… and ladies and gentlemen I’m going to teach you some traffic rules. The post will be insightful and will comprehend your judgement about the traffic on Indian roads and more importantly the traffic sense of Indians.
- The mirrors on the sides of the vehicles are meant to see the road behind that your car has covered. Mind you, to see the road behind and not the vehicles on the road that may approach you while you are blindly taking a turn in the middle of the road.
- The no parking signs are meant for you to understand that parking over here is compulsory.
- You are absolutely right in believing that even the cars and bikes talk to each other when they are in a gathering (read traffic jams). For how else will you justify the blowing of horns?
- The broken white lines on the highway are not meant to mark the lanes. They are meant so that you can try zig zag drive between the broke white lane, especially if you are a biker.
- Helmet is not a protective headgear but a fancy cap. Most helmet designs justify this point.
- The red lights on the signal, especially when they are on late night or early morning are meant for decoration purposes and not for control of traffic.
- The foot paths are meant either for the road side vendors when in a market or for bikers to ride on it when on a busy jammed road. They are not meant for walking.
- If you happen to brush another vehicle in traffic, it is important that you settle the score then and there without worrying about the ensuing traffic jam behind you.
- The ascend or descend of the flyovers are meant for the buses to stop and offload passengers. If there are pileups behind or bottle necks on the other two lanes, it is not their headache.
Few more rules coming up as soon as I discover them. If you know any, let me know and I will put it in y rule book.
- I was on my way to office today morning and driving on the Ghod Bunder Road on the out skirts of Thane. I was about to overtake a bus when a polythene bag full of vomit (yuks!) was hurled out of one of the windows of that bus. It landed barely few feet in front of my wind screen. You know what would have happened if I was driving a little faster. Whoever threw it didn’t even bother to see if any one else was coming from behind. How’s that?
- IBM, Oracle Financials, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, TCS, LRN and India Infoline. These are some of the companies, all top rated, who have their offices in the commercial premises where even I go for work. We have two common canteens in the complex situated side by side. One of them has a counter which sells cigarettes, pan masalas, gutkhas etc. Whenever you pass through that area, you will always find the cigarette buds and empty sachets littered around. The poor attendants have to clean up the garbage every now and then. Now if employees belonging to such high profile companies do not know how to behave, who else will?
The primary reason why we are still called an underdeveloped country despite having what it takes to rule the world is the attitude we have towards our own country. We complain about the apathy of the Municipal corporations and unhygienic conditions with the same ferocity with which we stomp on the cigarette bud thrown on the road.
When will we learn?
Two separate incidents yesterday made me believe that it is not only difficult but near impossible to teach us Indians to apply basic common sense when it comes to manners and obeying rules.
Incident 1: My office has newly shifted to a big corporate park recently. Since the building is being finished, the employees are required to use the service doors for entry and exit. It is a spring door, meaning it retracts by itself (I dont know what it is called). The wing where my office is located also houses companies like Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, IBM, LRN, and the likes. So yesterday late evening when I was getting out of my office building, about 4 guys from IBM were walking about 10 feet in front of me. I had a laptop in one hand and my mobile in other. As we all approached the door, while on of these guys opened the door, I decided to check what it was it. And… BANG! The door got slammed on my face. Surprisingly, none of the four guys were courteous enough to look back, forget holding it for me.
Incident 2: On my way back to home, a guy oh his bike was driving almost at neck to neck pace with me on the highway, coincidently though. A peculiar thing was, he wasn’t wearing a helmet. Now this is very unsafe considering speeds in excess of 70-80 kms per hour. After passing over 3 fly overs, he slowed down and wore the helmet tucked on the mirror while still driving. Reason? we were approaching the Check Naka where the traffic police are present. So he was actually afraid of the of the bribe or the Rs. 100 fine and not losing his life? strange.
Gosh… when will we learn?