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Daily Blunder | ‘Brutally’ Honest

I know it’s been over a year and a half (or rather, a year and three quarters) since I wrote a proper ‘daily blunder’. Well, there wasn’t exactly a paucity of blunders in my life to go on a ‘blunder-break’, so to speak. I’ve a database of infinitely-huge blunders that I could well publish a book on it (which is actually in the pipeline as we speak). As you might’ve guessed by noticing the frequency of posts (or sheer lack of it) in this blog, I was on a major writer’s block. It was on the compulsion (read: death threat) of a very close friend, that I chose to come out of my cocoon. Read on, if you still haven’t left this page out of boredom. 😉

If there’s one city in India which I love (second only to my hometown, Trivandrum), it is Kochi. For those who haven’t heard about the city, it is the commercial capital of the state where I reside – Kerala (India). Well, in a narrow minded mallu point-of-view, there’s nothing to like about both Kochi and Trivandrum either, but somehow, I fell in love with the city, which has been my home for the past one month. Oh btw, I got a job in this busiest city of Kerala. It’s been a month since I joined, and I’m all the more thrilled at the prospect of getting paid to use Facebook (yes, you guessed that right, I’m the Social Media Manager. At this small but growing company called NT Global).

Oh, I digress. More on the job on yet another post. 😉

So, this happened about a couple of weeks before I joined NTG. I had come to Kochi on a leisure trip with a friend of mine, Vishnu. Kochi wasn’t a part of our original itinerary. Vishnu was in search of a proper meningitis vaccination, so that his admission to a major US university would be through. We searched every single hospital in each nook and corner of Trivandrum and Kochi for the vaccine, but to no avail. Finally, we zeroed in on the elusive vaccine at a leading hospital in Thrissur. Jobless back then, I too set forth on an unplanned trip to Thrissur with Vishnu to get his vaccination done. After nearly a month of harrowing search for the mysterious vaccine, Vishnu got vaccinated in merely 20 minutes, at this hospital. Glad that our job on hand got over unexpectedly-early, we decided to halt at Kochi, stay there that night, go mall-surfing (read: window-shopping) the very next day and then return.

The very next day, we geared up for some serious ‘mouth-looking’ (translate that to malluspeak, or ask your friendly neighbourhood mallu if you didn’t get that 😛 ). Both Vishnu and I are serious literary- aficionados. We read, or rather, consume, virtually every book under the sun (provided it is captivating enough to satisfy our momentary vicissitudes). So that fateful morning, we decided to hop into a decent book store to start our sojourn.

We walked into the nearest mall, and located its sole, medium-sized book store. Like predators munching on their prey, we consummately started feeding on our staple diet of books. We didn’t notice time flying, as we carefully selected authors of our choice, browsing eagerly through books, both famous and obscure, satiating ourselves. Before we knew it, our tummies started rumbling – it was lunch time. We picked a couple of moderately-priced books and proceeded to the counter. The man at the sales counter seemed glad that we had finally decided to purchase books – he thought we’d sit there for the entire day, browsing (not that we didn’t intend to do that, but our tummies protested!). Vishnu was short of money, so I offered to pay. I fished out my purse from my pocket  to pay for our books; the cost of both would come down to around Rs 450. I fished a 500 rupee note from my purse and placed it at the counter.


Suddenly, the phone at the counter rang. The salesman at the counter picked it up and started talking. It seemed that the person at the other end was his wife or girlfriend or something. Unmindful of our presence, he started a very cheesy tete-a-tete with his lady love. We were exasperated. We didn’t have all day to wait. We could virtually hear our tummies which were about to burst. Vishnu gave the counter-guy one of his typical glares, magnified through his high-power glasses. The man seemed to take note of the stare, and quickly interrupted his motormouth girlfriend and cut the call. He took the books from our hand, checked the price and announced:

“450 rupa aayi, sir.” (Please pay Rs 450, sir)

I gestured at the 500 rupee note I had placed on the counter. The counter-guy looked at me, puzzled.


I frowned and looked at the counter. My note was missing. Er… did I take that note from my purse and kept it on the counter, in the first place? I quickly rechecked my purse. At a quick glance, I notice that It had only one 500 rupee note and a few notes of 100. I had originally taken two 500 rupee notes from the ATM, or so I remembered, and one among them was missing. So obviously I had kept it on the counter. The counter guy had probably taken the note and shoved it to his safe.

