Friday, September 11, 2009

Road Romeo


I am back. Now I won’t be offering any reasons for my month long disappearance from the blogging world, because by now everyone knows what keeps me away- yep, the dreaded W word called Work. Life continues to be busy for the late-working, dinner-skipping, acidity-suffering, Gelusil-chewing, excuse of a human being called me. However for the next three hours or so, I have no work to do, as I await a series of shit reports to be delivered to me. So rather than spend the free time scrounging for porn on the Internet, I decided to come online and vent some steam on the blogosphere. All at my readers’ expense of course hahaha.

Let me tell you something about myself today. I am usually a calm, unflappable character. I hardly get worked up, agitated or angry. Please don't heed the shaking heads, muted no's, and other forms of denial that may possibly come your way from people who know me (my friends, especially). They are ignorant little weasels who don't possess the finesse of judging human behaviour. So therefore, please take only my word for gospel - I am usually a cool, unflappable character who never gets worked up. I mean even if you were to wake me up from my sleep at 3 A.M, douse me with a bucket of cold water and poke my ears with a straw- I would never get mad at you at all. Instead, you will actually find me sporting a sweet smile, throwing flying kisses and giving you jadoo-ki-jhappis in return. Really. Nothing drives me mad. Well, you may often find me smashing a glass or two to the ground every other day- but that is not because I get angry... it’s just that I like to observe the rare arty-farty kaleidoscopic designs which the shattered glass pieces make on the floor. You may occasionally catch me smashing a mobile phone to smithereens against a wall, but hey I don't do that because I get angry - I only do that because I am sometimes overcome with unbridled fascination and curiosity to explore the innards of the mobile phone and discover how those little pieces of electronic junk assemble to form such a wonderful communication device. For the information of cricket lovers, I am like Steve Waugh - who just stands there, calmly chewing gum at mid-off, even as the opposing batsmen thrash the nuts out of his fast bowlers. For the information of non-cricket lovers, I am like Buddha- always serene and tranquil. For the information of film buffs, I am always as composed as Dharmendra Pierce Brosnan waala James Bond- who manages to sport the same deadpan expression and unruffled demeanor even as the bad guys threaten to blow his bums to bits with a bazooka. (Pierce Brosnan's James Bond was calm and composed even while having sex - I am not sure if I'd be able to attain that level of composure)

So given my ice-cool nature, you may be wondering what does it take to tick me off. What would you need to do to invoke the utterly uncharacteristic emotions of anger and fury in me? Well, do just one thing- meet me on the roads. And better still, drive recklessly in my vicinity and endanger a few lives here and there. And then top it off by breaking a traffic rule under my nose. That’s it- you’ll see fumes and lava spewing out of me. Whenever I spot someone jumping a red-light or honking incessantly behind me, or overtaking from the left side or zooting past me at 100 kmph in a 10kmph zone, it sends blood rushing to my head. Whenever I see an idiot around on the road breaking a traffic rule, I lose my temper.... the Steve Waugh in me converts into a Sreesanth, the Buddha makes way to a fiery Narasimha, and the Pierce Brosnan transforms into a deadly combo of Dharam paaji- Sunny paaji-and Zanjeer waala Amitabh Bachchan. What to do... I yam like this wonly! I have been paranoid about road discipline and road safety since long ages, since times immemorial, since... well, even before my parents conceived me. In kindergarten, when I heard that Yankee Doodle went to town riding on a pony, my prime concern was whether he wore a helmet. And trust me, had I been on the spot, I would have pelted that careless Engine driver with stones and had him thrown into jail for breaking the poor piggy’s bones. That right, I am a road romeo with a road rage.

In Bangalore – heck why only Bangalore- in the whole of our country, breaking traffic rules is a banal, commonplace affair. Most of us Indians pride ourselves on being the maharajas of the roads, and hey you don’t make rules for the maharajas do you? Anywhere you go; any road you travel on, you’ll see that the drivers follow few rules except “Me First”. Whether it’s jumping a signal, or zigzagging between multiple lanes or taking a quick detour into the wrong side of a one-way street while no cop is watching- you name it and we’ve done it. It also helps our cause that the winky-blinky traffic lights are usually defunct and the lane markers on the road are almost non-existent. Actually, lane markers on our roads are stuff which jokes are made of. I’m dead sure that a majority of you reading this are scratching your heads, thinking “Huh? What lane markers is he talking about?” No, I am not blaming you. Nobody gives a hoot about those insignificant lane markers anyway – they have just ended up being a waste of white and yellow paints and those reflector thingies, if you ask me. I think the Government should stop spending such obscene amounts of rupees on those white and yellow colored paints and instead utilize the money to fund a welfare programme for underprivileged software engineers (like me) . At least it will do some good to somebody!

