9:45 p.m., Delhi...
Voooooooooooooooooooo.... Voooooooooooooooooooo.... (ambulance)
The sight of an ambulance in the rear-view mirror discomforted Resham. 'I hope none's dying', she said to herself. Next, she moved her car to the adjacent lane giving way to the ambulance. While the ambulance passed, a quick peek inside did not reveal anything. 'Maybe it's going to pick someone... or maybe someone's actually there... god bless', were her last thoughts.
In the meanwhile, the ambulance driver was coated with perspiration. It's a hard job, mind you. He had to reach before it was late. His assistant, sitting next to him, understood the seriousness of the situation—he did not speak a word. There were another 4 kms to go.
Four kms would have been an easier job in any other city, but this is Delhi. The traffic is so heavy that every meter you travel is itself a successful outcome in life.
The driver looked at the traffic, which was as-usual congested. Next, he looked at the assistant in a what-do-we-do-now kind of manner. The assistant looked at his watch. It was 9:50. He then looked in the rear of the van. It was all lifeless there. No movement no nothing. He then looked behind the van.
The madmen they are, Dilliwaalas were fighting for the spot immeditely behind the ambulance. They knew the ambulance would pierce the traffic and move forward easily. Why miss the oppotunity then? Just get behind the thing and you progress too!
The driver cussed the traffic and blew the horn incessantly. The Vooooooooooooo continued simultaneously!
It was getting really nervy. The assistant hurled truckload of abuses at a couple of two-wheeled vehicles that the van encountered. It was getting late, he knew. I personally don't think anybody could feel as helpless as these guys. But they were professionals, is my second thought.
The driver's phone rang at 9:55. He did not bother to pick. Actually, he never got to know about the phone call because of the Voooooooooooo. By the way, I am not even sure if he'd pick had he heard.
Desperate times now! Just 1 km left and there was so much traffic. It was so bad that the vehicles in front did not even have much space to let the ambulance through. It was all clogged... jammed... and disgusting!
The ambulance then scratched a car. O shit! But, the car owner did not mind. This was his share of karma. He just hoped the patient reached on time. The driver did not look apologetic. He was on a mission and could not be late.
A number of onlookers watched the ambulance struggling. They all prayed. Some wondered what if their family member was in there... struggling with life and the traffic equally. Others just abhorred the traffic situation. Anyways.
Finally... after much Voooooooooooing, the guys turned right and stopped a 100 meters later. The time was 10:05.
But... instead of hurrying things up, they just sat there. Both of them were really sad. They stared at each other.
They knew the Dilli thekaas close at sharp 10 p.m.
PS: Through this post, I thank my friend Maneesh Makheeja (InfoPro). He has helped me on a number of occassions on a number of things. Thanks Maneesh. Why this post? Because I know you love beer :)
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