There’s a simple mantra that I use to avoid honking while driving. It is to assume and believe that everyone on the road at a given point of time is eager to reach their destination. No one – especially the ones in front of you – is voluntarily trying to delay their movement. It’s just that one of many external factors is influencing them at that specific point of time, be it a bratty auto-rickshaw driver or an illegally parked car or pedestrian traffic or a lost member of a bovine family (who apparently are safer in India). The mantra is basically about exercising self-control and is a trait that I think should be mandated by Regional Transport Offices (RTO) across the country as part of the tests for obtaining licence. Along with the reintroduction of and when to use indicators.
But it’s not an ideal world we live in. And self-control is not easy to master, particularly in Mumbai traffic. So, here’s a hypothetical list of reasons why I think people (in India) honk while on the road. Some of these may sound ridiculous but I assure you they are based on my own experiences ever since I got myself a driving licence in 2014.
People in India blow their vehicle’s horn while on the road because…
- The button is right there in front of them
- When they learned driving/riding, it was taught to them that honking has properties similar to that of nitrous oxide
- They think the person/vehicle blocking their way is trying to settle down at that particular place on the highway/road
- Of muscle memory
- Telling a person to do something by irritating them almost always gets the job done unless you are in Gurugram. There, you just get shot
- It’s a privilege
- It is easier than exercising patience
- The person behind is doing it too and they can’t let the chain break or else seven years of curse. Duh!
- Everyone does it
- They have a fancy/loud horn
- It makes them look important/busy
- They have nothing better to do (because the person on the other side of the phone call they are on just does not shut up)
- The green light is just 30 seconds away
- They think they own the road
There are more but I don’t want to extend this list because I think I have driven the point home.
One day I will invest in a startup that makes horn-less vehicles. And the day the startup becomes profitable is when I will retire this list from my website. Till then let us all exercise patience while driving and riding. TN.
Featured Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons