Well Past Midnight

It was well past midnight. I was driving down Park Street in my car at  a gentle speed windows rolled down to enjoy fresh air. With absolutely desolate roads I had almost whole of the stretch to myself. Instead zooming off I decided to drive around at 40 kms/hr. That would give me all the time in the world to revisit my past, plan out my future.Traffic police seemed most uninterested in a loner driving almost at snail’s pace in an empty road.

My life had started in something that can be termed as poor financial conditions compared to what I do now. We lived in a rented single room with just a kitchen in the metropolis. Water was always a problem and the community tap always had long queue of buckets lined up. One had to fetch water from there and it was my duty to return from school run out with the bucket and place our two buckets in the queue. Quarrels were common which almost always started on who had jumped the queue and ended in slanging match. Somehow I or my mother were almost always spread as we would keep quiet despite being baited.

Once the buckets filled up put in our bathroom by me and my mother I was free to participate in our game of cricket. I was always in the team as I was the only one who had a bat, most essential item on the cricket field. After seven in the evening it was time to study your lessons and sit down for dinner and going to bed all in the same room. We did not have a television but had a radio which my father had made. It was with valves, diodes, triodes and pentode. It took a lot of time to start as the valves had to get heated up first and then only started functioning. My father had a bicycle which was his mode of traveling to his office.

As years passed by he went up the ladder, our financial condition improved slowly. Our cheerfulness, our enjoying small pleasures kept us going all through. I still distinctly remember how excited we were when my father purchased a scooter. We just wanted it displayed always. I had that pleasure again when I purchased my Motorcycle after I got a job. By then dreams had changed. Life had turned from a small one room house to a two bedroom flat with almost every conceivable item in place. Then I moved on to my own car, I was flying around and eating out at places which we did not even dare to dream when I was young.

Now I had to take some decisions about life which  will take me to different plane and I had to weigh out my pros and cons. It needed clear headed thinking. Fresh air blowing into my face with nobody on the road what better place to think while driving slowly.My wife running this organization of her which was in helping out geriatric and school going economically backward children. So I had to take up something more meaningful then just earning money to meet my dreams.

Suddenly as if in movies I saw something happening from corner of my eyes. I stopped my car turned around and saw a melee in street side shop. Surprised that a shop was open at this hour that too a street side shop.  I got down from my car walked down to the melee trying to ascertain what was happening. To my surprise I saw two very known faces quarreling with some hoodlum looking men. I had this uneasy feeling that this quarrel could lead to something nasty. These two known faces just did not recognize me but gut feelings told me that they are going to get into trouble.I looked around to see if I could spot a police man but there were none. I was little surprised as I had seen one of those patrol car standing at intersection just a little while ago and now when it was needed the most it was not there. I just wanted to stop the trouble ensuing so I asked what was the problem about. All the men turned around and asked how did it matter to me.

Perplexed in the beginning at the turn of the events with both parties turning on to me I said I was passing by and stopped for a smoke and the whole noise had made me look into what was happening. I just wanted them all to go back and sort the things out in the morning. These words perhaps enraged them no end. They started pushing me around both the groups. I tried to resist and that made them even more aggressive. Now I was exchanging blows with  nearly seven men. Me being no Stallone or Jackie Chan  made the things worst for me.Being out numbered made me think it was best to run away, only  problem was I was surrounded. Then one the guys who looked most menacing started abusing me in the filthiest language. “He tried to hit me with a forklift!” I shouted out at the top of voice “HELP”. ……… Somebody shook me hard I looked up and saw a police man standing. ‘Why are you sleeping with the car parked at the curb.’I looked around and saw that I was parked by side of the road in my car having dozed off God knows when and had a stupid nightmare


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