Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Race


I work at a hospital 8 km away from where I stay, even though there a more than three ways of getting to my workplace I usually take the longest route, the reason for this is that the ride along this road is very pleasant, it passes through a government protected forest area, three small villages and a lake, the minimum traffic on the road reminds me of a time when the city wasn’t as congested as it is today.

The 20 minutes I spend on this route every morning helps me to meditate and relax and the ride back home takes away all the mental stress that has accumulated at work.

There is however one more thing, many of my colleagues use this road to get to work and on most days this serene stretch of asphalt is converted into a race track of sorts where 4 wheelers and motor cycles compete in races that have no consequences except for the rare possibility of going off the main road and ending up in a marshy mess on the sides.

One of the most long standing competitions I have been part of has been with an orthopedic surgeon who works with me in the same hospital, he drives a Skoda ‘yeti’, a really sturdy car, now don’t get me wrong, I love my bike but what chance does a 110cc motor cycle have against a 1200 cc, 7 speed SUV ?
For all practical reasons I call this orthopedic surgeon ‘The Yeti’.
The Yeti !

On most mornings I get close to overtaking his car, I have begun to think that he is teasing me on purpose.
Defeating that ‘Yeti’ at least once is one of my top 5 to do things on my bucket list.

Now why do I have a bucket list at such a young age? We’ll talk about that later.

Today I got close to beating the yeti, I mean really close, I had him right where I wanted, He was slowing down at a hump and I chose not to, I could see the yeti’s face as the nose of my bike came to the same level as his front bumper, All I had to do now was to pull down on the accelerator a little harder.

Just then, a girl on a scooter drove up next to me, trying to squeeze my way between these two people while another car was coming down the road on the opposite side was a very dangerous proposition. Dammit! I thought to myself and allowed the yeti to get ahead; and once again he eclipsed me leaving me behind with a sense of disappointment.

The Girl on the scooter, whom I shall refer to as pinky from now on( since she was covered in pink-scarf and all) was left behind with me, we both drove at the same speed, If I would slow down so would she, any hint at acceleration and she would follow suit.

This was a first time experience for me on this road; you either won or you lost while driving here, there is no third option.
Why wasn’t she overtaking me? I thought to myself, all I wanted to do was to be left alone and grieve over my loss to the yeti.

This went on for a long time, before she drove off ahead when I turned left at the entrance to the hospital.

On my way to a camp arranged by the hospital at a school nearby I reflected on the events that morning, the girl on the scooter was the focus of my whole thought process, I couldn’t see her face except for her eyes, and like I said earlier she was covered in pink, pink jacket, pink clothes, pink everything.
I could only see the registration number of her scooter and that was all I had.

At the camp I was given a bouquet, a garland and a rousing welcome by my most favorite section of the population-kids, in the hours that followed I had a great deal of fun with them, we talked, laughed and in the process I was also able to treat a good number of children and refer some who needed better care.
On my way back home, I stopped to buy some refreshments at a bakery nearby and guess what?

The same scooter was parked outside the building.

Was it Kismet? I wondered.

Was I supposed to walk away from this situation or see if there was more to it than just coincidence?

I went into the bakery, no sign of the girl, the ATM machine nearby-empty, the correspondence course institute on the first floor- no access, alright let me wait near the scooter I thought and rushed back down.
I waited for close to an hour, she didn’t turn up.

After another hour went by and I decided it was time to give up.

I still had the bouquet of flowers in my bag, I took it out placed it on her bike and drove back home.

There is no perfect measure of how many people we interact with on a daily basis, and there is absolutely no way of knowing for sure what is going on in another person’s mind, maybe my whole understanding of the competition with the orthopedician is wrong, maybe there was something wrong with the girls bike that kept her from driving away, I’ll never know.

We can either choose to read between the lines or ignore everything and move on.
And although I am yet to make a life changing discovery by chasing after these signs i come across in my life, I choose to believe, I choose to have faith.

Until next time,

TGV