Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Morning Traffic

Is there any law in Bangalore that states that no traffic rule need to be followed before 8 AM? I leave my house at 7 in the morning on Mondays and Tuesdays to get to my campus, and each time I can barely manage to keep my temper in check.

Today was an especially painful day. And these 40 days are when I am supposed to lose my temper NOT at all!

Lets begin with the early-morning joggers/walkers. I appreciate their fitness regime, and their desire to stay as healthy as possible. But does that mean that they can take up the entire road for their walking? As I turn into Banyan Tree road (aka Monkey Park road) there is this sea of humans just coasting along the road. It doesn’t matter whether they are in the direction of my car or the opposite; they seem to be totally obvlivious of the actual purpose of a tarred road and a footpath. I am sure you realize that there were just 2 options ahead of me – and I took pity on the public and honked them off the road!
(Before you begin to wonder, let me clarify that this option is more merciful than the other one – mowing them down!)

After I leave all the fitness freaks and enter the main roads I am faced with another problem – traffic signals. Before 8 AM, the rule seems to be that Green means Go. Amber means Go. Red means Honk loudly & Go. And there I am sitting in my car, with the engine switched off as the Devagowda Petrol Bunk signal slowly winds its way down from 171 seconds. Lorries, buses, jeeps, cars, motorbikes, scooters and even cycles just blare their horns and whiz past me. If there is some “unfortunate” driver who is stuck right behind me and is forced to follow the traffic rules, he begins to shout the sweetest of swear words from his vernacular tongue. I stick my index finger out and point towards the red light. At which point, he resumes his honking and swearing…

To add to this confusion is the occasional driver who wishes to enter the road from the wrong direction, but still thinks it is birthright as long as it is before 8! All I can do is glare at him while the rest of the traffic continues to flow on both sides through the red light.

The sad part is that I imagine myself to be creating an impression like the guy does in the Kawasaki Bajaj Calibre ad and all that the people around seem to think of me is that of a joker who doesn’t know what being streetsmart is.

I do not know the origin of the word “streetsmart”, but I can trace its roots to such traffic situations on the streets.
Being streetsmart is to skip all the people waiting at the signal by going on the right side of the divider. Ah…the smile of pride in their faces as they condescendingly look at the “losers” waiting!
Being streetsmart is to begin honking as soon as the digital timer at the signals reaches 20 seconds.

I don’t see any improvement in the mindset of the people to correct their attitude. I don’t see any decrease in the number of people flocking into Bangalore. As a result, I don’t harbour any hope of living in the Bangalore of old.



At 9:46 AM, Blogger Punk Floyd said...

Good one!! coincidentally enough.. we have talked about traffic and joggers..

At 3:53 AM, Blogger Akshai said...

"I stick my index finger out and point towards the red light. "....I think you could use fingers other than index when you have to get your point across to these jokers.

At 4:30 AM, Blogger Sridhar Raman said...

Swamy Sharanam!!!!

At 4:52 AM, Blogger DhiOnlyOne said...

I think we should all abandon our vehicles and start jogging all over the place.

At 12:14 AM, Blogger eV said...

"Is there any law in Bangalore that states that no traffic rule need to be followed before 8am?" - Of course, not. If there was such a law, then it is a rule, and it pertains to traffic and hence will be another traffic rule - and hence will not be valid before 8am. In short, the statement is self-contradictory and hence the answer to your question is NO. Hope I've decreased the entropy in our universe with this clarification.

At 12:53 AM, Blogger Sridhar Raman said...

Dei, that was supposed to be a rhetoric!

At 12:59 AM, Blogger Bloggard said...

Why, are any traffic rules followed in Bangalore any time of the day? The only rule it seems, is to make your own rules and generally add to the chaos.

At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the problem is not with people, its with number of people.


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