Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Traffic Rants

I hate traffic. We all do. It’s one of those universally hated things -- like a smelly fart, terrorism or Sanjaya Malakar. The thought of going to work everyday scares me more for the commute and for the job, and when you realize what my job really is like, you’ll know just how bad the traffic must be.

What makes the traffic worse, carrying it from the regions of “quite terrible” into the realms of “unbearably horrendous” is the heat and dust that one must do battle with when on the street. Okay, so a few of you reading this probably drive around (or get driven around by a driver) in air-conditioned luxury cars and are snickering at my woes. But let me tell you, even a 15-minute ride on a motorcycle in this heat and dust will leave you, well for the want of better adjectives, quite heated and dusty. The problem with combating these two evils is that their solutions are mutually exclusive. To fight the heat I want to wear as little as possible; to save myself from the dust, I need to do the opposite. Attack one, and the other rears up from behind you and smites you hard in the back.

Then there are traffic signals. Every Indian driver makes it his personal goal to remind you about 15 seconds before the light turns green. The means of communication, of course, is his or her vehicle’s horn. These people are quite skilled you know. The other day, the guy in the car behind me, started playing the national anthem on his car horn. I was impressed.

And I haven’t even gotten to the pollution factor yet. Try getting stuck next to a PMT bus at a traffic light. There’s the smoke and the heat from the bus’ exhaust, and before you know it someone’s spit on you from the bus window! You’d be lucky if it’s only saliva, too. Phlegm or paan are not uncommon either. I don’t blame the person spitting out for being so callous. It’s often hard to notice the person below in the cloud of exhaust.

Sometimes, I’m just pleasantly surprised to reach work at all.

(Note to self: Do not hug everyone in sight when you are pleasantly surprised to get to work. More importantly, do NOT tell them you were spit on after you’ve hugged them.)


Rachel said...

I moved from Seattle, which is in the top 5 for worst traffic in the U.S., and it was horrendous.
Every time I see something that is based in India the traffic is CRAZY!!! I would be terrified to drive in it.

mainhoonrosieposie said...

God man, r u gifted or wat? Tehelka n u r among the few dat activate my zeal to read.

Avinash S said...

wat about the people without any love for their life out our bikes who just appear all of a sudden out of nowhere to test ur brakes ?

nice post dude

lara said...

lol... on the news we saw this indian guy (who owns a restaurant) who is very upset about the greenhouse gases yada yada, so he's decided to deliver his food in rikshaws...something i canNOT imagine downtown.. toronto.
yuck paan...and you've written this well, although now i miss your motorcycle even more.

following this blog said...

atleast u commute by a bike .. ever tried commuting every single day by PMT buses for 4 straight years .. to and fro journeys taking 1.5 hrs each?????

poisondoux said...

@following this blog


i totally sympathize and empathize with...also bot to forget the crater sized potholes... and the amazing display of patchwork on roads!!
lovely post!