The day: day before yesterday, the time: too late, don’t bother. (well, actually around 22:00) Our man (ok ,it’s very odd to call myself that) just finished work in office. From office to home, I have a last bus at 22:20. There is one at 22:00 as well, but then, more often than not when I set out to go somewhere at 20:00, I reach there at least 5 minutes late. So the 22:00 bus was a lost cause. So, I was waiting for the 22:20 bus.
I am in the bus stop waiting for 10 minutes, 15 minutes, time simply refuses to fly by. So I go to a potti kadai (don’t know what it is called in Karnataka/Kannada) and buy myself a 7 up mobile bottle. I am sipping the 7 up away to glory waiting for the bus. I notice that it is now 22:25, and the bus still hasn’t come. That’s when you are reminded of a God and start saying prayers “Please God, make this bus come somehow.” I wait till 22:30, and the bus is still not there. Whoa!!! Now I panic.
Finally I decide the bus is never going to come. So the logical next step is to take an auto and go home. But you know what ? Recession has really hit us. It’s time for cost cutting. So instead of doing the smart thing, I decide to walk. My house is a good 7 kilometers from my office. At my usual speed I get there anywhere between 40 minutes and an hour.
I am walking and am almost midway to my house when this guy on a bike stops. He says something in Kannada to which I have no reply, because I don’t have the slightest of clue what he is saying. Now, to describe this guy, he is really stocky. Not fat, but stocky. The type that could probably lift me with one hand, toss me away and laugh about it. He was also dark and that accentuated his red eyes!! And yes, he did look a little drunk. So I manage to say “Kannada gothilla” (which I am told means, “I don’t know Kannada”. So he replies in Hindi saying “you are like a friend to me” and offers a handshake, which I do not refuse. What’s to lose after all ? Then he offers me a lift on his bike. He asks me how far I live and I lie to him saying, just around the corner. Now, I won’t lie about this, but I was scared. I mean there are an infinite number of things he can do if I accepted the lift. The least scariest of them being me getting killed. So somehow I refuse the life and hurry back home.
And I live to tell the tale. The man could really have been a noble soul and maybe he would have dropped me home after all. But then when it is 11:30 in the night and someone you don’t know offers you a lift, you say NO, no matter what. The same is true with giving someone a lift as well. Always be on the lookout.
P.S: The title is borrowed from the Green Day song “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”. My shadow was the only one that walked beside me. 🙂