We were standing outside the Barista where I'd gone to meet Neha. I asked her if she could smell petrol. Yes, she could, and we started discussing asthma and inhalers and how they make voices sound husky and - in her case, she claimed - sexy.
Just before she was about to get in the car so I could drop her to an auto, a nearby driver came rushing up and started to wave his arms frantically. Not that he needed to, because we weren't behind some soundproof door or anything. We were half out of the car.
Your car's leaking petrol! he said.
So that's where the smell was coming from. There were two healthy leaks in the pipe underneath the car and petrol was pooling on the road rapidly.
So I left Neha stranded right there. I must have said bye but I don't remember. And I drove off with my heart in my mouth, with cinemascope images of lines fuel catching fire from a casually flicked match, cars blowing up and turning over and over in slo-mo.
I honked nearly continuously so everyone got out of my way (in Hyd that doesn't make the slightest difference because everyone is honking with equal misguided enthusiasm).
When I reached the service station - luckily very close by - the guys there were unmoved by my pathetic pleas for them to do something. They took their time, all of half an hour, to fix it.
I feel very brave now.
In celebration of my near escape, let me announce the next round of TFA Toto Awards. They now have a blog, so go look. And though there's no age bar for looking, remember you have to be under 30 to apply.
Now excuse me while I go have a nervous breakdown.