Learnings from a traffic jam

Pune is not a huge metro city, we have a good mix of big & small roads, tiny lanes & one-ways, with a dash of faulty signals & graciously distributed pot holes too. Almost every day there is a jam on some or the other road.
I tried to find a reason, relating this situation to a deeper life meaning, trying to understand why does a traffic jam happen?? It is still the same road, same people, just because there is a faulty traffic light or absence of a traffic policeman, Why does it all have to go out of control???
Despite being educated, despite being aware of the traffic rules and despite the basic common sense training, is it soooooo difficult for us to think logically & take steps to ease a jam??
Last evening, I spent an hour in a jam that could have been solved in just 15 mins tops and I observed the behaviour of people on the road.
When I got stuck in the jam, the left side of the road stopped moving, slowly the entire right side of the road was taken over by the left side commuters on bikes(majorly) & cars. They just wanted to go first. Now, This caused an extended jam because no traffic could move on the either side of the road. All everyone had to do was stick to their side of the road and let the situation ease out, instead everyone decide to block all outlets.
 Now I thought to myself, are we all this stupid??? May be yes!
The key things I learnt here:

  • Rules make life easier: At least in this case! Jumping a red light, driving on the wrong  and other similar acts would have been allowed if it helped a smooth traffic. So obviously there is a reason they are not! These rules are put in place for a reason, let us learn to trust this process and stay out of bending or breaking them.  It is not cool to break every rule in life, specially the one that can causes others inconvenience or even causes you a fatal injury. Think before you want to show your bravado or fearlessness on the road. It does not translate into you being the same in real life.
  • Me first attitude: Traditionally the biggest cause of any traffic jam is the” me first” attitude. Someone in the crowd wants to win a race or just does not want to get stuck or something like that, He/she takes the lead to cause a jam. Ironically he/she does not realise that they are causing a huge chaos & large waste of time with that one stupid move. Similarly in life I think it’s ok to let someone go first, may be he needs to, trust people, don’t try to get out of everything without caring about what price the other person, the one right behind you will have to pay for this move. This highly selfish behaviour causes ambulances & genuine commuters to be stuck for hours with no fault of their own. Whether you are a slow or a fast driver, it won’t cost you much to just not cause everyone else trouble. Be patient, think like a grown up.

  •   No Compassion: Everyone wants to get their destination, agreed, but can we be a bit more compassionate towards other humans on the road. Rage is bad & so is ignorance. I see some people just ignoring people who want to take a pass even on an empty road. May be if you let others go first, it will solve the problem faster. This applies to all of us, the one who is letting you go first & the one who is going first. Be compassionate, maybe he needs to go first or faster. Be responsible. Show some regard, yes you do not know every person on the road, but it won’t harm to develop a mutually respecting society around us.

  •  There are some good people: Every jam brings forward some heroes. The ones who care about everyone, who step out of their car & tell people what to do. They take the lead & solve the problem. Some help while sitting in their cars too. It is amazing to see how only a few people care enough to get up & help a stuck school bus or an ambulance. These people don’t get any sort of recognition or credit, they are forgotten soon after you get out of the jam, but they still do it! Respect them, be like them, get inspired by them, all because we need more like them.

  • Start with disciplining yourself:  Like someone once rightly said “To Change others, start with yourself.”  After you complain about others & their reckless driving, spend a moment to introspect, are you a responsible driver/rider? Do you make efforts to not further cause a jam?  Do you unnecessarily jump signals or break random traffic rules because it’s easy & fun?  Do you contribute effectively on the road in a situation? If you don’t, it is never too late to change that. We need to bring about that positive change, for a better Pune, for a better India  & a better tomorrow. We need to bring that change for our younger generations to come. They will learn & adapt to a world we create for them, if that means recklessness & irresponsible attitudes on the road or in life, they will learn just that! To teach them compassion we must practice that too.

