There was this person who never missed reading his daily horoscope. One Monday he read that he would feel powerful that day as the decisions which he was bound to take would impact many people. He felt happy and positive. Half an hour later while he was fighting with an MTC bus driver just before the famous Tidel Park signal for having bumped onto his car, he recalled the words he had read that morning. Being responsible for a huge traffic jam in one of the busiest junctions in the city and holding up many vehicles, he continued his arguments unaware of how he was delaying a hundred others who were waiting to cross the junction.
I am a simple person who leads a simple life. I wake up, drink filter coffee, go to work, get back home. I keep to myself mostly. Just like how I don’t bother people around, I prefer not to be disturbed when I’m busy with my routine. So my annoyance is justified when I’m stopped while travelling, predominantly when I’m on my way to work. I don't mind paying for my mistakes, but why should I bear the consequences of someone else’s mistake?
I’m sure many of us would have been in this situation where the entire world conspires against us when all we’re trying to do is to get to our destination. Let me explain a few common scenarios where people knowingly or unknowingly block traffic.
VVIP’s day out!
I've always wondered how VVIPs claim to lead the life of a common man, when they haven't been forced to stop owing to traffic jams. One can never empathise with the life of a common man unless they get stuck in horrible traffic when they're late for work or trying to get back home. We understand that the VVIPs are on their way to work, but hello! the rest of us aren't jobless. All of us have some work or errands to do and just because some “high-profile” people decide to step out, it is very unfair to bring the entire city to the halt, specially during peak office hours.
Did you just hit my car?
I agree that your blood will boil when a rash driver hits your car. It is natural for car owners to be anxious about the condition of their cars (and the questions the Insurance company wold ask!) more than anything else, so much so that people even forget they are standing in the middle of the road and blocking traffic. All it takes is a minute or so to take the conversation a few steps towards the sidewalk. Take the conversation to the sidewalk (an equivalent of “let’s take this offline, between you and me”) and then don't leave the person who was responsible for damaging your vehicle.
Let’s party, on the road.
I absolutely hate it when people block roads in the name of “religious” celebrations. It’s funny how people conveniently consider extending the celebrations to the road, even if it means putting the public through some inconvenience. I agree that people are free to do what they want, but that shouldn't come at the cost of someone else's freedom. I mean, why should I wait for an hour just because someone else is praying in the middle of the road? Just because people cite God’s name while causing public nuisance doesn't make things any better.
Traffic jams for justice!
I am not against protests. I only have a problem when people think they can just come and sit in the middle of the road and block the road like it was built by their forefathers. I don't know how causing a traffic jam would address their grievance. Agreed the police officers might be called down to hear (not listen) their demands but it’s not like that’s the sure-shot way of getting attention. I’m sure they would all earn their share of bad karma for holding up the traffic and wasting the time of innocent common people. Some problem between a few people and hundreds of them have to wait for a miracle to clear up the traffic. Not fair at all.
So next time when people wish they could lead the like of a simple common man, please explain to them the hardships one has to go through. Explain how murphy is always around the corner and how when none of the aforementioned incidents take place there is at least one board on the road that says “Take Diversion”.
It is high time we consider other modes of transport. Like brooms, for instance.