"A profound unmitigated loneliness is the only truth of life"
- R.K. Narayan

Traffic at this junction was normal fare, and it was peak hour too. One bus was attempting a U-turn in the middle of the road and held everyone back. The driver tried to back-up a little so he can turn but an auto had wedged in the gap behind him, trying to make a quick run but had got stuck due to not enough space. The auto was honking for the bus to move forward, and the bus driver was shouting at the auto to back-up. Meanwhile another bus blocked the gap in front of him. Two cars tried to circumvent the mess by crossing over to the wrong side and an approaching bus blocked them there. More cars followed them and, as a result, they log-jammed the other side too. Each was asking the other to back-up, there was honking all around. I murmured a hasty curse at the undisciplined drivers while she sat pillion and silently watched.
In a few minutes, vehicles rushed in from all sides and created an almost intractable pile-up. The was inveterate honking and, in no time, abuses began to be hurled.
The median was the only unoccupied stretch and my instinct told me I could drive over it and get out. I gave myself a powerful shove and went up the median, but soon bumped into another bike that was trying the same trick in the opposite direction. Meanwhile other bikes had followed us and packed the median too.
So there we stood, in the middle of an inescapable mess, with the late-morning sun bearing down upon us and heating up an already hot situation. Some of the auto drivers were on the brink of starting a fight.
And while I fretted over the situation, struggled in my seat to find a way out, shouted at the drivers around me to make way, and blared my horn in cacophony with the rest, she finally spoke out, "Just look at their faces. How hassled they all are. Poor things! So much hurry... "
The previous afternoon I had driven through the same stretch, in the same bike, with the same person behind me. There was as much traffic then as there was now, but it had all been moving smoothly. I had even enjoyed the breeze brushing up against my ears. In that respect, nothing had changed today. It was the same road, the same hot sun, and the same wind blowing.. yet there was so much mess!