🚦🚦Hope this inspires you to be a responsible driver/rider!🚦🚦
Stay blessed 💟

Typical Indian turn offs

I spent all afternoon to figure how to phrase the title of this post correctly!(without offending many)
 this is the best I could reach! But fact is a fact, the urban Indian population is now growing at speed of light with access to the new food menus, gadgets, places, clothing, life styles and much more.
Hence obviously this should make us all more aware and more metro, but there are some hard to give up traits we have inherited generation after generation and no matter where we reach we would still have them. and these are what make us appear less exposed, aware and less educated!

Why why why?? I don’t know but here are some common turn offs that are appalling and we must discourage:

  • Talking loudly in public places : Ok so this really puts me off  badly. Indians take pride in talking loudly in public places, sometimes it looks like an innocent act only to become the center of attraction or seek everybody’s attention. be it, restaurants, flights, trains, airports, work places or elite public occasions. and I see people not objecting to it no matter how much it bothers  them. may be its time we politely let our colleagues, fellow travelers or diners know that we are not ok with it
  • Not Been there, not done that yet saying: Everyone here has an opinion on everything. whether they have experience of it or not; yet they have expert reviews, opinions, advices to give you. Of course all of this becomes valid information if they have real experiences to validate these comments but mostly they don’t yet their comments have the power to declare end results of any situations you may put forth.
  • The predictors: Some people take immense pride to be able to foresee future and predict the future of people, actors, neighbor’s, their kids, share market movie successes and eventually the future of you & me. if their accuracy was so good, why don’t they predict some shit for themselves! People have to stop making statement on anything & everything. 
  • Over judgmental/critical : I think we are the most critical & judgmental race, we have not opinions but judgments’ on everything. We judge people on every aspect of their personality even though we may not have them ourselves. Yet they trip on being able to rip apart anyone’s effort, project or creation. Mostly is done under the blanket of humor. when there is a new comer in Hollywood I haven’t seen posts ripping that actor apart, showcasing how he may fail or suck at his job. But when there is a new comer in Bollywood every Indian becomes larger than a regular film critic and rips apart that actor, verbally, on the social media and wherever possible. Ok fine I understand you can be skeptical but if you cant do that persons job better than him, there is absolutely no way you should be ridiculing him/her.  We should discourage this, or else it is not the right message we are sending to the world or the next generation.
  • The sleaze balls : if you are out of India and you see or come across a man eve teasing or making sleazy remarks at a woman 9/10 chances are he is an Indian. We as Indian men & women have encouraged these kinda sleaze balls. we breed them, and later when things go out of hand in our so called educated society we protest! Coommmee oooonnnn!!! Don’t you think all you men reading this should give a shut up call the next time you see a random man do this shit to anybody!
  • Macho man aka the MCP:  sadly, yes this is what 80% of Indian men and women think. If the man is an MCP he is macho, if he controls and commands women – he is macho. Now women also think that, its a shame!! This is such a shitty image to portray to the world out there.
  • Everything is the Government’s fault: I understand the government creates the procedures & mechanisms for the nation to function properly, but there is a critical role the public plays in it. if the last 10 years have been crappy, have you ever reflected upon “the brain drain” we have faced, The “why should I get my hands dirty” attitude, the lets “mind our own business & why care for another” behavior, which is the biggest reason for lack of social reforms. The rapists were not executed immediately we were angry, but how many of you were angry on the million cars & bikes passing by the dead soul lying on the road, there the public like you & me are at fault. Stop the blame game! if you are blaming you are guilty conscious. its your country you call the shots. so get out of the cocoon, speak up and call the shots! And charity begins from home!

After reading this take a moment and think of the kind of image we are creating for the next generation of India and the current people of the world. No matter hominy IT parks we have and how much employment we may create; The real change will come when we change our thinking and the thinking of all the people close to us – our families, our friends, our colleagues. Treat this as your social contribution to the growing India.