(Random pics from the net)
I'm mystified. Travelling on Baroda's roads nowadays, I wonder why people want to honk so much? Even if the road's empty, they still go beep-beep,parp-parp,doggie bow-wow or some shrill noise which irritates the ears. Are they just trying to say 'look, I own a vehicle'? Similarly, if there's a traffic jam, they know that until the first vehicle moves, the ones behind won't be able to. Still, instead of waiting patiently, people from the second vehicle begin honking, creating a cacophony of at least 60 dB. Reminds me sometimes of the animals in Sayaji Park in the morning hours- one feels hungry and lets off a roar, and the rest follow suit, like a 'bhed chaal'(Sheep following the leader)
Come to think of it, why don't the inventors of PC/video games make one on the traffic of a non-metro city like Baroda? It would be a sure-fire hit. Based on just my experiences in the last one week, we could have:
- You as the two-wheeler scooter driver. (In other avatars, you could also be a pedestrian,car driver,bike driver(different from scooters), bullock cart rider, a cow, a goat, a dog, a pig,a tractor driver, in fact, anything that your little warm heart desires. Your goal would be to reach your destination in the shortest possible time, without more than 3 'hits' on the road.
How'd the game go? They could use google maps to make a realistic 3D map of our fair city, for a a start.
You leave from your house- just as you are exiting, a bhangaar-waala suddenly brings his larri in front of your building gate, shouting 'bhangaar aapo'(Gimme your rubbish)...you swerve to avoid him-if you fall, you're out.
You go out on the lane-speed increases to 40 kmph. Suddenly, out rushes a cow and her calf from nowhere. They were probably hiding somewhere waiting for the oppurtune moment to come in front of you. Again, you slow down/swerve/go to the wrong side, to avoid them.
If the game begins in the wee hours of the morning,you could have 2-3 barking dogs running after your scooter, making you speed up and/or do 'shoo shoo' to see if that makes them go away.
You continue- suddenly, you see in the rear-view mirror that a tractor, a four wheel drive, 2 cyclists and another 4 scooter riders are coming up fast behind you-before you can think, they let off their respective horns. If you fall down due to the cacophony of sound, you're out.
You're brave enough-you continue.Suddenly, you feel your vehicle slipping- someone's spilled oil on the road. Naturally, no-one's going to clean it up. (This one was an experience in y2k, not now). So, if you're really strong, you manage to avoid slipping. If not, you slip, your clothes are black and you're out- the game lasts long enough to let you reach home for a change of clothes.
OMG- suddenly, there's another pair of cows-and, one of them has conveniently decided to use the middle of the road as a, well, a 'convenience'- so, plop plop goes the dung. Were you able to avoid skidding right into it? Good going.
Now, imagine your bumping into a car owner- he jumps out, begins abusing you. You shout back..finally, if your voice was louder and you seemed more in the right, you can go ahead-if not, OUT.
Move further-suddenly, a leg sticks out from a three-wheeler auto. It's the driver, showing that he wants to move to the left side. So, you'd better slow down. But you lose valuable time.
Go to Nyayamandir side. That's the heart of the city. Go shopping. But, did you leave your vehicle double parked, or, on the even date side of the road when it should have been on the left side? Well, the police crane has taken it. You now go to Sayaji Gunj, in another auto or walking,pay a fine of Rs 50 and take it back, hoping they did not break the lock.(This was not my experience-it was someone else's-haha)
And, finally you have reached your destination. Congrats. Err,did you forget, this is part I of the game. Part II is to face the menagerie all over again when you head back home. HAHAHAHAHA
Note: This is just the simpler version of the game, at off-peak hours. Would love to hear some more experiences- Austy,Poo,Arunima,Pradeep-everyone-consider yourself tagged to create a game like this!!:)