Sunday, March 25, 2007

Deikhya Chalan Na! (Can't You Look Where You're Going!)

Last week I was bicycling to a friend's house in Gulshan. I was riding my racing bike: lightweight but hard to control. Enjoying the unexpected cool in Choitro, I was gently ambling down Road 96. As I approached a T intersection, where a road from the left met 96, I saw two rickshaws coming down 96 from the opposite direction. They gave no indication of turning; I took a quick look left to make sure no one was coming from there. All clear, so I entered the intersection. At the last possible instant the front rickshaw decided to turn right into this road and almost hit me.

I swerved to the left, fought for control of the bike and came to a sharp stop at a gently sloping roadside ditch. Luckily, I jumped off without taking a fall.

I was furious. The rickshaw had made its turn and was moving away, about 20 feet from me. "Deikhya chalan na!" I yelled after him, meaning "Can't you look where you are going?"

That's when the rickshaw-wallah turned his head towards me. I was waiting for this moment, so I could pin him with my angry glare. Instead, I got the second shock of the day. The man had only one eye.

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