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United by a shared sense of helplessness : Part I

Posted by Shreyans Jain Thursday, 21 March 2013 0 comments
Traffic jam is arguably the most unpleasant situation an individual might be familiar with. With increasing number of vehicles plying on roads and a poor road infrastructure, traffic jams have become a menace at all traffic junctions. The scanty investment undertaken by the government in licensing, enforcement tools, personnel and road engineering have contributed alike in exacerbating the driving conditions on roads. This unprecedented bumper to bumper piling up of vehicles has been a major cause of road rage and several fatal accidents. 


The following story is a narrative of the bitter sweet experience of a young man named Jagdish who was caught in one such traffic jam. It brings out the fact that nothing unites people more effectively than a shared sense of helplessness.

13 May, 2012: it was a bright sunny morning. The sky was lit up with the vibrant rays of the rising sun. The weather was humid as expected, with the birds punctuating the monotonous atmosphere with their chirps. On the contrary, a massive traffic had piled up on the road following the failure of traffic lights at a major junction. Even snails would have crept faster! A traffic inspector arrived in a short while on his motorcycle and immediately started gesticulating wildly at the traffic and barking orders in his microphone, showing a great sense of responsibility to regulate the traffic. In such a trying situation, menfolk on all sides of the traffic junction could be seen each other’s mothers and sisters and the incessant honking of horns further heated up the surroundings.

Unfortunately, we feel obliged to violate the laws blatantly unless there is a fear of being caught and penalised. Some pea brains display such impatience and intolerance that they overtake each and every vehicle they encounter, only to end up a few metres ahead of others and start the race afresh! Neither do the potholes flatten for them nor does the traffic divert to accommodate their vehicles. But, who cares? Similarly, some motorists feel that they have a divine right to ride roughshod over the pedestrians and bully anyone who tries to challenge their supremacy.
The rickety bus that Jagdish had boarded stood still in the traffic as it echoed expressions of annoyance. The ‘NO SMOKING’ warning didn’t deter the conductor and some errant passengers from lighting cigarettes and beedis inside the bus. The female passengers who complained were admonished for their audacity. The conductor made some intricate entries in his trip-sheet consulting the bunch of tickets he held in his hand and behaved as if he had been compelled to solve some complex problems of calculus.


Continue reading : United by a shared sense of helplessness : Part II

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My blog is an innovative amalgamation of my thoughts, how i perceive and react to different events in the ordinary business of life and at the same time entertain the readers and sensitize them.