It was probably 1999 after my Dad’s death the same year. I had inherited his Yellow Mercedes 240D. I had to go to Ratnagiri where he lived to collect some documents. I decided to drive down with my wife.

It was 9pm on the highway towards Ratnagiri MIDC

So the MIDC area was on the highway road. At around. 9 pm I remembered that I had some errand to run.

The was in a small town called Ratnagiri this must have been the only Mercedes in this small coastal town.

I was enclosed in this bubble where the car was signalling my status. The roads were recently widened and new road dividers had been installed. These metal dividers were a couple of feet tall and were doing a good job of preventing drivers from getting blinded by high beam lights. However they had a design flaw, The tall dividers were cutting down the vision also when one needed to take a “U” turn.

So, it happened and I missed a turn and decided to take a “U” turn.

The Young drunk bikers.

There was a bike heading straight at me and I had completely failed to notice them coming at a high speed.

I hand become a threat to their lives and limbs. But miraculously in The nick of time, they managed to stop the bike. They were localities & had strong community connections. They came to me and I rolled down the windows and even before I could apologise I received a tight stinging slap.

The slap was more humiliating than hurting that anything. I remembered that I had only been slapped once before by my Hindi teacher Mr Bramhne Sir in class 5 and yes one more time a girl slapped me in class IX.

I thought I was the rich businessman in the town and how could they even without any thought hit me???

Power of Righteous anger

It was their righteous anger they had no fear. My money & privilege could save me. Thankfully they didn’t decide to beat me up and ran away.

The irony was that their being drunk on a bike at the night didn’t stop them from realising that their righteous anger wasn’t justified. But I was a pariah who had entered their territory and tried to take them on.