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Keep Calm And Avoid Road Rage


Roads have become a dangerous place. People always seem to be in a hurry. There is this rush to reach somewhere, no one knows where. It seems like they are always in this “super-urgent” mode. As if saying, ‘I’m the world’s busiest man. Can’t you see? Now let me go you nitwit.’ They think it is their birthright to be ahead of everyone, as though they are in their own personal F1 race competition, where they only wish to see empty roads and streets, so that they can zoom about without a care in the world. They will wait till a few second before the light goes green and then gun their vehicles, getting a cheap thrill from doing so. If you are in front of them and the one that is not moving, because hey, you are following traffic rules, they will horn and let you know that you are an idiot, who is not only not going himself, but also blocking their way.

But no one dare overtake them, honk at them, or tell them they are in the wrong. Oh they will dare ya, double dare ya. Try it with them and they will ensure they chase you down, block your road and question you, ‘Who the F you think you are, Mister? You are telling me that I am in the wrong?’

‘Yes,’ you say.

‘Oh? Is it? What are you going to do about it?’ That’s the question they love asking. Challenging people to take them on.

‘Hey, listen, I am just trying to do the right thing here.’

‘This is what I do. Are you going to do something about it?’

They won’t let you walk away before hurling insults at you. ‘Hmph, everyone wants to be a hero these days. Trying to teach me, hah!’

If you are a half decent human being, you will quietly walk away, drinking your rage, diluting it with your own saliva. But inside you’d be boiling, boiling with indignation at the driver’s gall. That these people are on our roads, bullying and threatening everyone on a daily basis.

These are people with double standards. They will stop bang in the middle of the road to ask for directions, or open the doors on the wrong side of the road, or take ages to park, or take their own sweet time to get a move on because their family is alighting from the vehicle. They will reverse with that annoying music in the middle of the night, or make a turn without giving an indicator. Sometimes you wish you could teach them a lesson right then and there. But of course that is not advisable because some of us have such lovely ideas for exacting justice that it could get us jailed.

This one incident comes to mind.

It’s a usual Monday morning. Busy road, early office hours, bumper-to-bumper driving. Car drivers honking from their comfortable; impatient bike riders snaking in and out of traffic to find their way, making it that much harder for four wheelers to move forth. Adding to the frenzy is the black-black smoke hissing out of exhaust pipes. The heat didn’t make things any easier. People want to keep moving, or else they feel stuck, claustrophobic, especially the ones that have no air-conditioning in their vehicles. Moving vehicles bring in the much needed breeze. I was in my company bus, looking out at these people wrestling to find a little space to crawl a little further that somehow made them feel that they are closer to their destination.

This gentleman, out of nowhere, in a white, gleaming beamer is coming from the wrong direction. Some made a face; some cursed under their breath, and moved to let the white beamer pass. But this one person, refused to move. The beamer driver was getting impatient, he kept flashing his light. In response, this guy in a Skoda Fabia flashed his headlights back. After a point, the line of cars behind the Fabia got so long, it seemed like a procession. By now people were glaring at the beamer driver but nothing was being done about it. Finally, the beamer took a left from a small cutting in the road and went to the side where he was originally supposed to drive. The beamer driver leveled up with the Fabia guy (who was of course, proud of what he had done), got out of his car and grabbed him by his collar.

The Fabia guy slapped his hand away and stepped out. You want a fight, I will give you a fight, he seemed to be saying.  In a matter of seconds, three other kurta-clad, burly men in beards with red tikas on their forehead came out of the vehicle. The bully driver, now even more confident, announced angrily: ‘Do you know who I am? I own this part of town.’

‘I don’t think I did anything wrong,’ said the Fabia guy. Obviously, with four goons surrounding you, you tend to temper down a little bit. You obviously can’t win in a physical altercation, especially when you know that no one else on the road is going to come to your aid. Who would want to risk broken bones?

‘Let us decide whether it is wrong or right,’ said one of them.

‘I don’t want to see you again this side. Get it?’ threatened the other.

The Fabia guy got into his car and went his way.

It left me wondering what the world is coming to. This wasn’t a stray incident. I have seen many in my life. Once this PMC bus driver almost rammed into a couple on a bike because he wanted to outrun this other driver and get to the waiting passengers at the bus stop first. There is no fear in people despite the country losing thousands in road mishaps. People do not want to slow down. To add to the already deteriorating public safety on roads, road rage has emerged as another factor for loss of lives. There have been reports of people shooting someone because their parking lot had been occupied.

I don’t know when all this is going to end; when we will stop being animals. But for our part, I think, we can be less of an idiot on road. For our part, let’s follow traffic rules. Let’s be nice on roads. The traffic, air and noise pollution is enough stress already; let’s not add our impatience to the list. Let others pass if they are in a hurry. Let’s not try and outrace them. Let’s not stoop to the level of these morons. Breathe when you feel yourself getting worked up. Build your patience a little bit more. Let’s keep calm. We have loved ones waiting for us at home.


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Lifestyle Magazine: Keep Calm And Avoid Road Rage
Keep Calm And Avoid Road Rage
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