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Horny Mumbai April 7, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in Environment, india, Pollution, Travel.
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They said it was a No Honking Day. The papers and the tv that is. Amitabh Bachchan was pointing to a No Honking sticker. Enough to galvanize an entire sleeping population, which seems to be taking Viagra for sex, and then press horns after being rejected by their partners. Yes, it’s a serious issue here. Here means Bombay or Mumbai. Mumbai is very horny.

People in cars are safe. The better the car, the better the insulation, the better the proofing, the better the ears. My ears used to ring heavily some years back. That was also because of me being generally weak I think. Now that I am strong, my ears still ring. It is because of these damned horns. Period.

Long ago I read in the Reader’s Digest. I forget in which category but it said ‘the person riding in front of you is always on a sight-seeing expedition and the person behind you always feels as if in an F1 competition’. It’s true.

In no other aspect of life is lack or absence of foresight better revealed than on the killing roads of Mumbai. There is nothing called the Lane. There is nothing called the Stop Line. There is nothing known as the Bus Lane.

Everybody honks because the other is honking. It’s an atavistic instinct it seems. I will be thought of as weak if I don’t honk. They honk when they get free roads and honk of course when there is a red light. Of what use is the horn when the Red light is speaking to you. Why pressurize? But I am an old man at 30 closing my ears at different junctions.

Everyday I invariably tell the auto I am in to not honk. Only to be stared back in hatred. Drive, they ask back in silence. Drive in this mess you elite bastard with weak ears, they seem to ask me. I ask them if they don’t hate all this honking? They smile back. Occupational hazard…why take it so seriously! The world honks and so do I. So will you, once you take the wheel.

Do people even know the kind of peace that will prevail over this mass of land once the horns go quite, if not completely silent? The levels of stress that will evaporate. The reduction in medical bills. The easy, deep sleep at night. The lack of road rage. Wives and husbands calm, relaxed. No abuse. Probably you can hear the birds chirping from their nests.

Give it a try. Or have Indians, so used to reading the discontinuous words Horn O.K Please behind Tata vehicles, begun to interpret it as a phrase – the meaning and essence and purpose of all travel?

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Comments»

1. Derick ploy - April 7, 2008

I once ask the taxi driver due to curiosity and he said the signboard indicate so, but where is the signboard? As I was look out for it at my left and right hand side of the road. Say, but where is it? And there he let go another auto honk,honk and this time pointing the big letters,’Please Honk’ printed behind a van; so he obligately or politely let go more ‘honk, honk’ and I see him feeling very please about it,claiming ’tis is India’s culture. And I take it as face value surprisingly there is not one dent mark in any Commodore while I was in Mumbai; importantly the horn must function properly and perfectly I presume so. Oh how I miss Mumbai..

2. myexpression - April 8, 2008

gr8 post… horny mumbai… buy urself good ear plugs used in flying… i dont see mumbai ever stopping… they lost that sensitivity many many years ago…

3. chaubey - April 8, 2008

One of the many Indian traits that has me wondering WHY??? I guess we are the most masochistic of all peoples.. also something as trivial (though not exactly) as honking reveals something deeply disturbing about the Indian character.. Need some serious introspection but I’ve begun to believe that we are incapable of something like that.. not individuals but the nation as a whole..

4. astralwicks - April 8, 2008

ya introspect only on the banks of the ganges. that too not about the sins one has traveled so far to wash away but a bit of worry about the coldness of the water i am sure.

5. myexpression - April 8, 2008

i’ just a little excited about honking now and would like to share some experience

jaipur: i was recently there and realized that honking is not part of the culture; i was very impressed after first day of driving around… next day i realized that actually only very few vehicles have horn as there people believe in just driving through anything; nothing can stop them. 🙂

6. astralwicks - April 8, 2008

not having a horn is a good solution but i still have to figure the lack of honking. please explain if you can!

7. myexpression - April 8, 2008

udaypur: 4 years bck: small two wheelers like luna used to have truck’s horn… i dont know how it is now…

8. v - April 8, 2008

see jaipur is divided by various castes and sects and each thinks they are god’s gift to mankind so one one on the earth has a right stop them…

9. gudus - April 11, 2008

I remember being driven to gorai by a friend, it was late evening and we were behind schedule. He drove fast and honked hard. We didnt seem to be getting there any quicker, and I kept couldn’t help feeling funny about the entire situation, us sitting in a tiny car behind a large truck and a thousand cars ahead of that truck, and my macho friend repeatedly pumping the horn and his mouth, expressing anger, frustration, all the indian macho-ness one imbibes while growing up. The coversation veered towards the art of driving and how I challenge myself by trying not to use the dreaded horn unless absolutely necessary, he scoffed of course, what matters is speed, nothing else. I kept quite. Next day, I drove us back, and I didn’t honk once, I hope he noticed, though i’m sure he didn’t. After all, time was on his mind.

10. astralwicks - April 11, 2008

who is this friend?

11. gudus - April 11, 2008

doesn’t matter, what the story reflects is a mentality that is common amongst most drivers in India

12. dogstail - April 17, 2008

Honkings like many other things derive from us being a very selfish group of people. I think one of the most anywhere in the world. We dont give a shit about anybody other than ourselves and immediate family. Others are to be used and if not to be walked over.

What bull.. who cares about your sensitive ears, when my sole aim is to reach there before you. You might as well cut them yourself before somebody chews them off.


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