Life in Bangalore Chapter 3

| Labels: | Posted On 3/14/08 at 7:57 PM

Life in Bangalore
Chapter 3 -Let's Jam

To begin with, let's agree on some facts of life -there's no Santa Clause, money IS everything and traffic in Bangalore sucks. And it sucks with the ferocity and velocity of a black hole. You can enter but you can't leave. With zillions of vehicles in every lane accompanied by the sun-blinding clouds of dust and smoke, the word 'sucks' sounds polite. To hell with whoever invented the wheel.

In Bangalore, traffic jam is a perpetual state of being. It's an integral part of the day to day life. You eat, you sleep, you drink, you traffic jam. Local guys aren't bothered and they would go on a strike if they find empty roads. But for an outsider, jams plus pollution, is a suffering beyond imagination. It's so severe that I think it should be used as the 4th degree torture technique. Take the nastiest of criminals, put them in an auto and make them travel through the lengths of Bangalore during peak hours. Then see them spitting out whatever info you need after 10 minutes. (Give first 10 minutes to spit out the dust.)
The only thing that can parallel this nightmare is the act of actually travelling on these roads. Mumbai's roads are not American freeways. I agree. But at least, the traffic moves. Ok, crawls. But Bangalore's traffic is in a different league altogether. It's not stop and go. It's stop, have a smoke, take a nap, pay the parking charges, pray, pray, pray and if the god has stopped coughing and is listening to you, move an inch. And to spice things up, nearly half of the city is dug up for the Metro project.
This made me develop a very boring theory (while stuck in a jam) - people who travel by public transport are truly gifted. Yes. They withstand the torture and keep on doing so every day. I think most of them would go to the heaven as they are already living through the hell.
The public transport buses in Bangalore are the biggest havoc of the century. They know they have the size, they have the power and they are indestructible. With virtues like these, they ride through gaps with the agility of a bicycle and make people shit bricks with the appearance of a tank. They bully each and every vehicle on the road. Sometimes even each other. Fortunately, skills acquired while riding in Mumbai and training given by our BEST drivers came in handy.
The next in the line are the superficial autos. The first sentence any auto guy blabbers out is "Sarrr... 10 rupees extra than meter sarrr". Obviously with my Mumbai bred habit of being polite on the road, I humbly refused to do so and returned the favour with some pleasant words. After this, that guy took me for a ride and I ended up doing a escorted tour of Bangalore. Fortunately I got my bike soon and the tortures were over after a small trailer.

I considered my self lucky as I ride a bike. It's far more convenient and faster, if not comfortable, than a 4-wheeler. I feel sorry for people travelling by cars stuck in the jam, while escaping through the gaps. All thanks to my bike and special thanks to whoever invented the wheel.


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