My office is about eight Kms from my place in bangalore. On a normal day, driving at an average speed of 40Kms/ Hour, I should be easily make it to office in about 12 minutes and stretch it to lets say 15-20 minutes given the single signal on the way. But , Still it takes me about 30 minutes everyday. Not that I am getting slower, it’s just that lately I have been observing a lot of slow moving traffic on the way. And somehow, when I finally manage to reach that point in the traffic where I am ahead of everyone else and am able to look back at what was causing the jam, almost unsurprisingly I would find a car driver with a huge L sign posted on his front mirror, back mirror and sometimes even an ad for a car driving school on the top of the car, as if to emphatically tell everyone .. “Here is a Loser, please don’t mind the slow traffic because of him”. I would mutter a few asshole derivatives first.
But this is only a start. Next come the auto drivers. Now .. I believe, sometime in the history of Telugu/Kannada/Tamil Cinema, Rajni Dada portrayed the character of an auto driver. How much I would like to go back in time and kill off that character is only conjecturable (if that is a word). All these drivers would remind you of Rajni dada in some way or the other. Starting with the way they look at you (disdain is the only word that comes to mind that matches even close to that look), to the way they take away their auto from right in front of your eyes when you most need it .. you just can’t stop feeling sorry for yourself. It’s almost as if the age old tradition of showing the middle finger is lost on these individuals and they rather use their autos as a secret weapon to express their disgust at your audacity of having asked them to stop for you. If there ever was a good decision I made all my life than that decision was to buy a bike for myself. Given that some strange zombie from some other planet has somehow managed to communicate with these ruthless mercenaries of Rajni dada’s former self and more importantly persuaded him to drop him off to a location, the adventure on the roadside just gives way to the adventure on the road. To describe the driving as zig zag would be an insult to zig zag. These guys have a definite pattern, which in simple words can be given as “Aim for the nearest Bike Driver”. I would be driving along merrily, when out of nowhere, I would find myself flanked by autos on both sides. On peeping inside I sometimes find a passenger holding on to his seat for dear life or a long time pro, just enjoying his usual view of the road .. the former being more in number. Anyway, these two autos would be aiming for me , and apparently the guy who manages to come the closest within hitting me without actually doing so, wins. Any efforts to speed out or slow down out of this race are of no use. All you can do is to just hope that there is some other bike driver around and these sharks would go for some other fish rather than you. Having already used the asshole derivatives, this time I have to go for bastard derivates.
If you think that your adventure on the road has ended with these hell-sent auto drivers, you have definitely never been to Bangalore. How can you forget the pitiable pedestrians. They are, after all not so pitiable. Believe me, I would love to run down all of them some day , given that I have a vehicle of substantial size and a guarantee that I won’t be dragged to justice for this act. It seems that people in Bangalore have a liking to walking. They would get down from their cars/bikes or whatever it is, and take out their cell phones. Now , I have no idea whom all these guys talk to, but it seems to me that the world seems like their park/backyard to them. They would be oblivious to cars, bikes, buses, trucks .. basically everything and anything that can run them over. Why should the vehicle not get permission to go ahead and actually do it , is really something that requires a parliament bill. From crossing on the traffic signals to walking right in front of your vehicle in a small lane , oblivious to the loud noise emanating from your vehicle .. they are everywhere. Where Devil could not send the Auto driver, he sent the pedestrians. Unfortunately, Around this time I fall short of derivatives and have a mixture of asshole and bastard derivatives to be used with this third variety.
There are reasons for visiting hyderabad time to time, other than the romantic ones. It is so easy to burn out in this bangalore traffic and I miss the always-moving traffic in hyderabad. Other than once or twice, I have never heard anyone complain about hyderabad traffic. If driving in Hyderabad is watching Dil Chahta hai, driving in Bangalore would be like being made to watch KANK for the Nth time (yeah , i still have’nt stopped spreading the bad word about it)