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 ***

I’m travelling and forgive me if I’m slow in responding to your comments.

23 comments

  1. Only negative thoughts seems to be powerful so curses may come true. Why not pray for driver to follow traffic rules, nothing will happen.
    Rash driving is becoming a problem with all those modern powerful bikes which are not made for congested areas we have in India.

    Loved the ending.

    1. Now, that’s lovely Indira

      Why transmit negative thoughts? We could transmit positive thoughts, instead. Thank you for pointing this out.

      Possible revision:

      In the morning, Jay was at the pedestrian crossing and spotted a truck about to cut into the path of people crossing the junction. He willed hard and the truck driver slowed and stopped. The pedestrians glared but the driver smiled and waved. He even mouthed the word “sorry”.

      All good wishes,
      Eric

  2. This is a compelling little story. I’m glad that you didn’t let Jay do anything too catastrophic. What makes this story a real pleasure is the thought that the universe still has some secrets to reveal so perhaps Jay discovered one of them!

    1. Hello Jane,

      In more ways than a dozen, my outlook is Buddhist and we believe Man was endowed with many wonderful skills. And yes, I too believe that through abuse we lost these skills – such as telepathy and clairvoyance, to name but two.

      Cheers!
      Eric

    1. Hello Michelle,

      Glad to have given you a chuckle.

      I would like to have a magic finger I can use to zap with – starting with politicians, priests and purse-snatchers (aka bankers).

      Cheers,
      Eric

  3. Indian myths had a concept of ‘shrap’, a curse that a wronged, apparently weak person, senior, woman (we are talking myths, remember!), could put on an antagonist by merely pointing their forefinger at them and mumbling a dreaded curse in common plain language. A cousin of mine once claimed that that power was taken away because of rampant misuse by trigger-happy weaklings. He is right. I have tried it many times, even blowing at the forefinger before pointing, but nothing happens.

    1. Hello Ankur,

      As usual you gave me a chuckle. I’ve to try that – blowing my finger before I give the finger 🙂

      On a serious note, I agree with your cousin. Man had many abilities and through abuse, he lost those powers. We’ve our forefathers to blame.

      Cheers!
      Eric

  4. For those motorists who tail gate me unnecessarily, I should have the power to slow their vehicle down to widen the gap.

    I like this power of suggestion thing from Jay.

    1. Hello Windy,

      You’re a kind one. Yes, many people are poor drivers and don’t foresee the risks that accompany tail-gating – because “it will not happen to me” (them).

      Have a great week ahead,
      Eric

  5. Yes it would give you the feeling of giddy power. I think I’d just like to thought flatten all the tires of cars that rudely jump into the parking lot they can see my car indicator tells them I’m planning to move into.

    1. Hello Ian,

      Such power can be giddying.

      People snapping up parking spaces is a common and frustrating experience. Yes, thought-flattening tires does sound tempting 🙂

      Cheers!
      Eric

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