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The Need for Speed!



The music’s up full volume and you have your favourite rock band screaming their heads off. You’re heart’s thumping to the beat and there’s a small bead of sweat trickling down your forehead even though the air conditioner is on. You step lightly on the gas pedal and hear your beast rev lightly. Your left hand is placed lightly on the gear shift and right hand grips the steering wheel. You look at the timer on the signal as it slowly counts down to zero.

Red…Three….two…red...one….zero…green!

You step on the gas with all you have as your car roars to life and speeds down the now empty road. You look to your sides and see the other drivers coming up to speed and you step on the accelerator harder, pushing your car to go even faster. Your heartbeat races as you see the speedometer rise rapidly up the scale.

80…90…100…faster! Faster! they’re gaining… 100…110..

You glance at your rear view mirror and see a white Mercedes speed effortlessly towards you, doing maybe a 150 or a 180 kmph, you don’t quite know, and at that moment you don’t care. All you know is that you can’t let that sonofagun overtake you. Up ahead you see the near-empty road stretch out and you know that you have a wide berth to speed, but the problem is, so does he. With a powerful beauty that he has, there’s no chance your measly Toyota can beat him, but you try anyway.
120…140…160…you can feel the rush of adrenaline kick in. You love speed. You know you were born for this. You know that even with such a beast at his command, he cannot beat you.

Sounded familiar? This wasn’t anything out of a movie or even a piece of fiction. Maybe some of you can even relate to this. I do. And no, this wasn’t even a street race of any sorts. It happened to me and what more, it was just a simple drive from one traffic signal to the freeway here in Mumbai, something that happened this evening as I was driving through town. I’d met up with some friends and gone for a quick drive on palm beach road. It was an empty road and smooth enough. It’s actually one of the best maintained roads that side of town. Even so, high speeds are extremely risky. But the rush of blood to your head, the adrenaline pumping through your blood, the exhileration of knowing the power of the machine at your command..it’s addictive. It’s worse than a drug. A drug kills you slowly. This one, it can kill you in an instant and you, sadly will feel every bit of it. And to top it all, it grips you the instant you step behind the wheel. I love it. I don’t think it’s something to be ashamed or be sorry about. But yes, this is the need for speed. And it needs to be controlled. After I returned home, I spoke to a friend of mine, lets call her Ms.B. Well, I told Ms.B about this incident and she, being the sensible good friend, went ballistic! We had a huge discussion on this and as usual, both had our own opinions, although yours truly, being in the wrong(well, ever so slightly anyway :grin: ), had not much to argue about.


Anyway, it finally boiled down to two things. First, no matter how much you may think you are in control when you drive a car, fact remains that you’re only 50% in control. The rest is up to the other drivers, the road itself, and of course, lady luck. If you’re alone in the car(or on your bike), it’s not like you should take risks then, but if that’s the case then you’re solely responsible for your life and no one else’s. But if you have passengers in the car, you’re responsible for more than your own life. And the responsibility of life? How big a deal is that! I mean, just imagine, you’re in God’s place. You control whether that person is safe or not. In that situation, is it really appropriate to race, to speed, to travel at speeds of a hundred and twenty, knowing fully well, if something goes wrong, it’s not just you that will get hurt. And not just that, and here we come to the second thing - Even if you’re alone, and you end up injured from an accident, think of your loved ones. What of them? YOU know you’re alright mentally and will recover physically, but do they? Won’t they be scared out of their minds.


Few questions that ran across our minds:

Is it really “cool” to rev cars, to have pimped up rides and race them even in traffic congested areas? Guess not. Is it so macho, so “masculine” to race and speed on open roads? Again no.

Well, it was an enlightening discussion. She managed to make her point very very clear(trust me, even my mom can’t manage be so clear) and that, funnily brought me to make a promise to myself that I shall not speed excessively, which I normally tend to do. So for that, thank you so much Ms.B! Owe you a big one!



Comments

The Pink Orchid said…
now this post reminded me of so many lectures i'd have given my friends.. what's it with boys and rash driving..?

worse.. one of my friends took his girlfriend and went racing from out of town with another couple racing in another car with them..

they returned home safe!

both their girlfriends sent me a message - 'we reached home and we are still alive'!

good post Shaunak.. reminds me i have to talk to some friends i havent talked to for a long long time.. :)


p.s. and don't you ever stop blogging.. i am loving visiting you and reading you.. :) stay around Shaunak.. :)
Shaunak said…
@ The Pink Orchid

Oh I'll be around for a long long time. Blogging's addictive and I'm just getting started!
The Pink Orchid said…
friends call me 'Kajal' ..
'the pink orchid' is for strangers.. :P
Shaunak said…
Just pictured you in a tux with a gun :P
Kajal you shall be for me :)
bhakti said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
bhakti said…
woot! I likey.
PS: Love you too :)
PPS: aah! my name showed up!
Life 24*7 said…
Safety first... because accidents last. :) Nice one !
Shaunak said…
@bhakti

hehe...at least the initials showed up.
Love you too :)
Shaunak said…
@Neha

Love the quote! Haven't heard it for a long long time! Thanks :)
whoa...thats some heck of a drive....
nice read...but whats with the biys and rash driving?
phew!!!
nice write up...will keep coming for more:)
Shaunak said…
@Richa

Yeah, it was, and it happens on and off...usually on the freeway :P Boys and speed go hand in hand hehe
See you around!
Mads said…
hey didnt read this post coz im kinda busy..
but u got an award in my apna blog and in the joint blog both (what is with u :O u seem great at shitting :D)...catch the awards soon \:d/

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