Road Rage. Yet again.
When I read about the Road Rage incident on Sunday, it reminded me of my own, very embarrassing and well, humiliating experience. First the news: A well-heeled builder Kirit Mehta was arrested and booked for assault after an incident in Oshiwara, Mumbai. Apparently, the builder deliberately slowed down and blocked the path of a rickshaw which he had just over-taken (from the left) during which the rear-view mirror of his Tata Indigo had got damaged. When the vehicles stopped there was an argument, and the builder allegedly hit the rickshaw-wallah with a revolver!
I have had a similar experience like this myself, sans the violence.
I was driving back from Pune, hubby at my side, daughter in the back. As we neared a check-naka the road broadened into wider than four lanes, and I slowed down in anticipation. Perhaps I slowed down earlier than I should have, but that was not the problem. I was cruising along, and was in the middle lane, when a car came up behind me. The man who was driving blew the horn. Quite a lot. I ignored it as there was enough space for him to go by on each side. He then overtook me from the right (as I said the lane was empty) and as he passed he made a funny face and shouted at me. I thought he gave a gaali. My husband had put his hand on my arm in a reassuring gesture and so I relaxed, and simply raised my eyebrows.
The man I realised, was irritated because he had had to slow down and change lanes. I also noticed that he was well-dressed and seemed sophisticated and educated. An equally well-to-do gentleman was by his side but I didn’t see his face. The back of the car was filled with overweight made-up women.
After their car overtook ours, I thought that was the end of the matter. But it wasn’t.
The man suddenly veered to the left, and steered his car right in front of our car, slowing his speed to about 10 kms an hour. I was taken aback. ‘Cool it,’ my husband said. ‘He’s an idiot, ignore him.’ So I did. I continued to drive patiently behind the man, waiting for him to tire of the game. The women had all turned around and were looking at me and laughing loudly. As one of them opened her huge mouth I recognised her! She was a woman who had just left our neighbourhood. A woman whose lunches I had attended. A woman from my social circle!
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Why people abuse complete strangers
Mumbai Pune Expressway safety issues