Zebra-crossings are another of my pet peeves. Time and again, I have tried to randomly pick and educate my fellow citizens, especially the pedestrians on the road on the importance of using a zebra-crossing to get across a busy street. Needless to say, my pedestrian advice always falls on deaf ears. I don’t understand these senseless imbeciles – they would prefer to scurry across a busy intersection and get crushed like mice under speeding trucks rather than safely use a zebra crossing and live to die another day. Here are a few instances, where I picked on such erring, random strangers and tried to drill some road sense into their thick skulls.

Me: “Array sir, you should walk on the zebra crossing”
Sir: “Oh you mean that black and white piano thingy on the road? Sure someday I’ll walk on it and get a decent tune out of it. Muwahahaha.”
Me: “Array Aunty, why don’t you use the zebra-crossing while crossing the road? It is meant for people like you...”
Aunty: “Haan? Kya bola?!!! Lafangey kahinke, do I look like a zebra to you? *SLAP!*
Me: “Array o bhai. What’s painted down there is a zebra-crossing, not an M.F Hussain artwork. You are supposed to walk on it, not stare at it”
Bhai: ????????
Me: “Yo dude, have you ever crossed on the zebra?”
Dude: “Huh? Come again dude? What bra?”

*Sigh* . You know what, I have actually given up on advising people. I really don’t give a damn now- I mean if people are so hell bent on getting themselves killed, then who am I to stop them?

When it comes to our driving etiquettes, the less said the better. Every day, hundreds of deranged men and women drive amuck on our roads , endorsing the popular road safety maxim “The-roads-belong-to-my-father-in-law”. For these men and women, driving patiently in a single lane is considered to be an act of insult. Speaking of women, there is a common myth world over that women make terrible drivers. I certainly don’t buy that myth. You visit any joke website and you’ll see that hundreds of jokes have been made of women and their driving skills, especially their turning, reversing and parking skills ( Actually, I have created some jokes of my own and uploaded them too... but ssshhhhh...don’t tell this to anybody, if you do I’ll deny it straightaway) . Actually I’d like to go one step further say that women make better drivers than men- not just better, but more skilful, efficient and adventurous. Believe me. Seriously. While most of the men drive in the same old boring way with both hands on the steering wheel, the women actually have a riskier, daredevil style of driving – jostling through a busy street with one hand on the wheel and the other hand busy tucking locks of hair behind their ears - or busy applying moisturizing lip balm - or busy searching for tissues inside their handbags - or busy rummaging through the dashboard to find an elusive copy of the instruction manual titled “How To Identify the Clutch, Brake, Accelerator”. So tell me, aren’t they more skilful?
Hahahahaha. Alright, now stop going giving me those steely cold stares my dear ladies. Don’t go grrr at me. I’m sorry- no more jibes from my side- I will shut up. I parrrrramisssse. Actually just the other day, a few of my dear female friends, sick and tired of me constantly making fun of women and their mannerisms on my blog, gheraoed and threatened me with dire consequences if I didn’t mend my ways. “Ok smarty boy...” said one of my friend, wagging a threatening forefinger at me “.... one more wisecrack on women on your blog and that’s it. We’ll drag you to the marketplace, tie you to a tree, strip you naked and hire hundreds of gay men to ogle at you” . I was even forcibly made to take an enlarged printout of the Eleventh Commandment of Male Chivalry, attach a two-rupee revenue stamp on it, sign, frame and hang it on my wall. FYI – the Eleventh Commandment of Male Chivalry says- “Thou shalt not make fun of really stupid women.” Anyway, the whole point of raking up the issue about female drivers is to narrate this unforgettable incident I had on the roads with one of their ilk. Now this is going to unnecessarily lengthen the post, but if you’ve read this far, then chances are you probably don’t have anything better to do right now- so why not sit back and read on?

