Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Traffic Jam- The common deity to all.

We have a lot of festivals in India, all of which celebrate our myriad gods and goddesses.
Except Halloween, which celebrates the fact that you went to an IB school and then went abroad to study, only to return more annoying than ever before.
We have Navratri (or as they call it in Bengal, ‘Kahaani’) which celebrates the goddess Durga. 

We have Dussera, which celebrates the end of Raavana, and we have Diwali, which marks the time that Lord Rama ended his exile and returned to Vijay Sales for BEST EVER OFFER ON LCD TV (PLUS FREE DVD PLAYER THAT WILL EXPLODE WHEN YOU TURN IT ON FREE).

But in the end, all these festivals celebrate deities that lead back to one true god. Which got me wondering, who is this one true god? Surely, it would have to be an entity that represents something that all these festivals have in common. This has, in logical fashion, led me to believe that India’s one true god is the Traffic Jam.

It’s pretty charitable to call what we have “traffic”. Because the term Traffic implies that you have an orderly, but slightly large collection of cars that make travel slower than it should be. Ours is a bit more… apocalyptic. What we have is an unending sea of metal, gasoline fumes and lifestyle diseases. I can’t even describe our traffic as Brownian motion, because that would imply movement. The reason we don’t have an Indian version of 24 is because season one would just be hours of footage of Jack Bauer honking at people at Milan Subway.

Traffic Therapy: We spend so much time in traffic that it’s facilitated an entire retail industry of people who walk past selling you things, because they know you have the time

When I was a kid, nothing gave me greater joy than the evenings on which my parents said the five magic words “let’s go for a drive”. Drives meant ice-cream, cold-drinks, and cruising down Juhu ad Marine Drive with the windows down at the death-defying top-speed of 50 kmph that our Santro (and my mother’s blood-pressure) could handle. But that was then. Today, by the time traffic clears out enough to make driving a pleasure, (in South Mumbai, that’s 11 pm, in Marol, it’s 3987 A.D, when the sun goes nova and destroys Earth) it’s way past most children’s bed-time. If a child asked me to take him for a drive in 2012, I’d just knock him out and sell him on eBay. The only difference between peak and non-peak hours is that one has the word “non” in it.

Mumbai has an even odder problem. Do we have too many cars? Yes. Do people drive badly? Yes. But our roads make things worse. Mumbai’s roads look like somebody had an epileptic fit while playing with LEGO. Everybody in this city has at least once in their life crawled through traffic for hours, only to find that it’s been caused by nothing but a giant scar in the road that everyone had to slow down to cross. We spend so much time in traffic that it’s facilitated an entire retail industry of people who walk past selling you things, because they know you have the time to buy them. There’s a reason they sell you books, peanuts and cellphone chargers at signals; the three things form a survival kit. You know why Hindus invented re-incarnation? It’s because they know you’ll need two of your nine lives just to make it past Saki Naka.

If we had better roads, we’d spend less time in traffic. Not more roads, not new roads, just better-laid existing roads. Except we won’t get better roads, because these things are decided by politicians, people who don’t actually ever spend any time in traffic. This is why corruption annoys me; as a politician, you already get to travel in zero-traffic. You’re not allowed any more perks. You should have to worship at the altar of traffic, for it is our one true god. It exhibits all the properties of a good god; it is unmerciful, ever-lasting, and the number one cause of pointless violence. I want to move to the mountains and be an atheist now. I’m going to stop now. Because I think we may finally be moving. If I play my cards right, I may even get home today.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Boredom is the most happening thing on this planet... And I'm sure it is not restricted to humankind alone. Seen birds and animals doing nothing but trying to be still? Exactly! That's what I'm talking about.

As far as I know there are 24 hours in a day and out of these 24 hours, about one-third is spent on sleeping in its various forms. And that leaves less than 16 hours to "live".

So the real question is how much time is actually "lived" and not "bored". Now don't get into etiological pogrom and insist that even being bored is part of the grand scheme called living process.

Trust me, it's not.

Living is to be alive, not zombified. In fact, we shouldn't worry much about nuclear proliferation when boredom proliferation is a bigger and more immediate threat to our existence. That sounds like exaggeration, isn't it? No, not really.

Roughly put, boredom is like being in a quicksand; the only difference is you don't sink.
You are not aware when it strikes you but once you feel it, you want to escape it. Unless of course if you are working in an environment (read: Engineering) where there is no such thing as an Escape button.

And worse, if you are staying up completing your assignments during graveyard shifts where your eyelids are put to test almost every single night and very thin line is left between being bored and being asleep.
And then when you're caught napping on the desk, you exploit philosophy by saying "Eyelids are not meant to carry such burden of boredom!" and then you're promptly made to leave your classroom. Happens.

I love talking about my college, and all the vagaries attached that pass of as occupational shite.
But still, if given a choice, boredom is anytime a favourite against workdom. Not many come to college to study,
Most of them are here for Gals, Smoke, Booze, Beg, Steal, Break Stuff.. and if givenl an opportunity, they'll do All Of It, but Study. Any given day.
You don't have to be a communist to know this. There are millions of us who would rather be bored to death than studied to death. So you see, now people are ready to get bored given they don't have to be productive at the same time.

There are students(Like Moi) who hardly grind but stream videos online and spent time on social networking and Porno sites as if it will make our Score graph kiss the face of sky.

You should be studyin in my college(Lokmanya Tilak College Of Engineering) to know what different levels of boredom can do to your brain (or lack of it). Very few things may pique your interest when you're at the top of Mount Boredom.

But it's a good thing. Sometimes. Like you come up with stupid lines that you decide to tweet thinking, "Lo! There I break the code of this universe!" and then get back to fighting deadline. Under its spell, your mind is not completely dead and is gifted with the power of imagination. You think of better things in life than toiling for bread and butter – both of which you don't eat ANYMORE! But that's how it is. Everything gets boring after a while.

Pessimism seeps into your soul and wait for the day your stupid heart will get bored of creating its beautiful beat music.

People have this very pathetic habit of taking credit for things they have nothing to do with. They all go ballistic when they are bored as if they invented boredom. Take a break. Breathe. It was always here. We are just passing through.

P.S. Since you are reading this crap, I owe you something. The tripe above doesn't make sense. I know. I wrote it as I was bored and so thought of boring you too. Anyway, do you hear that? That's boredom talking in a deeper voice.