Fast and The Furious 7 – Mumbai Mayhem

Vin Diesel at the Fast & Furious premiere at L...

Vin Diesel at the Fast & Furious premiere at Leicester Square. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s 8.30 on a Monday morning in suburban Mumbai and I am hurtling through peak hour traffic at high speed, lights on full beam, horn blaring, pedestrians and rickshaws scattering in my wake.
Six days later, 11 at night and I am doing it all over again!
Anti-social behaviour.? Re-enacting Vin Diesel’s role from Fast and the Furious, or running from the Police? Well possibly the last one, although in my defence, I must say I never saw them and they never caught me.
No it was more serious than that.
That Monday morning, my father-in-law returned from buying bread for the morning’s breakfast and started feeling uncomfortable.
Displaying the quick thinking and presence of mind that has made her “The Boss”, my better half and Commander- in-Chief, realising that her father was having a heart attack, swiftly administered a Sorbitrate tablet under his tongue.
Waiting for an Ambulance to arrive in rush hour traffic would take too much time so it was up to us. Unfortunately the hospital was at the other side of the suburb and the route would take us past the local train station where at that very moment thousands of commuters were arriving on foot, in rickshaws, and by Bus.
Saddling up my trusty steed Roxy (who you met in a previous post), lights blazing, horn broadcasting our imminent arrival, we forced our way through whatever gap we could find, weaving from side to side, at times on the wrong side of the road rushing headlong into oncoming traffic. I must have ruined many a commuter’s morning, forcing some of them to return home for a change of underwear! How I avoided hitting anyone or being stopped by the Police I do not know.
Arriving outside the hospital and shouting at the watchman to open the gates we screeched to a halt outside the ICU, our very arrival causing enough commotion to bring the Doctors outside. We rushed my father-in-law inside where he was put under the excellent care of Heart Specialist Dr Parag Ajmera (but more about him in my next post).
Six days later, succumbing to the tension and exhaustion of a stressful week caring for my father-in-law, another family member developed health complications, and we were back in Roxy again, this time racing through Mumbai at night. Despite the late hour, the traffic still heavy, but by now I had learnt the shortcuts, the by lanes to avoid congestion, and had the confidence of a bully to force my way through traffic with ease.
Everything ended well ( as I will soon post), but if you hear of a Police Bulletin, a manhunt for the driver of a dangerously driven SUV in the heart of Mumbai, know that it was I, the Kiwi Gypsy and my faithful accomplice, Roxy, The Magnificent!

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Another epic road trip!

I am off today on another road trip, this time up the West Coast of India. I will first head West from Bangalore to Mangalore and then work my way up the coast via the hippy haven of Gokarna, followed by Goa, and then the mango district of Ratnagiri before reaching Mumbai in about a week’s time. I once did this trip in reverse about 17 years ago and remember it as a drive along some of the most stunning coastline I have ever seen. Miles of golden beaches and palms as far as they eye can see. I hope the rapid pace of growth in India has left these areas as unspoilt as I remember

The last few days have been filled with pre-trip preparations, getting the car serviced, and deciding what snacks to take ( probably the most important thing). Chocolate unfortunately not being a viable option with the 36 degree temperatures currently prevalent.

This time the Boss and I will be joined by the Junior Vice President, my 6-year-old niece, who has already packed her own snacks, loaded up the Ipad with cartoons, and packed enough clothing for 3 or 4 fashion shows!

My trusty steed for this adventure will be the ever reliable “Roxy”, faithful companion on many a cross-country odyssey and seen below after a 1000km, 16hr drive from Mumbai.

The magnificent Roxy

The magnificent Roxy

I am sure there will be plenty of interesting material for the blog like the photo I took below on a previous trip.

Jan 2010 005

It’s just a scratch!

My apologies for the quality of the above photo. It was taken on my cellphone while I stood in the middle of the highway as the truck roared past me at the insanely high-speed of 20 miles per hour!

My posting schedule may be erratic though as I will be in areas where there will be no internet signal and sometimes not even a cell phone signal. I may also be trying to recover from another hair-raising day on the road, with my feet up, recumbent in a hammock a glass of wine in my hand, and the laptop far from reach.