Monday, August 20, 2007

Oh what fun it is to ride......

No, I am not singing "jingle bells" :D What I am talking about is the "joy ride" that I take daily, from my home to IISc. The daily 12 km drive from the past 3 weeks has given me enlightening insights into the way the road traffic in Bangalore operates.

To begin with, you have the utter disregard for traffic rules what-so-ever. Well, you do know that rules are made for fools, and, our dear Bangalorean drivers are anything but that, right? Chaos is the only thing that rules :D The traffic signals are living examples of this reign of chaos. All of us have learnt in school - Red - Stop; Yellow- get ready; Green -move. With the advent of the time display at signals, people have changed this boring routine of red-yellow-green. The new rule is - if the signal shows anything less than 40 - don't switch engine off, idle it; display shows 10 - get ready; display shows less than 5 - move , and move it fast, baby!! What about the coloured lights?? Nah!! Those are for the colour blindness check! This is the digital age, honey, follow the digital time display!

The two wheeler riders here follow the Modified Tilak principle - "Lane switching is my birthright and I shall have it! " In all kinds of traffic - fast moving, slow moving and not moving, you can see the bikes moving sinuously, in and out of the masses of cars, buses, vans and what not. The auto walas face an identity crisis, being neither a two wheeler nor a four wheeler. So, they make most of both worlds, by having a "Bah! Two wheelers!" attitude like a car driver, and a "I can switch lanes" attitude of a two wheeler! And, as a result, they try to ape the bikers and block the traffic, and when chided (not gently) by the crowd for doing so, their marvellous attitude doesn't help matters and you have fights!

Then, you have all the honking. Well, if there is one thing to be said about the drivers here.. they sure are horny! Well, now don't get me wrong.. I mean, they believe in sounding the horn as often as they can! :D Whenever there is a jam, you have an orchestra there. It is said when Beethoven gave a concert of his famous Midnight Symphony, he was stone deaf. Well, the same can be hoped for anyone who tries to conduct this Midday Cacophony as well :) At signals, a picosecond delay in moving ahead can drive the person behind you nuts, and, you would be treated to his version of KennyG. After pondering over why people continue to honk at cars ahead of them, when they see that the jam is stretching for atleast a mile , I have now come to the conclusion that the Bangalorean Driver is actually very intelligent. Most of them being engineers, they decide to put to use the knowledge of resonance that they possess. You all must have done the resonance column expt, where we learn that if the resonance frequencies of two things match, sounding one would make the other vibrate as well. That is exactly what the public here is trying to do. When struck in a jam, continually honk, at different pitches and in different tempos, so, if by chance you hit the resonant frequency of the cars ahead of you, you can make them all vibrate and, hence, move!! Now, is n't that brilliant !!

As the icing on the cake, we have the ridges and furrows.. oops, I mean, the speed breakers and the pot holes. The pot holes in the road - or rather, the road amidst the potholes - ensures a complete bone rattling, muscle jerking ride, which gives you accupressure better than all the spas put together! And, finally the speed breakers - wow! What a marvel of construction! I have my own reasons to believe that these are the beta versions of ISRO's newly developed launching devices. They are built so as to send the pillion rider of your bike in the perfect projectile motion so as to put him into orbit around the planet earth. So, we need not move our geostationary satellites to Kota for the launch. Just put them on a bike, behind the driver and send them on one of the roads in Malleshwaram. If the first speed breaker doesn't do the job, the second one surely will !!

So, with such lovely people and things to keep you occupied while driving, surely, you would sing "oh what fun it is to ride....... in Namma Bengalooru! "


Ram said...


Bastet said...

Thankoos !!

Tallur said...

Well written.. found your technical PJs boring though :P

Bastet said...

well, you need some level to appreciate them, sid baab... it is for tech ppl not for finance ones like thou! :P

AlterinG Abhishek said...

God such a big post on the pain..
no wonder the pain would be there

I remeber going on that side during the International radar symposium !!
yes it is a painful thingy!!

very well written

** I have replied to your wonderfully noticed comment onmy Change blog!!

MM said...

Ha Ha Ha! Tell me about it! :D
So, when do u launch the next rocket? :P