Wrongly parked, just outside the restaurant, with an eye to the convenience of a quick getaway, once I’d had my chicken soup, a quick cure, for a running cold, I cross the busy street with alacrity, hop into the car, start the engine, shift into gear, only to feel something blocking me – a mechanical device immobilising my wheel, put there by the traffic cops, to punish me, for my parking misdemeanour.

Waiting to be freed is frustrating. It’s a busy street and there’s much happening. I’m sitting in the driver’s seat, with a light on inside the cabin. I turn on the music system and listen to the one CD that’s been there, forever. It’s the sound track of a popular movie I wouldn’t wish to name, only because it’s so popular! A man comes towards me, hurriedly crossing the street, pointing frantically to my wheel. I thank him and let him know that I’m aware of it. A young man hops onto his motorcycle parked on the other side of the car and reverses straight into it. I chide him. He scolds me for parking that way, glances at the locked wheel, apologises, and speeds away. Another motorcyclist pulls up alongside and gives me a wondering look. He asks me, if I have done something about my situation, or, if I’m just sitting there! He nods his head towards the Traffic Police Post and tells me it would cost me, all the money in my wallet, to get out of there. I watch him ride away. Some time later, I’m noticed by a charming pair of Twins, my children’s friends. I get out of the car, to greet them. They tell me that I must be missing my children a lot. It is indeed true, of that moment. It is the sight of them that does that. My children no longer live with me, and it is not by my choice. The irony of it all! Here I am, immobilised, not by my choice either. I’d rather be driving home, to my wife. I’d rather our children were not so far away.

I’ve the choice to accept, or, to live in a state of constant protest. It’s probably not the last time I’ll be stuck, in a situation like this. I remember a conversation with a friend, yesterday, at lunch. I was telling him how meetings were destined, even if they appear to happen, by pure chance. By that argument, this too, was meant to be, allowing me the possibility of watching the world go by, from a rather unusual vantage point, on a street, now growing calmer, with less traffic, and shops shutting down, for the night.

I’ve been in that car now, for something close to ninety minutes. It was my destiny to meet the Twins, amongst others. But I wonder, if the only meeting that really counts, is with the one who’ll set me free!