Circa 2006. There I was, merrily riding away on my bike, the cool wind whistling thru my helmet visor and a cool song whistling thru my lips. I spot this car on the road in front of me. A silver Lancer Cedia it was. "Wow! , what a beauty..." , I remark to myself, in all admiration. "Someday, when I stop earning peanut shells for money and get digging on real pay dirt, I'll have a car better than this adorning my garage..." I silently promise myself, thumping a fist over my heart. We approach a 4-way intersection, with me keeping safe distance behind the metallic diva, when its blinky right-indicator signal pops on. Then, the automatic window rolls down and a fair, delicate, freshly-waxed female hand pops out briefly and points to the right. "Wow!, what a beauty... smoothie pie...” I remark to myself, in all admiration. “Someday, when I really get oye-lucky-lucky-oye, I’ll have a hand smoother than that caressing my face...” I silently promise myself, thumping another fist over my heart. Anyway, I had to proceed straight ahead, so I slow down at the intersection to bid a farewell glance at the silver beauty. And then the unthinkable happens. The car, instead of turning right at the intersection veers sharply to the left, directly onto my path, knocking my bike over and sending me crashing down to the asphalt. I take a tumble, the bike takes two, and both of us- man and machine - lie side by side on the road, with almost the wind knocked off us. A few good Samaritans rush to my aid and help me and my bike on our feet. I shake my head to bring myself to senses and surmise the damage. My palms, forearms, knees and ankles were severely scuffed and had blood oozing out of them. My head had taken a conk- but thanks to the helmet and my thick skull, I survived to tell the tale. I thought I was fine- until I looked at my bike. That is when I lost it. My bike, my darling of my bike, stood there shedding tears of engine-oil and crying in pain - her handlebar lay severely twisted, her mud-guard had a gash, her fuel tank had a moon-sized crater on it, she was bruised all over and one of her indicator lights was smashed to pieces!

*Pop* *Kaboom* . A fuse goes bust in my head, rising the temperatures within me and sending my blood into evaporation mode. I look around for the bloody car and its nincompoop occupant responsible for my misery. Wow, I mean how did this driver even attend her driver’s license examination? Through postal correspondence? Indicator to the right, hand signal to the right, turn to the left! Fantastic! For a moment, I feel inclined to salute, bow down and doff my helmet at her Columbus-like sense of direction. The car halts briefly at a distance, and the driver pops her head out of the window, probably wondering what the hullabaloo was all about. “Ohoooooy!!” I shake my fist and let out a bloodcurdling scream at the driver, sending the Earth quivering and causing a few startled birds to flutter away from the nearby tree-tops. “Ohoy bitch! Get out of the fucking car”. Bitch comes out of the car, slams the door and glowers at me. That is when I first notice her properly. She didn’t look a day older than 19, her seemingly pretty face marked with distinct cockiness and insouciance. Her jaws were busy chewing gum and her hands were just as busy tucking large strands of wavy, unruly hair( highlighted with different shades of maroon, brown and hold on, purple?) behind her pierced ears. Dressed in a skin-fitting jeans and sleeveless T-shirt that had transparent bra-straps distinctly poking out of it, she looked every bit of a rich dad’s spoilt brat. Interesting side note- Ladies, what’s the theory behind those transparent bra-straps anyway? Girls probably wear them thinking they are invisible but yet everyone makes them out. Anyway, I don’t know much about all these things, so I’ll keep my opinions to myself. But just one more question- are those bras transparent only at the straps or do they have transparent cups too? Muwahahahaha. Oops sorry- I forget I’ve promised not to make fun of you. Sorry-sorry. Anyway, coming back to the incident, at that point of time I was in no mood to admire breast contours. I stood there injured and infuriated, and believe me, I would have probably devoured any man, woman or animal that dared to cross my path at the time.

“Come over here, you bitch. Look what you’ve done” I scream at the girl.

Her expression turns livelier and angrier. No one, apparently, had called her a bitch before. But then, it was my fault too. In that moment of fury, I forgot to abide by the Twelfth Commandment of Male Chivalry which said “Thou shalt not call a woman a bitch. Even if she drives a car over thy bum” .

“Hey man, what did you say?” she retorts, taking a few steps towards me.

“I said, bitch, if you don’t know how to drive on the roads, then you should keep your fucking car and your fucking ass locked up in your fucking garage” I scream back.

“Hey no gaalis dude, I come from an educated family” she says with a toss of her head.

Her response causes the temperatures within my body to shoot a few more degrees to the north.

“I will fuck your entire family...” I retort. “... And besides, didn’t your educated family teach you the basic difference between left and right?”

