|Mine was four door version of this.|
My small red Fiat hatchback had begun to irritate me. The starter motor had grown a mind of its own. It had developed this nasty habit of sticking and wouldn’t turn when I most wanted it to do so. It let me down when my wife wanted to be rushed to the hospital for her second child birth and when I wanted to bring both of them home. I had really wanted to bring the boy home in my own car for obvious reasons. Finally he came home in my best friend’s car. I was so pissed off at it for letting me down.
Later when on my daughter’s sports meet day, which was held at the SSC grounds Colombo 7, all four of us were driving to Colombo. By this time I had got an auto electrician to see the started motor but still it performed poorly.
When we entered Colombo through the New Kelani Bridge we had a choice of routes, either through Maradana or Baseline Road. Just because of the unreliable starter motor, I decided to avoid the traffic congested Maradana as I didn’t want to take the chance of engine stalling and having to push it in the heavy midday traffic. I told my intention to Deepa and she readily agreed, and scolded the electrician a bit more.
I switched lanes and drove through the Baseline Road. As I swung left at Punchi Boralla towards Boralla I noted some difference in the behavior of traffic and the people too. I lowered the window and asked the dude who was crossing the road by my window if anything was wrong.
“Don’t you know dude.” He said, “The tigers just bombed Maradana, and so many are dead. Look at the cloud of smoke.”
I felt cold sweat run down my face as I turned the head and saw the grey sky above Maradana which I just avoided crossing a few minutes ago, just because of my faulty starter motor. I’d have arrived on the scene at the precise moment the bomb went off which would have blown us all sky high ending everything, if I didn't make that vital decision. I shuddered to think about those who didn’t have the choice of taking the other route just like I did when I did.
For the first time all of us thanked the faulty starter motor which saved our lives.