“Njaan daa ippo paisa eduthu vachathe ullu. Kandille?”, I said. (“I’d just placed the money on the counter, didn’t you see?)

“Illa sir. Enikku… enikkormayilla…”, he replied. (Er…. No. I don’t remember, sir)

Vishnu came to my support:

“Alla, avan paisa eduthu vaykkunnathu njaanum kandathaa. Ningal eduthu counter il vachathaayirikkum,” (I saw him place the money on the counter. You must have absent-mindedly placed the note in the safe, accidentally)

The sales guy was scratching his head with the back of his pen. He opened the counter, checked the notes inside for a moment, thought for a while, and said:

“Ayyo, enikku orma illallo!” (Er… I don’t remember)

By now, I was sure that the counter guy was trying to con us. I politely convinced him that I did place the note on the table. Vishnu also went on to support me. After a few minutes of give and take, the counter guy finally agreed that I had indeed paid him. He apologized profusely for his mistake and gave me the balance amount of Rs 50. He neatly placed the books into a cover and handed it over to us, with a smile. We smiled back, and scooted from the place.

We decided to have lunch from the mall’s food court itself. It didn’t take a long time for us to finalize on our choice of food – noodles. The food court had a pre-paid system. You had to pay initially, and the food would be delivered within a short while. As I was opened my purse to pay, I had the shock of my life.

There, inside my purse, rested TWO 500 rupeee notes.

We had conned the book store. I didn’t pay them ANYTHING. We got the books for free!

If there’s one attribute I value more than anything else, it is honesty. I can’t say that I’m not a liar, but I try my level best not to lie/cheat. Pangs of guilt started attacking me. I had made a huge mistake – severe enough that the counter guy might even lose his job! 500 rupees was a huge amount in bookstore-lingo. I immediately shared my situation with Vishnu. He smiled.

“Buddy, I seriously think you need to give this a miss. We got a great deal man! We saved 500 bucks and got couple of good books for free. And we were paid 50 rupees too (the change) for accepting them. Cheers to us!”

I didn’t buy Vishnu’s reasoning. No sooner did we finish eating our lunch, I rode the escalator back to the first floor, and went to the book store. The counter guy saw me and smiled. He still didn’t realize that he was conned.

I gingerly walked up to him, and slowly made him aware of the situation, with apologies, weakly trying to conjure a smile. Surprisingly enough, the counter guy smiled. He said that such mistakes happen to everybody, and I was indeed a noble person to accept my mistake and promptly correct it. I paid him the 500 rupee note, profusely apologized once more and left the place with a lighter heart and a smile on my face. I had done a good deed, that day. God will reward me.

I reached home, late that night, by train.

The very next morning, I was rudely woken up by my mom. She was grumbling something. I drowsily opened my eyes, and vaguely tried to listen to what she was trying to say. Apparently, she had fished out an ATM receipt from my jeans pocket and was complaining about something related to that.

“… Mone, nee ingane paazhchelavu cheyyaruthu. 1500 rupa nee ATM il ninnum edutho? Ithream cash enthina eduthath? Ninakku paisa undennu karuthi ingane chelavakkaruthu. Save cheyyaan padikkanam…” (Son, don’t spend too much like this. You took a whopping 1500 bucks from the ATM? Why did you take so much money and splurge it? Don’t have the impression that you can spend like crazy cause you have money with you. You should start saving…)

My heart skipped a beat. Slumber left my eyes in a moment’s time. I grabbed the ATM receipt and looked at it again. It seems I had withdrawn 1500 rupees the day before. I had THREE 500 rupee notes with me, not two. I failed to notice the third note, which was kept in another chamber of my purse!! I didn’t make a mistake the other day, and I’d given an extra 500 rupee note to the book stall.

To cut a long story short, 500 rupees gone down the drain.

“Amma paranjathu shariyaa. Paisa sookshichu chelavakkanam”, I sighed. (Mom, what you said is true. I should start spending judiciously).

P.S. True story.

daily blunder Fun

Daily Blunder | Bike Blues

There’s this friend of mine, Ganesh (name changed for anonymity’s sake). He’s a school-college-buddy and lives near my place. We’ve known each other for over over sixteen years now. He’s a guy I adore and admire a lot, mainly for some of his principles which he holds strong. Even though fate’s played some nasty games with him, he’s come out of all adversities bearing a characterestic smile on his face (and a tika on his forehead – our friend’s a devout ‘Shiv-bhakt’).

