Sunday, August 16, 2015

Homo Motoris

I must have been living in some other world all this while. A world in which I merely looked on the roads and thought that, when you put the brakes on a vehicle, it automatically started the horn blowing. True that there was this theory that blowing your horn would set the vehicle before you moving but, having seen no evidence of it, I refused to believe that the drivers of these vehicles still operated under this misapprehension. I am sure that they know that the horn button on their vehicle is not the remote control for the vehicles ahead of them.

All this confusion comes of not belonging to Homo Motoris, the species that moves on wheels and not on legs. Being retired and blessed with the sort of coordination that makes walking a miracle, I had hitherto avoided venturing out into the wilds of Bangalore roads too often. And then comes a family emergency that plunges me right into the maelstrom and strips all vestiges of my illusions of belonging in this world.

My first inkling that Homo Sapiens had been superseded by a new species came when I was riding pillion on my cousin's motorbike. We were overtaking an auto when an angry blast heralded the intention of a car to overtake us. Having crossed the auto, my cousin veered to the left only to find the car overtaking him with great speed on his left. I am afraid that I still have not been able to understand the weird and wonderful workings of a mind that first ensures that you move to the left and then squeezes itself into the narrower space available on the left to overtake you. But, then, I am an inferior species and cannot understand the giant brains of Homo Motoris. It is like that ad, maybe - nothing should be done the easy way.

That day's journey taught me a lot more about how far behind I had fallen in this race to keep up with the world. Whenever I had seen the two-wheelers on the road, I had always wondered about their penchant to zigzag through the traffic snarls at every intersection. Considering that this process had to be powered by their leg muscles, I would have thought that they would take their ease on their vehicles, wait till the traffic cleared and allowed the engines of their bikes to move them forward. How mistaken I was.

Traveling with my cousin showed me that THIS was the main means of locomotion. Almost 90% of the journey is done by pushing yourself and your bike with legs awkwardly dangling on either side and pushing at the road. Every now and then, rarely, you would see a clear stretch of some twenty meters and zoom forward as though you were in a motor race. Then, back it was on the jolly old legs to propel you along. Why pushing yourself AND a bike along is considered better than merely carrying your own weight on your own legs is a mystery I have not been able to solve. I probably never shall solve it since I probably belong to a lower order of evolution.

Be that as it may, I must admit that evolution has left me behind. My only hope is to leave this world before I get adopted as a pet by someone

14 comments:

  1. It is true that the traffic in any big city is enough to drive anyone bonkers.There are so many variations of coping with this problem--causing further snarls for those who come behind them.

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    1. Hahaha - true, Indu! Some solutions are worse than the problem

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  2. And they think they are smarter..:(
    A pathetic situation made look funny, Suresh:) Thank you:)

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  3. It's crazy chaotic and schizophrenic out there. No fear of law and bursting at the seams. Why, only yesterday we had an altercation with a biker who scratched our stationary car at a red light. It's a mystery how they do it. I too am in awe of their mysterious ways.

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    1. Thankfully for me, I can stay out of their way for most of my time :)

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  4. Traffic and unruly drivers are a huge issue. I battle them every time I am on the road. They drive rashly and then glare at you. It is distressing.

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  5. As someone once told me - driving in India is like a yoga in itself, it tests and helps you work on your patience, equanimity, balance etc. But whhen I moved back to India 8 years ago, I decided I will not drive as long as I really don't have to. I can always try some other yoga. So far I am managing okay :)

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  6. Then there are those that love blaring their horns when the signal is red .... What on earth can the driver ahead do ?

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    1. THAT was the remote control reference in the post :)

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