Bengaluru=Traffic


Most of the readers will find the blog title apt as if they are made for each other. It’s been more than 5 years now that I have been in Bengaluru and one thing which I have seen proliferate is TRAFFIC. It was not this way if rolled back 5-8 years. I’ve come to understand why traffic is such an abiding topic of conversation to the office-going Bengalurean’s.

 On a good day, my commute can take 45 minutes to an hour to my office at Prestige ShantiNiketan, Whitefield. On a bad day – anything up to 1-2 hours (time taken to reach my office gate itself is around 30 minutes, especially on Friday’s). And the thing with namma Bengaluru, as far as traffic is concerned, is: there are hardly any good days. I love the idea of travelling the road less taken, but as far as my morning commute goes – there aren’t any . And on the roads I take, my progress seems like morse code, with lots of dots and very few dashes. There was one instance where in I was stuck in a traffic jam and happened to check my car display options for the engine and to my surprise, my car mileage was shown as “3.1 Km/L”. That’s how the pace is so damn slow at times that Bengalurean’s have got accustomed to it. I’ve stopped so often and so long at some points on the ride that I might fairly be considered a local.

      Given that the average Bengalurean spends so much time stalled in traffic every day, you wonder how they keep themselves occupied during these long pauses in stoplight limbo. Fights, naturally, are common, as are the sudden turns into side lanes, or two wheeler riders mounting the footpaths for better progress. Usual scene at KR PuramThere’s the delicate balancing act of that a family of five, precariously perched on an antique scooter, performs when the scooter grinds to a halt – or moves in fits and starts. It’s the kind of thing that makes you wonder how centre of gravity work. There are, of course, the mobile obsessed, Facebooking and Instagramming, moaning about the pile up on Old Airport road, KR Puram or retweeting the latest from the Silk Board junction parody Twitter account. There are the bosses on the go, in their chauffeur-driven vehicles, who have converted the back into a mobile office, and conduct their business on their phones, unperturbed by the chaos outside. There are the long married couples, bickering about everything from relatives to the choice of time for the drive. There are the younger couples, using the time spent at the red light for a quick kiss, love showing…or, as it happened a couple of days ago, quite a bit more. Coming to me, I generally listen to FM by changing the channel thousand times before I reach office, hardly get to listen 3-4 songs in the time travelled.

Initially, I used to enjoy my drive. Well, at least for the first couple of days. Now, I wish that every road was Nice Road, and every day was Sunday morning. Because whatever energy you have, whatever ideas you have, whatever resolutions you have to make your day at work productive, all of it is lost by the time you slouch into the office, wondering how your coworkers manage to make it work on a daily basis. It has happened to me and most of my friends who are huge foodies but suppressing those sudden urges simply because the nearest outlet was too far away or reluctantly (or not) deciding to attend a family function simply because its taking place at the other end of town on a Saturday .

Photo Credits: Indian GAGS
Photo Credits: IndianGags

One of the meme which fits right into the situation. Sometimes I wish I had an e-wallet filled with funds, and an Uber or an Ola always just a couple of minutes away . I’d ride those cabs to work and back, and make the most of the journey watching movies, hollywood TV series or sleeping. That’s probably the only way I’d be able to come to work feeling fresh and enthusiastic. Until then, I’ll just have to complain about the traffic, like every true Bengalurean.

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