You ask me, “Why do I honk?”. I will tell you why I honk.
And no, I do not honk incessantly like the cabbies, but you got to be super pretentious to claim that in India, you can drive without honking. Sure, I will reduce and have reduced honking, but if I do not honk, the following classes of living beings would probably get killed, if not seriously injured:
- The college kid with the backpack talking on her phone looking at the wrong direction while crossing the road
- The old uncle in his smokey scooter who claims that old scooters have the right to drive in the middle most lane
- The real estate agent who is talking on the phone which is resting on his shoulders and his head bent at an impossible 90 degrees to keep the phone from falling down.
- The style-bhai on his Yamaha FZ-whatever who feels that he is driving faster if he makes more noise and if he challenges the center of gravity of his bike to the maximum.
- The auto-wallah who brakes in the middle of the road to enquire where the passenger on the road wants to go, only to shake his head and go on.
- The occasional suicidal canine.
- The callous bovine whose business it is not, to realize that it is in the middle of the road.
- The aunty crossing the road holding a kid in each arm hoping for divine intervention to stop traffic when she crosses the road. (She did not get the memo that, the traffic might seem like a sea, but she is not Moses).
- The gush of humanity that drains out of a buses door when the bus stops at a bus-stop – even if the bus stopped in the middle lane.
- The IT dude in the car right in front in an intersection, who is checking email on his jazzy smart phone.
If you have more ‘characters’ for whom the ‘horn’ in our cars and bikes still serve an existential purpose, let me know in your comments.