A Birthday, A Drive and an Ordeal
2020 was voted as one of the worst years for many and a godsend for some of the online businesses. My year also started off much like other years and I did not have too many complaints regarding the lockdown since this was my regular routine since my decision to retire early six years ago. Yes, the trips had come to a standstill and visits to and from, friends and family had slowed to a trickle but otherwise it was a pretty normal year. The only other routine change was the visit to for food and beverages, proteins and greens, particularly, from once a week to once in 15 days or so. This affected our celebrations too.
So, when my September birthday approached, it was going to be the low key with the multitude of wishes and calls from my friends and family and the burgeoning student fraternity, the daunting prospect of thanking them individually was weighing heavy upon me. More of that later. I was suitable excited to receive an early well-wisher on the Sunday preceding my birthday who was carrying a few things that my son had sent me from Maple tree land and we decided to play host and offered a dinner and a drop back home. It turned out better than expected as a cake accompanied the visitor and we had a little jig and early celebrations. But the evening’s drama was yet to begin.
On our drive to drop her back home, the initial kilometres were uneventful. We joined sparse traffic on to the outer ring road and went under a railway bridge, followed the near empty road and slowed down at the approaching speed bump before the approaching flyover. The brakes were applied, the gear shifted down and the front tires went over them and the occupants of the car went, bump… bump..
Initial reaction was a random object on the lane, so moved to the left, stopped and came out for a inspection and saw another vehicle with sheepish looking (and inebriated!) passengers. The hatchback had jammed shut and there was a cracked fender and minimal damage to the front of the following vehicle. There were four men and one of them profusely apologised for the mishap. I was with two women and the timing, 9.20 pm,and the empty stretch of road was making me wary of the way to go about settling the matter. So I took the safe way out by exchanging numbers, taking snaps of the car and the insurance papers and a promise extracted of reimbursing the difference of insurance amounts.
The next day, armed with a written complaint for an FIR, I approached the nearest Police Station (Jalahalli) and was directed to another one (Sanjaynagar) which happened to be a civil station and unable to take a traffic complaint. On asking a passing patrol car found out the correct traffic station, Hebbal. A short wait later, I was informed by the man behind the desk that an FIR would entail the leaving of the vehicle in the police premises (under the bridge!) and would not be released until both parties have approached and a court order is issued. Not wanting to have parts missing from the car (as experienced in an earlier incident), I asked for alternatives. I was asked to modify the complaint without the opposite party details for speed of insurance processing, an acknowledgement stamped and we proceeded to the car garage for an inspection and heartburn.
20 days later and twenty thousand rupees poorer excluding the insurance cover, the car returned back home. In the meantime, regular updates were shared with the driver of the car, Jagdisha and his motormouth friend, Murali. And throughout, assurances were made for reimbursement of the difference amount, and no other compensations for inconveniences caused. The whatsapp messages to Jagdish did not elicit any responses and in desperation, messaged the owner of the car, his wife whose number was gleaned from the insurance papers. That got his goat and his delicate ego was hurt and I was asked to the reasons. Meanwhile, a month had passed.
I was given an explanation of lost jobs and a second accident in his car for the delayed payment and was promised soon. I countered with a staggered payment option which he promised by the 15th of November. I kept quiet till that time and contacted him to find that he and his wife had blocked me. Only Murali the motormouth was responding with “ I will tell him, Sir” lines. I think, the steam in his motor had fizzled out.
By chance, I met a friendly pet store owner, who happed to stay in his locality and he offered to visit him to encourage a response. It did. Jagadish called me and assured 50% payment by 31st Dec and the rest later. I accepted, for lack of options. He said that I could take legal action if he did not oblige. Fat chance, I had. By 15th January, I gave up hope and send the following message to Murali and asked him to share it with his “friend”.
December came and went and hence this is my last message to you. I cannot message your friend and co passengers as I do not have access to them.
Thanks to you and your hollow promises, I have lost hope in the concept of decency and humanity. Truth and trust have taken a backseat to sheer opportunism, lies and false promises. The lot of you do not deserve any extension or grace.
So let me take the opportunity to roundly curse you and your progeny with the choicest of abuses that you can think of. Also you are cursed in all future travels and will not have any pleasant journeys. You will encounter flat tires, accidents, and personal strife. You will think of us every time you are behind the steering wheel and think of the time you cheated a retired couple of their hard-earned money. You will lose jobs and struggle financially. Your action will affect your family.
This is the curse of goodness upon evil.
May you suffer for your actions.
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