I hate the fucking chaar bangla signal. That behenchod junction between where Andheri stops and Juhu begins. It’s the bane of my life. My whole world revolves around how long I will take to clear that signal. And that’s the dichotomy. It’s a tricky fucker that signal. See, if you leave at 9 am, you’ll breeze through it, there will be like 4 cars and 3 autos lined up and it’s just a 60 second wait. But then once you hit the Marriott, the 8:30 traffic brigade is still moving like a sloth on valium towards Bandra and you get stupidly late. Then alternatively if I leave at 9:15, I’m stuck at the signal for at least 25 minutes. 25 MINUTES! Can you imagine what all people can do in 25 minutes! People can make babies in 25 Minutes, create life itself. Instead, I’m stuck roasting in a black leather roof, trying to avoid paan projectile and listening to the same 10 songs on my walkman phone (which I do love) over and over again.
And then there are the auto men…no amount of calling the perverts ‘bhaiyya, chacha’ etc will stop them from positioning the rear view so that they have a clear view of your torso and watch your breasts undergo painful jolts as they maneuver the smooth parts of the road and go exactly over the pot holes and khaddas. Some of the pricks will even give you a sympathetic smile when you wince after a particularly terrible jolt.
The city changes you so much that often you don’t see it coming. Like last night on the way to the Metro premiere, the auto man was a complete anomaly. He was trying to avoid the khaddas, wasn’t veering knee scrapingly close to the other auto’s, wasn’t driving the auto like a Hayabusa, wasn’t spitting and cursing, you get the drift…he was totally sane. And it irritated me like hell. I wanted to hit him on the head. I’ve gotten so used to my crude, pervy automen. I have become his ally. When we come onto a main road from an anterior road, (breaking the signal of course) and get stuck between the signals and cause general mayhem for the next ten minutes, I take the side of my automan and snarl at the main road traffic. When my maniac automan knocks down an innocent pedestrian because he practically goes onto the sidewalk to go ahead of a bus in front of us, I warmly join in in his “Choothia, dekh ke chal be, ayy ayy chal bose Dk, maa ki chooth”. So when I got dropped off at PVR, I cursed the automan in English for making me 2 minutes late, and walked into the lukewarm premiere of yet another (poor) commentary on the sad state that my city of dreams is in.