Motorists annoyed Jay Walker no end. They almost ran over him twice and both times at a pedestrian crossing when the green light was in his favour.
The authorities contributed to the danger. To solve the problem of bottlenecks on the ramp from the highway about a kilometre away, they allowed a green arrow for turning vehicles at the first traffic junction into the housing estate. But they also synchronised the turning light to come on with a green man for pedestrians at the same crossing.
The traffic experts, relying on computer modelling, had not considered human factor. It became a game of chance with irate motorists cutting into the path of pedestrians.
After his two near misses and one nasty accident which he witnessed, Jay complained to the authorities and requested for traffic light cameras at the junction. They ignored him.
Helpless and frustrated, he wished he had the power to vest instant karma on the offending motorists; nothing serious but enough to awaken the miscreants to their actions.
That evening on his way home, the light turned green and Jay stepped onto the crossing. He cast a wary eye on the eager vehicles that crept up and kept inching forward, waiting for a wide enough gap for them to zoom through. Jay made a wish, knowing full well the futility.
As expected, a car zoomed past behind him and the gust of wind caught his back. Jay cursed.
The next moment he heard shattering glass. And the car screeched to a halt.
Jay kept crossing but with his eyes on the car. The driver slowed down and pulled to the side. It was not an accident. Jay did not understand what happened, and neither did the driver who stepped out to examine his car.
The rear windshield had shattered. The driver scratched his head, looked at Jay and shrugged his shoulders, expecting sympathy. He received none from Jay who glared back.
That pleased Jay, but he did not dwell on the incident until the following morning on his way to work.
This time, a motorcyclist rode across Jay’s path. Jay jumped back and shouted but the man rode on, missing him by an arm’s length.
Again Jay cursed under his breath. This time, the motorcyclist skidded and earned himself some nasty lacerations on his arms. The road was dry and clean; not wet, and no slippery sand.
The rider’s mishap pleased Jay, but he helped the man to upright his motorcycle and pushed it to the side of the road.
That evening, when a motorist zoomed past ahead of oncoming pedestrians, Jay who was waiting for his light to turn green, willed hard. True enough that driver’s rear windshield shattered. He was more surprised than the driver.
That night, lying in bed, Jay wondered whether he had gained some miraculous power. He had read that adepts in ancient India and Tibet could project their thoughts. The power of suggestion, these master practitioners claimed, was real and portent.
Jay wanted to test his theory. He looked forward to the morning.
*** Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2019 ***
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