I believe that all of us have superstitious beliefs, some religious, but most , due to instinct and repetition. Say for an examination, we would like to maintain some kind of routine. I for one, when at Hyd on an exam day, used to go to the terrace and have a look around. The most common superstition, in my opinion , is the black cat crossing your way. I have no idea about the origins of that, but there was something similar to that, which had a significant impact on my schoolmates lives.
Right across Adarsh Apartments, lived a Red TVS Scooty. I am not able to exactly recollect the name of the owner of that vehicle, but was referred to as Moin Khan and had a sibling who was called ( by us ) Polar Bear. Polar Bear looked like Polar Bear and Moin Khan acted like Moin Khan. Polar Bear looked like Polar Bear because Polar Bear probably ate Moin Khan’s share of food as well , or so we thought.
Coming back to the Red Scooty. It was always referred to as The Red Scooty. Never as Scooty nor as Moin Khan’s Scooty. Always The Red Scooty. It was very rarely sighted probably once in 4-5 months. The irregularity can be attributed to the different paths taken by The Red Scooty and us. But whenever it was sighted, we shuddered. That was because we had reason enough to believe that whenever we saw it , something bad was in store. The following three chronologically placed events, are a few of the many instances which substantiated our belief.
Circa 2000 – Victim1
Victim1 was on his way to(from???) his tuition on his cycle with his younger brother. He got hit by a scooter coming from the opposite direction ( ??? ) , while riding on the left most part (presumably the safest ) of the road. One hand fractured. The brother escaped with relatively minor injuries.
Last week of Jan 2003 – Victim2
Victim2 was on his way to a friends place to play the latest version of FIFA, which the other had just downloaded. He was riding a 2 day old Honda Activa, which got instantly destroyed in the multiple vehicle accident that followed. Victim2 had minor injuries. Vehicle and Victim2’s road confidence were irreparably damaged. Vehicle was finally restored at humongous costs. Victim2 still has visions of falling off of a vehicle and has them only while driving.
Circa 2004 – Victim3
Victim3 was walking along the beautiful paths of Osmania University after class to reach his bus-stop. A motor-bike rider , trying to show off some stunts, missed a trick and hit Victim3. The bike-rider got seriously injured , but Victim3 was fighting for his life with almost a severed head, for quite some time at NIMS. After multiple rehabilitation programs, Victim3 has now regained mobility, with limited movement of the head.
All these vehicular accidents and many more accidents involving my schoolmates, must have had their own reasons to happen, the way they happened. But they all had a common denominator. The Red Scooty. Victim1 saw it just before his accident. Victim2 saw it while coming out of his house. Victim3 met Moin Khan and The Red Scooty, moments before having that life-threatening experience.
And that was the basis for our fear of The Red Scooty.
Time passed on. We continued to avoid The Red Scooty, were successful in our endeavours and avoided further accidents. And then as they say,the old gave way to the new. The engineers at TVS came up with a new vehicle model, which their marketing personnel decided to call , Scooty Pep. So out went our nemesis and in came a blue Scooty Pep. Its arrival ended our run of misfortune. You saw it , you shuddered and yet nothing happened. Everything was at peace. This change of fortune, further strengthened our belief, that it was not Moin Khan’s presence to be blamed , but it was the Eye of The Red Scooty that haunted us.
P.S.: I got reminded of this phenomenon following Bail’s testimonial on Orkut
where he refers to the other reason of coming to my home. Their interest was with someone in Adarsh Apartments, but I got reminded of the above mentioned saga.