A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

I am an alien

Posted by Pepper on January 28, 2013

I have a monster headache. As I stepped out of office and got into an autoricksha, I realised the racket on the road was going to kill me today. Drivers who just can’t seem to let go of their car horns must be on a mission to scale down our country’s population. They kill people by subjecting them to deadly levels of noise.

Horn OK Please? Did I read that again? Your incessant honking is causing me acute trauma. My heart rate is shooting up. I suppose my nervous system can’t take it either. So, no. Your bloody horn is NOT okay. Oh, I forgot. You want me to die.

It looks like most Indians are addicted to their car horns. The horn is a device that is used mainly to allow the driver to vent his frustrations. And oh boy, frustrated they are. Want to show that other driver you are pissed? Go ahead. Just don’t release your hold from the damn horn. Let your eternally blasting horn kill others around you.

Oh wait. Nobody else seems to be dying. I am the only one wincing here. Right. I believe the horns are audible only to me. When I am on the road, my brain registers the sound of a horn once every two seconds. The loud dissonance enters my system, making my insides spin. But when I am at the wheel, and I honk, hoping it clears my path, it has no effect. Other drivers around me do not react to the horn. Pedestrians do not move. Hawkers do not move. Oh maybe they are all aliens, unable to hear or perceive sound. Or maybe I am the alien, the sound of horns is audible only to me. The present cacophony doesn’t seem to be causing any other deaths anyway. Yes, that explains it. I am an alien. A dying alien.






36 Responses to “I am an alien”

  1. vijayaa108 said

    How aptly you describe our traffic chaos!
    But is there any remedy?No one minds it leave alone get affected and dying!
    I do not see any light at all!
    Do not worry.Despite being an ‘alien’ you will soon become ‘indigenised’ when this new ‘inculturation’ swallows you up.
    Long years back when we were in our dear Bharat not India (of which Shri Mohan Bhagawat spoke of)and very rightly too for which he was maligned & torn apart by many in particular a very ‘famous’ media woman who later ‘magnanimously’ twittered an apology -things were much much better.
    People were polite & considerate.
    Just as you say everyone is ‘alive & kicking’ and life marches on.
    Unless some aliens like you & me joined by more & more kicking up ‘heat & dust’ we aliens will soon become extinct!
    With my very best to you.

    • Pepper said

      Thank you. Sometimes I wish I were born in a different era.. An era in which we were more human..

      • vijayaa108 said

        Pepper- what choice do we have in life?
        NOTHING at all!
        But then may be you read my 2nd comment of trying to do our bit.
        Today as I was watching some news on television I came to know about something called AVAAZ & 38 DEGREES.Both are organizations for bringing about change in this world by using the Internet.They have a following of more than 17 million and 6 million followers spread throughout the world.
        I also know ( most of you must be in the know too) of Change.org wherein we make people aware of societal problems and make them aware & also play their part in bringing about change.
        Can we not start something like this ?
        Let us gather our strengths both mental & physical and let us try our best.
        At the worst we ay not succeed but I always believe in ‘miracles’!
        What is your response?

  2. Saanjh said

    I am another alien. I guess we came from the same planet. The constant honking drives me crazy too. It actually feels as if someone is banging hammer on your head.
    If someone’s car/scooter turned off, its not his whim to experience how it feels to stand in the mid of a road full of traffic. Or if the light has turned green, I’m sure the car ahead has no plans to stay there and enjoy the process of changing of signal lights. People turn so insane behind the wheels that a basic common sense and patience of seconds disappears.

  3. pixie said

    hugs sweetie!
    I hope your headache’s gone by now…

  4. diatriblog said

    you just added a point to my “con” list for deciding whether I should move back to India 😦

    • Pepper said

      You know, from the sound of your comments, and from what I understand of you so far, I would really ask you to stay put in the US. Do not move back to India. You don’t sound like you will be able to take it.

  5. I hear you Girl! I so totally do.
    Brings to mind, what my son said a couple of years ago.
    “What does honking mean?”
    “Let me go first….I guess”
    “Can they say the same thing a little softly? Coz, if all of them scream – Lemme go! Lemme go! – everyone would get stuck – right?”

