Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Biker's Language

A couple of days back I met Raj Thackeray. He looked a couple of inches taller and more than a couple of inches stockier but as furious and as foolish as his usual self. The usual dark glasses which make him see the world differently were on. His bike, as rusty and cheap as politics was covered with ugly stickers of 'inspirational quotes'. Someone must have thought that decorating it with shimmering plastic garlands would make it look 'respectful'. 
Riding with his characteristic air of arrogance and carelessness ( after all he was riding on 'his' bike which belonged to 'his' state, in 'his' city and amongst 'his' people), he did not deem it necessary to use his brakes. And so, when a stupid cab driver who while negotiating a turn in a crowded area at snail's pace, flashed the indicator, was met with sheer neglect. The stupid cab driver who did not know that the biker follows a separate set of traffic rules tried to cross the bike rider's road expecting him to apply his brakes. But the stupid cab driver who incidentally was not from the same state and spoke a lowly language called Hindi was in for a surprise. The bike hit the side of the car at the rear end. 

I and 3 other colleagues of mine were waiting for our cab to arrive. Soon we got the word that our cab is waiting for us outside but as soon as we came out we were met by a gathering of random people who considered it their 'responsibility' to crowd an accident scene and make sure they leave it only after the 'judgement; and the 'punishment' is over. A troubled looking cab driver came to us and told us his version of the accident. The position of the dent, the point of accident, the situation.....most of it told us that the driver wasn't really lying. But then, why was he the one begging for help? Why was he the one who was held by his neck, grabbed by his collar, pushed around and the one being held guilty by all the witnessing eyes? Why was he the one whose keys had been confiscated by the biker? Oh yeah right...the golden rule of the fault always lying with the larger vehicle was working of course but was there more to this? I decided that a mute spectator was not what I was going to be and thought I should better ask these questions to the biker himself. 
The biker tried to argue but when he realized that his 'claims' were meeting 'logic' which meant he could lose the battle, he played his trump card - 'his' language. The volume rose, the pace increased, the expressions changed, the intentions shifted and I was showered with animated ramblings in a language which I can respect but not understand completely. My glance shifted towards the crowd and I saw some of them nodding. What was happening? Why was I suddenly feeling so alone in a crowd? Why was I not able to understand what had suddenly changed? Suddenly I heard something I could understand. It was the cab driver. Clearly he too shared the same handicap of not knowing the biker's language and that was answer to all my questions. The game was over. I had lost and so had the cab driver, logic, rationale, education, society and the country. I could not help the driver any further. I advised him to call the cab owner and left him to his fate. 


  1. wtf is this.. that bastard should be killed in public..and wat a shame that the mindless public chose to take his side..looks like a new avtaar of the caste system which has hampered indian society for so long..

  2. Ye kab hua? Disturbing and agonizing. "The game was over. I had lost and so had the cab driver, logic, rationale, education, society and the country." -- Seriously.

  3. @Hussain: This happened last thursday in front of our office....

  4. Liked it. You narrated the incident so well and yes as Hussain rightly said...It is disturbing.