Is that a bird?
Is that a plane?
Is it superman?
No it's John's Indica car
Ten mins before:
Ring..ring..ring.. He didn't move. The mobile phone lying alongside him had 4 miss calls written on it. But he didn't know - It was in silent mode. His mother woke up and answered the land-phone which was ringing. They shouted at their son.. "Nithin, wake up it's Mahesh.. something urgent". He opened his sleepy hero-eyes and walked up to the phone.
"Da this is Mahesh. I've to catch a train at 7:10. Could you please get me to the station.."
"Yeah..I'll come now"
"Please hurry" Clik. Mahesh put the phone down.
That's when John looked at the clock... 6:45 am.
'Oh my god.. It's gonna be too late. It takes atleast 45 minutes to get to the station with no traffic. But he's my friend, and the ticket is booked to Hyderabad. I should give him a chance..' John's mind started to work at a higher pace. He could drive Mahesh to a taxi stand. Maybe a mad taxi driver could save him. The idea was dropped, for one there wasn't any taxi stand nearby and the other reason being it would take much time to swap cars. So he took the responsibility upon himself to take the risk.
Indica cars haven't been known to race in NASCAR. Neither does it have a history in F1. But John was behind the wheels of the fastest car in town [at least for that day]. He had his father alongside him, who had insisted on coming along. That gave the young driver both confidence and fear that his father may prevent him from speeding. Everyone who's been to his house knows that the car cannot be put into first gear before reversing it for 100 metres, a problem that also involved two sharp turns in reverse gear.
First gear.. accelerate..second..accelerate..third..accelerate... slow..bump ahead.. accelerate.. slow.. Mahesh ahead. He got in the car. Dad asked him.. "What happened"
"I woke up late..."
John tried to turn the car 360 around, but it didn't work - no power steering. Reverse gear, pull back a li'l and forward again. The mission had begun. John had always been a bad driver in NFS. But his real life driving was much better. Had this been a computer game, he would have crashed into something within seconds. He drove on.. 40 km/hr..60 km/hr.. above that, he dared not look at his speedometer.. Thankfully his dad wasn't objecting for once.
Ulloor, the bottleneck of NH-47. Governments have changed, party policies enforced encroachment drives all over the state. But national highway near Ulloor never widened more than the width of two cars. The place has history of having worst traffic jams, maybe even the first one in the state might have happened there. Even early in the morning the Indica was caught up behind a bus. Three minutes wasted. John looked at the clock in front of the car.. 7:10 am. Knowing that it was about 5 minutes ahead didn't bring any cheer. Major part of the journey was yet to come.
The next 10 minutes passed like a blur. Overtaking fast passengers, speeding vans.. the slower vehicles moved out of sight as soon as the came. The traffic lights were not in operation so early in the day, so that wasn't an obstruction. The final hurdle was to go around island in front of railway station and park in front of the entrance. Mahesh jumped out as soon as the car slowed down. John stopped the car and tossed the keys to his dad- the cars couldn't be parked in front of entrance for long. He glanced at the clock again.. 7:20.. 5 minutes late. Every hero has his day of failure. He ran inside dejectedly...
"John.. I'm here inside the train" Mahesh shouted.
John couldn't believe his eyes. Mahesh had got the train. It was on the second platform. He had crossed the rails on foot and jumped on the train. Emotions flowed..delight and relief. John walked back out of main entrance. After all this he didn't want to get caught for not having a platform ticket. That's when he noticed something on the notice-board. ' Trivandrum - Hyderabad. Train rescheduled from 5:20 to 7:30 am.' Mahesh had gotten into this wrong train? John rushed back into the station and checked the number of that train. It didn't match. He had got the right train after all. The train left at 7:20, ten minutes late... Those ten minutes felt like an eternity to them.. it was all John needed to get him there... 20 minutes for a 45 minute drive.
If it were any bollywood film, I would've been driving in F1 by now. Instead I'd to return back home, on the slow track.. It took about an hour.