It was too late. He never saw it coming. All he could do now was brace for impact. He loosened his elbows and straightened his back instinctively. All the ensuing chaos around him slipped out of his focus, all thoughts focused on one thing alone: emerging unscathed from the crisis looming before him.

And then it happened. At first, he heard the sickening thud, followed by a bone jarring jolt that knocked the wind out of him. For a fraction of a second, he was airborne, and he thought that he would lose his balance, but he managed to hold steady, his reflexes powered only by the adrenaline surging through his veins. It was only two seconds later a sense of normalcy returned to him. He flexed his fingers and toes and concluded that he was okay. The threat had passed.

He had just drawn battle with one of India’s ubiquitous potholes and emerged in one piece. However, as in every battle both sides paid a heavy price, in his case the beloved two-wheeler that had served him for three years. It sounded different. Instead of the soft purring of a kitten that he so likened his engine sound to, it was now sounding like a wounded dog that had walked away from a battle leaving a trail whimpering sounds in its wake. It was really causing him a heart ache. As for the pothole, it enjoyed an increased significance every time it ensnared another unsuspecting motorist.

He stopped at the side of the road to take a little time to get his bearings. He looked back at the pothole with exasperation. He knew it served no purpose. It seemed to look back at him with what he thought could only be described as a smirk upon its face. He muttered a few curses about politicians and headed home.

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