My daily pranayama routine helped me yesterday to solve a tricky problem.
But for my daily pranayama routine, I would go nuts!
I go to work a good 25 miles away from my home. My office is in Gurgaon and it takes a special skill to reach my rendezvous. There are numerous bottlenecks on the way, and most of these are due to bad traffic management. I have to manage these bottlenecks and ensure that I reach my destination within one hour.
From there, I hop on to someone else’s car to reach my final destination.
So now can you imagine what my mind goes through in the morning? But for my daily pranayama routine, I would go nuts!
My daily pranayama routine saved me yesterday in Gurgaon and I will tell you how.
Yesterday, while I was parking my car in Gurgaon, I forgot to switch off my headlights.
I was crossing a dark passageway and had switched my headlights on. After parking my car, I should have switched them off before starting my work.
I did not and for that, I paid a significant price last Friday.
When I returned to my car 9 hours back, I found that my car had drained out of power. It was raining and I did not have any means to get inside my car.
Another person would have panicked. Here you were several miles away from your home in an alien city and your car does not start. It is raining and you also do not have any friends close by to give you shelter.
Yoga came to my rescue
Like a flash of lightning, I realized that the Toyota Helpline number was printed on the back screen of my car. Until then, I was just trying to find out how to contact the roadside maintenance guy.
I dialed up the company number and after giving my location to the customer care guys, I hung up. It was still raining in Gurgaon and I was drenched.
Thirty minutes later, the roadside assistance guy showed up. He came on a scooter and was carrying a charging cord. Seeing him, my heart jumped up in delight. Finally, I thought, I could go back home.
The man fixed the chord to my battery and asked me to start the ignition. I did what he said, and voila, my car purred to life.
‘Can I now drive back home?’, I asked the man.
‘Not yet,’ he replied, ‘please put your foot on the accelerator of the car for 10 minutes until the battery has enough power.’
I followed his instructions and after 10 minutes, I asked my man whether it was okay to drive now.
He said it was ok but also told me not to switch off the engine on the way. ‘Else, your battery will discharge again’.
Great, I thought. Reversing my car, I took it out of my parking slot and entered the street outside.
It was choc-a-bloc outside. There were cars and motorcycles and buses everywhere in the street. Everyone was in a hurry and wanted to beat the other guy to cross the traffic signal which lay ahead.
I was now in the midst of a very heavy traffic.
As I moved ahead cautiously, my car encountered a small speed breaker. It climbed over it, and then while descending, the engine kind of gasped. My car had now stalled and the engine had shut down. ‘Not again,’ I muttered to myself.
Once again, I turned my ignition key towards its right to switch on the car. No way.
Yet again, my car had run out of battery power.
Taking a deep breath, I became mindful of the situation. Months of the practice of pranayama had also trained me to observe my thoughts.
The first thing I did was to switch on my hazard lights so that the traffic behind me could avoid my car. It was just a 5-meter wide street and my Toyota was occupying 40% of the road space.
Meanwhile, my car was losing all its power, even the windows were not sliding up or down. With great difficulty, I managed to pull them down so that I did not get smothered by the carbon-di-oxide build up in my car.
I again called up the roadside guy. He responded quickly and agreed to come to my rescue quickly.
Time was ticking by. My hazard lights had died down and the cars behind me did not have any idea about my state. A few people walked up to me and asked gruffly what the matter was. I told them the exact situation. Some of them understood my situation, while a few looked at me menacingly. I fought hard to get into an argument with them. Gurgaon streets can be menacing at times.
It was still raining and the water was coming inside my car. My cell phone battery was getting weaker. ‘Oh God, please send the car mechanic to me quickly’, I prayed.
Help arrived after 30 minutes. My man again fixed the wire to my battery and once again my engine purred back to life. This time I asked my saviour to sit with me while I took out my car from that traffic mess. He agreed.
Those 10 minutes of driving through the traffic were perhaps the most harrowing moments of my life. All the time I was praying to my Lord that my engine should not stall again.
Finally, I managed to find a quiet spot on the main road where I parked my car and let my engine charge itself. I pressed on my accelerator for a ful 10 minutes and when I became confident that my battery has abundant charge, I decided to drive back home again.
Relief, at last!
This time also my savior told me not to switch off my engine anywhere on the way.
Do you think I got back into more trouble when I drove off from that hot spot?
Well, no. Though I got stuck in some horrible traffic on the way, my sanity prevailed and did not let me switch off the engine even once. This time, my 20 mile drive was painless.
I take this opportunity to thank my daily pranayama routine for encountering this mess with a calm mind.
Have you got into a similar situation on the road? How did you manage it?