New Year resolution from a Bengalurean to fellow Bengalureans
During a chat that I was having with a friend recently, that coincided around the dawn of 2014, our discussion veered on the topic of Bangalore traffic. “People are very aggressive while driving” is what my friend made as a statement; And from someone who has spent good amount of time in other cities like Hyderabad and Chennai. My immediate reaction was how can that be?
However, on dwelling on it a moment I did realize “People in Bangalore are probably the sweetest and most welcoming unless they are not driving”. The statement may look strange to be of sense, but ironically is a reality.
Bengaluru is known to be a cosmopolitan city and comes with a heritage of being the Pensioners paradise. I have spent close to four decades, growing up from childhood in this Garden city which for me is a Mini-India; welcoming everyone to its fold as being the land of opportunities. During my growing days I knew people would queue up in an order to board buses, make way for a senior citizen to be seated and with patience allow the pedestrian to have right to way.
These days with the Globalization or must say Concretization of the Garden city, patience seems to have taken a back seat with low regard to traffic rules and respect for others on the road; people seem to vent their ire and anxiety in the form of brashness while driving..
Be it a human being, a fellow driver or an animal; It may sound amusing but not surprising if you find a driver increas the speed at the far approaching intersection lest having someone else take a lead in crossing the intersection. Don’t raise your eyebrows if you find an educated IT professional waiting right at the intersection to board his daily commuting cab, than taking a few steps ahead of the intersection.
There is also no remote chance of someone falling into sleep while commuting; due to the generosity of fellow drivers in using the Honk liberally, and serve annoying music to their ears.
Schools are more than happy to use the roads as a private parking space for their vans. School van drivers are probably racing drivers competing against all type of vehicles on the city road.
So what is the root cause of this situation that we find ourselves in?. Is it about change in the individual value system ? or that of the institutions that we are part of?
I am of the opinion that it is due to the change in the value proposition of Social and Institution which we are surrounded with, that has led to the change in behavior of individuals in their driving habits. I would like to base my view on the below example. In reality and by my personal experienced if you try/give the feeling of trying to overtake while driving, you can rest assured that the fellow drivers are thinking way much ahead. However, if you pause the person to ask for directions, the same will be glad and more than happy to stop and spend gracious enough time to give you the required directions.
So my resolution for the New Year and a humble request to my fellow Bengalureans from a Bengalurean is“Let us take a moment to hold calm and learn to respect each other on the roads while driving along with courtesy. Let us make this pleasant city also be known to be a place that is pleasant to drive.”