8:00 am. The car won’t start⁉️ It was working perfectly yesterday evening; what happened in 12 hours? Why…why😫, today of all days, it’s an exam day? We don’t have the luxury of time to figure out the problem; we try to book a cab online. Uber responds; the guy will take 15 min to arrive. It was a lucky break as cabs are extremely hard to get on weekday mornings in Bangalore.
People residing in Bangalore will tell you that on a weekday after 8:00 am in every 5 minutes, the traffic simply quadruples🚗🚕🚌🏍🚐🚛🛵🚚.
8:20 am. We jump in the cab and pray the traffic to be kind. The distance to the exam centre from our home is 11 km and in the normal course it will take only 30 minutes to reach. But amidst the weekday Bangalore traffic we factor in 1.5 hours for the 11 km and hence make it a point to start by 8: 00 am to reach at 9:30 am. The kids have to be seated by 10:00 am for the exam. 20 min down…
The traffic is bad, every 1 km there is 6 to 7 min congestion. We edge on, the Uber driver is annoyed at the slow pace, he starts muttering under his breath.
The first hurdle is the traffic on the outer ring road in Bangalore. All the IT parks are located along this stretch and the roads are packed in the mornings.
9:00 am. We make it through the outer ring road and take the turn to the exam centre. The road leading to the exam centre is a narrow dual lane and if there is any vehicle parked on the sides, that stretch turns out to be a single lane. And just to make matters interesting, there is a railway crossing also in the stretch. So far the gates have not been closed while we were going and we pray that today is no exception.
2 km into the narrow road and the traffic comes to a stand still. The centre is close but the vehicles are not moving. The kid and hubs get out of the car and start to walk to the exam centre. Not very pleasant, it’s hot and dusty.
9:30 am. On foot, they reach the center, meanwhile I am still in the cab and just crossed the railway line. By now the Uber driver was at his wits end – he can’t believe that for 10 km, it’s taken over an hour !! He was complaining and cursing at traffic…he said he was losing time and business; his next waiting customer would book another cab by now. I asked him to stop, made the payment and got off, didn’t want to ruin his business.
The morning task was accomplished…phew😰; the kid was in the exam hall on time The tension was too much😏. In Bangalore, all the parents have the additional stress of reaching the exam centre on time. In fact, it is such a worry that most schools ask the parents to make individual arrangements to take their wards to the exam centre.
The schools do not want to take up the risk of running late; it’s a very valid scare in Bangalore. The downside of this being, instead of few school buses plying the narrow roads, the whole place turns into a carnival with over hundreds of cars descending to drop off and pick up kids.
Three exams down, two more to go. So far, so good!!
Hey wait; what happened to the car? Glad you asked😀. We called the service centre and asked them to send someone to check it out🛠. It’s been over two years since we bought the Jeep and so far we didn’t have any problems.
“What’s the complaint?” they asked
“The Jeep won’t start.”
“Did you check the fuel gauge?” they asked
“Yes, there is fuel.”
“Is the area water-logged?” they asked
“Hmm..what? Water logging?… no there is no water anywhere around.”
“Okay, then we will send a person around to check it out” they said
A person came and said the Jeep will have to be towed away. The tow truck arrived. There is another problem❓.
The tow truck cannot enter the basement where the Jeep is parked, nor can the Jeep move to come up to the ground level !!
So now we wait for another person to come and check the battery of the Jeep; he jump starts the car. The vehicle is driven out of the basement and onto the tow truck and off it goes. And that’s the story so far🚙.
Crazy days make good stories😁.
Till next post, take care !!