could make out that I was sitting on a soiled, white towel. Well, the towel was there so that the seat doesn’t get soiled. Ironic.
The reed-thin driver, looking as old as his car, keyed the vehicle to a start.
The car needed a break; make that a funeral.
The resident mosquito was overjoyed to have a midnight drink, as I scratched my ankles.
The driver was a wonderful case-study on how the traffic of the city had moulded him, and eventually helping him evolve as this incessant, uncontrolable honking freak.
Every 30 seconds, the bugger would honk, twice.
The 2nd hoot, fractionally longer than the first one.
It was like a rhythm.
I started tapping my feet to the invisible kick pedal. Also helped me keep the blood sucker at bay.
What was funny was that he kept doing his horn-number even when the streets were empty and there wasn’t a vehicle in sight.
It was just one of those things that become a habit. Like SRK flicking his tongue like a serpent; like a batsman adjusting his crotch (guard) before every delivery; like a policeman adjusting his trousers under his belly; and like a bus conductor urging more passengers to embark in his already over-crowded bus.
It was like a game now.
I was not counting him, but was trying to guess when next would he honk.
We were bouncing on the Delhi potholes like pop corns popping out of a machine, but his hand was steadfast on the horn.
The driver also would switch off the car headlights while driving on an empty stretch. That is the power saving mode most Delhi drivers adopt. What good are street lights if you can’t see the street clearly! He would dipper away a truck, but keep the headlights switched off, and then would honk twice.
I reached my destination, humming to myself, “If you’re happy and you want to show it, honk twice – Paaaap Paaaarp!”