An Open Letter to the Bangalorean who Drives:

Dear Bangalorean,

I have a question for you; A question I have been meaning to ask anybody who will listen.

How do you drive? More importantly, how do you sleep — knowing you drive like the way you do?

You hold no qualms for traffic rules, and go where and how you please.
You offer no respect for pedestrians, and treat them the same way you would while playing Carmegeddon — scum who deserve to be driven over.
You offer no courtesy to vehicles smaller than yours, pushing them off your path and the road — treating them like they are mere obstacles in your path.

All in all, you drive like you were in a cross-country rally (the roads being in line) on Devil’s own mission – to damage as many vehicle and human life as possible.

Shocked? Well, I hope at least some of us are.

I can’t help but wonder what has transpired in our social environment that has detached us from the ultimate value otherwise accorded to a human life. We have ‘learnt’ to treat other vehicles on the road as just that – machines, attaching no human significance to the people inside!

We blare our horns, shout the choicest of swear words, zip in-and-out of non-existent lanes, push anybody close and slow enough off the lane (better still the road), and still manage to take two hours to cover a 15-20 kilometer stretch!

Traffic Signals are a snarl, thanks not only to the bad road management of the authorities, but equally due to our utter contempt of traffic rules. 10 seconds after a signal turns red, we refuse to keep at bay, and try to squeeze through non-existent spaces.

And God forbid the day that the traffic policeman is not at his traditional post – for then it is a free-for-all, ain’t it? Except free would be a misnomer — stuck-for-all-eternity is more like it.

And this is exactly the way it was at 7:30 AM today at the BTM traffic signal. The traffic policeman was AWOL for 10-odd minutes that seemed like eternity. And there we were: Everybody trying to everywhere, when in fact nobody could move an inch for the next twenty minutes; Till the policeman returned to take control of the situation.

And this forced me to think out loud: Why are we like this? Have we lost all sense of civility? Have you an answer or a thought?

Nakul

7 Comments

  1. Charity begins at home

    and I am homeless
    ………………………………………………….
    Let the best man win
    It’s a war… not a game
    …………………………………………………….

  2. Nuclear fission is not a myth my friend. Chain reactions happen.
    Imagine a country where the cops fine upto 5000 bucks for breaking a red light. The next offence, your license is ceased. Imagine cameras on each and every bylane. Imagine people stopping not only at signals, but also at STOP signs. Now imagine this actually happening in India.

    I for one cannot. And hence I believe. Not of a better tomorrow, but of nuclear fissions.

    – Kaush

    1. Nuclear Fission…

      Ha ha ha… I liked that response, Kaushik. Sad, but true.

      Nuclear fission may not be too easy after what the current government has done. Definitely they have never heard the words:
      सर कटा सकते है लेकिन सर झुखा सकते नहीं
      अपनी आजादी को हम हरगिज़ मिटा सकते नहीं

      Nakul

      1. Re: Nuclear Fission…

        And why do you say that my friend? If it is in the context of the N-deal with the US, I must tell you that you’re sadly mistaken as are others who oppose it on grounds of “giving up our rights”. There comes a time in a nation’s life, when it has to decide what it needs and who are the chaps who can supply those needs. Today, India needs energy and the only option is nuclear energy. So, we should just sign up and get the goodies… forget about issues like test-ban treaties etc. After all, if we can conduct one N-test, we are an N-power. So, even if we don’t do any further testing, we’re in the N-league and can bargain our way forward. However, if we renege on our commitment, the world will stop taking us seriously. On a political front, the left opposes the deal because they have to oppose anything concerning the US. As for the BJP, they oppose because that’s their job as the main opposition party. Honestly, can you think of a single novel decision the BJP took while in power that was at loggerheads with earlier governments? The reason for this is simple… our country is not governed by politicians… bureaucrats are at the helm and no matter which party comes to power, the policies will remain much the same! So, let’s pray for nuclear fission.

        1. Re: Nuclear Fission…

          Ha ha ha. Raj, I’d rather wish for better traffic management 🙂

        2. Re: Nuclear Fission…

          🙂 My friend. I have nothing against us being an N-power. Neither am I against it, nor am I for it. But let’s talk about things that have an impact on us. Is it not an irony that our markets are flooded with Aquafinas, and Aveos and what not, and our taps at home run dry because of water crisis?
          To me getting our basic infrastructure right is more right than getting anything else right, and for that I am ready to give up as many rights.

  3. Carmageddon

    Nakul bhai: “Why do you grudge every Indian his bit of glory on the road? After all, other than a win in cricket, what have we got to celebrate life as an Indian”? All our competitive juices flow only on the road or when our cricketers are smashing sixes!

    And if it makes you feel any better, I can confirm that traffic sense is pretty much the same in Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai when compared to Bangalore. I believe Bangaloreans should be more at peace than the others as at least they have cool weather surrounding them when stuck in a traffic jam… imagine sultry Chennai & Mumbai and hot and dry Delhi?

    Also, despite being a crazy traffic, I believe Bangalore has a low rate of traffic accident mortalities compared to the other cities I named. Of course, I do agree with all you say about our inhuman behaviour inside the vehicle.

    Reminds me of a prize-winning caption I read for safe driving… “It takes many nuts to make a car, but only one to smash it up”.

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