She casually casts a look at me, and another at my disfigured bike. She spits her chewing gum out, points a palm at me and says in a condescending tone “Array theek hai na bhaiyya. Ab kyun bekaar mein nautanki macha rahe ho. Sirf indicator hi toh toota hai. Ab jaan thodi na liya hai maine”

*Pop* *Kaboom* , another fuse goes bust in my brain, sending smoke billowing out of my ears. This was too much. First she veers the other way. Then she conks me off my bike. Then instead of giving me an apology, she gives me attitude. Then, she calls me “bhaiyya!” . Even for the otherwise calm and composed me, this was too much to handle.

“Oh! Aisa hai kya...?” I scream. I then take two paces sidewards, bend down and pick up a large stone from the pavement. And in one quick, slinging motion, I smash one of the indicator lights of her car into pieces!!!

Her cocky red face goes purple with shock. She stands agape. Time stands still.

“Whaaaaat thaaaa fuuuuuccckkkk....” she shrieks, her voice rising in a Philharmonic orchestra-like crescendo “Hey you, what the fuck have you done? Gone mad or what?”

I throw the stone away and puff the dust off my hands. Putting on the same condescending tone I reply “Array theek hai na behenji. Ab kyun bekaar mein nautanki macha rahe ho. Sirf indicator hi toh toota hai. Ab jaan thodi na liya hai maine”

“You b-b-bbastard, I will call the police”

“Call the Prime Minister, I don’t care” I say and limp away from the scene.

It’s now been three years since that road rage incident. Let me put this on print – I regret that incident today. I know I shouldn’t have behaved like that, no matter what the circumstance was. I wish I could go back in time, do a Ctrl + Z with a magic wand in air and undo that incident. But as I said, what happened was three years ago, and I was quite a petulant lad back then – unlike the aforementioned calm, composed, mature gentleman whom the damsels crazily fall in love with today. Err...Ahem. I mean if the same incident and scene of events were to unfold today, then the new, mature me would have handled it differently – I would have reacted by smashing her windshield turning the other cheek and offering her a bunch of tulips instead.

Now this may sound like a cow advising fellow cows against chewing the cud, but take my word folks, please keep your road rage under check – it is simply not worth it. I may have learnt and wizened the hard way time and again, but I have certainly come to realize that one of the most effective ways to live long enough to see your grandchildren is to maintain your calm, be responsible on the roads and reach home safely to the joy of your loved ones. So before you jump the next red light or scurry mindlessly across a busy street or drive like a possessed Rossi or Schumacher, please spare a fleeting thought for your dear ones waiting for you at home. Spare a thought for your poor folks- who worry for you, care for you, think about you and utter a silent prayer for your safety every time you head out of your gates.

Ok ji, chalo bahut ho gaya, ab dukan bandh kar dete hain. Adios amigos, see you later. I gotta get back to my work. Cheers! Remember to play it safe- wear your helmets, play it safe- wear your seatbelts, play it safe- wear your condoms. Errr... I know condoms have nothing to do with this post, but hey, what’s the harm in spreading some awareness anyway?

Thanking You
Yours obnoxiously,
Parikshith Kumar.


Sunil said...

Sahi hai, beta. :)

Indiantraveller said...

Hey Parikshith,

You possess great humorous writing skills which borders on being rude but somehow manages to stay within the limits of genuine humour. It will be great to see you dabble in different form of writing. Something more serious, if i may suggest.

Nevertheless, find more time to write and continue this light hearted banter. It is a joy to read your posts. You can check my blog and let me know your comments on my posts:

gayathri-vishwanathan said...

abbe popatram silver beauty dekhne ke badle road pe dhyaan deta toh kuch jaata kya...

post mast tha as usual...u knw wht like in banglore, mumbai mein bhi log road ke rules follow nahi karte...even i keep forgetting about zebra crossing. avai andhi banke road cross karti hoon. ab tu lect de mat.

chal ab kaam pe lag, bahut tp kar liya tune...bye!

Sandeep said...

ok ok wala tha iss baar!

spitvenom said...

1. If you feel Bangalore is bad, wait until you come to Mumbai. I'll take you to this place called Bandra. We'll talk then.

2. Did the incident really happen? Woww!! Some temper you got!

3. Wohoho dudude! Do you really wanna know if transpo bra straps have likewise cups? You trying to tell me you dont know it already? BTW that was *AHEM*...

4. True. Good post and nice gyan towards the end. No harm in spreading awareness. So ALWAYS USE PROTECTION, WHETHER ON ROADS OR OTHERWISE.

