Racing Fate.
Its been a whirlwind two days. Yest ended great. Today started out with bad luck and ended worse. Just two days back I had written about the scene with the train. yest i decided that I wud get a snap of it. Was planin for it since morning. I was gonna get the TC in the eve, and then I cud go and get the snaps. Got the TC at arnd 5:45, and then got out of the college. It had already started to drizzle, but I wanted the snaps anyhow, so I left for the spot. By the time I got halfway there, it was rainin heavily, and I was drenched. Still, like a man on a mission, I went ahead. The place from where I wanted to get the snaps is outside town, as I said, about 1 km. It is on the other side of the tracks, so I have to cross a railway gate to get there. When I got to the railway gate yest, it was already closed, at about 6:30. Parked the scoot, took the camera and crossed the railway line, ducking under the barricades. I could feel the rail vibrating whn i stepped on it, and the train was around a turn. I could hear its horn. Got to the other side and started running along the track. The train was now quite close, I was dripping wet, and the spot was still about 100 m ahead. Was runnin like crazy, and when the train came into view, I was still about 40-50 m away. Decided to snap from the place where I was. It was rather a good spot, not very close to the tracks and not too far either. Took out the cam, slowed down to a jog and waited for the perfect moment. Finally the engine arrived, in all its glory. The rumble of the diesel engine along with the clatter of the tracks was amazin, always gives me a high. Its like a weird fascination or sumthn. Stopped at a nice spot, and snapped away. Took three snaps, first of the engine, then the engine and a bit of the bogeys and then the Guard box. It was amazing. The light was low, so was worried if the snaps wud be gud enuf. There were a few faces staring out of the train window. I think they wud’ve dismissed me as a nutcase by now…I slept a satisfied sleep…feelin gud about the whole episode on the tracks.
Woke up today at 10 and left for college at 11, to collect the caution money. Was takin a shortcut which passes by a crematory. My scoot’s rear tyre was all bald, and it suddenly gave way today. Was crusing along at arnd 40 kmph when I heard a sound like a high-pressure valve opening. The scoot started wobbling so I had to brake. Got down and saw that there was a big cut in the rear tyre. I am pretty used to punctures, so got down to work immediately, with a fag. I was tryin to unscrew the nuts, whn the spanner started slipping on one of them. I needed a ring spanner now, so walked for about 5 mins and bought one from an auto dealer. Got the tyre off and walked back again to a puncturewala. He patched up the tube and put a piece of rubber tubing (gator) at the place of the cut on the tyre. The old man had a heck of a time puttin the repaired tube back into place. He was old, with shivering hands coz of the constant wad of cheap tobacco in his mouth. After an hour of wrestling with my precious tyre and rim, and a few moments when I deliberately acted as if I hadnt seen his rim-damaging action, just to make him comfortable, he got it fixed. I was assured me that it would last for 2-3 days max. That was gud, that was enuf time to convince grndpa and get the money.Got to the college, and waited till 4 to get the money. Left at about 6 and headed towards the railway station, to drop DJ. The puncturewala had warned me not to drive over ‘gitti’ (sharp stones used to build roads), but as fate wud have it, it so happened that there was a single piece of the fatal gitti lying on the road, and I guess my wheel RPM and distance to that spot was so calculated that the mating point of the gitti and my tyre wud be the spot where the puncturewala had put in the gator. As i passed over the stone, there was an immediate hiss of escaping air, and at that same time, the rain which was just a drizzle up till now, turned into a downpour. Now I had no choice but to change the tyre. Was thinkin of callin up grndpa, but thot against it and called up a distant bro instead. Finsihed with the call, and my cell beeped and blanked out. Battery down. Was thinkin that what else cud go wrong, when I saw a commotion at a square, about 20 m ahead. Asked a few passing ppl what it was about. What they said was like too unreal.A private bus, coming into town, had hit a motorcycle. The guy had apparently died on the spot, but his bike had somehow got stuck in the rear fender of the bus, and had been dragged into town, with the front half of the bike missing. About 3 km.
Didnt think much about it, coz the only thing comin to my mind was the shape in which the guy’s body wud be now…a mangled wreck…
Bro turned up bout 30 mins later. Got the new tyre, fixed it and headed home after dinner at his place.


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