Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Fast and Furious

Sometimes it is the circumstances rather than the incidents themselves which make them memorable.

I had booked tickets for the movie "The Incredibles" on Republic Day for myself and 2 of my friends, Ajay and Chera. The movie was supposed to be at 1'o clock, but we could start from Nanganallur which is 16kms from Satyam Theatre only at 12:53, owing to Ajay's appointment with an Insurance agent.

Those who have read my previous blogs would have by now got a hint that I am very passionate about biking. Yes, I am and I am very fond of zipping through Mount Road at high speeds. It is needless to say that I was racing at 80kmph and luckily for me, I was able to get through the troublesome Guindy Roundtana and the less likely Guindy and Saidapet signals until I reached the notorious Nandanam signal. The signal just went red and the timer started counting down from 95 seconds. Surprisingly all along the way, I hadn't seen any of the "Mamas" (Traffic Policemen). So I was speculating the idea of jumping the signal and cross the otherwise trafficless Mount Road, when Ajay spotted a lone "Mama" standing beneath a bilboard for shade. It was 1:05 and we had already missed 5 minutes of the movie.
The 95 seconds wait at the signal was spent discussing the possible reasons for the absence of "Mamas" such as R'Day parade, lunch time etc. Jumpstarting from the Stop line were a few other motorists, whose might have had similar urgencies like me. My F2 soared to 75kmph in no time at all only to find the distant signal at Karamuttu centre turning Amber. There was no point in rushing to the next signal just to stay idle for another 60 seconds, so I cutdown the RPMs to a cruising speed when it all happened.

From behind a tree near the Ceebros estate, four "Mamas" came dancing across the road and stopped the pack of bikes. It immediately dawned on me that we were overspeeeeeeeding and exceeded the speedlimit by 35kmph. I had heard about overspeeding cases where nothing other than the fine amount of Rs.500/- will let the rider take his vehicle from that place, and we had only 120 rupees. The Seargant was very calm in accepting the fact that we didnt have 500 rupees but firm in telling that we could take an auto to the nearby ATM. Now I knew that we might reach the theatre only by Interval.

At the same time our luck was not all that bad. Ajay spotted an HDFC ATM, where he holds his account near the Apollo Speciality Care hospital which is 100 metres from where we were standing. Maybe it is one of the strategies to intercept vehicles nearby an ATM to facilitate cashless motorists. Meanwhile the Seargant, probably exuberant with the collection that he must have had till then didn't mind telling me the way he caugth us. There was a Qualis with speedguns placed at a strategic point behind a billboard some 500ms from our place. It was trickily placed far from the Nandanam signal, to allow vehicles reach their maximum speed before reaching it.

I do not know how much time we spent there. By the time we reached the theatre it was 1:22 and I should mention that we travelled the remaining 5 kms at 70kmph hoping I cannot be caught twice on the same day according to Law of Averages.
I was worried but not upset for losing 400 rupees. (The seargant returned 100 rupees and gave a receipt for 400 rupees only. some sort of a discount for accepting our mistake and not bargaining with him) We had a hearty laugh at ourselves, all the talks we had before getting caught and the irony in it.

Overspeeding and getting caught might be simple things but this situation made us feel the other way.

P.S. Readers need not think I am a rash driver. I do not exceed the limits, unless the situation demands.


Blogger Vinod Raman said...

Thanks Balaji, Banshee is correct. Originally, I had SECEDED for 1 dn. Later realized that it is SUCCUMB. Didn't realize it would violate 13 ac. Thanks for the correction.

4:04 AM  

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