Like me, Ganesh always depended on KSRTC for his transport needs. That is, until he secured a well-paying job. He decided to put an end to the qualms of daily-commute by buying himself a good motorcycle. And he had no second thoughts about the model – he went for one among the best bikes in the market – The Yamaha R15 Limited Edition. Now, there are only a thousand of such bikes in the market which upped the oomph factor of the bike.

The sudden step-up from mundane commuting to stylish biking was a shot in the arm for Ganesh. He would flash his new toy, zipping through the crowded streets, showing off his beauty. He was too humble to flaunt his bike. Yet, his babe was the object of our collective envy. Ganesh handled his ‘babe’  with utmost care. He would wash and clean it every day, following every rule in the owners manual down to the last dot. In fact, he was obsessed about the R15, albeit in a healthy way.

One fine morning, Ganesh was all set to leave for office. He had an early appointment that morning, hence he’d woken up early to give his bike its daily wash. Making sure that every part of the macho bike gleamed like a new pin, Ganesh mounted his stallion. It was time to hit the road. Turning on the ignition, he pressed the start button. The familiar ignition rattle was music to his ears.

The bike did not start.

His faithful warrior always responded to the first attempt. Ganesh tried again. The ignition-noise emanated again and died down. He tried again. And again. And again.

The bike didn’t respond.

One of the few cons of the R15 is that it lacks kick start. Ganesh remembered his friend recommending him Pulsar 220 because of the same reason. He’d then decided to go against his friend’s advice. Ganesh wasn’t worried. It must be a temporary problem, he decided. He thought he’d wait for a while and try again.

He waited, and tried another hand, to no avail. No matter however hard he tried, the bike failed to respond.

Beads of sweat started pouring down from Ganesh’s forehead. He was running late for his appointment. After a few more tries, Ganesh threw up his hands in despair. He kept his bike back into the shed and took a bus to office. He was fifteen minutes late for his meeting, and his boss was certainly not impressed. After an abnormally-long day, Ganesh reached home, tired and panting. Before he retired to his bedroom, he pulled the bike out of his shed and tried another attempt, in vain. Dejected, Ganesh decided to call it a day. Bikes always have starting problems, he reassured himself. It’d be alright by tomorrow.

For the next two days, Ganesh switched back to KSRTC for his daily commute. Day-in and day-out, he would try starting his bike, only to stand dejected and depressed. How could his brand new bike fall ill despite his careful attention? Machines have the same indiscretions as do humans, he realized.

The very next day, he decided enough was enough. Ganesh called the nearest Yamaha service center. The mechanic said he’d drop by that evening. Ganesh was relieved. His baby’d be back in action within no time, he told himself.

The mechanic promptly arrived, that evening (on a Yamaha RXG, nothing less). Brash and young,  he was a Rajnikanth-worshiping chap, oozing ‘style’ in every movement. Humming a Rajni song, he gingerly unveiled an array of spanners and started work on the bike. He examined every part possible, trying to start the bike every two minutes. The ignition would sputter, and then stop. For a brief instant, the bike made a slight ‘vroom’ sound, much to Ganesh’s excitement. But then it died down, as soon as it started.

Fifteen minutes later, the mechanic stood up and took a stretch. He took a casual glance at the bike’s right side. Suddenly, he fixed his glance at one point. He beckoned Ganesh towards him. His right index finger pointed towards the side of the bike. Ganesh saw it for himself. No sooner did he saw what the mechanic pointed, a smile, or rather, a sheepish grin developed on his face.

The mechanic had pointed his finger at the petrol knob of the bike stood pointed towards the ‘OFF’ position. Ganesh had switched off his bike’s petrol knob in all his punctiliousness to keep his bike ‘perfect’. How in the world would his bike start, when its petrol was turned off? 🙂

Ganesh looked at the mechanic, who was now grinning back at him.

“Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. This is MY third time,” he smiled. 🙂


This post is written as part of the Close Up “Fire Freeze” Contest. Check out their Facebook page, where you can post your own stories. Pour your experiences here as comments. Set the ball rolling. 🙂

daily blunder

Daily Blunder | Lost in translation

I owe this ‘blunder’ to my friend Lokesh (name changed for reasons obvious). 😀

Lokesh is not exactly the best of my buddies, but we’re certainly more than casual acquaintances. He’s a fun dude, and his sense of humor is obscene (<– pun). Loku, as we know him, enjoys quizzing the way he relishes successive pegs of Absolut Vodka. He has all the information under the sun (err… he’s close, really) in his fingertips. Which means, he knows enough about worldly vices too, if you know what I mean.

So one fine evening in Winter 2009 saw Loku and his buddies roaming about the byzantine streets of Bangalore. They’d hit Bangalore as part of a mandatory-act of the ‘engineering’ drama – The Industrial Visit a.k.a. IV. All engineering students who mouth cuss words (that would put a B grade villain to shame) at the higher authorities, profusely thank them for including the essential IV as part of the course. “Practical Theory’ was the original idea in policymakers’ minds. But the students effortlessly twist the ‘guidelines’, using gaping wide-loopholes, hence converting the IV into a full-fledged excursion. Thus, we have students visiting Doordarsan Kendras in Ooty, Garment factories in Goa, and even Tyre Factories in Bangalore and Mysore; conveniently avoiding hundreds of better-equipped ‘industries’ in the neighbourhood. A few well-versed souls toil their ass off to actually visit the industries, while the others diligentlypursue other satisfying activities that involve alcohol and practical ornithology (yes, the IV is all about putting theory to practice!). 😛

That evening, Loku and his two buddies were back after a healthy does of both. Practical ornithology was a success – they had actually caught a couple of ‘birds’ by their wings. One ‘bird’ even flew to them; they assumed her to be a dove, but she was actually a hawk in dove’s feathers! The trio ran for the sake of their (sex) lives, to Brigade Road, from where they had  ‘healthy’ shots of Vodka (Absolut, nonetheless – all sponsored by Rich Loku!), from a pub. It was ‘high time’! 😛 😛 Now, when Loku is high, he comes up with out-of-the-world ideas. Legend has it that, Loku’s main project (which got featured in the papers) was a result of his post-inebriation brainwave. Such an outlandish plan struck Loku’s brain as soon as he his cronies alighted from the pub. Sober and steady as Ayyappa Baiju, Loku narrates his plans to his buddies, who agree without a second thought. Without much ado, the trio get themselves into action! 😛

Their first ‘target’ was the famed KFC outlet at Brigade Road. The dudes barge into the counter. Loku takes lead and petulantly ask:

“Eda p***** mone…. enikkoru chicken roast thaaada m****e!”

Which is  Malayalam for: “Hey mother f**ker! Get me a chicken roast, you as*hole”.


The waiter looks back at them in amazement

“Pardon, sir?”

“Chicken roast!!! Ninakkonnum chevi kettooodedaa tha***li?”

The waiter gets the point and:

“Sure sir. Please take your…”

Before he could complete his sentence, the trio laugh their asses off and escape! 😛

Mind you, these folks spoke in such a calm way that the receptionist DID NOT understand that his parents (and ancestors) were being severely ridiculed! 😉

Spurred by the spectacular success of their gag, these folks  tried it out successfully at nearly half the shops in Brigade Road. They’d get inside, order/inquire something in “nice” language, and before the proprietor/waiter/receptionist/salesperson could respond, they’d laugh their asses off and escape, while Mallu-shoppers would join the laughing spree. The salesperson would require an explanation from the nearest Mallu to get a remote idea about how their parents (and their forefathers) were being ridiculed at the trio. By then, the trio would’ve taken their onslaught to another shop/retail outlet.

After a spree of gags, these folks returned to their hotel by auto. They successfully employed the gag upon the auto driver too; but he was luckier, he at least got paid, unlike plenty of hapless others. 😛 Clinging onto their tummies in a bid to control raucous laughter, falling over each other, the inebriated trio trudged into the hotel’s reception to get their room-keys. It was about 9.30 PM and the rest of their batch mates had already arrived and settled into their rooms. Loku, the self-proclaimed ‘gang leader’ placed his arms expansively over the reception counter and winked at his buddies. One last attempt of the gag; they got the cue, winked back, and donned the same innocent expressions that beguiled hapless Kannadiga shopkeepers. Loku put forth his best performance yet,

“Eda panna kazhiveri po******mone, can you please give me the keys for room 204?”

