Bangalore, the garden city is now a city without a garden. The gardens are making way for the roads and the roads are filled with vehicles which has become a mess. Commuting in Bangalore is really a tiring affair and gruesome at times. To travel 30 KMs some 10 years back would have taken 40 minutes anywhere within city limits now to travel the same distance one requires more than 90 minutes. I am not exaggerating, that is how the traffic has grown and that is how the Bangalore’s Traffic Control has progressed. Everyone complains about the same. The thing is that they don’t realize that they are a part of it and they have to do something about it and not just keep complaining about it.
I used to live in Malleshwaram, which is where my entire childhood was spent. I lived for more than 16 years there. It was a wonderful place. I used to play cricket on the roads. Now I don’t see a single soul playing on the roads since you can’t afford to do so with the current stupid traffic situation. I know the roads are not meant to play cricket. What I mean is, ten years back things were like you can play on the road and now you can’t even drive on the road properly, you can imagine the amount of vehicles plying on the road.
Photo by Jace.
I am happy that many people have enough money that they can own a vehicle but this has lead to chaos in the city. Not many people follow traffic rules. People just don’t want to follow. I have seen many people drive on footpaths which are meant for pedestrians. If people drive on footpaths then where do they expect the people to walk? On roads or somewhere else? The entire chaos is due to the negligence and rash driving by some people. The city started growing with IT and related services, more and more people started coming over to Bangalore. It is good that they are all earning a livelihood here but the sad part is not many understand and follow the traffic rules. In some cases, the drivers of Public Service Vehicle are forced to break the rules and in others they just don’t want to follow the same.
I remember a dialogue from a movie which goes like this, “Amidst naked men, if you are wearing clothes then you are a fool.” Now the situation is something like this, if you follow the rules in Bangalore then you are a fool since many don’t. Believe it or not, once I was standing in the signal and the signal was Red meaning stop there was a BMTC bus behind me and driver was honking horn big time, I was really very annoyed and I turned back and pointed him to the signal he started abusing and I got wild then I did not care, I just left way for him to go ahead and he did not care for the signal and just rammed through. This is how the traffic rules are followed by most of them. I waited patiently for more than a minute and I zoomed past him. It does not matter whether you follow the rules or not, you will reach the destination after certain time only. If that is the case what is harm in following the rules. Won’t that be nice?
Obey traffic rules. We wish that Bangalore should become like Singapore but we don’t want to be like Singaporeans. I think it is the people in the city who decide how the city can be and not the city administrators. In Singapore, people are not supposed to chew gum it is banned. People respect it. If the same ban is imposed in India, can we strictly follow it? It is not about others. It is first about us. We need to change to see the change in others. If you want the traffic situation to become better then you follow the traffic rules and don’t worry about others. Bring the change in yourself. I have stopped at signals when others don’t care. Seeing me couple of them stopped. I thought well about myself for making my move in the right direction. I really don’t care about others following the traffic rules till I follow the same since I feel it is humanely to do so. Once I started following the traffic rules, I wanted others also to do so. Thus the change is within us, awaken yourself and start following the rules. I am sure my son or daughter can say that Bangalore is better than Singapore. It is a dream and I think it can happen.