Vantage point

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Hey Jam!!

Bangalore's traffic condition makes Andheri at 7 pm on a weekday look like a holiday spot. The traffic just refuses to make any progres once it is jammed. The mass of humanity and metal has among its constituents every representative of the types of human beings.....beggars, rickshawwallahs, buswallahs, software engineers, MBAs, cows......with the sole exception of a traffic policeman. Two cars or buses come head to head and stop, each followed by a million or so vehicles. The constraints imposed by the road make them realise that both can't pass at the same time. Just then cars from their right and left also converge. All four drivers give each other hostile looks and start blaring their horns. This glare-n-bare continues for some time, and within an hour or so they realise that neither of them has vaporised and they are still in a jam. There are vehicles queued up behind them for miles. All the four drivers then resume blaring their horns.

How is the jam resolved, you ask? Well, in Bangalore, by-lanes are called "Mains"(yes, i get the irony). So the vehicles behind them, who have established that the vehicle they are staring into is not going to evaporate, slip away into these "mains" one by one. They all have thought of another road which they can use. Shortly, the four vehicles who caused the jam realise that there is no one behind them. One of them, who is not North Indian, reverses his car, and the jam is resolved. The other vehicles meanwhile have converged at another square and are repeating the same exercise.