I love watching the interplay between motorcycles, scooters, bicycles, cars, autos, buses and trucks in Chennai. In the morning, it is a wonderful give and take driven by two factors. There are few trucks on the road. More importantly, most motorcycles and scooters are carrying a passenger somewhere, usually a child to school.
Yesterday’s drive to the office was filled incidents. The first was an attempt by a small group of young men to aggressively positioning themselves ahead of some mature women with kids riding behind at a traffic signal. The buck’s first move was arrogant ignorance. They thought they could push their way through while the women gave them a path. One look then a sharp word by a woman that had first contact ended that! Then they thought they could jostle and maneuver they way to the front. While they made a little progress, it was more of a controlled entrapment than any real progress to the front.
At the next round about, there were six bikes parked on the edge. Initially I could not understand why anyone would park on the bend of an intersection. As we got closer, it was clear that everyone was exchanging contact details after some bumping and grinding. Nobody appeared to be hurt, so the serious conversation appeared to have a collegial tone to it as well.
As I reflected on the danger, out of the chaos I could see peace on the move. No helmets on either passenger. Very stupid but it allowed me to see and read their faces. Dad was taking his young soon to school. His riding was flawless – smooth, seemingly effortless, and courteous. Behind him was a small boy. He was lost in thought, no indication that he was aware of anything going on around him. His face lay flat on his dad’s back, eyes drifting off to somewhere in the sky. It was almost as if I could hear him whisper to his dad, “I’ve put my life in your hands. You won’t drop me, you’ll never let me down.” (Psalm 31.5)