It was a Saturday morning & I was rushing my daughter to her music school. All of a sudden, a sandy brown, menacing looking spider crawled from under the visor, inches away from my eyes. I had a split second to respond. What would you do if you were in my shoes? Would you take a swing at it, pushing it off towards the passenger seat or would shove it down, so that it doesn’t bother you anymore? Or would you just let it be? I tried shoving it down with minimal contact, but all I did was push it onto my lap. That too, at the edge of my khaki shorts!
Arachnophobia took over my reflexes and senses too. In a momentary lapse of reason, I took my eyes off the road and I looked for the creepy spider. Abruptly, I heard the sound of metal crashing onto a bush. I felt the car was bouncing around. I longer bother about the spider and brought the car back to stability. The mind rushed to pacify, I couldn’t have caused any damage as the speedo was barely @ 25km. In the two seconds I spent fearing the spider, I had gone over the median and crashed onto a thorny bougainvillea bush.
As security guards, drivers and neighbors rushed out to investigate, there was a sense of curiosity. How could anyone crash his car here! I rushed to defend my dented ego that it wasn’t me but the spider who did it!
I got back into my car, feeling lucky that everyone was safe, including my car. My eight-year-old who was in the passenger seat looked rattled, but she was safe. As I drove few meters, I could sense it, the car was rolling smooth. But the optimist in me whispered it was just a few scratches. A few meters more, optimist lowered his voice as the suspension felt choppy. A few meters more, the optimist went missing. I felt the death blow as my car produced a cacophony of sounds.
As I crawled it to the garage, I kept visualizing the mechanic hammering things back to normalcy. I wanted to hear the words, I was lucky that I didn’t damage the car. But I knew I was wrong. The two seconds of Arachnophobia had bent my suspension, damaged the struts, bowed the stabilizer link rod, beaten-up the lower arm assembly, dented the alloys and ripped a part of the tire. Damages that would cost more than Rs. 40,000 to fix.
I was also going to be stuck without a car for 4 days; adding the cab expenses the estimate the impact was close to 45 grand! All for an attempted murder of a spider. Next time you are driving and you see a spider, just let it be!