5. Even I've ranted about traffic and stuff in one of my posts. It aint as cool as this one.

blunt edges said...

u write once in god-knows-how-many months...n then u write a god-knows-how-long post...n then i curse u god-knows-how-many times when i see the length of the post...n then u give me the most delightful reads!!! :D:D:D

wonderful as usual...n seriously dude...what lane markers were u talking about? :o

Karthik Sivaramakrishnan said...

Too good as usual! Anyway, purane incident pe load mat le yaar. Tab wo bachchi thi aur tu bhi bachcha tha :)

Parikshith Kumar said...

Dear Sunil

Dear Indiantraveller
Thank you, my friend. Writing serious stuff... well, haven't given it a thought really. But as the punchline in the Jazz ad goes, "Only one life. Why so serious" :-) Thanks again, I will surely check out ur blog in leisure.

Dear G3
Abey meri koi galti nahin thi. Koi baat nahi kabhi kabhar zebra crossing ko ek African safari samjh ke use kar le :-)

Dear Sandeep
Heheheh... is baar kya, har baar ok-ok hi rahta hai dost. :-)

Dear Sam
Bandra eh.... I'm looking fwd to come over there and pick some fights. Yep, the incident did happen. Temper? Oh no no... I am such a tender, lovable labrador of a boy. Until very recently (until I had posted here) , I thought those bras are transperant all over. Was disappointed to know they are not. They really should have been transperant all over... would have made life even more exciting for us men. ;-) Thank u for ur comment.

Dear Blunt
Hahahahaa.... ;-)Thanks, bud.

Dear Karthik
Ekdum sahi farmaya dost tuney. Thanks, yaara :-)

Scattered Thoughts... said...

If it would have been a bollywood movie.. there should be a smashing and rocking affair going on between you and that spoiled brat.. but alas!! reality is quiet harsh ;)

Vaise we got the point in first few lines only.. thoda chotu post b chal jata tha na bhai?

Toe Knee said...

That was a fun post. You could take this quiz to find out if you are really the road rage maniac you claim to be.

workhard said...

i swear the the traffic is a menace.. its like everyones like me first!!! me first!!!

And the poor traffic police have absolutely no control..

Make website india

Insignia said...

I was a bit apprehensive when I first saw the length of the post! I was scared that I might lose interest.

But awesome, just fantastic. You have a great sense of humor.

Coming to traffic in Bangalore, as every other true-blue Bangalorean would say, I say the same. Its changed a lot. The serenity and peacefulness and the virtually empty roads I saw as kid, exists no more. People are so careless on the roads, its scary even to walking on the footpath. Appalling!!!

Parikshith Kumar said...

Dear ScatteredThoughts

How I wish it would turn it an affair! Alas! :-) Chotu posts likhunga toh mera blog Nonsense "Aplenty" kaise kahlayega, dost? :-)

Dear ToeKnee
I took that test and man, you wouldn't believe the score I obtained! Is there an Anger Anonymous rehab group anywhere around?

Dear WorkHard
I agree. Welcome to my blog :-)

Dear Insignia
Welcome to my blog and thanks a lot for the compliment. As you would slowly come to realize my posts are always loooong :-) And as far as the B'lore traffic is concerned, yep, you said it right. Forget walking on the foothpats, you'll even see motorists riding on the foothpaths.

Trauma said...

even tho ur an obnoxious pain in the ass - i must say i quite love this blog!

btw r u preparing for GRE? i have noticed you are using big big words these days :P

I am a lady biker who follows traffic rules to the T and hates bitches who do NOT know how to park their bike (the types who use two bike spaces for one silly pink scooty). I am also awful lady driver which is why I stick to the bike.

but r u sure she made a mistake? what if in ur lala land of waxed hands you took the wrong turn? hee hee hee..and observing bra straps too much yaar...

no bras are not transparent...maybe the kinky types are you can do some R&D on for straps I suppose it looks better than two black or white things jutting out?

i have come across several auto drivers who do this ALL th time...a classic tamil gaali is "yo..yenda pakam kai kaarta dai?" (yo! which direction ur showing ur hand in I say?) which sounds scary even if a girl with a squeaky voice yells out loud..hehe. Ask a tamil frend to teach you how to say - works wonders in Blore traffic

but tell me...would you ave been so vociferous and mean if the driver was a huge male hulk instead? i have my doubts..dont we all tend to pick on those who we know can't bash us back? glad you admit you were VERY rude.

Trauma said...

oh and i HATE bikers who ride on the footpath...ugh...i have yelled at a few myself