Tuesday, September 09, 2008

in which spaniard has a narrow escape and makes an announcement

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.

10 comments:

swar said...

First! :-p

You should hang some mircha and nimbu in your car.

Rahul Siddharthan said...

Brave of you to drive. I'd have phoned the service guys and asked them to come over.

In fact I needed to do that a couple of weeks ago: car stalled mysteriously; everytime I started it it would ignite and then die again. So I phoned my mechanic (who was about 3km away), and he sent someone over who poked around and finally disconnected the fuel pipe, inspected what came out, and told me there's water in the petrol. How could that happen, I asked. It must be at the petrol pump, he said, perhaps rainwater seeped into their sump. We did fill up yesterday, I said, but we then drove 15km and back without incident. The good petrol must have got you that far, he said, the water has only now reached the engine. Anyway, he did various things to get the water out, and managed to start the car, but said he needs to take it to his shop to clean out the tank thoroughly. So I took an auto to work.

Doesn't really compare with your story -- there was no danger -- but still.

neha vish said...

You weird woman.. you even apologized for not dropping me till the "U" Turn.!!!

Space Bar said...

swar: you mean that ganesha my mum stuck on the dashboard years ago can be hauled up for dereliction of duty?

rahul: i would have been very happy to call for help but that would have taken longer and the furl would have continued to leak all over the road. and the mechanic was only a couple of kms away. but ya - i was a little nervous all the way there.

neha: i did? :D i don't remember.

Rahul Siddharthan said...

sb - fuel would have continued to leak all over the road

True. Better to spread it thinly than have it collect in one pool.

dipali said...

Phew! Positively hair raising.
I hope your car and its resident Ganesha are working properly now:)

Space Bar said...

rahul: see this is where i'm not sure if you're being sarcastic.

dipali: i think so. (i hope so!)

Rahul Siddharthan said...

sb - actually I wasn't. I meant a pool is more of a fire hazard than isolated drops.

And when I am being sarcastic, people don't notice. I need to work on this.

Lekhni said...

Scary, especially given our roads are littered with still-burning cigarette ends, and people supplement this by casually tossing more out from car windows :o

Your Ganesha seems to be preoccupied ;) Does he go off to sleep around Ganesh Chaturthi time, I wonder? Too many sweets?

Space Bar said...

rahul: ah, ok. :D

lekhni: don't, okay. i can give myself insomnia for days thinking about stuff like this!