Every morning when I tuck in my sandwich and rush out to beat the traffic jam at the busy Velachery signal, I wonder, why can't I have a device that will simply 'transmit' me a-la-startreck straight to my office - wish I could just use the magic words - "Beam-me-up, Scotty" and find myself sitting in my cubicle, right in front of my computer! Traffic Jams have a new defination in India, where the vehicles are not just slow-moving, but can be a complete stand-still. While stuck in a traffic jam near the Richmond circle in Bangalore, I remember, parking my bike right in the middle of a chocablock street and going to a nearyby shop to buy some essentials, knowing fully well, that in the ten minutes in which I will be back, the traffic will move at most - a few lazy inches. I remember missing my flight once due to a traffic jam on the airport road.
Although the town planners are coming up with ways to counter the traffic jams, e.g. Metro Rail already implemented in Delhi, is being planned in both Chennai and Bangalore. Kolkatta gets the early bird prize as the Kolkatta Metro was introduced way back in 1982.
Another most common solution to traffic snarls is building flyovers. Lately, Delhi has seen probably the highest number of flyovers built. Everytime I visit Delhi, I am surprized to see a few more flyovers created. Hyderbad recently added 11.6 km flyover in its already existing fleet, and which is by far the longest one in India. Although flyovers do speed up the traffic, but they have their own set of woes. Ask any person who has a flyover whizzing past his bedroom window, and he will tell you. Moreover, the area below the Flyovers is mostly relegated as wasteland, with hawkers and petty shopkeepers using it to their advantage. In some areas this portion of the street is used as parking space, which I think is a good idea.
My two cents on how to tackle the traffic snarls - some serious, some not :
- When in a Jam - Pray! In our busy lives today, we hardly get anytime to think of god. Thus god gave us an opportunity - traffic jams. When you are stting in your car, with atleast fifty vehicles surrounding you from all sides, all you can do is just close your eyes and recite the Hanuman Chalisa.
- Practice Yoga. You will be surprized to know that there are a large number of Asanas that could be practiced when trapped inside a car in the midst of a traffic jam. You can begin with Anulom Vilom, although its not advisable for bike users as they will end up taking all the traffic smoke in their lungs. But make sure that your pull up your car windows before starting with your Yoga practice. This is for two reasons: Firstly, it will help keep the smoke and sound pollution out. Secondly, it will prevent the curious onlooker from passing over, when he sees you do your Kapal Bhatti!
- Read a good book. I promise if you start off from tommorow, by the next weekend you can finish off your favorite paperback. My suggestion: The Power of Patience: How to Slow the Rush and Enjoy More Happiness, Success, and Peace of Mind Every Day by MJ Ryan!!
Hope these suggestions will help you when you get stuck next time in a Traffic Jam!