A HILARIOUS HELPING HAND
It was twilight time of the evening. The orange Sun was about to sink peacefully into the inviting arms of the night.
I and Anuja wanted to reach the hostel too at the earliest. In our quest of shopping for local delicacies, we had moved a bit too far into unknown territory.
We waived our hands frantically at the running autorickshaws.Some turned a deaf ear and some a blind eye.
My heart drummed against me. It had turned dark. We knew not the way back and with no knowledge of Tamil whatsoever…we could not manage help. Between us we had one mobile phone which had no network at that time…
We had one word to our rescue.
The name of our Eye Institute.
We just yelled that at frequent intervals…
At long last, one autorickshaw halted near us.
We happily jumped on to it…
We soon resumed our cheerful ways, oblivious to the world racing past.
After some time, it seemed that the driver was paying more attention to us than on the road infront. His acrobatic driving was getting a bit dangerous. We narrowly missed a roadside drain and then a truck and a double decker bus.. My hair was slowly beginning to start rising at its ends..
He only laughed in return.
‘He is laughing!.Do you think he is mad or something?’ I whispered frantically in Anuja’s ears.
‘Chill! He is only trying to impress us.’ She said laughing.
I glared at her. 😠😠
If he is a crook…I must jump out. But will Anuja jump or not? And what if I get
some broken bones or worse another vehicle runs over me?
Not a very inviting proposition. 😟😟
I saw myself reflected in his side mirror.
I saw his face too. Thankfully he had stopped laughing and was only smiling..
My heart calmed down a bit…
No, it could not come back to its original calmness. How could it?
We were still racing in a maddening zigzag manner on the road.
Anuja wore that continuous excited look on her face. I turned my face away.
I was filled with a sense of impending doom. We raced on to a lonely road rushing uphill when we were suddenly lifted off from the face of the earth. 😳
The auto had jumped onto a high speedbreaker …
Its fore and back wheels hung in the air and the base stuck to the top of the breaker..
It had turned into a see_ saw!
At that moment we broke into a loud laughter.Tears rolled down my cheeks as the driver sat acutely embarrased. A crowd had collected by then from nowhere and the driver had jumped out. The more they pushed and pulled the more of see_saw we enjoyed. It took me back to my school days.
The crowd dispersed soon. Now it was really the time to jump out. Anuja remained gigling.
I wondered what to do next. There was no auto rickshaw in sight.
It was then that I suddenly saw one coming from the opposite side. The driver gave a cry of alarm on seeing us suspended in the air like that. He rolled up his lungi to his knees and jumped out of his auto. Such was his haste to help us, so largehearted was he that he forgot all about his own. He forgot to stop his own running auto and jumped right out of it. The poor auto went on its own while we remained yelling, “Stop stop …Your auto stop.” until it slipped sideways into the roadside drain!
We thought we were nearing the end of our existence here, so helpless were we with our laughter. Why! We even thought we would die of it that day..😂😂😂
I imagined the headlines of the newspapers the next day.
TWO PROMISING LADY DOCTORS DIE OF LAUGHING!!
But we didn’t. We survived. Life had more adventures in store for us. That autodriver somehow managed to reconnect us with Mother Earth. Our auto found it’s feet again.
The other auto was retrieved from the drain. We thanked him profusely and started our journey.
Our driver had turned over a new leaf. He drove carefully . His macho attitide had taken a sad beating. What a respite it was when our institute came in sight! We handed over the fare to a now shy and embarrased driver.
‘It’s allright. Thanks for giving us one of the most enjoyable days of our lives.’
I told him as he left. I doubt whether he understood.
We came back to the listless life of books…presentations…admonishings..drab food..sleepless nights and more books…
Fifteen years on, the incident still remains fresh in my memory. It still makes me laugh. I wish the same for you, my dear readers.
What is this life if it is not spiced up with laughter?