Sunday, October 19, 2008

Life in a small town - 1

That is one mean junction in my town - it really is!

It is one where you can go from one road to any other road. Rather, the 1st is sparsely used, and the 2nd and 3rd feed the 4th - a one way. There are no traffic signals and usually a traffic policeman tries to manage the manic traffic that jostles towards the 4th road. Now it not so much the cross-traffic that is the issue there, but the fact that you have all kinds of vehicles, from buses to bi-cycles trying to push through that small neck of the road. Add to that a few well placed potholes, of various shapes and sizes, obviously, and you get the picture. It is one of those places where if you are on a two-wheeler you feel as if you are stalked by one of those huge primeval predators, except that here the hunters come in the shape of cuboids, run on wheels, and creep up behind you before letting out a loud blare, invariably throwing you off balance directly into the path of the metallic beast.

"So what?", you may ask. You pick any town in India, small or large, and you will find atleast one junction worthy of the curse. Yeah, I agree, but my point is not that the this junction is one of a kind, but to simply paint a picture of the place where the incident took place that humid September afternoon (This is no murder mystery mind you. So don't get all worked up when I mention that 'incident'. Relax, continue sipping that bottle of coke you just kept aside, and let the music play).

Anyway, there I was in my car trying to squeeze through the traffic when I saw this old man trying to cross the road - right at that junction!

In the middle of the commotion there were these two cops trying hard to control the traffic. One of them, the sub-ordinate, suddenly saw the subject and started shouting at him. I couldn't quite make out what he was trying to say as the window was rolled up, though, I could make out that he was not quite pleased with the old fella. He quickly cut through traffic to reach the old man and tried animatedly, very, (atleast that much I can vouch for) to dissuade the bloke from trying what he was about to do. During the argument he would break for a second, wave and shout at a passing vehicle, and then revert to pursue the challenge. The old man, with his cream woolen head-cap and cardigans always had one eye on the vehicles and could be seen stepping aside or jumping away as and when he found himself seconds away from peril. He just refused to listen to the cop.

After sometime, the policeman finally gave up and decided to help the fellow the cross the road. With one hand raised to try and stop the incessant traffic, and the other firmly latched on to the old man, he made his way through the mess.

By now I had reached the neck, the choking point.

As I made my way past, I turned around for a second and caught what I thought was a very enduring scene. The two had successfully made it to the other side. And the old man having got his wish, was patting the cop on his shoulder, the way a father would pat his son for a job well done. The gesture seemed to re-establish the old man's seniority over the cop in addition to thanking him. He then started moving away from the traffic. The cop, overwhelmed by the unexpected gesture from the frail old man, broke out into a wide grin and started cracking a joke with his partner.... 'A sunshine moment!'

BLARE!! Damn! These metallic monsters... Get out my way you old creep!


Girl With Big Eyes said...

Was that at the crazy Ayyanthole junction at the end of MG Road?

AK said...

there is this junction next to the head post office on post office road (!). Connects PO road to the road that goes to Shaktan thampuran market. the other 2 roads are, 1. the road that goes towards the church, and 2. the road coming from Swaraj round towards the PO.

Girl With Big Eyes said...

Ah got it. Used to come through this junction sometimes during my school days when the High road was blocked! That's a crazy area!