Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"THE" Re-Union : Day Two

19 December 2002:
Auburn, AL: TaTe duo must probably returned way past mid-night and the only thing that woke me up at night was an insect which so conveniently after disturbing my sleep went off its own way. All of us were up earlier than usual and usual can be anywhere between 10-12am.
We had to take some print-outs of directions in Houston as we were going to pick-up another school friend, Tejas (on the way ???) who was visiting his distant family.This was a time when the traffic in Bama was least, (lazy buggers getting up late from the night booze and hangovers) and I decided to take up the drivers duty. We had barely started when it started to drizzle and we then started scampering for the wipers.

Rule of Thumb: Whenever you take control of any new vehicle, make a note of its controls. This might have serious consequences.

What might have been with iota of loss of concentration was nothing short of life-threatening. The car was immediately on the pavement and the tires literally skidded and only a violent jerk saved from what would have been a disaster. All the energy seemed to have snapped from my legs and I could feel the shaking right upto my neurotic nerve :D
The next 2 hours compared to the first 2 minutes were almost heavenly as nature did not interfere any further. I was distressed somehow that now I would have to move into the backseat and Kaustubh would have his day in the sun.
Now with a different pupil to teach, driving tutorials began afresh. "Overtake only when there is no car in the left rear-view mirror, change lanes when the car at the rear is seen completely in the main-rear-view mirror" were hummed continuously :)
(Wish we could apply the same driving skills on our roads ;) )

SomePlace Dubdub1, MS: Rat infested colons soon started plaguing us and it was time for lunch. We ate at a pretty nondescript KFC in Mississippi (it takes one second to pronounce this word : statistics had to come sooner than later) and then it was time to give the driving onus to Atul.
Dangerous Moments 1: Within a few minutes and miles of driving we encountered what has been the worst thunderstorm and rain combo that I have witnessed and being a part of till date. With visibility down to a few meters and trucks/trailers/lorries whizzing past we decided to take an exit, seemed an easy solution but easier said than done. We just could not locate the exits and one went through without us even aware of that one. Somehow, just somehow Atul managed to follow the yellow/white lane marking which helped us proceed onto the exit ramp and later onto a Gas Station. We waited for a while till the rain gods smiled and then moved back onto the interstate.

SomePlace Dubdub2, LA:
Dangerous Moments 2: I had just dozed off when I felt the car take a wild swish to the left and then barely saw a ladder on the road before we moved past it. Through the rear-windshield we saw multitudes of vehicles in a near hit-and-miss affair while the Red-Necks from whose truck the ladder had fallen were just taking an exit to retrieve their package. From what I heard, the ladder was tied (quite loosely) on the truck's rear and it just came out from its bindings and attached itself to the road pretty well.

BatonRouge, LA : Just before entering BR, I took over for the last of my allotted driving time suited to a rookie driver. With traffic similar to Atlanta and lanes merging/demerging, it was a test of nerves as I previously driven on near-empty stretches. However I passed the test with flying colors (pat on my own back) and then again it was old school and old roads. We were having just a gala time and reminiscing the past and dreaming about the nearest of futures. With the brilliant arch-bridges over the swamps behind us it was no longer a beautiful sight. Even more, the sun had decided to set early as it does in December and poked me straight in the eye from the bottom-left-hand-corner.Twilight they say is the worst time to drive !!Three hours and a nearing empty fuel tank later, I call it a day and drag my cramped legs onto the back seat for some well deserved rest. With night approaching fast and plenty of distance to cover, Atul took up the wheel for a one last lunge into TX.

Suburban Houston, TX: The roads are a near mess, the road signs have no clear meaning, and road side is as pathetic as downtown AddisAbaba. Welcome to Cowboy Country, Buckle Up, Giddy Up Horsie !! We are looking up one road South and traveling N miles North, then we take numerous lefts, rights, some U's and finally land up close to pick up Tejas. Don't care to know who his relatives were who do not invite us in for a break or a cup-of-water even -XIt is way past 10 and we are now hovering and closing on College Station, our final destination. Roads finally have some signs, correct distances and some light to shed on the above.

College Station, TX: Again there are a series of lefts/rights but we are unable to locate the residence. We finally alight at a MacD's and ask Nikhil to come over to pick us up. Ranade saan and a room-mate make their way in. Its good to finally meet him after 2 and a half years after our miss at Tekdy when he was doing his Co-Op with GE and I was on my way to Niagara.As 19th comes to a close and graduation day nearly begins we enter the twin apartments shared by Nishkeel (another of his names) and his 7 friends. There is another room-mate whose first cousin (her husband would arrive the next day) is visiting as well but there is enough space for all.

Ending Quote of the Day : Agar Dil Mein Jagah Ho, To Ghar Mein To Mil Hi Jaayegi



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