The muddy amber back light in the shape of a rounded square flashed through my windscreen as I waited at the signal. The rusting wood-metal body of a weathered truck stood in front of me, its tattered tires motionless on the grey road polished dark by drain water, blocking my view of the signal lights.
It had been a long wait already. As I threw up both my hands in frustration, I saw the vehicles to my left slowly start rolling, passing honks forward like the Chinese whisper; only this was no whisper. But the bloody truck in front of me didn’t move. I wanted to honk at the truck that stood like a rock, but then decided to wait a little longer. It was almost insulting to get stuck behind someone while others merrily moved on. No, the truck doesn’t want to move its backside. The idiot trucker is either busy talking to the helper or simple didn’t care about the traffic on the road. Illiterate imbeciles!
Impatient and irritated, I put my car on reverse and made some space for myself to turn left. As and turned my car a little to the left to be able to see the digital clock counting down, it was clear that the signal was still red, even though the Santros, Marutis, Optras, Citys and Civics of the civilized city nonchalantly moved on, ignoring the signal. Yet the truck in front of me stood still, its vibrating exhaust breathing smoke from its carbon-crusted insides.
Okay, so the signal isn’t green and the truck doesn’t need to move yet. I still couldn’t see what stood ahead of the truck, and was almost certain that there was some sensible head inside a car that blocked that truck’s way. The irresponsible trucker would otherwise most certainly have jumped the signal and raced ahead menacingly, showing little respect to the people on the road scurrying about below, close to its giant tyres. I could almost feel the frustration of the trucker that I imagined was far more intense than mine.
And then the truck moved. The signal was an intermittent green, blinking nervously as if humiliated by all the cursing. As the truck turned right I realized that nothing was blocking its way. All this while, it had judiciously followed traffic rule at the signal that many of my air-conditioned friends gleefully ignored. I turned right too.
Window of the a car in front of me slid down and a white hand came out with an empty water bottle. For a moment, the bottle rolled on the road aimlessly before being flattened by the truck’s tyres. A while later, I decided to finally overtake the truck and passed it on its right.
A naked black body rotating a black wheel sitting high above me, the Citys and the Civics faded into the the black of the night away from civilized headlights, as the truck took another turn onto a path less traveled.
He “uncivilized” trucker did what many of us failed to do. Because civilization is not about what you sit inside. It’s about what sits inside you!