Par for the course in Chennai roads

It was if you recollect Hamlet’s father who said that he had something to say which would make his son’s hair stand on end like quills on a fretful porpentine (which goes to prove that the Printer’s Devil existed even in Shakespeare’s time, for the bard quite clearly meant porcupine). But be that as it may, it was the turn of the twenty or so hairs on the head of The Man from Madras Musings to stand on end. However let him begin at the beginning –

It was a hot summer’s day as it always is in Chennai and MMM was driving along with nothing on his brain but the heat and traffic. And alongside comes this two-wheeler. Nothing unusual about that either and MMM gave it just a passing glance. It was driven by a man and on the pillion was a rectangular red carton which appeared initially to be a refrigerator – nothing unusual there either. The good man was clearly transporting it, though it did look terribly unsteady on the rear seat.

It so happens in Chennai traffic that your fellow travellers remain alongside for quite a while and it was at the subsequent traffic signal that MMM realised that the man on the two-wheeler had four and not two legs. It came as quite a surprise and made MMM take a closer look. And what he saw made his hair stand on end, like quills on a fretful porpentine. That was no refrigerator but some kind of a bin. And it was upturned on a pillion rider who had evidently covered himself with it and perched behind the rider of the motorcycle, was merrily coasting along. No wonder that four legs had manifested themselves when there ought to have been just two. The lights turned green at this point and the bin, which had got off the bike, no doubt to stretch its human legs, was alerted to this fact by the driver. It immediately got on to the pillion, gave itself a shake and was off leaving MMM watching open mouthed.

It is of course something to be condemned from a safety point of view. But MMM could not help admire the intrepid courage of the man who was inside the bin. He had no view of the traffic and despite being completely in the dark, was comfortably seated on a two-wheeler and going along in the Chennai traffic. And the heat inside that bin must have been unbearable too. MMM would not have done this even if he had been paid for it.

Knowing full well that the readers of Madras Musings are a sceptical lot and would not believe this story, MMM drove close at the subsequent traffic signal and took a photo of the two men on the bike, complete with the bin. And so, there it is for posterity. Readers will recollect that it was not so long ago that MMM had taken a photo of a pillion rider who had a wooden stool around him. Clearly the habit is catching and probably some view this as a better option than a helmet.