Saturday, June 7, 2008

A Drive To Remember

5.39 a.m.
He rang the bell just before 5.40 a.m. As usual, she was not ready. He thought "Why are women always late? Even if they are almost on time, they manage to do something that would make them at least one minute late."

He said "Can we go? I'll take your bag."
She said " Sure. You step out and I'll lock up."

They took the lift down is silence. It was too early for even light chitchat. She was leaving for Chennai and he was to drop her at Bangalore Cantonment station. The arrival time of the train was 6.08 am and he was sure they would make it with barely three minutes to spare. She was pretty cool though and only looking forward to her trip outta town.

5.45 a.m.
He put on a CD of Tamil songs and she asked him to turn the volume down. They belted up and he took off, pretty fast, as the minor tremors in his stomach weren't letting him relax.

She said "Oh babes, I forgot to take my headphones (for the mobile). How will I listen to music? Shit, it's going to be boring.
He said "Take my iPod".
She said "No point. I won't be able to charge it."
He said "Then take my headphones. I'll go later to your place and pick up yours to use."
She said "Yeah, anyway you have to water the plants"

5.52 a.m.
She smiled as she saw him make a face. Suddenly, her smile froze as she realised she couldn't find her phone in the bag.

She said "Oh hell, I left my phone behind".
He hit the brakes immediately and said "Do you need it? I'll pick it up and keep taking messages."
She said "That won't work. How will I co-ordinate with the cabbie? And Priya and Prachi will find it difficult to hook up."
He was prepared to argue but then realised she was right. He turned the car around and said "You are an idiot. How can you leave your phone behind?"
He thought she would say something but she was quiet and he regretted his words, knowing she was feeling tense and bad and irritated at the same time. He cursed himself thinking when would he ever learn?

5.55 a.m.
He parked the car outside her building and yelled as he jumped out "Turn the car around".
He literally ran inside, ignoring the security guards who must have been thinking he was crazy.
He took the lift up and rushed into her flat. He found her mobile on her bed and paused for a second wondering if he had the time to use the loo.
He thought "Ah chuck it, it will take 30 seconds, might as well get it over with."

As he was locking the door on his way out, he realised the lift was called to another floor.
"Oh hell, five flights down, what a pain!!!" He rushed down and jumped in the car, handing over the mobile.
She said "Didn't you get the charger?"
He said "Nope, forgot" not wanting to tell her he was busy taking a piss

6.00 a.m.
No talking, only intensive driving and occasional cursing of the condition of the road, the government for not repairing it and other drivers driving peacefully

6.04 a.m.
She sighed "Well it doesn't look like we are about to make it".
He said with a tight smile "After all my 'Gone in 60 seconds driving'? I shouldn't have stopped to use the loo yaar".
She said "Aha, that's why you took so long"
He said "Pleeeaase. I was really fast. Going up and down I mean, not the loo".

6.08 a.m.
He was pretty sure that when they took the turn to the station, they would see the train pulling out. He sighed thinking it would be a pain to make alternate arrangements.

As they turned, she cried out excitedly "Look, I think it's just pulling in."
He quickly turned in to the parking lot and squinted his eyes at the train reading out "Baan...galore Chen..nai. Wow. Lets go,baby".

They jumped out and grabbed the bags and ran. He debated whether he should stop for a platform ticket but then decided the fine of Rs 100 was worth it if she made the train. As they stepped in, they realised her coach was just off the entrance. She climbed in and walked off inside with the luggage.
He stood outside catching his breath thinking it was a bloody pain to rush like this so early in the morning. Just then he looked up and she was back standing at the door, mouthing the words 'my hero' teasingly. She then smiled, breathtakingly and he thought "Well, it was definitely worth the ride".