Monday, March 14, 2011

Gimme a Brake!

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.


  1. Well it is very obvious you spend a lot of time at the signals... You did forget one point which I believe is very important and needs to be mentioned...

    The honking at a red light...A lot of motorists are either color blind or hv been taught that red means go...or they think that by honking the red light will magically turn green...

  2. There's also the certain creature who really believes that all of laws of Newton, Einstein and Nostradamus put together is a bunch of hogwash and that the time/space continuum will open a hole large enough for him to squeeze his jalopy of a motorcycle in-between your car and the other...which will enable him to triumphantly reach the first of the line at the red light. While you twitch and glare at the rear view mirror as he merrily puts another scratch in your precious car.

    When questioned as to his motives, and the resulting scratch -- you are answered with the right hand going up, and a sound that emanates right from the creature's gut -- which sounds distinctly like an A followed by a lot of Y's.

  3. @Terror #1: True that.

    @AK: Lol! I think we've had this same convo oh-so-many years ago? "Jalopy of a motorcyle" seems to ring many a tin can.

  4. :) I'm sure we did. My OCDs haven't changed much over the years! If any, I've become worse!

  5. The story of our lives. Naaansense. ;)

  6. @AK: Tee-hee. Remember the little rain cloud that always hovered over only you? Even in the middle of summer? If you're even worse now, you're a total basket case, Kartha!

    @Neets: Full bleddy naansense like anything it is! Thoo. ;)

  7. Oh that blight of a raincloud. Yes, I remember...vividly :)

  8. Oh God! This is hysterical. And aye aye at honking at a red light.

  9. @AK: Ijjit. Now I can't seem to get that snorting cow out of my head. ROFL.

    @Bhumika: Danke. I think I ought to compile a second list on the same subject. There's so much more to add!

  10. He he, I like it that pissure very very much. Oh, and don't forget to look the eunuchs in the eye lest they get offended.

  11. @Kaotic: Yeah, right. Just so you can go all "Poo put 'kann' on it", no? What cheek.

  12. Its happens in every Metro City...same for Delhi as well....


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