Thursday, February 19, 2009

The everyday matrix!

I am forced to believe that I live in a world, as is portrayed in the movie ‘The Matrix’. How else can I explain the series of events I witness every day on my way to work? Remember the first time Neo visits the Oracle? He sees a little boy who bends a spoon. His powers are trivial when you compare some of the psychics I come across. And what makes them even better than ‘The One’ – they are yet to meet Morpheus and his pills.

Let us begin with this auto rickshaw driver. In fact, I think all of them have this ability. It looks like they have swallowed a cabinet full of red pills. They have this uncanny knack of making one-way signboards disappear; and make it look so simple. All they do is, turn the rickshaw into one of those roads and the signpost just bends away from sight; just like the spoon from the movie. The only difference being that, these guys inherit these powers the moment they wear their khakis. The poor kid needs practice.

Then there are the BMTC bus drivers. They have this amazing trick by which they make everything except the main road and the buses disappear. They are in a world of their own the moment they start to concentrate – a kind of self hypnosis they achieve by holding the wheel and staring through the windshield. Even the loudest of honking can’t awaken them from this bliss. Imagine this power. It would be fun to make bosses disappear. I don’t even have to come to office drunk.

And of course, the bikers. You would be surprised to see how they shrink their bikes to fit tiny gaps between vehicles at signals and squeeze through them. And the moment they are on wider roads and in more space, the bikes assume gigantic sizes – big enough not to let even another bike overtake them. A sight that becomes even more exciting if you are the owner of a brand new car, and the biker next to you is doing the trick. Brings your heart to your mouth every time. And a string of expletives that are not part of the desired effect.

I think that’s it. Oh wait. How could I forget the pedestrians? The best of the lot. These people thrill me more than anyone else. It is the sheer display of power. The rest of ‘The Ones’ look mere ‘Twos’ in their presence.

The trick starts with the pedestrian floating down from the sidewalk onto the busy road. An auto screeches to a halt. The same one who bends one-way signboards is rendered helpless. The horns are blaring. The pedestrian pays no attention. He looks right across the road. His destination beckons. He puts his best feet forward, as if hopping. Rubber on the wheels of a biker burns. Looks like he was left no time to perform the shrinking act. Defying the mob, ‘The One’ walks on. To cross or not to cross…

Wait. Look who is speeding towards ‘The One’? It is none other than the BMTC bus and the driver in trance - the man who sees nothing apart from the road. Will the pedestrian survive? Anxious eyes look on. And then, with a vicious turn of his head and the polythene bag full of vegetables, the pedestrian raises his hand – kryptonite to the BMTC driver. The driver awakens with bulging eyes. Everything is visible to him now. The road, the biker he had run over, the dust, the one way signboards. Everything. Plenty more rubber burns. The bus swaggers and stutters to a halt. The bus driver raises his head from the steering wheel, panting, relieved. He looks straight into the palm of the pedestrian’s raised hand. Eyes meet eyes. The pedestrian speaks – “I am Manjunath.”

Well, all this makes me want a pill. Not the red one. Not the blue one. The white one. The kind those LTTE guys hang around their necks. After all, after all this, there is only one pit you want to go down.


VC said...


Anand said...

LOL...hilarious post man!!!

btw, you forgot about the new kid on the block...the IT indicabs!!

There are essentially autos with an extra wheel