(You bloody motherf***ker, can you please give me the keys for room 204?)

His buddies had already started guffawing, hands covering mouths; Loku tried his best to control his laughter, trying to look serious.

The receptionist  instinctively and reflexively cocked his eyes up from the computer monitor, to face them:

“Enthaada paranje??!!!” (What did you just say?)

Strike One.

Unofficial statistics say that 40% of Bangalore’s populace consists of Malayalees. The laws of probability went against Loku’s gang, the waiter proved to be a Malayalee, and he understood EXACTLY what Loku had said. 😐 😐

Before anything  untoward could happen, they bolted. Loku and his buddies were screwed – they couldn’t go to the receptionist. The nab had the keys and they didn’t have any spares with them. If they faced him, they’d be beaten up black and blue for sure, and would certainly not step foot into their hotel room. For over three hours, the trio hid themselves at the parking lot, shivering in the winter cold. They returned at 12 AM, making sure that the mallu receptionist had left home, and obtained the keys from the late-night-duty receptionist. Loku quietly asked for the keys (in slow, careful English, this time), and quietly trudged to their room, shivering.

These days, Loku makes it a point NOT to speak in Malayalam, if he’s out with friends. 😛

daily blunder Engineering

Daily Blunder | Confiscation!

This is a live-update post. You get the updates as they happen. The live update is over. 🙂

The day itself started off on a sour note. Well, as a matter of fact, for the past couple of years, no day of mine has started off ‘sweet’, but generally speaking (i.e. in comparison with others), this day was particularly gross. Woke up with a volley of abuses from dad (who actually caught me by my throat in intense anger 😐 ). And dad, who had to go to office early, forgot his room’s keys. He calls me up as I’m about to leave college, barking orders to bring him the keys. Since the situation was urgent, I was allowed (albeit reluctantly) by my mother to take the Maruti 800 (unused mostly, thanks to the Tata Indigo). I dropped mom at her office, hand-delivered keys to a furious dad and entered college, 30 minutes late.

Till then, the day wasn’t as bad. ‘Cause I was actually happy. We had a ‘Demo week’ planned. And today is would have been the ‘Paandi day’, where every single guy/girl would come, dressed up as a ‘Paandi’ (for the uninitated, a ‘Paandi’ is a typical guy/girl from the state of Tamil Nadu, characterised by dark skin colour/loud clothes/loud-mouthed tamil). And I had all my ‘costumes’ ready, and had even worn my flashiest, loudest orange shirt. I’d also taken my semi-aviator Polaroid sunglasses and hidden dad’s worst lungi, and burmoodas for ‘effect’. I hadn’t worn them yet, but I soon would. Or so, I imagined.

The first shock came as a message from my friend Mithun – “Da no demo today.” I got it as I walked to the class, parking my car precariously in the ‘parking lot’. Enraged, I decided to bunk the class, and headed to the library. Chatting up with friends from the electronics department, and after writing a couple of autograph books, I returned to my class. Two hours were gone, and there was seriously no point in sitting in class. Yet, something forced me to sit in class as my staff advisor strode in. Alright, she’s a lady with whom I’ve some VERY huge problems. Nothing personal, but she’s been screwing me up in every possible way, since the very first month of college – the principal reason why I hate college so much. This lady comes in, and puts to display her appallingly-bad sense of humor, only to get forced-half-smiles, and that too, from just the ‘teacher-pleasing-girls’. “Warming up” done, she gets back to the board.

Meanwhile, I get a late delivered message from Mithun, citing the absense of teachers in class. I couldn’t help but smile at the late delivery. As I bent down, reading the message, I heard a voice call my name:

The lady had caught me.

“What are you doing?”

“Ma’am, I was …uh… checking my book.”

Lying comes naturally to me.

Intelligent that she was, she strode over to my seat, as I hid my mobile within the recess underneath the bench. She bent over, took the phone, and muttered ‘advises’ about not lying and crap. She strode off back with my mobile, and hid it within her Distributed Systems text. My 9k worth Samsung Star was reduced to the status of a bookmark! 😐

I was counting each moment, as she taught, and wasn’t paying any attention to what was going around the class. The star was my most priced possession. It is a part of my body – and I felt amputated without it! My mind raced, searching for excuses. But still, I had a belief that I’d get my phone back. As the class got over, I rushed to the teacher. She was adamant. She wasn’t going to return my mobile, whatever be the case. I pleaded and went down as much as my ego did permit. She did not. And before I could say anything else, she stormed out of the class.

