I have a dream. Of stepping out one day to find that people only use the horn when they really need to. But, I have no hope that the dream will actually come true. We Indians have a highly contagious disease. That of honking. My Scooty Pep’s horn stopped functioning about 10 days ago. was too lazy to get it repaired. So, I tried managing without. Trust me, it’s not that difficult. Yesterday, I finally managed to get it repaired. And I found that I honked when just the previous day, I got by perfectly well without it. I realised I honked impatiently, and absolutely unnecessarily, at least 4 time in the day.
I am no exception. In fact, I belong to the minuscule section of the Indian population who hates to honk. If I misused the horn so much, imagine what a honking addict would do. My grandmother’s house is in a residential area off Nelson Manickam Road that’s relatively quiet. I was sitting there yesterday when a great big Tata Sumo starts honking incessantly and insistently just before the house. It gave me a headache. Wonder why he found the need to honk so loudly in a perfectly calm residential area.
While I am on this topic, I also have a few suggestions for those of you who drive.
- If you are at a traffic signal, WAIT!!!! Neither you, nor the guy in front of you can move until the light turns green. If you so desperately want to jump the signal, you are free to do so, but you have no business abusing the poor, law-abiding motorist in front of you.
- When you come on the wrong side of the road, you are breaking a law. Your incessant honking or flashing headlights makes NO difference whatsoever to the motorist coming on the right side, nor does it exonerate you from the offence you commit.
- While on the question of headlights, DO NOT flash those lights in high-beam on a dark road in the middle of the road. It makes it impossible for the other motorists to drive.
- If you are a female driver, and are scared of going beyond 20 kilometres an hour on an empty road, please drive on the extreme left. Do NOT force other motorists to follow you car/bike at that miserable speed. This also applies to senior citizens who insist on driving despite the fact that they can neither see properly nor hear properly.
- If you are driving a share auto (one of those monstrosities that you see on Chennai roads), please stop at the SIDE of the road to pick up a passenger. Do NOT stop in the fast lane and then curse loudly when the poor motorcyclist behind you hits your bumper. Also applies for normal autos.
- Finally, if you want to take a left turn, please DO NOT overtake a vehicle going straight, on the right and then swerve left. Not only is it dangerous, but also inspires the motorist you just overtook to stop you and practise his/her karate on you.
So there! I can’t think of any more right away. But, your contributions are most welcome.