Friday, May 05, 2006

On the Road

On the road we see a lot of things. Although it is expected that the driver/bike rider is supposed to concentrate on the steering of his/her vehicle, it is inevitable that he/she sees a lot of other, irrelevant objects on the road.

A few weeks ago, I had noticed four traffic police guys traveling in an auto rickshaw (there was extra-driver in the auto too!). My day begins with such spectacles on my way to office. Fifteen traffic-rich minutes later, I slow down at the gate of my office, deciding to write about it one day. That day takes more than three to four months to rise. And today, finally it has risen (well, in the east!).

The ring road, which was constructed for the purpose of bypassing Bangalore city traffic for such tangential vehicles as trucks and buses, is now feeling the crowd of the city traffic. The trucks and lorries, the intended beneficiaries of this road must not travel on this road during the day. Such are the days! Therefore, all I see on this road are the parked beasts of huge vehicles carrying goods through to southern parts of India. But then, I also see a couple of lousy cycle riders who defy all the traffic and moral rules, inviting death at its own will, and my angered beep and glances in return.

Then there is the [in]famous traffic junction of Marthahalli - or simply called the marthahalli bridge. The name is apt, going by its usage in the computer networks, it sure is a bridge. In this area, you could expect to see the unexpected. The shops by the road are famous for low prices and high discounts on apparels and shoes -- and obviously you can expect to see the trucks supplying these. Most of the times buses transporting the employees to and fro are seen to be crawling, with the FM radios providing them the traffic updates by hour. Given the traffic situation, it is no wonder that these buses spend most of the day's time on the road.

There are beggars, whom I have started to recognise. There are poor and helpless traffic policemen whom I have started to recognise too. Then there are fellow bike-riders like me who are trying to find an edge over the other, a futile race to cross the bridge. The only hope that keeps me going is that once I cross the bridge I am going to hit 70-75kmph and reach office within five minutes. There are jam packed city transport buses, there are jam packed office transport buses. There are other marvelous things such as a small truck carrying slabs of ice, Indian Postal Service truck delivering the [snail] mail on time, LPG gas delivery truck, and of course a lot of smoke.

I find myself lost in this ocean of huge things. A small being like me, on his tiny bike among the beasts of the road, then tries to reassure himself of his worth of being. Composing myself back, I switch my bike to the first gear, and slowly but steadily try to find my way...

On the road, life teaches a perfect lesson. Every morning, I start my day reading yet another chapter out of this book...

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