“Being Between Bumpers”
One out Two sentence to introduce Bangalore City to a new comer will definitely be “It has horrible traffic.” Let me help you, the second would either be, its very green city or its weather is awesome.
It has almost been half year now for me to feel all these things and would surely be using these sentences on any new comer coming to Bangalore. But I have a lot of other thoughts related to traffic and Roads. And not surprisingly, a lot of these thoughts came to me while i was stuck in some traffic jam.
Everyone can list the reasons for traffic, its not a complex science. reasons are common, like, lots of Vehicles, Rapidly Expanding City, less efficient public transport, lot of Vehicles, (I repeated it, anyways), narrow roads, mismanaged vehicle flow and lots of Vehicles. Oh, yes, there are actually lot of vehicles here. You see kilometers and kilometers of cars lines up for a signal on peak times. On the other hand, Roads are very narrow. There are hardly any places to expand it. And so there are many Roads converted to One way. The Road you go from is never the one you come back from. Road system is very complicated and Trafic police is making its best to make it more complex so that people don’t drive. But then, Google Bhagvan comes to rescue!
There are many peculiarities to Bangalore traffic too. People follow signals perfectly. You don’t see that much of a noise as much a traffic this big should do. On signals, Autowala read news-paper, calmly, Bikers have Fruit dish (I am not making this, I once saw this) some play sudoko, some like me are just observing and one of my friend (genuinely) took a nap (yes, he was on driving seat). People are calm at signals. But once its nearing to Green there is a wave of vehicles getting started. You get 30 Secs window after 180 sec of waiting but kilometers of line gets cleared. People race like F1 just to reach and wait at another signal. This is like computer machine language of 0s and 1s. There are 0 when signal is red where are all shut down and there are 1 when all are rushing like hell to run.
At times traffic is very frustrating. If you are late to leave your house by 5 mins, you effectively are late to office by half an hour. And on signals when you actually wait to 180 secs for your 30 secs of performance, there is one guy who will not get it vehicle serviced and thus will stop the entire line behind his scrap vehicle. It’s the time when you tell yourself, Hey Bhagvan, agle time clear karva dena!. And how can you forget that day when a minister is to come and roads are packed for him and you reach office after lunch time. That time you actually consider joining politics and becoming a MLA but then sadly realise there are lot of mails to respond.
Adopting to Changes is the reason humans are still alive. We have adopted to Bangalore Traffic too. Ola, Uber, company busses comes to rescue you from traffic headache, work from home are done, late night and early morning flights are booked. People often switch homes when they switch jobs just to avoid long drive. Your boss thinks its your love for work which makes you come early to office and makes you sit late at office, but its actually free internet and coffee and then less traffic the reason behind “dedication”.
Traffic is not that bad and its not only on roads. Everything that stops you from reaching your destination is a traffic, learning to make way from it is success. On the other hand Traffic is something which gives to time to think of future plan and possible actions. It gives you rest so that you can run when you find your way. (Oh! that was a lot of philosophy)
Lastly, there a song dedicated to Bangalore Traffic,
“Tumhi Din Chadhe, Tumhi Din Dhale, Tum Hi Ho Bandhu, Sakha Tumhi”