Sunday, November 23, 2008

One night @ the Lincoln Tunnel

Chetan Bhagat will forgive me, as i am daring to steal this cheeky 'unpatented' name for this blog(in the lines of one night @ the call center). It was one helluva night.. with sinu blabbering, sandeep shivering and dhanya as always praying and me? i have no idea i was being stupid or idiotic but i was damn lucky to say the least. November 13th is devutty's birthday and we were all there in NJ to celebrate at a party organised by her dad & mom ( my classmates anuroop and lakshmi). So i get to know that Sinu is in NewYork some 30-40 minutes drive from anuroop's house. Me and Sandeep go to pick her up at the Newark Pennstation. It was raining heavily all the way and it was difficult to drive not to mention the heavy traffic in NewJersey. So we somehow reach there pick sinu up and drive back to anuroop-lakshmi's house. After an illustrous play time with devutty and a sumptous dinner (b'day cake,onion bajji, payasam, cutlet, mango juice, hot idly with no salt, and chutney) its time to drop off sinu at the hotel she is staying. So anuroop knows the routes of NY in and out and as an honourable guest he comes forward to drop her. But we were 5 if we include him so i convinced him to be at home with lakshmi and me,sandeep(as driver), dhanya and sinu will go in sandeep's car though with anuroop's GPS(global postioning system). So we start at around 12:30 am ( the ideal midnight hours for any adventure) with sandeep on wheel, me as navigator, sinu and dhanya as kids in wonderland(as they were looking out of the glass window with much amusement).

Intro on persons in the car : Sinu, she sounds tomboyish and can beat the crap outta you on any discussion. Has amazing skill on speaking on anything with 0 knowledge. Afterall she sells icecubes to eskimo's ( i mean she is an MBA). Dhanya aka gunds, was the holy power in our car as she will pray for anything. Once gireesh told me about her prayer skill-set i never believed i believe it 200% now. Yep, she is that kind a very ignorant,naive person with 100% brain cells unused. Sandeep aka Sandy is a bit short of confidence in driving as he generally is a bit 'tension party'. In college days he used to sweat like a wet turkey on a grill if he fails to keep a record or assignment on time. And finally me, as this being my blog lets keep me as the hero [:)].

Now we are in route I-95 and traversing as per our GPS-bhai tells us to go. Sandy's eyeballs are rolling around every where was a funny scene. And in between dhanya ask's some question on traffic and route in NJ and compared to her adopted home town Columbus.Offlate she has acquired a US driving license, so to show off basically she was trying to guide an already tensed Sandy. Sinu was 'pushing' about her life at WallStreet last 2 weeks, all traders/equities/hedgefunds/creditcrunch etc etc ( Pushing is a our college term for boasting). And i was on phone talking to another friend minu and making her jealous about the superb birthday party and food. Now we are about to enter the Lincoln Bridge which leads us from NJ to NY and from there it should be simple to sinu's destination hotel.

Lincoln bridge itself is an architectural marvel, its basically a pipe kinda tunnel underneath the hudson river. Instead of a high flyover or bridge americanos preferred the direct way..yes a 'pipe'. Suddenly it happened, our gps stopped working and we had no idea where to go once the tunnel ends. We reach the end of tunnel and still no movement in GPS. But being confident souls we set straight forward..immediately GPS says "Turn Left" but 2 trucks were blocking our way in traffic. So we had to go straight and find another exit. But we learn that GPS is taking us on a long road trip. It gets turned off in between and comes up again, the huge buildings were obtructing the signal strength. The traffic was a bit less so we had time to turn at somepoint. Gradually we came to know, GPS is taking us back to the old route..i mean a huge U turn. We were infact heading towards NJ. So there we were infront of yet another tunnel and GPS-bhai said Go straight some 1 mile and take a U turn. Sandy asked " U turn again??" I gave hime the logical (stupid) explaination on the road systems in US and my prior navigation experience. The moment we crossed the tunnel GPS said 'Take a U turn'. Sounds so simple right?? Infact the barricades were open at that point and there was not a single soul around. Without any hesitation we all chorussed into Sandy's ears "thirikkeda vandii" Sandy obliged he took a u turn schumacher would have been proud about, it was a neat U and we were on other side. With a smile Sinu said "Ini prashnam onnum illa nere vitto".
The moment she finished her sentence ('dhaande kidakkunu' i said in my mind) here come a few cops inside the check post on the tunnel. A few means 3-4, coz of my tension i did not count them. They were on our car like you see in hollywood movies. One on the passenger side, one on driver, one checking the boot, two on other window, another one standing infront of the car. Sandy slided down his window glass with shivering hands. The cop was furious and his eyes face was red.
He said "Did you take a U turn now? I mean how can you take a U turn on a 60 miles/hour freeway and that too on a rainy night"
"are you insane, eh?"

Sandy said " Sir, we were on our way to battery drop my friend..and we lost our way..and..."
Cop says "Do you have a license?" and as he speaks he checks with his fellow cops if everything is fine and gives a quite obnoxious looks at people in the car.
Meanwhile i was still of the notion that we have not done any thing wrong so i was looking what the fellowcops were upto? And Sandy takes his license and gives to the cop..he checks it and he goes again ranting
"You have a NewJersey License and i dont understand how you could foolishly take a U turn on a freeway?? Are you Stupid??"
Sinu interrupts infact her voice was loud a mild yelling "As we told you we lost our way and we have been trying to find our way back to battery park near wallstreet".
Here we go cop again says " But that doesn't explain it, there is no way you can do this. Its dangerous. Do you want to be a part of an accident or some. you cannot take a U turn on interstate.."
Enough is enough i felt i thought its high time i say something or we'll end up in jail or a ticket with some 200$ fine. I said "Sir we are sorry, but the gps told us to take a U turn" and pointed my finger at the GPS.
This made the cop furious as hell, until now he thought this was an honest mistake now he learns that we are fools as well. He looks at me and says
" you dont have a brain?? you believe on a damn computer??" Then i said "Sir, look it says U turn here"
And he replies "You belive in a computer? What if it said take a right into the river?? Will you dare to do it??"
Uh Oh!! then it rang a bell..luckily by gods grace he did not book us or punish us..he let us go and asks us to be careful in future. Had he gone for 5 more..? Man i cant think.

So this time we are on another tunnel called the Holland Tunnel. We cross this one and yes 'GPS Bhai' does not work. We parked the car in a cut-road alley looked spooky at night. Walked down to a cop car standing there and asked him the route. He said "Battery park is 5 minutes walk from here, you can park your car here and go". In a world of all high technologies with GPS and HiTech Cars, we had to depend on a our able "Ask Anybody System" (much more efficient than GPS in NY). We walked and dropped off sinu atlast. It was an unforgettable trip in all senses, meeting sinu after a long time, conversaitons with a cop and last for the worst 'U' turn of our lives. Bolo NYPD ki jaiii...


jojyva said...

Moral of the story: Never help Sinu.

kozhissery said...

Vayil aanu vazhi mone
chodichu chodichu ponam

Raghu said...

Nice one!

fundeybaaj said...

sabarish, kitna bada lamba chowda lengthy likha hai...:)

Shabbu said...

aajkal weekend yehi ek kaam reh gaya winters..

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