Friday, June 11, 2010

Journey to Dehradun

The Journey to Dehradun

The Unexpected by Me and Expected by Some

I was alone in the cavernous Astra , making good progress despite the heavy holiday and commercial traffic on the road. Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Roorki and now past Hardwar, the road cutting through the dense jungle; enjoying the power steering negotiating the gentle curves, the purring engine effortlessly taking on the slopes when suddenly the cell rang.

Eyes still on the road, I tried to locate the phone on the passenger seat with no avail, slowed down and steered left to the curb when suddenly and unexpectedly there was a Jarring noise along with rather an unsettling rattling: the car stopped and the engine died.

I applied the hand brake, located the cell on the back seat, how it had landed there, I had no clue: the call was from Ranjit, my son, checking on my progress.

I disconnected after saying a few reassuring word, switched on the ignition with the engine pickingup instantly, I held the gear shift to engage the first with nothing happening, it remained stationary in my hand, immobile. Backwards, Forward Sideways: I tried all possible positions for the first, second, third, fourth and the reverse; all in vain, still nothing. The Shift had frozen and so had time with me hanging in between.

“See we had told you”.

I was more worried of the reaction from my numerous well-wishers, who had cautioned me on driving alone, rather than the consequences of getting stranded on the road just 20 Km from my destination, the ignominy of being castigated by one and all upper most in my mind.

Holding the shift delicately in my hand, “Patience”, I told myself, pressed the clutch a couple of times, pushed the stick gently in the first and so it did, smoothly and effortlessly. I pressed on the accelerator, removed the foot brake The car struggled forward but remained stationary, puncturing my very recent euphoria. Panic this time,. however, the red light on the dash board was giving a clear message ‘Handbrake ON’ which I had forgotten to release in the hurry to get going.

The deed done, it was a smooth ride, albeit as a precaution I kept shifting up and down rather gingerly and delicately.

Lesson learned: Don’t be rough; treat both men and machine, delicately especially when in difficult circumstances.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home