If you live in India, you can’t help but thank God for traffic jams

 If you live in India, you can’t help but thank God for traffic jams

How else would you get to read the newspaper on our way to work? These days when life has become a treadmill with no red switch, where else will you get a guaranteed hour-and-a-half time slot each way on your commute to catch up on current events?
Where else do you get free live entertainment twice a day, every day? The moment you step out on the street, you’re embarking on an adventure, and so are the fifty million other people of your city – or your street, rather. When so many of us set out into the world so bravely at the same time, minor disagreements are bound to happen. Watch out for the angry man sticking his head out of the car, the policeman who inadvertently blocks all traffic behind him while attending to the dung-dropping cow in the middle of the street, the bus driver using his whole body to turn the steering wheel so that his vehicle could move an inch further.
Keep your ears cocked for abuse in the air, and your body nimble enough to make for the open spaces – you may not find any – if any of it is intended for you.
Watch the auto drivers, because they’re artists. In our mythology there are tales of charioteers who could drive through falling rain without getting wet. Our modern auto drivers are direct descendants of those long gone heroes. Watch an auto man’s eyes when faced with a traffic jam. They glisten with anticipation. They glow with a slow, blue fire. He knows he can take them all down, and often he does.
And of course, you keep a look out for members of the opposite sex that may just chance to stop by next to your vehicle. Who knows? If the jam is still young, you may have all the time you need to turn on the charm. Just make sure your helmet is clean. Nothing turns a woman off more, they say, than a dusty helmet.
God bless Indian traffic jams, where there’s an opportunity every moment for every man.

Megha Vaishnav

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