Driving Through Delhi

Driving through the streets of New Delhi was hardly a relaxing activity. Horns blaring, pedestrians running helter-skelter, auto-rickshaws cutting through traffic like mad elephants, and the most dangerous of all, the zig-zagging buses. From the nervousness of making her presentation in class and now being caught in the web of successive red lights, Nandini's day had gone from bad to worse. Now all she wanted was to get back home, have an iced-tea and curl up on her couch with the latest Sidney Sheldon book. Just thinking of her plans for the evening relaxed her for a transient moment before a BMW's incessant honking jarred her peace.

Looking in her rear view mirror, she saw the man in the driver's seat glaring at her and mouthing something in her general direction. Quickly shifting her own Skoda into gear, Nandini lurched forward in her seat as the car jolted into motion. Forcing her foot on the pedal, she sped out of the cluster of vehicles at the traffic light, hoping to cross the next intersection without being halted by another red light. But all her hopes went down the drain as she saw another light turn traitor right before her eyes.

Drumming her fingers in tune with a hit song from a Shahrukh Khan blockbuster, she waited for the lights to switch. Just then, the BMW that had rudely honked at her at the last intersection screeched to a halt beside her. Glancing to her right for an instant, Nandini quickly turned her eyes back to her hands so as to not be caught looking at the man in the car. Trying not to think of him, she concentrated on the lyrics of the song and hummed along.

As the lights turned green, Nandini irritatedly put the car in motion in sync with the sluggish pace of the vehicles around her. Shifting gears and increasing the speed of her car, she settled into a rhythmic drive. Thankfully there aren't any more lights on the way ahead, she thought to herself as she accelerated the car through the rain-slicked streets of the capital.

A U-turn separated her from her destination when she found herself staring at the jam-packed road ahead of her. Cars honked, bus drivers stood by idly, and the auto-rickshaws for once couldn't manage to slip through the crevices between the vehicles. To add to her misery, she saw the BMW and its handsome driver come to a halt on her left. Feeling his gaze on her, she glanced in his direction and smiled tightly, hoping that it would thwart any more looks. However, he did not seem to understand her intent and continued to stare at her through his tinted sunglasses.

Feeling out of sorts and tired, Nandini rested her head on the steering wheel and said goodbye to her plans for the evening as she tried to block out the man as well as the headache which was threatening to spoil her mood even further.


The End

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