Yesterday, my brother was driving his family and myself down Durgapur Expressway (“hurtling down the highway” is a more appropriate way of describing his driving 🙂 ) when we realized that my brother in law was driving his family on the same highway going the other way round about 80 kms down the road. (In his case, “plodding along” would describe the driving with reasonable accuracy).
Under most circumstances, spotting each other would be no issue. But this highway is one of the rare bright spots of transportation around this region. It is Western-style four lane highway with a big median in the middle complete with bushes and such. Because it avoids all crowded places – and therefore pedestrians, stray dogs etc and the unidirectional movement of traffic, most vehicles hit 100 kmph. With a relative velocity doubled and the median blocking our view, chances were very little we would spot them.
To increase our chances, we adopted a carpet bombing strategy. Every time we saw what looked remotely like a white car, my nephews and I would stick our heads and hands out and start gesticulating frantically. Eventually our efforts paid off. Sudden recognition, pulling over, driving in reverse gear on the shoulder half a km and then a few illegal moves later, we are able to meet by the highway!!!
There was nothing to sit down on. In fact, save all the speeding cars and trucks and one solitary cow, that was not much of a meeting spot. However, we could not care less. We thoroughly enjoyed a first time experience – a “standing room only” “adda” by the highway about ten feet away from getting crushed to a pulp. The adda was thirty minutes of pure joy. Did I mention that this was a Bengali adda in Bengal? Sure enough, somebody fished out a big packet of “kalakaand”!!! (a very tasty Bengali sweet).
Btw, you will notice my animal-loving brother making friends with that otherwise lonesome cow in the pictures!!