Thursday, September 18, 2008

I have a dream...

I have a dream. Of stepping out one day to find that people only use the horn when they really need to. But, I have no hope that the dream will actually come true. We Indians have a highly contagious disease. That of honking. My Scooty Pep's horn stopped functioning about 10 days ago.  was too lazy to get it repaired. So, I tried managing without. Trust me, it's not that difficult. Yesterday, I finally managed to get it repaired. And I found that I honked when just the previous day, I got by perfectly well without it. I realised I honked impatiently, and absolutely unnecessarily, at least 4 time in the day.

I am no exception. In fact, I belong to the minuscule section of the Indian population who hates to honk. If I misused the horn so much, imagine what a honking addict would do. My grandmother's house is in a residential area off Nelson Manickam Road that's relatively quiet. I was sitting there yesterday when a great big Tata Sumo starts honking incessantly and insistently just before the house. It gave me a headache. Wonder why he found the need to honk so loudly in a perfectly calm residential area.

While I am on this topic, I also have a few suggestions for those of you who drive.

  1. If you are at a traffic signal, WAIT!!!! Neither you, nor the guy in front of you can move until the light turns green. If you so desperately want to jump the signal, you are free to do so, but you have no business abusing the poor, law-abiding motorist in front of you.
  2. When you come on the wrong side of the road, you are breaking a law. Your incessant honking or flashing headlights makes NO difference whatsoever to the motorist coming on the right side, nor does it exonerate you from the offence you commit.
  3. While on the question of headlights, DO NOT flash those lights in high-beam on a dark road in the middle of the road. It makes it impossible for the other motorists to drive.
  4. If you are a female driver, and are scared of going beyond 20 kilometres an hour on an empty road, please drive on the extreme left. Do NOT force other motorists to follow you car/bike at that miserable speed. This also applies to senior citizens who insist on driving despite the fact that they can neither see properly nor hear properly.
  5. If you are driving a share auto (one of those monstrosities that you see on Chennai roads), please stop at the SIDE of the road to pick up a passenger. Do NOT stop in the fast lane and then curse loudly when the poor motorcyclist behind you hits your bumper. Also applies for normal autos.
  6. Finally, if you want to take a left turn, please DO NOT overtake a vehicle going straight, on the right and then swerve left. Not only is it dangerous, but also inspires the motorist you just overtook to stop you and practise his/her karate on you.

So there! I can't think of any more right away. But, your contributions are most welcome.

10 comments:

Ms Cris said...

Hehe! Look at another blogger's views on the same - here

Indian Home Maker said...

Hey Amrutha, number 4 makes me wonder if it's only female drivers who slow down the traffic...
And senior citizens who drive despite vision and hearing problems, and are driving slowly and carefully...I guess I would also say Hat's Off!!
Maybe they can't afford a driver. It's fine if they drive in the left lane I guess.
I also find honking quite unnecessary, most of the time.
Let me add one more point here, it helps to keep your cool. Road rage can be dangerous. Two wheelers overtaking from the left used to unnerve me earlier but now nothing (almost) seriously annoys me...

roop rai said...

hehe ...

when i was in india, one of our family houses is on a 'main' road. boy, it was terrible to fall asleep there. almost impossible. people honked even at 2 am in the morning! i guess it becomes a habit eh. here, i can't even honk when i NEED to. just not a habit.

The Minking Than said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anoop John said...

I almost posted the link to my post about driving in Trivandrum without honking when I saw Cris's comment regarding the same. It works, but the fact of the matter is, I am a honker. I honk instead of cursing just like people do in the US. There it is very rare but here I get to do it very frequently like once in every few seconds :-)

Sindhu said...

The honking culture in India is HORRIBLE. Every time my family would visit, I would get a migraine just from driving around in the car... the noise pollution is bad enough as it is, and the constant honking heightens the frustration and exasperation of being on the damn road. It's really not that necessary to honk every other second.

I feel like people in India think they own the road. That's how they drive on it, as if road rules suddenly stopped existing and their car is the only vehicle on the road. Sigh.

The Minking Than said...

I can add a couple of reasons
- There are too many people on the road who have no idea about traffic rules given our corrupt licensing system.
- Of these there are again too many people out there who who think that might is right.
- There are too many people out on the roads who don't know how to drive, making some of the mistakes that the post author described as irritating - like slow drivers keeping to the right lane, stopping abruptly etc.

Amrutha said...

Minking Than: Absolutely right! But, there is also the fact that most Indians are simply impatient.

roop said...

owing to ike, past few days have been without traffic signals ... 'heavy' traffic has been still running smoothly without any honking and everyone treating traffic signals as 4 way stops... was thinking of this post while drivin home today :)

Rajkumar said...

no point in complaining about broken windows and cracks in the wall when the entire foundation is at fault!!!

yes sensible people can fight to correct it and follow it themselves.

but the lasting solution is to change the system..(and that's another topic for another day)

and that like amrutha starts this post will always be....

A DREAM !!!!