Where’s the Fire?

Every time I see the two wheelers edging towards the starting line at a signal, or the burly bus nearly toppling over while trying to overtake the cyclist, or the car driver who can’t stop honking even when he can’t see any way out, I wonder, where’s the Fire?

I thought overtaking from the left was the fad but apparently now the trend is all about trying to go left while you are in the right lane, thereby slowing down the entire line of traffic behind you. It could also be trying to cross from the extreme left to the right while everybody is trying to turn left. I am not sure though, cause leching at female drivers at traffic stops and stalking them kinda is in vogue too.

It’s strange that you would start slowing down in the middle of the road just to attend that phone call. One: weren’t you in a tearing hurry before? Two: unless it’s a life and death matter, should you really take a call? (No, the party’s changed venue isn’t an emergency, nor are the sweet nothings from your sweetheart.)Three: And in case it is a life and death matter, shouldn’t you first try to protect yours by stopping to take the call? Oh just FYI, dear two-wheeler, if the mobile phone was invented to snuggle up on your shoulder while you tried your hand at one-hand driving, I am sure the makers would have made required design changes.

I understand you’re in a hurry, you got up late today and have to reach office on time. And you, yes you in the shiny SUV, you probably have world issues to solve which is why you’re trying to mow down the car in front of you, but can you hold on for a second please? Trust me, while I may or may not be battling against time, I am very fond of life and that makes me an over-cautious driver. If that counts as just being a ‘female’ driver in your book of definition, so be it.

I will not speed up. I will not start moving before the signal is green. And I will stop for a second longer to allow the beggar to cross the street safely. You might brush me off as a idotic ‘female’ driver, but I really don’t care. My responsibility is to the 3-year old sitting safely in his booster seat behind. I don’t care if you honk at me till eternity but I will only move at a pace that I personally feel safe for my baby. It could be 20 or it could be 100. Your sad little rooting-tooting horn won’t really make a difference.

I know you trust me to keep you safe when you overtake me from the left or drive bumper to bumper with me or try to prove that you are a super hero who can race with a car and still win the game of life! But always remember the sticker on my rear window which declares the presence of a tiny life in my car. So my responsibility is only to my baby boy. And trust me, I will do anything to keep him safe.

But don’t worry, I know you are in a tearing hurry, to go to the loo, to establish world peace or maybe just to meet your sweetheart at the end of your journey! So I will give you way every time I can. I will stick to my lane and let you overtake me. I will respect the fact that your tiny brain doesn’t have the capacity to remember basic traffic rules. So I will take the responsibility of watching out for my life and yours too at times.

I will slow down at every junction cause there is at least one idiot who thinks he’s the flash. I will wait an extra second at turns to make sure your blindness hasn’t prevented you from seeing my blinking bright indicator. I will honk and give you enough notice period before I overtake you. And I solemnly swear to over take you only from the right!

So, please respect the fact that the road is a public space, not the corridor of your house. I will respond to logical honking but I expect you to reciprocate. Remember, the red signal means I need to stop and not slowly inch towards the other side. There are special lights and buttons in your vehicle, yes even in your two wheeler, that helps you communicate with other vehicles around. USE them. The rear view mirrors you have so fondly adorned with blessings from your chosen god have other uses too. Last but definitely not the least, your helmet isn’t a ‘optional’ accessory to be hung on the aforementioned ‘useful’ rear view mirror. It is also not something to be whipped out only at traffic signals. And NO, your hair isn’t all that great that you avoid wearing a helmet.

I know it is TOO bloody much to ask all these from someone who’s been raised to believe that the road needs to be conquered. I know you cannot for the life of you fathom why the vehicles in front don’t just give you way every time you honk. I also realize that while you could count the notes that you used to get your driving license, you cannot differentiate between the colors of a traffic signal or read road signal posts that exist for people like you.

So, all I can do is care for my safety and hope that someday you will somehow discover why there are traffic signals or why you should overtake only from the right or why it is pointless to start honking as soon as the light turns green. Sadly, in your short life span, shortened by the absurd way you drive, you might not really discover these facts of life. So, I guess I am back to sticking to my lane and caring for my life while you race ahead to attend to that mythical Fire in your life… or your bum!

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