Thursday, May 19, 2011

Highway robbers - now at Trivandrum!

Highway robbers (aka highwaymen) and their exploits have been (in)famous since time immemorial. Whether the way was through land or water, they had that their role in history, legends and folklore, and the lone travellers of the old never undervalued the importance of having their fingers wrapped around an object of defense - be a log of wood, or a blade of steel. The subject popped back into my attention today, when I heard the account of a colleague’s close bump with the kind, here at Trivandrum!

It happened yesterday night. He was driving back from Kovalam along the NH47 bypass, and heard the vrooming sound of a motorbike at his tail. The phenomenon not being an uncommon one, he at first chose to ignore the reckless rider who probably was just trying to chase a fast car for the thrill. But then, suddenly the motorbike overtook the car, and the pillion rider started throwing eggs on the windshield. He was completely shocked, thought the riders might be drunk, and reached out to turn on the wiper to clear the view. To his luck, a split second before he switched on the wiper, he remembered a particular email forward from one of his friends, mentioning a trick used by highway robbers in Bangalore ring roads – egg, when in touch with water and spread by the wipers, would form a viscous coat on the windshield, obstructing vision. Unable to see anything, the driver would be helpless but pullover to scrub the smear off. But before he could even take a good look at the spread, he’ll find himself surrounded and realize with a jolt that it was all a trap.

My colleague did not turn on the wiper, shook off the jolt and continued driving. And then he saw it - around 200m in front of him, there stood 7-8 chaps, awaiting his car. The motorbike took a U-turn and joined the gang. Pretty sure of what was happening, he stamped down on the gas, leaving a dismayed band of highwaymen behind. Had he switched on the wiper, the story would have taken a totally different ending.

It’s worth revising upon the common tricks of highwaymen:

  • Man/women lying by the side of the road and pretending to be injured

  • Two vehicles on the road, faking a crash

  • A woman feigning pregnancy while accomplices pretended to be victims of motor accidents

  • Releasing a dog or a cow suddenly from behind a bush, with the probability that an overwhelmed driver may cause the car to stall or lose control and stop.

  • Leave a dummy on the middle of the road at a turn, definitely causing you to stamp on your breaks and get out of the vehicle.

  • Another vehicle slightly knocks into your car, causing you to stop, get out and inspect the damage or start a row with the offenders.

  • Planting nails on the road to get your tires punctured, causing you to stop....

The list goes on...

In short, don your thinking cap, step into the shoes of a highwayman, and get creative! Now, sort out the required precautions, for not all of us are black belts in Kung-Fu! Be alert during lonely drives along dark highways!

Tail piece: Now, there’s also a chance that you may encounter one of the above and it might be a genuine case! Let’s hope that we would be illuminated and helped from heaven to show responsibility and kindness at the quarters where they are required!

1 comment:

  1. yet another menace to add to the woe of common man, thanks for bringing up this article..