Ask about Bangalore, and any proud Bangalorean would tell you the (scary?) stories of endless jams. Last week, had gone through a forwarded mail from someone claiming to be a "jam-lover" and thoughts on how interesting the traffic jams can be, started propping up. They only strengthened, when today onwards, a new rule was implemented at office - be there by 9:30. Its the time I used to spend enjoying a light morning read, but sadly, orders are orders! And following this one order, changed my outlook on what jams could be!
Setting out at nine on weekdays with a bike on Bangalore roads can give you a whole new perspective towards life. Its a battlefield, and you are the yoddhaa, with one 150cc deadly weapon in your hand. The first lesson here, perseverance.
Just don't let it go. The Maruthinagar stretch is filled up, with sepoys from all ends. Its a complete ghamaasaan. And there are no rules - an apt living reality. You are alone, fighting only for yourself. No help except the throttle in your hands, your destiny. And you can't let go, you can't decide to get back, because there is no back, its jammed, its life. You persist. Persist with only one aim - win. And the second lesson here, goals.
You've to make it on time. Its a daily business, no excuses. You must be focussed, not only today - but daily. No yuddh-viraam in this, the battle continues till eternity, and your goal remains. And you know you are reaching it, inch-by-inch, minute by minute, persistently. You realise that slowly and slowly you are being caught in the time's web of deceit, and you ponder anxiously on your watch. Its time! Time to kill! And blop comes the third lesson, risk-taking.
You've a goal, and to achieve it, you decide right then, to move forward, destroying enemies at both ends. There is a horde of lesser-beings, inefficient bulky fighters towards the left trying to keep up in the same direction as you, and there is the crowd of yoddhaas coming from the other end. You decide to confront, to twist the throttle and move on the other lane meant for sepoys coming from the opposite side. There might be a risk of a head-on if a similar desperate fighter decides the same from the other end, but that's why you are there in the battle-field, to fight and to persist! Looking at the kraantikaari step you just took, a wind of inspiration flows in the sepoys behind. The fourth lesson at this point, leadership.
You are moving, confronting the enemies from the opposite ends, and a group of brave fighters follow you. Suddenly you've your own platoon! You become the senaapati- the leader, no official communications required for this promotion! You lead the platoon crushing all attacks, taking the ownership of moving ahead at the signal-less junction even when a giant yoddha with a 1300cc truck is desperate to cross the road and has already reached halfway. Some of the fighters in your troop fall back, when you take the ultimate decision to cross the signal at Eejipura, when the lights have just turned red from yellow. But you persist, because your cause is to fight, and the followers are bound to be dead if they can't keep up! The fifth lesson, competition originates just after this.
Ring road is here! And you put in your final efforts with speeding fighters. You twist the throttle to the max, its a double road, and here there are no rules and no opposition. You just have to get past everyone moving towards the same office, same goal. You persist to compete, edge out each one in the battleground. The competition reaches fierce proportions and you just have one thought which you want to yell to everyone - "Lead, follow, or get out of the way!" And finally comes the destination. You relax beneath that small fan in the elevator, recalling all calculated risks you took, and how you wielded the talwaar to get past everything, feeling the sweetness of success which you are to taste everyday!
The jam is an excellent teacher, and as somebody had rightly pointed out, with freebies as good as sights of young teenaged girls in that SUV waiting at the signal, its the best recreation you can have! The jam is the momentum, its the energy of life; how aptly it fits in the definition of the word energy - "A jam can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be transferred from one junction to another!"
Totally new view..... Now I curse less and smile more when I'm trapped in a JAM
Well, I do read your work quite regularly, but this one has made me give a new prospect to such a trivial, un-noticed but still interesting issue...
Just a single word to describe it..."AWESOME"
Thanks. Now I can muse a little when I am caught in Bengaluru traffic after years of peaceful boring existence on US roads.
So you are a Bangalorean-American? :)
@KV: No I am not an American, not even close. I have just been living abroad for some 5-7 odd years. Also never lived in B'Lore ever but am planning to upon my return to India.I am still trying to come to terms in my head to adjust the Indian traffic scene; may be i am making a bit deal of it but its my worst nightmare.So lets see how it goes, fingers crossed :)
Congratulations on your planned return. Trust me, you'd love every second of living in this country - I've spent close to 6-7 months in the US over 4-5 trips, and my heart always craves for being back in the mayhem everytime I travel. :)
And oh, here is something on Bangalore traffic. :D
ROFL after reading Neo. Its going on my FB. I am relieved now, waiting for catharsis in B'lore.
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