Migrained and traff*cked

I had to go into Andheri East this morning and as all days when I have to step out for a meeting begin, I woke up with a sinking sensation in the pit of the stomach. I must admit it, have become quite and antisocial cave woman type character, a tendency fuelled by my inherent shyness and current lack of driver, not to mention petrol prices. The thought of going out and about in them three wheelers from hell, given the current heat, is something that requires one to fortify self with plenty of liquids and slap on adequate sunblock, put on cap, check if the umbrella is in functional order and then step out of home or risk being fried to crisp on the pavement.
Ergo, I slathered on the Kiehl’s SPF 50, put on the cap and poked nose outside gate hailing the first auto with the meter up that passed my way. Andheri East I asked him, innocently. He looked me up and down scathingly and without deigning to reply, revved up his engine and raced off down the road scattering stray pedestrians in his wake. This was a pattern that would be followed by the next 100 autos I asked. Finally, it penetrated my rather thick cranium that maybe Andheri East was not a desirable destination for them auto wallahs and so I decided a little subterfuge was in order. Andheri, I said simply to the next three wheeler who rode up, and hopped in happily as he consented and then broke the bad news to him that we were to go on the other side of the railway tracks when I was half way down the route. He grumbled a bit under his breath and swerved off towards the highway. Where we immediately got stuck in the mother of all jams. We inched forward at a speed that would immediate disqualify us from a snail race if such things happen in this world, and trucks alongside did me the honour of belching out fumes directly into my face, clogging up my nostrils so firmly that I would need to use power drills to be able to breathe again once I emerged from the limbo of the jam, into regular life. Ever notice how the seconds hang listlessly while you are in a traffic jam, you check your twitter, your BBM, your whatsapp, your facebook. Thank God for social networking, it keeps your mind off the nastiness of looking at one’s watch and hyperventilating because one is so very very late and God, how embarassing to be so very very late, given that one is a punctual phobe at the best of times.
After around half an hour of snail pace and truck fumes and honking, the devils in my cranium had woken up from their coma and begun going hammer and tong behind my eyeballs in a regular rhythm that comes from long hours of practice. Being stuck on a flyover with no medical store in the immediate vicinity doesn’t augur well from embryonic migraines and within the next fifteen minutes this flared into a supersonic migraine that threatened to render me immobile and with a rictus grin. Luckily, I managed to lose the right turn and spent the next fifteen minutes as we got out of the jam figuring out where we needed to go, and that kept my mind off the migraine, literally speaking.
Finally landed at my destination, grimy, sweaty and headachy. Not the best way to get into a meeting, but, what the hell. Yeh hai Mumbai meri jaan.
Next time, I telecommute. You know. Saves auto fares and Disprin costs too.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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2 Responses to Migrained and traff*cked

  1. R's Mom says:

    and I go to work to Andheri East JB Nagar EVERY DAY!! from the Western side 😦

    I think you should try the train the next time…its easier..the only problem will be getting in and off the train at Andheri and then of course, getting a rick to your destination from the Andheri east station where auto wallahs are so rude that you feel really happy when one of them is ready to take you where you want to go and only swear on the way…!!


  2. Aarti says:

    What an apt description, Kiran! I suffer from migraine headaches which often last for a couple days. I have the same trigger too–being in the hot sun, so I instantly related to your post. And thanks to your superb humorous writing style, I smiled as I read about something that makes my life miserable! Keep up the good work!


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