Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Of thinking before helping!

It was review time again. I had  my presentation ready, had packed my bags, set the alarm .....was woken up by the taxi guy calling up at the unearthly hour of 3 am, asking for directions... Our regional revenue reviews are held in Delhi, and start promptly at 10 am. The two and a half hour distance means that my flight needs to take off at about 6.30 am, which means I have to leave home for the airport at about 4 am, which in turn means that poor me has to wake up by about 3.30 am. Sigh! .

So as I was saying, I was woken up by the taxi guy at the unearthly hour of 3 am asking for directions to chez moi. I gave him the needful, and woke up, wishing I could cuddle under the razai and hug the warm body of my sleeping son and go back to sleep. But -this month, maybe the Revenue-Target God/Monster wanted to wish me a happy new year-  for I had over achieved my targets, and so this was one of the few times I was happy to be going for my review.

The taxi guy called again when I was brushing my teeth, saying that he'd arrived. I told him that I'd be down in another 10 minutes, and continued with my morning ablutions. I was about to start having my bath when he called again. I was irritatedly telling him that I'd be down soon, when another voice cut in and very apologetically said that- he was sorry to disturb me, but he was from my neighbouring  apartment complex and had to go to the airport to catch the 6.30 flight to Delhi, and he'd asked my taxi guy if he could share the taxi, but my taxi guy had told him that he could do so only if madam agreed. Without stopping to think, I said that of course it was not a problem, he could share my taxi. And he said thank you, and I said no problem, and we hung up.


These days, dear reader, are not happy days, Forget happy, they are very unsafe days. Women were not safe accompanied by a male friend, on the streets. Bestial criminals tricked you by appearing to be aam junta going by public transport and committed unspeakable horrors. And here I was - having agreed to travel on the long, deserted, minimum one and a half hour stretch between Sarjapur Road and the Bangalore International Airport, with a strange taxi guy and an even more unknown fellow, of whom I knew nothing, except that he'd said he was from the neighbouring apartment. What had I been thinking of??? Or to be more accurate- what had I NOT been thinking of??

The Acha was not at home, he'd left for Cochin the previous night. My Mom and sister were visiting, but if I told them anything of this, they would
a) never let me hear the end of how crassly stupid I could be
b) surely ask me to call the guy and tell him that he could look for his own transport

And I agreed that it was crassly stupid of me, but I just didn't know how I could tell the guy I didn't want him traveling with me. What could I tell him?- No, sorry, but I'm afraid you will rape me, so am not sharing the cab with you???? Or worse still- No, sorry, but I think you and the taxi guy have been conniving together and this is part of your plan to rape me, so am not sharing the cab with you??

I would really not have had such dire thoughts, but - how could any person plan to go to the Airport at 3.30 am and not book a taxi or any kind of transportation? What kind of person would rely on methods like these to get to the airport? Surely it was unbelievable? Surely there was more to it? And these were, as I said, days when unthinkable things happened.

I I finished my bath in a daze of worry about what-could-take-place and how-could-I-possibly-avert-it. While lighting the lamp, all my prayers had nothing to do with the review, and everything to do with the impending journey to the airport. My thoughts went haywire- where was he going to sit? If  he sat in front, fine. What if he was going to sit behind? Should I call Security now and ask them to check out this fellow from the neighbouring apartment? I didn't know his name, apt number, or ANYTHING. Just that he was going by the 6.30 flight to Delhi. What if we started out fine, and in between, the car had a "breakdown"? Should I take a weapon of some sort with me? But then, if nothing happened, and I landed up at the airport safe, what would I tell the security check guys about the knife in my bag?

I am NOT AT ALL a follower of Asaram and his Saraswati mantras, but finally, I decided to leave everything upto God. Besides, one couldn't go on living life, with doubts that all men might be rapists. I said bye to my Mom and sis, kissed my sleeping son, and left the house. And walked with a thumping heart towards the gate and outside the complex. There were 2 figures standing near a car, that came forward as I approached. It must be the driver and the guy, I thought.  I walked forward hesitantly. One more guy came out of the shadows of the car.   My heart jumped to my throat. WHAT THE F***??? I thought, getting ready to tell the man that he could walk to the airport for all I cared.  By then I 'd reached close and saw that the 2 figures were -  a man and a woman.

What a RELIEF!  The man came forward and introduced himself and his wife. Phew! The couple were indeed from the neighbouring apartment and  apparently had meant to take the airport bus from the main road, but they'd overslept!! and were sure to miss the bus, which is how they'd started enquiring with all the taxi guys parked around our apartment.. and found my guy who said he'd only take them with my permission.

The times are not good indeed. But they're also not so bad..
She and I got into the back seat, he got into the front with the driver, and we set out.
And all's well that ends well. At least this once.


WhatsInAName said...

Omigosh! I don't know what to say. I would have probably given the same earful as Acha would have. Somehow I have stopped trusting anyone. Call me skeptical, paranoid, whatever! But I do believe this is Kalyug. Be careful :(

Just Like That said...

I would have given anybody else the same earful. :-( I just didn't THINK before saying yes to the fella. And then I didn't want to be openly so distrustful. Phew. Gave me a few anxious (understatement) minutes yest morn.

Sumana said...

Thank Heavens. You are indeed blessed.

Just Like That said...

Very blessed, indeed! Thank God!