‘The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And wither then? I cannot say..’
Pedong, West Bengal,
A drive through the Sal forests of Doon is always a memorable one. The thick cover of trees is home to many species of birds and animals.
What I find very interesting to watch is the poses that monkeys make as they sit perched on stumps of trees or sundry rocks! They look most human as they watch humanity rush by, sometimes scratching their heads in wonder at our impatience to overtake one another at all costs!
The roads in Himachal that take one to Spiti and beyond can make the heart clutch with fear and excitement. This overhanging mountain through which a road was blasted, makes one duck ones head automatically!
Driving there is an amazing experience indeed and one has new respect for the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), that create and maintain these roads 🙂
Our curiosity to know
What lies beyond the curve
of the road
Is both, our greatest strength
And our biggest weakness…
Some time back I resolved that I would not use the car horn more than two and a half times during any drive. It was an experiment that I wanted to conduct for myself to see if it was even possible to drive in this manner in a place like Delhi. So it was two loud honks for events that could metamorphose into a potential catastrophe and one little beep for a small unforeseen event.
Living in a country where vehicles literally order drivers with `HORN PLEASE` signs emblazoned on their vehicles in order to get road space, my decision was a tall order to accomplish! This decision entailed much thought and self-control. Judging every situation for its `Honkworthiness` kept me involved in my driving in a novel and exciting way.
Because of this self-imposed rule, I was more vigilant on the road and kept the speed under check. It is well known that speeding vehicles make the most noise. In realising that honking was not a limitless luxury, I kept a close eye on jay walkers and sundry other impulsive road crossers like cyclists, motorcyclists, autos and the four-legged variety in the form of stray dogs, cats and cattle.
Listening to music and driving with rationed honks can be a wonderful experience. One is slow to come to a boil… Honking and speeding raises the adrenalin of the driver and the other motorists, tempers flare and anger reaches the surface much faster.
In my meditative, non-excitable, low honking state, I gave way to traffic that would otherwise have a long wait to enter a by lane. Most drivers who benefitted from my generosity had a look of astonishment on their face as they crossed me. Some openly doubted their good fortune and thought that this might be a ruse on my part to knock them sideways. As they tentatively crossed me, sometimes I would get a `Thumbs up` from them and a relieved smile. A good deed done, indeed!
When I don’t approach the road as a war zone, it doesn’t turn into one. When I stick to my lane, I organise more than my thoughts, I clarify my intention, thereby simplifying decision-making for the other drivers. (hopefully/wishfully!)
In limiting my driving to Two and a Half Honks, I hope to`Be the Change I am Looking For!`
…And hopefully, live to see it 😀