Musings at a Bangalore Traffic Signal
1. One spends roughly 35% of one’s life in Bangalore waiting at a traffic signal.
2. The signal turns red to green and back at least three times before it is finally your turn to cross over. Cyclists, pushcarts and pedestrians wait until you are crossing the intersection before attempting to kill themselves under your wheels.
3. Eunuchs badger women to divulge the brand of cosmetics or methods of makeup they use. Whatever happened to the good old clapping, demands for money, threats of nudity and blessings (debatable) of a 100 male children?
4. You develop symptoms of repetitive strain injury from shaking your head and flapping away enthusiastic offers to sell you non-motorised Segways, plastic apples with waving leaves, silver mobike minis that dance on their haunches and other such things that the sellers insist are absolutely vital to producing those 100 male heirs those vain eunuchs deprived you of.
5. An argument between two motorists always holds everybody up. The altercation invariably involves plenty of head shaking, finger pointing and spitting by those actually involved as well as plenty of general standing around, lectures on the use of local language while arguing and scratching of private parts by a larger number of uninvolved persons.
6. No expletive is more infuriating to the local populace than “nonsense” (pronounced "naansense" or "naanshense"). Fs and Bs are passé. The exchange usually goes:
- (Thoo, bleddy) Nonsense!
- What nonsense?! You nonsense!
- What nonsense?! You big nonsense?!
- You so big nonsense!
And so on.
7. While waiting for pedestrians to cross over, you spend your time crouching below the steering wheel anxiously asking your puzzled co-passenger, “Is he gone yet?” Bangalore is a city where the six-degrees-of-separation theory holds true and the would-be-glad-to-avoid-every-fifth-person theory holds even truer. The first row of traffic at a pedestrian crossing would appear, to the uninitiated, to have several driverless cars.
8. The traffic cop thinks a shake of the fist and casting aspersions upon a signal jumper's lineage is sufficient. He would rather save his energy for doing a poor Fred Astaire imitation in the middle of the road to try and stop suspected drunk drivers after 11.30pm.
9. Dark tints on one’s window are an open invitation to chronic nose pickers to pass their time at a traffic signal showing you - up, close and personal - what they do best.
10. Women on two-wheelers take utmost care to completely shield their faces from the sun, pollution and leering male creatures in other vehicles. The same care is, however (and, most times, unfortunately), not extended to their cheeky derrieres.