Saturday, February 13, 2010

a silence that speaks

If nothing else, driving is one thing I have been doing a lot of since a couple of months. I have come to enjoy the solitude of being on my own, sometimes music accompanying, sometimes the silence. While you know the traffic patterns like the back of your hand, you still wonder how different drivers have different minds and different minds have different thoughts.

I am a strict follower of road rules. While earlier I was guilty of speeding at 120kmph on the sea link, the new rule limiting the speed to 50kmph has me following exactly that. When others pass me by, I couldn't care less. Rules are rules for me.

Today an ordinary incident left me with a strange feeling. Moving at a snail's speed at a bottleneck, I could hear the shrill siren of an ambulance. I checked front and behind and saw the ambulance stuck somewhere way behind hopelessly trying to inch forward. I made a little space and moved sideways... the cars behind me immediately took the opportunity to move ahead. I was raging. Rolling down my window I yelled and waved at every car to give way to the deafening siren.

Finally the ambulance moved past and I heaved a sigh of relief. Just then my eyes fell on a face peeping out of the back of the ambulance. An elderly woman looked at me blankly. In that slight second, that face spoke of a pain very very deep. In that split second that face appealed for faith. In that split second that face silently thanked the crowd for letting them go ahead. In that split second she cast a look that spoke of hope against certain defeat.

It's a face that will haunt me for a long long time.