March 16, 2010

Bumper? I hardly know her!

Crash! Boom! Bang!, as Roxette would say

It was with some trepidation I first handed over my car keys to Ms. Shilly Ash.

All told, she did learn to drive in Delhi. A Delhi driver in a Bolero can best be likened to a medieval battering ram. The kinds that William Wallace used to bring down the gates of York.

I needn't have feared, though. Contrary to all stereotypes involving women and Delhi, Ms. Shilly Ash is an excellent driver. All control and concentration, smooth handling and safe speeds.

Anyway, in an unrelated incident, a luggage auto had nearly ripped the front bumper off the Bolero, when the Bolero was parked no less. Insurance grudgingly paid for a new bumper, and we were car-less till the mechanic got the vehicle ready.

On D-Day, the missus and I headed to the mechanic's on a bike. She drove the car back, spanky new bumper and all. Being relatively new to Bangalore, she was still unfamiliar with the route, so I went ahead and she followed me.

A little too closely.

At a signal, I gently ease the bike to a standstill, all set to wait for the lights to turn green. Quite unexpectedly, I receive what is best described as a swift kick in the rear.

I turn around and am nose to hood with Wallace's battering ram, with the aforementioned spanky new front bumper positioned roughly where my bike's tail-lamp assembly ought to have been.

No words were exchanged. I just stared at her, speechless, while she just stared at me, aghast and contrite.