April 17th, 2008

boy with dog

Traffic Jam Phobia

I'm phobic to quite a few things, like the average person out there. Arachnids, heights, groups of three or more 15-year-old girls, starvation are among the things that I am afraid of.

However, there is a new thing that I have to add to that list. I've found out that I am mortally petrified of being stuck in a traffic jam. This came about due to a particular incident that happened when I was returning home from the office the other day, after a particularly long and tiring day at work.

On a stretch of road where the traffic is usually free flowing, I was shocked to see that all vehicles had come to a standstill, and I have known that such blockades occur on occasions when a retarded truck driver chooses that very opportune moment to take a wide turning radius to make his U-turn by cutting across at a location where there is a gap in the median.

Hence, I patiently waited as the sweet music from Incubus kept playing away in my ears, assuming that the traffic would soon abate. However, as I stood there on the bike, waiting for vehicles to move for the best part of 10 minutes, I figured out that this was no run-on-the-mill blocking of traffic but a full fledged jam.

I was in no hurry to get home, because I had nothing to do except have dinner and crash thereafter, while watching some mindless stuff on TV as usual, coupled with reading/writing stuff, but the wait had me impatient as well.

Turns out, this was due to some major traffic diversion, and the impact of this jam trickled through on other stretches of the ring road as well, and it was a torrid ride back home and I was a relieved man as I stepped off the bike, nursing my now pitifully aching gluteal muscles.

However, the only thoughts that crossed my mind as I stood there waiting for traffic to clear up was about honing my disaster management skills. I could imagine:
(a) an angry traffic burning communal mob on a rampage
(b) hordes of dinosaurs having escaped from some freight cargo running amok and crushing innocent passengers
(c) a huge wave of water flooding the entire road and engulfing us all and sweeping us away
(d) aliens attacking the hapless traffic with sophisticated weapons to obliterate all mankind that knows how to operate geared vehicles

I was thinking of how I would perish valiantly under the aforesaid circumstances because I don't think I would've abandoned the motorbike and run like hell.

Sure, I guess you can tell that I didn't really have a superawesomelybrilliant funtime at work, but all this stems from the fact that I guess I feel utterly helpless and not at all in control of the situation when I am stuck in traffic, and it is this loss of control that freaks me out more than anything else. Nobody likes being so far removed from their comfort zone.

Plus the fact that I have seen a lot of disaster movies, dystopian movies and movies that reflect earth in a post-Apocalyptic scenario doesn't really further my cause so far as not wanting to come up with horrendous case scenarios is concerned.

This is where riding a bicycle or being a pedestrian would help.
  • Current Music
    Love Hurts - Incubus
  • Tags
boy with dog

Waiting Tables

The more I see people behave rudely towards waiters at a restaurant, the more inclined I get to wanting to take up a temporary position as one myself and then give these rude customers a piece of my mind.

Not tipping notwithstanding, the absolute derision with which I've seen people treat these guys is something that makes me unhappy. Sure, its alright to be curt and/or sharply polite on certain occasions if a waiter is interrupting a conversation or is hovering around a little more than is necessary and fawning over guests at the restaurant beyond a certain measure.

But downright rudeness and an absolute disdain towards another human being rendering service to you is uncalled for.

But these guys can't really talk back because they stand to lose their jobs. The customer is king only so long as he knows how to treat his subjects.

Caveat: One can be rude in retaliation to being treated rudely, but then again, its purely a judgement call as to when to exercise this right.
  • Current Music
    I Wish You Were Here - Incubus
  • Tags
boy with dog

MP/MLA transfers

Reading this article in the Hindu about the transfer of BJP MLA Anil Lad to the Congress sort of prompted me to think of how the media highlights the manner in which politicians move across parties in our honourable multi-party system in a manner similar to the way sports players get transferred across clubs, and the hue and cry that it raises in its aftermath.

Of course, with the IPL starting tomorrow, one can only imagine that we will undoubtably be talking about transfers among cricket players in the same breath as we do about football players being transferred across clubs and national leagues.

Rather than curse these already unscrupulous politicians for their migratory patterns, for it is a given that they are corrupt and reprehensible beyond compare just by virtue of them being in their chosen field (although honest politician is sometimes not a complete oxymoron), let us view their shifts just as we would view the movements of players across clubs.