Friday, August 13, 2010

Anatomy of a traffic jam

India traffic, humour, urban, jams
Driving through the war zone that is Bangalore's roads,I have become quite the expert at traffic and the reasons behind them. I have deduced that the problem isn't one of plently but one of scarcity. Intelligence that is.Indeed you will find that causes of traffic jams can be neatly classified into the following categories:


1) Geometry illiterate driver: This class of driver knows not that  all vehicles should preferably travel in the same direction on any given stretch. Instead he will zoom out of whatever hole he was hiding and stand perpendicular to the road to take a turn. This ofcourse incites the other drivers who of no fault of their own have to wait till this idiot takes his turn. Once this is done, lo and behold the signal has turned red again causing an average of one driver a day to have a nervous breakdown.

2) Two wheelers with delusions of grandeur: Busy intersection. Light turns red.I dutifully turn the car off and wait. Invariably, Bumbling Biker at the back decides that the childhood memories of being at the back of the class is too much to bear and decides to snake his way to the front hitting my side view mirror in the process. Giving a stupid grin, he proceeds on his path of slow destruction till he proudly sits at the head of the queue.Light turns green and oh whats this? He kicks and he kicks , the bike does not seem to start. All that work to get ahead and then he holds up all behind him, grunting like a pig to start his bike. When he finally concedes defeat and does the walk of shame to the side, he is invariably greeted by a torrent of abuse he so richly deserves. Hey buddy, know your role in the travel hierarchy and stick to the side where your pathetic attempts will atleast entertain the stray dogs!

 3) The 'Meta Accident' : Now driving through our roads is a rich source of hilarity (unless somebody dies of course), so it is important to never allow yourselves to be tempted by the sideshow of freaks. The other day, irresponsible driver bangs into poor vegetable seller. It is a tomato and capsicum massacre! Traffic cop swings into action like a svelte Bollywood hero. Haha just kidding! He comes rolling like a beachball, panting like a asthma patient to cover 100 m.Cue the usual finger pointing and name dropping. But wait , there's more.Easily distracted driver on the other side of the road decides to poke his head for his daily dose of schadenfreude. And then BANG! hits a parked scooter on the side. Who knew cosmic karma worked so quickly? Then much like a story from Panchtantra, easily distracted driver regrets that he did not mind his own business and proceeds to cause another jam.Tsk Tsk!

4) BPO Cab Adventures: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it is a nincompoop in a Tata Sumo. Atleast what was a Tata Sumo. You see, he probably thought that if a pensioner's call from England could not be answered on time , it would most certainly lead to apocalypse. So, much like a superhero, he heard the call for action and decided to break the sound barrier in the most unlikely locale.The pothole filled roads of Namma City. Not a fan of 'friction impedes speed' theory obviously.  But then he gets a instant lesson by wacking the vehicle around a lamppost. Now speed -> 0 much like the value of the mangled mess of a car. Later ,loser.

5)  Autos: Need I elaborate?

6) Holy cows: Appearing in sixth place on the countdown, it is our masticating friends sitting in the middle of the road like a retiree on a beach in Normandy. Much like a sarkari babu and showing similar insensitivity to stimuli , it will proceed to sit and do nothing.I applaud you ....

7)  Rain: Although logically you would think more rain less vehicles but no. Apparently, some percent of our populi are like the witches of lore who dissolved on contact with water.So at the first sign of black clouds, they haul ass trying every trick in the book from driving on the footpath to jumping signals. Needless to say because of these hydrophobes, I am forced to watch the tamasha from the drivers seat. For two hours. Without any entertainment .Except these clowns.
The list goes on and on as apparently our creativity takes wings on our roads. Which class are you?

Bangalore:Innovating traffic jams since 1998.

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