October 17th, 2010Give them an inch…

I couldn’t stop myself from making this post. For the past few months I was under the impression photos and videos tell a better story than words!

The way our people take life for granted… Problem is they take the life of others also for granted! Less number of law enforcers, less enforcers among them add to this deadly mix.
Though the helmet wearing is compulsory for their own sake many of the motorists wear it only to escape paying 100 rupees legally or 10/20/25 or even 5 rupees illegally!
1. They wear just a visor with headband.
2. They wear miners’ helmet made of plastic.
3. They wear cheap helmets with no ISI mark. Once my friend saw with her own eyes a person who survived a water tanker which ran over his head(only one wheel) because of the helmet. But the helmet did not break as it should but his head got jammed inside!
4. They buy a helmet only to chain it safely to their bike.
5. Some keep it on their petrol tank to put it on quickly in case a TC is spotted.
7. Some give it to their pillion rider to wear(!).
8. Some put it on their child’s head!
9. Some secure it behind in such a way as to cover the number plate.
10. Even those who wear a proper helmet do not put on the buckle, which is as good as not wearing it.
They may give any number of reasons for not wearing it but there is only one reason for wearing it. Protection to their life.
Statistics say that most of the families of accident victims, whether fatal or resulting in loss of earning capacity, end up below poverty line or near abouts. Still people see statistics only as numbers and not as lives of people, just like them!

But the reason for this post is not helmet but cellphone. Speaking on cell phone is also an offense but again the second and third paragraphs at the beginning apply here.
1. Some speak openly(one more reason for not wearing helmet)
2. Some insert the phone inside their helmet(a loose helmet results in neck pain)
3. Some use blue tooth headset.
4. Some use wired head phones.
5. Some use wired helmets!
6. Some let the pillion rider place the mobile near the ear.
7. Few of those who stop their bike to attend to phone do not bother about the place they are stopping. Some in the middle of the traffic, some on the side of a narrow subway/over bridge!

But nowadays you can see motorists not only attending calls but also making calls! Yes. They punch in the numbers and make the call. You can also see them reading SMSs. Probably I missed them writing and sending SMSs! All on the go…

Maybe they will call it multi-tasking! But I am reminded of the saying, with a little twist ‘ give them an inch they will take the road’.

November 22nd, 2009Chennai Music Academy flyover

Traffic sense, road sense, sense of safety, following rules or common sense;whatever you call it there is no escape of a sense of deja-vu when you talk/think of our traffic and road users. The saddest part is no one seem to feel that what they are doing is wrong. Or everyone like to follow the majority. Or most of them think that they have the most urgent need for riding/driving. Or they want to kill or be killed.

While people want to take only the shortest and quickest way to their destination ignoring Red Signal, No U-turns, No Free Left turns, No Right turns, No Entry, Pedestrians and so on our Corporation is also not far behind. Laying of roads is done rarely in a scientific or systematic way resulting in roads with a war zone look after rains, big or small. Agreed that our country is labour intensive and using machines will deprive our own needy of a square meal. But why no one is worried about quality? Even unskilled labour can be taught of the need for quality. But why is it not done? Is it because our Corporation is not capable of doing work of quality or because good quality work will result in drying up of new tenders and connected things?!

Everyone know the answers but all are scared to question. Instead they also do the same thing if and when they get the chance. Looks like a vicious circle!

January 28th, 2008Another parking problem

Mambalam station road

Our people are the most accommodative when it comes to sharing the public space! If it is free occupy is the motto. But they will call anyone meddling with this motto a ‘porambokku’! When will they ever get a sense of ‘each for everyone’ than the ‘each for himself’ prevailing now!?

January 28th, 2008Public Parking

Public parking

This is how our people combat parking problems! What if it eats up the space for others to ride/drive. But they will have ‘No Parking’ sign in front of their gates!

The following is a letter I wrote to the news papers about this.

It is nothing new for our people to jump over poodles, evade pestering vendors, avoid being electrocuted by exposed wirings, etc. Added to the list is haphazard parking because of too many vehicles, carrying too few people, looking for space which is scarce! It is so easy to get the cars with ever willing banks lending a hand, literally. This parking menace is not only affecting people in shopping areas but also in residential areas. Already people are forced to walk on road because of lack of pavements, which, if they exist are taken over by casual labourers or cars, once again. The parked cars on roads, not only reduce the width of the roads but also force the people to walk in the middle of the road which is already treated as disputed area by motorists. Now with the introduction of nano cars it is possible that the problem will be further compounded. So everyone may finally end up walking as there will be no space to drive! It is high time that the authorities demand for the ‘availability of parking space within the premises’ certificate. Or the government can charge a hefty sum as parking fee from those people who use the public space as parking area. At least this will force people to realise that the ‘roads are not their ancestors’ property’ as the old adage goes!

I hope I made myself clear!

Road laying in ChennaiThis is not a new thing I am talking about. Everyone knows it. It is just that many a time I feel, seeing the way people drive and behave on roads of Chennai, it is better the roads remain this way! At least to avoid the pot holes and loose stones some may slow down!


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