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Close Encounters Of the Deer Kind

On Friday evening as I was walking towards the bus stop, it struck me that it was already the weekend. Fridays generally being my turn to cook I was trying to recollect the contents of my refrigerator to decide what delicacy I should prepare. It was then I realized that I had no topic to write for my weekend mail. It had been a most boring week. Mark had not acted weirdly (no more than usual that is!) and we did not have any sightseeing trips planned. Absolutely uneventful.

I made aloo matar and cabbage for dinner. Seejo turned up in the evening with a few slices of cake that he had baked. The dinner gang settled down to the serious business o eating and seeing a movie. The weekend selection was “Yeh Raaste hai Pyaar ke”. Everybody praised Seejo’s cooking skills and oohed and aahed over his cake. Seejo was thrilled. Buoyed by the success he decided to make dinner the next day. On Saturday by the time Seejo gathered the required ingredients for his culinary venture it was part noon and hunger pangs were beginning to make themselves known. Atha suggested A tiny restaurant in Scottsville called Lumpkins ( Aparna do you remember that?) .They had good country  food which was cheap, the drive to that place was  beautiful especially now that Spring had begun. And the icing on the cake (for Atha and Seejo) was that the waitresses there were young and pretty.

We had two cars since both the guys decided that there were too tall to squeeze themselves into the backseat of my car. I was driving and Seejo was navigating my car. I have mentioned in my earlier mails that driving with Seejo is no pleasure. Each move I make is scrutinized and dissected and analyzed and it always turns out that I made a wrong decision. But it was a beautiful warm Spring day and the weather was perfect , the scenery was beautiful and the winding turning road made it a great drive.

We reached Lumpkins, filled our tummies with a lot of food and fresh country made bread. I had that wonderful feeling you get when you are so stuffed and you realize all you need is a cosy sofa and a book in your hand. I magnanimously offered Seejo the car keys telling him ” I know you are itching to here take the keys”. It turned out to be the best decision I have ever made in my life.

For hardly had we left the restaurant and started on the road , there were a couple of deer standing by the wayside. Now that not being a deer infested are there were no warning signs or symbols so we were doing a happy 55mph. However this deer decided that traffic or no traffic I am going to jaywalk and it bounded across the road. Seejo jammed the brakes. The deer managed to reach the other end. Unfortunately there was a couple of other deer behind who decided to follow their adventurous friend. This second deer leaped across the road just as Seejo slammed the breaks. The deer landed on the bonnet of the car, bounced off it and landed on the windshield and then ricocheted off and flew high upto ~ 10feet and then landed somewhere far away on a nearby field where we could not see it! Atha and Subha were lucky enough to enjoy a once in a lifetime sight of a flying deer!

The windshield was smashed into smithereens; there was a shower of glass splinters inside the car. The deer caused a huge dent on my car bonnet, mangled the front of my car, wrecked the front light assembly and broke the coolant and water containers. Fortunately we escaped unhurt. We pulled the car into a nearby field. Someone had called the cops so within minutes an officer arrived on the scene and started completing the formalities. Some other travelers told us that the deer was heaving somewhere and they had called some people to take care of the injured deer. The officer arranged for a tow truck to tow my car.

Standing there waiting for the tow truck  to arrive we had some time to think back over what happened. Suddenly there were a lot of “what if ??” questions.

What if Seejo had hit the brakes a second late. The deer would have probably hit the passenger door instead of the bonnet and would have resulted in either killing me if it had managed to get his hoofs inside ( there was an article  on fatal injuries  caused by deer recently in a local newspaper: it said that most of the injuries were caused because the deer gets his front legs trapped inside the car and so it thrashes the legs about killing the driver/passenger in the process)

If we had escaped that it would have certainly ended in overturning the car. With the momentum of the vehicle and the weight of the deer (~ 130 pounds) . It was a tall deer about the height of my car.

What if I had been driving . Again there were two possibilities .Since my reflexes are not that quick (read absent) we would have quickly turned into past tense. Or if we took the optimistic view, with my speed the deer would have easily managed to cross the road before my car reached that spot.

Anyway we had a lucky escape.

And we didn’t even get the deer. Apparently according to the Virginia law, if we kill a deer we can take it home. We could have had venison for dinner.

However I am not complaining.

We are alive.

Seejo cooked. We are having Shrimp Bisque and Chicken tikka .

And I have enough masala for the weekend mail!


The Smithsonian Institution: Vidal Gore

Farewell to Arms: Ernest Hemmingway


Just browed the WWW to find more about deer accidents


Childhood Comics: Remember Chacha Chowdhary?


Another cool site on the WWW. Reveals the endings of several movies. Astonish others by predicting exactly how a movie would end


Riddle of the Week:

Why did the deer cross the road?

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Copyright Deepa