The drive

It was past 10 p.m. But it seemed like the city was not planning to sleep any time soon. Not in the too-high-to-rest kind of way, but more like suffering from an ailment. Continuous downpour had turned it blue in the face.


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I had covered less than three kilometers in the past three hours. My feet had turned sore, and so had my mind. I looked outside and it seemed like the road had been relaid — an uneven sheet of trucks, cars and motorbikes. If a neat layer of tar was placed above, it would make a nice sandwich with traffic jam oozing out from between.

I was bored. The speakers yelled How deep is your love by Calvin Harris & Disciples. I tried to recollect the scenes. I only remembered a blonde walking towards a disco club in a trance, and then there was a lot of blue. Diving and dolphins.

It began to pour hard, as if it was competing with its last performance. The drops looked stretched. Not the cute transparent blobs that you show your naked face to. These were needle-like. I laughed a little seeing my wiper go mad. It was moving left and right, as if disturbed by an annoying bee.

The traffic moved an inch. I tried seeing what the rest of them were doing inside the comfort of their warm cars. For some reason, every single car had just the driver; mine too. We were monumental contributors to the jam – each person taking triple the space on the road.

Anyway, the inches slowly spread into kilometers. Think evolution. That slow.

The traffic began to melt after what seemed like light years. I found myself alone on an interior road, with water bubbling its way inside the doors. The streetlights were off. I could see a spot of light getting fainter at a distance. A headlight of a motor vehicle! I realised I was murmuring stuff. I was praying. Praying hard. My car waded its way through the brown thick water. A branch bobbed on one side of the road, and a few plastic covers floated on the other. I felt like that boatman who came back to find those alive among the litter of dead bodies after the Titanic wrecked. Except I did not have a whistle to blow, and the idea of honking when in water somehow seemed scary. Like the water will roar back or something.

I increased the speaker volume. I was not listening, I was blocking the silence with some noise. The horror continued till I spotted a familiar gate — my home. I got down into calf-deep water, and opened the gate to park my car. Just when I was closing, a nervous passer-by from the opposite side, tugging his bike along, asked with his brows furrowing a little, “Is it bad down there?”

“A little,” I replied shakily, quickly turning to the stairs, shifting my thoughts to my warm cosy bed.