It is Wednesday, middle of the week, also lying in the middle of our room are two large boxes. A pile of old clothes, belts, shoes and a large set of faded books. Along with the other furniture in the room, these two boxes have also made themselves quite comfortable. We twist and juggle our steps so that the perfect beauty of these boxes is not disturbed. I think that’s what happens when you have to deal with the mad ‘mela’ of Bangalore traffic every single day. You become perfect at the art of sneaking your way through tiny lanes and impossible drama.
The possessed doors of the house bang together in perfect harmony, just like the sound of hunger in my empty tummy. I quickly finish eating my breakfast, pack my lunch and hand over the phone to my husband for giving directions to the lost cab driver. Apparently he was spinning around all the circles, U turns, roundabouts – till his GPS also gave up! While all he had to do was take the first left and then a right or something like that.
The conscious decision of not driving to office came about because of two very important reasons – dealing with traffic means no mental peace & talking to mum while driving (using headset ofcourse) and dealing with traffic means pieces of mental peace. So ya, no DRIVING!
I sit in the car, take out my phone and perform my morning ritual – Call THE MOTHER! I also quickly do the math – 1 to 1.5 hrs ride, 30 to 35 min of call, plenty of time to read. Once an avid reader, I now read out of guilt of just buying books and not reading even one book in two months. Mum picks up the phone, asks about what I had for breakfast, what will I be eating for lunch, how she has yet again eaten only corn-flakes for breakfast, it is too hot here, you don’t love me any more, when are you coming home, so on and so forth. While I patiently (cough) answer all her concerns and queries, I clinch the book in my hand, waiting to be read. I finish the call, open my book, and guess what – I have already reached office. In just 40 MINUTES. What!!!!! Wow!!!! I step out of the cab, holding my victory charm, and march my way to office building.
The always in “good spirits” Bangalore becomes a raging bull on a mislead mission every morning and every other evening. Bangalore has over 56 lac cars (as of March 2015) and counting, zero – size roads with crater sized potholes, overweight footpaths, confused foot over bridges, licensed to kill BMTC buses, two-wheelers on footpath, pedestrians on the road and not afraid of anything autos. The general inability to follow lane system and moody parking can be found here as well. Rain makes the matters worse – you might consider swimming or maybe staying at home with a hot chocolate.
Do’s and Don’ts and Everything In the Middle
Undeniably traffic is a major cause of stress. However, a few basic infrastructure developments can improve the commutation problem in Bangalore:
– Good roads that can stand the storm of changing weathers.
– Fixed potholes, like for real.
– Protected and safe pedestrian and bicycle lanes; and not just painted lines which eventually become parking zones.
– Better and on time public transport facility.
– A fully functional metro service. Though the work is in progress, with few trains already on track – process has to speed up a bit more.
While this happens, there are a few things that we can do to reduce traffic, anxiety and high blood pressure.
– Follow traffic rules – red light means to STOP.
– Car pooling. Lesser vehicles on road means less traffic, less noise and less air pollution.
– Use an indicator when changing lanes. It is not a secret that you can’t reveal.
– Roads are for vehicles and footpaths are for walking. Get over the confusion.
– Use the brake to slow down and not the horn. In case of an inevitable jam, calm down. There is nothing you or your relentless will to honk can help.
– Do not race just because you found a 0.5 kms of open stretch with 3 vehicles and no cows.
– No small talk in middle of the traffic. Please.
– No high beams
– Cross the road when the light is not green.
– Let people cross the road.
– Give way to the ambulance or any other emergency service vehicle. Do not use it as a prop to jump the signals.
– In the best interest of everybody – do not drink and drive!
In order to improve the condition, steps have to be taken by everybody. Government and citizens together. Only cribbing and no action leads to silk board junction, not solution!
Make your opinion count. https://timetoswipe.com/stories/from-silkboard-to-st-john-s-is-bangalore-traffic. Download Swipe app now.