Gratitude To My Car Pool Partner (I hope you’re not reading this)

When I joined HCL Technologies, I used to get to work by the company bus. This was the pre-Private Radio days (2002-2003). No Radio Mirchi, no Red FM, no Radio City (City Bajao!) – which means we were forced to listen to the driver’s cassette, with classic songs such as:

Lal dupatta Mal Mal ka
Main tumse milne aayi, mandir jaane ke bahaane
Chadti Jawaani
Kaanta Laga
Chod do Aanchal
Laage Chhute Naa

The very observant of you will have noticed that around the same time, EVERY ONE of these songs (except Laage chhute naa) was remixed, with naked bimbos squeezing their back sides, and sticking their ..ummm assets… in your face. Coincidence? I think NOT!

Anyway, our company withdrew the subsidy on the bus service, so instead of paying 500 rupees a month, we had to pay 1000 rupees.

(I should warn you at this stage that there is no point to this story. Just writing stuff down).

1000 rupees to listen to Main tumse milne aaaaaaaayeeeeee, Mandir Jaane Ke Bahane everyday for 20 days?!…I think NOT!

So another guy on the bus, a nice Surdy dude called DP decided to try and organise a Car Pool with me and a 3rd dude who lived nearby. We call had cars, so could alternate every day. We picked up two extra stragglers and a happy time was had by one and all.

Then one day, one of our car pool bunch resigned. His spot was taken by an attractive Bong woman, whom I shall call M.

The change in the Car Pool was drastic. There were no more Hindi cuss words while driving. The driving itself improved (marginally). There were no more perverted comments about the women in our company. We had to restrict our conversations to the weather, politics, movies, e.t.c. In effect, the presence of the woman had transformed us from Men into Ogres (or is it vice versa, I can never tell ;-) ).
I was the first one to break this new unspoken agreement, when we were driving one day and a cycle-wala decided to defy the laws of physics, with a loud “FUCK!”. There was then a tense silence for the next 4.29 seconds when the other guys were wondering what the M’s reaction would be…there wasn’t any.

Emblodened, the next transgressor of Traffic laws received the title “BASTARD”. The next one I named “BITCH!”. (Yes, maybe this borders on Tourette’s Syndrome…).

Anyway, I took that brave step, the men in the car loosened up a little, and although M never cursed herself, we took to it with gay abandon. It was a decent victory, in the War of Sexes.

Anyway, as time progressed, our Car Pool members resigned, one after the other, so that finally it came down to just me and M.

And I just wanted to say thanks to M, because M is forced into being cooped up in a metal cage (with me behind the wheel every alternate day) for 2.5 hours every day.

The dialogue always runs as follows:

ME:”Good Morning Ma’am”
M: “Good Morning Sir”
ME: “So how was your weekend? Mine was awful”
M: “Mine too. I saw ‘No Entry’ over the weekend”
ME: “Ah, yes, but the Question is…did the MOVIE…see…. YOU?!”
M: “Argh. yes the movie saw me”.
M: “So are we taking MG road or the Highway?”
ME: “NH 8 of course, FUCKING MOVE, BITCH!#^@$%@! MG Road sucks”
M: “No it does not, NH8 Sucks”
ME: *Squeezes steering wheel really hard, attempts to rein in exploding vein* “WHY DO I ALWAYS get the idiots who want to drive at 2 km/h”
M:*Starts singing the opening to “Life is a Flower” by Ace of Base* “We live in a free world…”
ME: “Ah yes, but the question is..does a free world live in-”
M: “No, a free world does not live in me”
*Song ends*
M: *points at radio* “Why are we listening to this?”
ME: “There’s nothing better to listen to”
M: *Flips through the stations, comes to rest on a Punjabi song I start singing, quickly changes. “This is all your fault.”
ME: *45 minutes later, stuck in a traffic jam on NH8(The Highway)* “This is all your fault”
*Finally get into Kapas Heda (otherwise known as Hell on Earth)*
*Almost get hit by two Tata Sumos, 1 Qualis, 1 Innova, 3 cyclists, 2 motorbikes, one scooter and 8 pedestrians
ME: “Have I ever told you how much I hate this place?”
M: No
*5 minutes and 2 near-accidents later*
ME: “Have I ever told you how much I hate this place?”
M: No
*5 minutes and 2 near-accidents later*
ME: “Have I ever told you how much I hate this place?”
M: No

And then finally, we get to Work:
M: “Bye”
Me “Goodbye Ma’am!”

Anybody who can tolerate me for 2.5 hours everyday, not out of choice, for 3 years, deserves some thanks. So Thank You M. Especially for the past 2 months, where you’ve given me the support I needed the most. Thanks for tolerating The Vengaboys, and various other injustices to the word music, which were stored on my iPod.

And finally, M, it’s a shame you’re married. I’d be hitting on you, left, right and centre if you weren’t! :-p

Again, hope you don’t read this!


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