Guilt trip on a two-wheeler

After a 23 minute long emotional blackmail of my digital agency on the phone, I sat on my bike and embarked on a journey home. The cold breeze blowing through my hair put me at ease after a hectic day. I rode a few metres humming sara sara saarakaathu floating in tranquillity and contentment.

‘Hoi’ shouted someone and woke me up from that dream of a ride. The cool breeze through my hair was strange now. Ah yes! I had forgotten to wear my helmet. I slowed down to the side of the rode and wore my helmet now. The breeze was gone but sara sara saarakaathu remained on my lips.

Lost in thoughts, I casually rode my bike like it knew where to take me and I need not concentrate on riding. I stopped at all signals, religiously before the white lines on the road. I waited for the green light every single time, while squarely shutting out all the honking behind me.

As I rode slowly at less than 20 kmph, a black Toyota small car pulled itself out of parking struggling to drive on that single lane road with a constant flow of vehicles from behind. I slowed down and let the car go. He moved to the left, in a gesture that I assumed as him returning the favour and letting me overtake him.

Before I could realise, I came to a screeching halt crashing into the car I was going to overtake. I dropped my bike but stood still. I looked up in rage and realised he had his right indicator on. He was moving left (with his right indicator on) to take a U-turn in that narrow single lane road. I had missed the indicator and I tried overtaking him.

Fuming in anger, I looked up at him. He was frantically pointing at the indicator. He was right. It was my fault. My ego pulled its head out and I was thinking up a million reasons to blame it back on him. He got off his car, came in front of me and said, “The indicator was on, my dear. Are you hurt?” My anger slowly turned to shame.

I pride myself with being a responsible motorist. I was careless today and I scratched what looked like a new car. I pulled my bike up and turned the ignition on. He said, “are you sure you’re okay? Ride safe, will you?” I said, “Yes. I will. Thank you” and rode away.

Dear nice-guy-in-the-black-Toyota-small-car-in-Indiranagar today, I am sorry. I’m sorry for being rude while I was at fault. I am sorry for the scratches on your car. I am sorry for speeding away.

And dear guy who crossed the road to help me get my bike up, thank you. Thanks for the effort. I did help myself this time. But I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

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