Like you, I too have come to accept traffic jams as part of our lives. You could be driving your car or a two-wheeler; or trudging your way on your bicycle; or simply putting your feet to good use to walk up to the nearby store. Whatever be the mode of our travel, we could be jammed in the thick of traffic and find ourselves precariously balancing to avoid getting knocked down on both sides. One wonders if there is ever a solution to this threatening menace, or should we say a by-product of growth!
It was not a revelation of course, as the writing on the wall was loud and clear when we moved from the peaceful surroundings of a suburb to make the most happening part of the city as our home. A locality that could truly be hailed as the one-stop destination for all and sundry. Step out and all it takes is hardly a few minutes to accomplish your grocery, textile or even jewellery shopping. But, to my dismay, the romance lasted only a few days as I realised that the moot point of the whole issue was “stepping out”! How does one step out unless one is a pole-vaulter, if the jam is dribbled right from one’s doorsteps?
And if we choose to drive out in a vehicle, it is nothing less than a horrendous experience. The anarchy is compounded by the fact that our house is hemmed in by popular eateries that have become the favourite haunts of those returning from work. Motorists come in hordes, zoom into the sidewalk, park their vehicles in total disarray and storm into the food stalls to order their favourite snacks. Obviously, they couldn’t care less about the poor souls that struggle to squeeze in and out of the house that is forever barricaded by the great wall of automobiles.
Nowadays, wisdom prevailing over resentment, I stand guarding the gates in the evenings. From the inimical stares of the impatient modern day motorists I could safely bet that they find me a demon defending a devil’s fortress.
Despite my watchful glowers, there are a few enterprising riders who disappear deftly after parking their vehicles right in front of the gates. I begin to scout for the uncivil civilians in the adjoining eateries. There are plenty of them, relishing their “bondas” and “polis” in bliss, turning deaf to the honks of the vehicles that try to enter my building.
Thanks to the perennial traffic turmoil outside our house, our tolerance levels have risen to dizzy heights. Living on an arterial road in a city is not without its advantages, right?
This story could be yours too if you too are a denizen of a megacity. The rest may find it funny or even downright silly. Not to worry! Don’t they say, everything is funny as long as it happens to somebody else!