Friday, September 22, 2006

The Streets of Bangalore...

The streets of Bangalore are not the place to be for the faint hearted. The street seems to have an inexplicable and very malign influence on the unsuspecting folk that accidentally stray onto it. It has the power to turn an ordinary, mild-mannered and civilized software engineer into a raving lunatic who truly believes that the sole purpose of everybody else present on the street is to cause him untold aggravation. The street... cold and unforgiving... where danger lurks around every corner and everyone is suspect... only the meanest will survive. Okay, maybe I am getting a little carried away now, but there really isn't another activity on the planet that makes such demands on your physical, mental and metaphysical faculties. Any excursion onto the streets of Bangalore demands that you have an iron will, nerves of steel and the luck of the Irish to come through unscathed. Anything less than that and you're fish food for the piranhas on the streets of Bangalore.

Having survived Bangalore and its dreaded streets for close to three years now, I consider myself something of an authority on the subject of dangers on the streets of Bangalore. I feel it something of a sacred duty to share my knowledge and wisdom with folks who have not yet reached my level of "Street Nirvana". This post is the first of a series in which I shall preach on the perils novices to Bangalore's streets are likely to come to face with. This post's subject: "Crafty Canines".

There is no greater danger to the average motorist than the conniving canine. Imagine.. you're on your bike, seeking no more than to get from point A to point B without incident. Just when you begin to feel that the journey might actually be incident free, you notice from a distance, a dog sitting by the road, watching the traffic go by. Something about the dog doesn't look right... maybe it's the look in his eyes or the manner in which he's wagging his tail. You have an uneasy feeling about the dog, but try to convince yourself that it's just the Maggi dal-atta noodles that you had for lunch. Moments pass slowly as your bike inches forward. You think to yourself, "In a few moments I'll have passed the dog and it'll all be over." At that very moment, the dog, who until that very moment looked as if he'd be happy to watch the traffic whiz past for the rest of his life, has a sudden urge to cross the road. He starts with purpose and speed, mindless of the fact that a panic-stricken software engineer and his bike are hurtling towards him with great speed. You make a final super human effort, pull a move on your bike that you never thought possible and narrowly avoid becoming one with a BMTC bus that was endeavoring to overtake you in your moment of uncertainty. You manage to avoid the dog but the incident has left you badly shaken and shaved about 10 years off your life. You pull to the side of the road to calm your severely frayed nerves. You spare a thought for the canine who, you feel, would have had as stressful a time as you. Your eyes scour the other side of the road, for you know that was where the dog was endeavoring to proceed to. You finally find what you are looking for. The dog is now seated across the road, watching the traffic go by.... You realize you have tears in your eyes and you promise yourself that the next time a dog attempts to cross the road you'll be ready for him....

Well, there you have it. One in an infinitely long list of hazards you could expect to encounter on the streets of Bangalore. The next in the series: "The Plotting Pedestrian"... until later.. cheers... 8-)

15 Comments:

At 7:57 AM , Anonymous Vin said...

Exceptional narration !
For the 6 and a half years of my living in Bangalore, I might have gone through this experience umpteen number of times. I've had occasions where the motorist tailgating you hit your bike hard in the back, while you try to avoid the animal, with a screeching halt. Immediately after which the tailgater along with others along side yell at you on top of their voice creating a harmony with the continuous honks from their vehicle.

 
At 8:58 AM , Blogger the Monk said...

Amen. Dogs are my worst nightmare. Any kind, street or otherwise. Do you mace'll work on them?

 
At 8:00 AM , Anonymous yogeshpatil111 said...

Too good!!! [:)]

 
At 10:16 PM , Blogger Kaushik said...

Imagine if instead of a street-wise software engineer, there's an eager 18 year old kid rushing for his 1st ever interview on a 20 year-old 2nd hand Bajaj 150, and he actually hits the dog - dog does 3 somersaults and disappears into ditch on left side of road; boy does 2 and lands on the right side of road...

As Monk rightly said...stuff that nightmares are made of!

 
At 3:06 AM , Blogger Pushuka said...

[Vin]: Thanks. And I doubt there's a single motorist on this planet who hasnt at any point in his life had to contend with canine menace. Really, God put dogs on Earth as a punishment of some sort...

[Monk]: I hope mace works on dogs and I further hope that the Govt makes it legally binding that citizens mace any and all dogs they come across. :)

[Yogesh]: Thanks!!

[Kaushik]: You said it dude. Truly the stuff of nightmares... btw, the thought of the dog doing 3 somersaults and disappearing into a ditch was immensely pleasing.. :)

 
At 9:54 PM , Blogger 8adl36jprn said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:57 PM , Anonymous Vitz said...

Terrific..A fantastic narration of how precarious a life software engineers lead on Bangalore roads..keep it up :)

 
At 10:05 PM , Blogger Pushuka said...

[vitz]: You said it, man... :)

 
At 7:18 AM , Blogger Harish said...

Probably, on every eoad in Bangalore, we should have a board that says' "Beware of dogs". More helpful would be boards that say, "Canines might start crossing the road suddenly. Please go slow taking this into account".

 
At 11:15 PM , Blogger Arjun Sharma said...

He he, brilliant! It would not be wrong to say those crafty SOBs have it in for us and are actually relishing making us sweat it out every time we see them across the road.

To make matters worse, their close relatives also abound on our roads. Auto-drivers...

 
At 1:47 AM , Blogger Pushuka said...

[Harish]: That would be letting the dogs off lightly. I'm all in favor of BMP awarding cash prizes to folks that ran over dogs...

[Arjun]: You don't know how tempted I was to have a go at auto-wallah's in the post. Then I told myself,"Pushuka.. you're no superhero. Deal with one villain at a time.." :)

 
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