You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Traffic’ tag.

 

 

For those of you that remember the classic 1980’s game Frogger, where a little green frog has to cross a dual carriage way. A game that probably evolved because of Thatcherite moneterist policy ripping up great swathes of the green belt for urban expansion…sorry I digress.

 

Anyway, so Frogger is exactly the same as crossing a road in Mumbai. Exactly the same, apart from the fact that the little animated cars and trucks are replaced with rickshaws (if out of the centre), taxis (if in the centre), trucks, cyclists and buses that loom up on you like a vision from hell, oh and throw in the odd buffalo and cart.

 

Locals navigate this traffic like a seasoned Frogger player. I on the other hand navigate it like a junior rookie Frogger player.

 

When it comes to traffic, Indians exist very much within the moment. It is interesting to note that within yoga and meditation, much of the philosophy and teachings are to bring you in to the moment, to eliminate the past or future and concentrate on the being as it exists at that exact point. Likewise to navigate traffic, one must exist within the moment.

 

With such a huge population, dealing with overcrowding is commonplace. People barge past each other, or fight to get on the train. They sometimes explode at each other in moments of anger. But they do not harbour a grudge.

 

In London if somebody even slightly bumps into you on the tube you find yourself glancing at that person with complete hatred and vengeance for the rest of the journey. Death to them and their family is a small price to pay for them entering your personal space.

 

In Paris every car has a dent in it. I am sure that there is a job, for a very fortunate person, to take a sledge hammer to every car as it rolls off the Renault or Citreon production lines. And yet here, where the road’s intensity makes Paris look like a small sleepy village in the Dordogne, there is a distinct lack of dents on the vehicles. Why is this?

 

The reason is threefold: because all the drivers are in the moment of driving. There are no distractions from driving, it is what they are doing at that precise moment. Then there is the desire to get from A to B without any concern for any other drivers. There is no politeness or giving way, it is every man for themselves and thirdly there is no harbouring a grudge. Just because somebody cuts you up well that is what they need to do and they just did it better than you. You cannot let it evolve into anger or displace it on to the next person that comes along, you just need to get better at driving.

 

The same principles apply to crossing the road: next time I will do it with a complete selfish confidence. “I need to get to the other side” is my mantra, it is the most important thing in my life at that moment and I do not care who gets in my way.

 

Please note: This could be the last entry I write on this blog. If it is I would like Jimi Hendrix “All along the Watchtower“ played at my funeral, “Caution, no entry” written on my thombstone and the tire tracks of the Adheri East bus removed from my forehead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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