  6. ashreyamom said

    i agree yar, here ppl let out their frustration only honking i think.. after some time, ur system would get adjusted to noise levels, u might too accept the noise i think..

  7. Oh dear, I can understand the frustration, I wonder when we start living being considerate to each other 😦

  8. Ashwathy said

    LOL!!! One of those days eh?

    You are so used to US with their silent and organized driving that traffic in India will be nothing short of a nightmare. Particularly with the incessant honking that gets onto your nerves.

  9. mythalez said

    lol … a ‘hello’ from a fellow alien 🙂 I thought with a few months I would get used to it again .. tchah, how naive of me!

  10. DI said

    You are funny. Just saying 😉

  11. R's Mom said

    I am glad you dont stay at our part of town..at 12 in the night these horrible bikers go at the speed of light honking as if their life depends on it…and the honking is so horrendous that I have been awake for ages trying to coax a scared kid to sleep..*shudders at the memories*

    Now of course, like most indians, we are seasoned to the madness

  12. Few days back, I saw a placard urging people to honk only when necessary. I laughed. It is a distant dream. I would be much happier and relieved , if we would follow simpler things like say, lane discipline and using the indicator.

  13. Hi, I totally agree with you here. It is exhausting driving here! I did notice one thing though…in Delhi since the Commonwealth Games the honking has decreased…but not altogether gone!
    Hope your headache is gone…

  14. You get used to it Pepper. You really do. Unless you have a chance to escape, that is.

  15. vijayaa108 said

    Having read this “plethora of indignant comments” I find it a bit strange that this “WOMAN WORDPOWER” is not getting any further than just “fretting & fuming within the boudoir ” and will have no concrete effect to change the situation other than perhaps release some internal stresses!
    Now many of us are from the same city and from the same land and we all are suffering due to this utter lack of consideration on the roads.
    It is just not just the noise but also utter disregard to people around!
    The numbers of people dying due to accidents is appalling.By strict implication of law and order one can indeed reduce such daily mishaps.
    The rich & mighty ( those in power -politically connected and moneyed ) live in unconcerned seclusion with special security whereas the common man ( people like us are ‘vulnerable’ to every type of ill -accidents,robbery,violence & harassment from the very police force who are not defenders of law & order but the perpetrators of such atrocities!
    Why not think out and form a women’s group to “fight & reform” such existing ills?
    Knowledge is Power-we know what is happening and so why not start a movement?
    Start involving “each & every person” from every walk of life beginning with oneself.
    Talk to the maid-servant (they are intelligent),the “chowkidaar” at the gate,the “istriwala”,sabziwala,our own chauffeurs,our colleagues in office ,the taxiwala,the scooterwala(some of them indeed are rude but some of them are very cultured).
    I recall once in Mumbai a scooterwala recited all along the trip from our abode to Andheri West a beautiful composition in Avadhi language that he had dedicated to his parents.
    I broach such topics even with those who are ‘guilty’ of such trespasses and have seen them ‘going red in the face’ but who knows it may ring-in some positive changes!
    We could even start a poster campaign by making some ourselves and involving little children who are the best receptive ‘vessels’ and also for transferring of such values.
    We could even meet school teachers and Principals of institutions to give us a platform for ‘enlightening’ youngsters.
    So perhaps let us make a start NOW!
    I shall conclude my mail with this most beautiful Samskrit Shlokam invoking the Supreme to Lead us on the PATH!

    आकाशात पतितम् तोयम् यथा गच्छति सागरम्
    सर्व देव नमस्कार केशवम् प्रतिगच्छति
    Every drop of rain falling from the heavens flows towards the Great Ocean and so every good action ( done with SATTVIC motive) reaches the same PARAMAATMAN!

    • Pepper said

      Good points. I already follow a lot of these. I think I should write a separate post detailing such actions. Hopefully, it will encourage others to do the same..

  16. Jack Point said

    I read somewhere that the minimum necessity to drive in India was:

    1. Strong nerves
    2. Good brakes
    3. A good horn


  17. Reema said

    My husband’s boss from Sweden said once that the number of times his Indian driver used horn in half hour he doesnt use so much in an entire year over there in Sweden!

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