I was travelling back home from the I-Day flower show, and as totally expected, I was caught in a traffic jam a few meters before a signal. Typical, I thought. So I waited patiently next to a footpath and attempted to defy gravity by trying to balance my bike on its stationary wheels. Yes, I amuse easily. As this was progressing, I happened to look into my rear-view mirror. At least 8 bikes were charging up the footpath, honking at the pedestrians, even yelling at them! My first reaction – ‘Hain? Are they blind or what? Which school? Don’t they know they have a road?’
I have been travelling using my own transport for about 7 years now and from what I’ve witnessed, I have realized some peculiar but oh-so-typical truths about us:
1) The-road-is-mine attitude: Who cares if there are 100 other vehicles trying to comb their way through the traffic, or trying to get past a signal? I am the road-king. I need to get to wherever I have to get to, first. Screw the rest. They suck.
2) The-footpath-is-also-mine attitude: Footpaths? Ay, these are just extensions of roads man. The government was too stingy to tar the 4 feet of space so they put some stones over the area and gave it a fancy name. Never mind. I am the road-king. I will undo the deed.
3) Red signal? Sorry sir, color-blind: Signals are for losers. I will display my dodging skills by completely disregarding a STOP sign or a RED signal. I’ll just pretend like I never saw it change. Easy-peasy.
4) Yellow signal? Pfft: Yellow, yellow dirty fellow. I will take this to heart and completely ignore this signal, which apparently means I have to slow down. Slowing down is for people who have time. I am so busy. I am the road-king.
5) Overtaking is my birthright, and I shall do it: Yes, you heard it right. When I was born, I was held up like Simba and was told “Beta, go. Overtake. This is your father’s road”. And overtake I did!
6) Rules? What rules?: Traffic rules are silly. Eh, I’ve broken so many of them so many times, and see? I’m still alive. Hah! Losers. Sit and follow the rules. That’s why you’ll are late to reach your destination. Not because you’ll left your start-point late.
7) Honking is actually a genre of music: Music is my passion. And if I can create music on the go, then why not? This horn looks like a fine piece of instrument. Let me press it repeatedly, and spread it’s soothing tune to all around me. Yes, I give back to the community ok? Road king does charity.
A must-horn moment is when the signal turns green. Whether I am at the signal front or at the tail-end of it, honking is a must. Irrespective of whether the guy right at the start of the signal can hear it or not. Because no-honking is against my religion.
8) Helmet? Say whaaaa?: Sorry boss, I just gelled my hair. This helmet-shelmet business is not for me. My hairstyle will go for a toss and then I will be unable to impress all those chicks at office. Because my messed-up hair will repel them, not my disgusting attitude or my complete disregard for rules.
9) Road-rage is just me voicing my opinion: Since I have already established that I am the road-king, only I’m allowed to skip signals, overtake, run over pedestrians on footpaths, and the rest. If you ever try all this, I will abuse you, your family, your ancestors and all the female members related to you. I will do this, especially, if you follow traffic rules. I will scream and show obscene gestures and abuse your family tree (even though they had nothing to do with this) in such a way that you will think twice before crossing my path again. Sometimes, I will call upon my area-boys and harass you, for kicks. You have been warned.
We are the youth of this nation. We are the change. Let’s do our bit by following traffic rules and being compassionate to other commuters. Traffic rules, no matter how silly they seem, are created and implemented for our safety. We may feel rebellious and might tend to break these ‘restrictions’. But do we want to do this at the cost of our lives and the lives of others? I think it’s time we re-think our priorities.