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Borrowed Time
by Gargi Choudhury

A fictitious newspaper report:

‘The mystery surrounding the passing of a number of innocent cyclists and pedestrians was solved today with the police arresting the prime culprit. A month ago, when the number of road traffic accidents in the area increased steeply for no apparent reason, the police undertook a thorough investigation, the results of which revealed that the accident-prone spot was perilously close to the residence of one Pretty Roy. In an exclusive interview with our correspondent, 22-year-old Pretty (who did not appear to be in full possession of her faculties), far from denying the accusations levelled at her, proudly proclaimed that she was indeed guilty, and went to the extent of stated that the following three incidents were major contributing factors to her bizarre behaviour:

* the recent issuance of her driving license

* the ever-expanding population of India, and

* most significantly, a warning by her doctor that she had only six months to live

These were the chief reasons that compelled her to drive her caravan in a manner that slowly but surely eliminated not just the cyclists, but also any individuals unfortunate enough to be ambling along her route. She vociferously asserted that her work is a great contribution to society.

After having wiped out half the non-driving population of South Delhi, where she lives, Pretty, in spite of her captive state, now plans to take her caravan on an un-guided tour of the entire city, and from there on to other parts of the country where she hopes to repeat her success in the Capital.

Her family and friends are much disturbed by her scandalous deeds, but are unable to take any action even to protect themselves as she threatens to ‘run them over’, or worse still, take them along on her hit-and-run sprees.

Till such time authorities are able to contain Ms. Roy and her violent lunacy, the police have issued a notice in the public interest warning all cyclists and pedestrians to beware and not venture out as frequently, as they are wont to do.

The public must also be warned that the diminutive Pretty, who fervently believes that she is living on borrowed time, is fearless and has no qualms in carrying out any or all of her threats.

All those blatantly flouting these caveats may do so at their own risk.’