Its winter of two thousand and nineteen.
A cold one.
I am on my vacations.
A friend is coming to pick me up.
He is late.
I am standing by a roadside near a roundabout. There are cars all around, heading in all directions possible averaging 2.5 kph (I will save you the math, it equates to a traffic jam). Bird-eye view would be as if roundabout is some giant's stomp on an ants' nest simulated at 1/8 speed.
Horns honking. Intense smog. I am with flu and cough waiting for a red ant.
"I am in the first lane, it's jam here." He texts
"I am coming towards your lane then." I reply
Well, after some wait, he shows up. He didn't completely stop the car and I hopped in quickly.
That weirdo was playing Mehdi Hassan and that too, the calmest variant of a ghazal. Here is for your listen. I couldn't resist saying, this much hectic traffic and you are listening to a ghazal!!
But I enjoyed nonetheless. Inside it was cozy and calm and relaxing.
I drive on a snooze mode.
Enjoy the fast lane which is, in rush hours, the slowest one. That day I got stuck in traffic jam in a fast lane. Already late to pick my friend at somewhere at road side. There was no way I could take on the challenge to switch 3 lanes to pick him, especially when Mehdi Hassan is playing. It's chaos outside and uber tranquil inside. I texted him, to just watch my car in the first lane and come straight in.
I saw him approaching and thought I should change the ghazal. Most probably not his mood at the moment. But I didn't bother much. He did. But he was fine, I believe.
Tonight I had to be home at 1AM and for some office work.
Me, sipping my french pressed, dark roasted coffee and rambling over random stuff with a friend, got late.
1: 11 AM
I get a text from a colleague.
"We're about to run migrations. If you're up to join the party :)"
I see the text and took it like "We've been waiting. Where the hell are you?". I am not sure what he actually meant.
1: 18 AM
"Going home. Will take ~20 minutes. Join you in 25" I replied back.
I asked waiter for the check and paid.
My friend requested an uber. We are waiting for his cab to come.
I paid the parking fee.
A Pathan kid knocks the car window.
"Please buy these tissues"
"I don't need these tissues." Me giving him the change from parking fee.
"You must buy tissues or keep your money." Mainstream tactic...
Now, here I am haggling with him about not buying tissues.
I gave him 100 rupees. He took it and throws one of the packet in the car.
I reverse shift the car.
He starts knocking again.
"I need to pay rent which is 2000 rupees..." ...but I just drove away.
I left for home and put on Mehdi Hassan.
Doesn't matter if I am in a car or not, I typically don't really care what's happening outside.
I keep my cool intact.
Driving fast or slow. Traffic heavy or low. Day or night. Unlike popular opinion, for me, songs have nothing to do with that.
Though I, sometimes, sway the car with the rhythm . Not when Nusrat is doing the sargam (Kind of high tempo solfeggio). Mehdi helps a nice and smooth ride.
Sometimes, I think, if I sway with the marimba rhythm even a lambo would get out of control and take me to my Lord.
Make me eternal*.
I imagine that quite often and thankfully it never happened.
Flashback 11 years ago, I saw a dream that I am on a road. An accident happens in front of me and I quickly switch the lane and drive past it. Dream was slow motion.
I wake up. On my way to university. A motorcycle accident happened in front of me. I switched lane and went on. My soul left me right there and pondered and wandered at that spot for the rest of the day.
Anyways, while in a flow, I keep it smooth and safe. Apparently, it looks like I am street racing. Many times, I just glide through light traffic and some human for no good reason starts to race with me.
Typically they overtake me and I think someday Nusrat would slay it in my car and the other car will follow suit. Crash and get eternal. My imaginations are vivid. Just like Rhonda Byrne wants them to be.
Thankfully, again, it never happened.
Not until 1:41 AM.
A civic with high beam HID lights was swaying with marimba rhythm in my side-mirrors.
I was keeping up only with a ghazal.
Civic overtakes and I realize it's at dangerously high speed.
He pushed the limits of God's physics.
Though its four wheels are on ground but only two seemed to have grip. It was not a sharp cut but he entered in an insane speed.
Time was slow for me as usual. With Mehdi, it gets even slower. In control.
I was certain that if he overtakes the next car right away, he is on the stairway to heaven.
Meanwhile, my hands were swaying to a raga like an orchestra's conductor would do.
He follows suit and overtakes again.
His car got out of control, skids off the road over the kerb and rams a pole.
I switch lane. Pass the car from the left. My soul left me right there. Again.
Thanks to the Creator of life, the driver survived.
Car did "Sa", "Re", "Ga", before jumping to "Dha" so it slowed down in all these sways.
May God protect us from ourselves. Satan comes second. We beat him. lelz!
Law of attraction is dangerous.
Thoughts are dangerous.
Dreams are dangerous.
It feels like the incident was a realization of a dream, an imagination, thoughts and ironically broke my writer's block. Thankfully it wasn't at cost of a life.
I don't think I will have the same imaginings any more.
God works in mysterious ways. So does the brain He created.
Tonight's database migration was successful.
PS: Drive safe.
*Terms and conditions apply.