Thursday, June 28, 2012

The true definition of Traffic signals in Pune

Come school, and we were taught the meanings of the colors on the traffic signal. It was basic and simple.

Red : Stop
Green: Proceed
Amber: Prepare to stop
(Courtesy google) The School version
Come Pune, and you drive for 100 meters and then bam. It hits you. It hits you, how your parents were cheated out of their money by the schools. None of those bookish terms and traffic rules applied to the Punekars and this budding city. Because the city had made some of their own! Astonishingly everybody from the school kids, to professionals, to old kakas, to aunties and to the traffic police men are aware of these special rules, and abide by them no matter what. And if fate feels like it and you land up on the roads in Pune, don't be surprised with yourself. It would just be a matter of days, before you also start following the special rules, while the school rules are busy escaping your memory. Adaption; remember from science in school? At least, something they taught was right!

Well ok, so before I explain the rules, here are few characteristics.
They are tough to follow and it all comes down to Darwin's theory. The survival of the fittest.
They are accidentally dangerous and scary. But darr ke agge jeet hain
And most importantly they are dynamic, prone to change as per your vehicle position in the signal. But again isn't changing constant?

And now the rules! Check your vehicle position and apply wherever applicable please.

If you are on the front line and the signal has/is :
Just turned green: Try to ignore it first, and then get the kid out in you. Start and stop your vehicle, you know, just for fun!
Green with a timer of 60 seconds: Admire all the pretty girls' figures on their scooters and activas. (Of course you can't see their faces!! Duh, it is a crime to drive a 2 wheeler without a head and face scarf if you are a girl in Pune). Ensure the speed is nothing above 20kms/hr.
Green with a timer of 30 seconds: Continue the admiration, and keep the speed below 30kms/hr. Please practice the combo before the real test. Also don’t forget to catch the abuses of those behind you. Bask in them but act nonchalant.
Green with a timer of 10 seconds: Ok enough of goffeying up. Chuck the gals, accelerate the vehicles to a good 60kms/hr. Ensure your bikes and cars are well serviced, to make this hyperbole (or is it parabola?) acceleration from 20-30 to 60-70 kms/hr in 10 seconds.
Amber: Drive with full gusto and a speed of 80km/hr. Focus and dedication are of utmost important here. Applying the brakes on the sight of an oncoming vehicle from the opposite direction or on the sound of a police whistle is a sin and looked down upon.
Red: Keep up the speed of 80kms/hr till a vehicle almost hits you. Ensure you are well conversant with the tactics of twisting and gliding styles of bike riding. If in a car, maintain a ice cold stare on your face and act as if you are king of the world and you will glide through the mess(which by the way you just created).
(Courtesy google) The Pune Version
Now if you are behind 5-6 front line vehicles and the signal has/is:
Just turned green:  Practice your tabla skills on the horns. This is to ensure people know, you want to get out of the signal even if you have five to six vehicles ahead of you. And to ensure, even if everyone in front of you has noticed the green light, you want to pretend to be the only intelligent one who has.
Green with timer of 60 seconds:  Abuse to your heart's content at the vehicles ahead of you.
Green with timer of 30 seconds: Continue the abuse. Also increase your vocab by listening to the vehicles next to you, and put that to use immediately.
Green with timer of 10 seconds: Don't panic. You are destined to cross the signal and you will. Never lose hope.
Amber: Ok, you can lose hope now.
Red: Time is money. Start revising your abuses.

2 signals, one for right and one for straight and:
If you want to turn right: Ensure you place yourself on the leftmost lane of the road. As soon as the signal for Straight goes green, start your indicator for right and block the entire road. Guilt and remorse on the face will make you lose your brownie points.
Keep going right, because you know, indicator to diya tha maine!
If you want to go straight: Ensure you place yourself on the rightmost lane of the road. As soon as the signal for the right turn goes green, smirk blissfully and don’t budge an inch. All the cars behind you who want to turn right, will honk and cringe and abuse, and of course all that would be music to you. Because jo bhi ho, if I can’t go, the world can’t go!

Other rules which are not on a signal but apply to the road!
If you see a 2 wheeler woman driver, with her feet touching the ground from both the sides of the activa, that's allowed. Because her feet don’t reach the ground and Oh, she still wants to drive an activa. The entire journey has to be and will completed, with both foot firmly dragged along the road.

If you see a woman on an activa, who has just hit an indica from the behind, but is just pulling her bike back and driving away, then that's allowed. No matter who strikes whom, the woman cannot be at fault.

If you are taking a reverse which will just take 10 seconds, and you have couple of more cars patiently waiting for you to finish, 4-5 two wheelers will still trying to zoom past from the rear, making you also halt your backward journey, but then that's allowed. Two wheelers are always busy even though they would get home and just flop onto a huge sofa.

And lastly, if you see a two wheeler stop right on the middle of the road, because he has to take an important(?) call, that's allowed. Because doesn't matter if you jam right into him, he would prefer that, than to face the GF's enquiry commission.

So people, next time you hit the road in Pune, you know what to do and how not to react. Punekars are rigid. Any attempt to modify these rules will not be entertained. Because you Do What the Punekars do when in Pune. Till then, drive safe :-)

36 comments:

  1. Hahaha.. Funny??? I hope this is not the truth :-P I have been to Pune just once and it really make me wonder even now that why does girls cover up their face so much there.. Strange :)

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    1. Unfortunately it is the truth Sonia :-)

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  2. Nice one! Although you may want to add in the next 2 as well :
    1. We do not and will not acknowledge a left turn signal, that is for cowards..
    2. Its a crime to take your hand off the horn when the signal is red. People in front need to know that you're there, right behind them :)

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    1. I have included the point 2. Point 1, yes valid.

