Ha! Gotcha on a technicality! Two days, 2 blogs. Minutes either side of 12 00 midnight. So here's the next one already.
Rakhi Sawant may not be a veteran in the industry. But think of the time when she had made a grand entry into Bollywood and its peripheries. It was a pop number's video she featured in, playing the role of Slutty Secretary - oval glasses, pencil in mouth, less than half meter cloth. Remember? Remember the curves? Take a couple of seconds.. I'll wait in this corner! Yes, that's precisely how curvy the roads of Kerala are. National, State, District, Taluk or Village Highways - they all have about 20 curves to a kilometre. Part of the Highways Policy they said. And when the roads are that narrow and that windy, rationale indicates that one does not drive a car at more than 80 kmph. That's what you and me would think. Sumesh is not you and the last time I checked, certainly not me.
Sumesh is one of the resident chauffeurs of the dedicated fleet of cars that the client owns / runs / recovers_from_mortgage. He's also one of 'em big town boys - "I've worked in Bombay for a few months" he told us one of those days. And along with the Eastern and Western Expressway memories, he's brought to the tiny hamlet of Valapad, his driving skills. It took us (me and the gentle project manager) a hearty 2 weeks to figure out what lies on either side of the road - the one that leads us from our hotel at Moonapeedikam (translation - '3 shops') to Valapad (translation - 'you are screwed for the next 2 months, so try these banana chips'). On my side of the car, with intent gaze, I observed on the first few days a distinct haze of land in green and brown shoot past me. I checked with the lady who sat to my right in the car; the verdict was clear, she saw the same distinct haze of land in green and brown on her side as well. Such was the speed that he drove at.
Schumesh has earned a great amount of respect in the neighborhood. We've seen random strangers driving much more powerful vehicles (including those that come with some strange "Police" signs) respect him and wave back with a smile on the face. 2 weeks of being chaffeured around later, the eyes started to adjust themselves to the window view. Those blurs, when seen with steely gaze, started to materialze into only slightly more concrete faces. Concrete with fear. And with all those metaphors I begun feeling like a civil engineer. Schumesh has single-handedly responsible for converting all other vehicles into off-roaders. They need to get off the road to survive his speed. But for those few moments (and many kilometers), we simply hold our hands together (I hold mine, and the lady holds hers.. efforts to any other effect have been thwarted, I report) and pray that we make it safe just one more time.