Monday, December 20, 2010

Slap With A Kiss

Traffic in Pune can be looked at with various perspectives. Chaotic, amusing, disgusting, irritating enough that many times gives you a chance to vent out your frustrations. It is quite a sight to keep witnessing varied driving skills that most people have adopted themselves to, which they proudly exhibit even on jammed roads! The occasional war of words in the middle of the roads and a public gathering around as if watching a street play, just add to the spice.

How-much-ever we protest against the traffic scene by means of criticism or otherwise, it is ultimately left up to us to save our own skin between the rush hour madness on roads. I would like to share one of the most entertaining incidents' that such madness had to offer at Karve road recently.

An old person (who we would call ajoba, even if unknown), was riding his scooter on Karve road. A young boy in all his josh and form, zoomed through the road least bothered of how others were disgusted in an attempt to give him way, rather to save themselves a bump. This Ajoba too, had to follow suit.

The young fella had to finally cut his speed and wait at the red light, which had quite annoyed him (so spoke his face). Ajoba caught up with him at the same signal. The conversation that followed at this junction at Karve Road, was a classic example of what is called - 'A slap with a kiss'.

He said to the young boy (a friendly greeting as if he knew the boy), "Kaay Karve?" (Hello Mr. Karve). The boy was amused and replied somewhat irritatingly, "Aho mi Karve nahi. Mi Joshi aahe". (I am not Karve. My name is Joshi). To which, ajoba said, "Mala vatla baapacha rasta aahe mhanun garditun hi gadi palvat hotat. Mhanun Karve mhatla". (I thought you father owns this road so you were speeding your bike even in such traffic. So I greeted you as Mr. Karve).

The young boy's face filled with shame, and he could not utter a word. Rest who witnessed this 'scene' (or 'kissa' as we call it) on the signal had a hearty laugh as they moved ahead at the green light.


Pune traffic can be looked at with various perspectives,
There is no way to remotely understand the drivers' motives;
Those behind the wheel exhibit their skill,
Some barely manage to escape and some zoom out with thrill.

There is not a trace left of traffic sense,
Who cares for rules, at every step they commit an offence;
Traffic lights shine merely like a showpiece,
Disrespect for traffic rules result in breaking them at ease.

Riding is no more just a means to commute,
It now even personifies adventure and attitude;
While we await some strict measures to retain safety on road,
It would be a favour to discipline ourself first, as the best mode.


sathish vasudevan said...

I live in coimbatore, south of India
Yes there are many cases
But never witnessed any "slap with a kiss", here the cops have speed gun, for speeders and every time the speed limit varies, on has to keep track on the city speed limit from daily papers...
first time I am reading your post good one and good writing and will read the remaining,


manu said...

Thank you! Good to know about the traffic scene at your side. Some strict measures need to be implemented in Pune too... Thanks for reading and happy new year to you too!

Anonymous said...

That was a nice read again, one because I miss PUNE and second because you write so well that I could visualize the Ajoba and the Joshi aka Karve!
What I like about the Ajoba is instead of keeping quite like most do, he spoke up in a nice way and made the guy realize too!
I miss such scenes...hheheh really do! In US its so strict and people are so disciplined drivers that even we Indians think a 10000000 times of speed, overtaking etc...
Keep blogging!!

Karan said...

Nice post,u've perfectly depicted the attitudes of diff people.I like your blog,actually i've seen urs in Shobhaa De's comment section.I've bookmarked your blog as i decided to read a single post a day!It's great reading your blog.And,i've been to pune only once,i resided at magarpatta city for a week.Its a grt place to stay.I've also been to inox and adlabs,i love pune.

Happy new year

manu said...

@ Anonymous: Thank you for reading my blog! Yes, Punekars are known for their straightforward attitude, which this ajoba aptly expressed. It is a sea difference between the Pune and the US traffic. And though it is annoying on roads here at times, it is surely missed when you are miles aways from home :)

@ Karan: Thank you for reading! I will try and put up more such interesting posts :) And glad to know that you like Pune :)

Yogi said...

Lovely piece! Cannot help but to laugh out loud at 7:00am in the morning!!! It is well written.
The traffic condition in Pune has to improve. I was in Vietnam earlier this month. There were a lot of two wheelers on the road, probably more than Pune. But there was discipline.
Pune need that too.

Sahi re Manu

Keep blogging!

Yogi said...

Great piece there!! nice read.

The traffic condition in Pune nee some serious makeover. The short but really sweet story carries a lot of meaning for every Punekar!

I had been to Vietnam earlier this month. Was startled to see the number of two wheelers. But what amazed me was the discipline on the roads, which was the driving mechanism to prevent accidents.

Pune should learn from Vietnam. Sahi Re Mahi!!!!

Happy New Year and Keep Blogging..!

manu said...

Thanks Yogi! Self discipline is the need of the hour for such crazy traffic situation in Pune! Lots to love about Pune, but an equal amount to hate about the traffic scene.
Happy New Year to you too!