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  3. LOL... Jenny, you've got it all down to a science! :D ... I put my foot down on the accelerator when I see the light turning orange.

    Check out my new post btw, would love to have your opinion too :) http://e-pinion.blogspot.in/2012/06/in-law-dilemma.html

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    1. :-) so you are on of us then :-)

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  4. Some of the best sarcasm tipped humour that I have read in a while :-).

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  5. LOL ROFL AWESOME lovely
    So many awesomeness in this post dear hahaha!!! The way the post is written colouring UI passed!
    and all the timing and the awesome humour in every line I wanted to quote few lines but as I read through it I started feeling If I have to paste full post for its awesome wit in it :D

    SUPERB one ROFL ROFL :D
    You always come back with bang :D Loved it totally ROFL ROFL

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    1. Oh Ramya, what would I do, if it weren't for you :-) I love you :-)

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  6. haha! How do you come up with such ideas for blog posts? Interesting! <3

    love
    http://www.meghasarin.blogspot.com

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    1. haha, I was to write on this for a long time actually :-) Thank you!

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  7. LOL in fact ROFL. Even my hometown is same. In 2008 when I was under the Haryana Roadways Bus, missed the tire by few inches, driver said 'Madam mein apko awaaz laga raha tha!'

    I wish he used the HORN instead of his vocal chords. So, you can imagine the condition of traffic rules in majority of Indian cities.

    Your post reflects the sorry state in one brilliant way!

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    1. haha, How brainy of him, to use his vocal chords!! Couldn't agree more Saru. It is indeed a sorry state in almost every city now!

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  8. Amazing post Jenny! Satirical and Sarcastic to the core! I think you should patent it yaar, what say? :P

    Infact I had an interesting experience in Mumbai. Will share it soon. A different take though :)

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    1. Oh wow! Was it that good. Thanks Binu you are too kind :-) I read your take, and I so agree to it. A rotten apple makes the entire basket rotten!

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  9. Nice post !! It's very true about the condition of traffic in Pune (where I drive) .. and to be honest I am also one of them .. but I can't survive if I drive politely and I also understand if I am driving ruthlessly.

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    1. Yeah CK, I agree. One has to follow it. It is after all the fight to stay alive :-)

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  10. Well, what about lane separators? Rule should be- Drive right over the lane separator!? Very funny post!

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    1. Ahh one more point! yes ofcourse that is what the lane separators were actually made for! To drive over them:-) Thanks Kusum!

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  11. Right points noted and I will make sure I put them into practise ..

    I remember when i last went to india and drove a car, my friends SHRIEKED and cried and what not .. because i was following the rules .. soon they had had enough , I guess it was only after 5 or 10 minutes and I was Pushed out of the driving seat :(

    but its fun driving on indian roads he he he ...

    Bikram's

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    1. :-) Bikram, indeed. India is not for those who follow traffic rules. Even if you hit the road with good intentions, others make you go onto the wrong track. I think we need a revolution to change this as well in our country!

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  12. Lovely observations, Jenny and are true in any metro in India and are more crass as you head north on the map:)

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    1. Couldn't agree more Rahulji. Sorry state of affairs all over the country!

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  13. Hi Jenny, Sorry here after so long and caught up with a few missed posts!
    Look who turned all poetic while I had turned my back...Prince charming and Heartbreaks...whoa! Nice:-)

    And I could feel the anguish here that I so often feel while on the road.
    Traffic rules should be a compulsory subject at school...and poor women on those Activas-tch! :-)

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    1. Nice to see you back here Suruchi!!!! :-)

      Ahh haa those poems. Glad you liked them :-)

      Yes hopefully, at least the coming generation would follow some rules!! Those women, next time, I will take a pic :-)

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  14. Pretty interesting and hilarious too...:) I ride in Bangalore, may be not that worse but yeah we never follow the rules. I guess every city has its own traffic rules in India, isn't it. Loved the way you presented it, Hats off..:)

    I wonder why do girls wear the face scarf while riding their vehicles, any specific reason...?? Just want to know.

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    1. You know I do it too, wear the scarf :-) 2 reasons
      1. Avoid tanning, pollution on the face and neck.
      2. If at all you have done some wrong on the road, no one recognizes you :-)

      Thanks :-)

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  15. Nicely written Jenny. I shouldnt be saying this as i myself drive an activa ;) but when those women bring the legs down to touch the road i connect it to a plan landing..there is that much wobbling, losing a bit of control and everything. On top of that at the expense of someone driving behind them. Because of these few 'smart' women we all are subjected to the prejudice of being 'Ha typical..its a woman driver'

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    1. :-) No issues with women driving an activa and driving sensibly. The problem is with those who can't manage that and continue the entire journey with both the foot firmly planted on the ground. Yes again that generalization. Very irritating!

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  16. Hilariously written Jenny :-). This Is the first post I am reading this morning and now my entire day would be filled with smiles I'm sure :-)
    In every city you can find a group of people who are determined not to obey the traffic rules , and as a result we have to endure the extra waiting time in the traffic.

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  17. 2-wheelers in fact dont need to wait for signal to go green....they start when the red signal countdown goes below 15...

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