Apr 2, 2011

Traffic Nonsense

Traffic Sense. This is a misnomer in India.
Ofcourse there are towns and cities in India where there is some semblance of order, but it is mostly chaos all over.

I often wonder why we even bother painting lanes on most of the roads since nearly no one knows why they are there. But if I may add, the single most annoying and sometimes terrifying aspect of driving in India is the Horn.

It appears that most drivers use the horn as an extension of themselves. As an appendage that can emphasize their urgency and annoyance. Almost like a spokesperson of indignation. 'You are wasting my time.'

At the traffic lights, it is difficult to imagine how Indians are ever used to waiting or getting late. One Westerner that I met at a traffic stop, was appalled at the amount of noise that we make on the roads. "Its like Indians are not used to getting late!"
'Contrary to what you think, Mr Caucasian. We always come late.' I said to myself

We don't need a Earth Day in India. We need a No Horn day one day every week. That would make a lot more sense.

Not that I hate all of the honkers. Many are plain arrogant and impatient, while some of them are just plain stupid.
I have started classifying the 'types' we meet on road.

The 'Devout Christians'
We have a bumper sticker that says 'Honk if you love Jesus'. And Boy! there are a lot of devout Christians who follow us. Honk! Honk!

The 'I'm Late For My Mom's First Delivery' Folks
We love the ones who weave through traffic with such dexterity and technique, its hard to imagine why we don't have a winning team at the F1. They race. They honk. They weave through traffic and scowl at you for slowing them down for that crucial 1/10th of a second. Only to stop at the traffic lights.

The 'Get out of my way' Folks
And then we have those glorious drivers who drive with a mission. Mission to Kill anyone who is unfortunate to be slow or just plain unfortunate. Its almost like one of those Atari video games that I used to play growing up, where we need to help a rabbit cross a busy street without getting it killed. I almost never made it! 

The 'Grammy Winners'
And then there are the musical ones. No, they dont have the musical horns but its just the way they honk. 
Pee Pe Peee Pee Pe Peee Pe Pee Pe Peee Pee Pe. 
I love this kind the most. Not just because they are musical but also because they are so plain cute and stupid at the same time. And if you observe them, you'll notice that they have the blond look. No expression. No IQ. (Apologies to all the intelligent blonds out there) (No Pun intended)

Two things that money can't buy. Common Sense and World Peace. Its a tragic truth that good traffic sense evades most Indian drivers. 
We've conquered space and technology, but we're unable to stick to a lane.
We're the only civilization that has never invaded another nation but we simply refuse to drive defensively. 
We've fought for our freedom and set an example in history but we still treat other drivers with contempt and disrespect.

What is it about Indians that make us lousy road users?
Horn OK Please
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