I’m so screwed up! Which is why I’m blogging.

The main issue, is I’ve to call up my mom from office, and hence I’ve to communicate with her. And, I’ve been texting friends about some personal problems – one sight of the messages would be enough for serious misunderstanding! Luckily, I’ve the strict no-porn policy, thanks to which I won’t be affected by such problems, if the lady tends to check the phone. But if my mom calls, I’m seriously doomed!

Right now, I’m wondering what to do next. Hopefully, I’ll get the phone back. Hope is the keyword here. 😐

Will keep you posted.

A lot of interesting things happened after that. 🙂

So, I walked hither-tither, peace of mind lacking. Classmates offered words of solace, but none could console me. Finally, I took the desperate measure of actually writing a letter to the lady, pleading for the phone – yes I actually wrote a full written request, only to tear it down, realizing the very futility of the act. To add on to my pain, it seemed that the teacher had magically disappeared from the environs of the college! She was nowhere to be seen. Exasperated and utterly demoralized, I trudged back to my class, only to notice that lunchbreak was long over and another lecturer had gotten into the class. She, being a guest-lecturer (hardly a year older than most of us – some of us were actually as old as, or perhaps older than her!), was correcting answer sheets of the series exam in class, letting us free to do whatever we wanted. I was let inside, and no sooner did I rest my ass on the bench, I flopped down into deep, tired, sad slumber. Only to be woken up by colleagues who directed me to the piercing eyes of this teacher, that were transfixed upon me. I was summoned by the lady, cause my paper was being corrected. I went, dreamy eyed, and asleep, sat on the first bench. She realized I was too sleepy to even open my eyes straight and entertained my request to wash my face. As I got back, my paper was corrected and ready. Another failure, duh! I grudgingly collected the paper only to learn that I had actually gotten very good marks (and that’s not a very common thing for me).  First shot of happiness for the day. Woohoo! 🙂

Revitalized by the sudden shot of inspiration, I went downstairs to the staffroom to plead about the phone to the teacher. To my bad luck, she still hadn’t apparated. Rumour had it that she’d gone home, and if such be the situation, I’m practically doomed. 😐 I was on the verge of tears – well I’m an emotional person, and guys don’t cry. Had to take up a superhuman effort to hold ’em back. 😐 I had to go and call my mom from office, and she couldn’t be informed of the situation, whatever be the situation. My mind shuddered even to think of the occasion if mom’d place a call to my phone. Trudging with a boiling pot of a mind, I reached class again. Friends realized that I was seriously off; their soothing words did quite a bit to lift me up. Soon class was over for the day and I walked out of the class. The lady was nowhere to be found. Some guys had to show their project’s progress to the lady, who happened to be their project guide. So I waited along with them. Along came news that she was actually teaching in a class – I heaved a sigh of relief when I heard that. 🙂 No sooner, I called my mom and asked her to leave, cause I had to meet the lady. Didn’t mention that part to her though.

Thus started the long wait.

Now, she’s (in)famous for teaching extra-time. Hence, our wait got extended by ten more minutes and finally, she showed up. After dealing with her ‘students’, I went to her.  Thus started an exasperated grilling session. Grilling is too mild a word for it; it was actual verbal demoralized. My legs were pulled and tied up in the ceiling – such was the state of mine. Yet, I forgot my ego and stooped down as much as she wanted me to. I pleaded her, trying to make her understand my plight. Finally, she compromised, saying that she’d give me my phone, if  I buy her Dairy Milk. 😐 Guess what, I was so broke that I had to forgo lunch that day. And a lot of bystanders (including classmates) now joined in, supporting her. I was a lone wolf, fighting against a crowd of marauders. :((

In the end, she gave me my handset. It was ice cold from the a/c. And the message which I had opened, while she’d confiscated my phone, was intact. Which means, she hadn’t used the phone. My sole saving grace. Plenty of missed calls and messages. Answering them, I walked back to the car.

One thought/decision was engulfing my mind, as I trudged away.