Thursday, April 14, 2011

Assorted Thoughts of a Traffic-Clogged Morning

So I chose to blog about the traffic. Yeah right, so mundane. When more exciting times are upon us.

Such as Hazare's crusade for a super-empowered Lok Pal - and all I can think of in return to his kindly act is, "Those who forget History are doomed to repeat it", remember ancient Rome's "Dictator" post or its "Praetorian Guard"? Such as AMD's inability to capitalize on Intel's (relatively negligible) woes with the Cougar Point's SATA chip, and not try pulling ahead of at least the lower end Sandy Bridge processors, with its Fusion chips.

What has me exercised is the way barely a hundred people held up traffic for thousands of people on the Old Airport Road (Bangalore) this morning. The traffic police were present in considerable strength and re-routing vehicle flow. One side of the road was blocked out, and the other side was used for vehicles going in both directions. People on two-wheelers were delayed for a minimum of ten minutes, the larger vehicles for longer, and all this at peak-hour.

The village folk admittedly were only doing what they are entitled to. Conducting their "jaatre" or "thaeru", which is a form of "ooru habba". It comes once a year with a religious origin, in which the locality's "protector god" travels around the locality in a grand car. Lot of people volunteer their services in various capacities, lot of roadside hawkers get a chance to sell trinkets and candies, and residents watch the goings-on from within their houses or outside, some even dancing to the beat of the drums outside. The festivities start early, around 2 am in the morning, and wind up by 5 am in truly rural areas. Winds up by 6-7 am in villages that have been swallowed up by cities growing outward.

But not for these particular people, the concept of winding up. The sadistic concept of deliberately getting in your face to conduct these processions, officially blessed by the police, even as a number of traffic signals and roads get jammed, was seemingly so much more satisfying. Yes, we are a democracy where even a single person has the right to be heard. No, your right extends only so far as it does not trample upon mine.

1 comment:

  1. The traffic is so badly managed all over. I commute through the worse bottlenecks in the city - The KR Puram railway station and Tin factory junctions. For just a few vehicles and pedestrians that want to cross the road, thousands of vehicles that are speeding on a national highway are made to slow down and stop, negating the whole purpose of a flyover or an over-bridge at that spot. This is just shifting the bottleneck a few hundred yards, not removing it. It is terrible!


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