Dear bus drivers of Kudla,
The roads of Kudla belong to the public. To use a Mangalorean expression, they are nobody’s father’s property. But you don’t seem to get it, do you?
I guess you feel quite at home behind the steering wheel. The ability to control such huge vehicles must be giving you a sense of power, making you feel that you are the lords of the roads and that all vehicles smaller than you should get out of your way.
Is it necessary to sound the horn continuously to drive a bus? Does your bus move faster when you sound the horn? Why do you sound the horn even when it is clear as daylight that the vehicles in front of you cannot move because of a traffic block?
When you are just behind me, the sound of you alternating between hitting the brakes and accelerating is like something out of a horror movie. When your feet dance on the accelerator, brake, and clutch, your hands dance on the horn. When you turn the headlights on in broad daylight, you resemble a medieval dragon breathing smoke and fire. You have this dirty habit of overtaking me just to stop right in front of me, forcing me to hit the brake and curse.
Your habit of stopping your bus without warning is nerve shattering because you get into everybody’s way when you do that. As the hapless motorist behind you, I am left with two options—wait till you move or overtake you. If I dare to do the latter, you immediately release your foot from the clutch and the brake and hit the accelerator.
You deserve an award for your skills at overtaking. I know exactly what you will do when I see you coming from the opposite direction with a slow vehicle in front of you. Eager to overtake that slow vehicle, you turn on your headlights and come to my side of the road. Yes, you do succeed in overtaking the slow vehicle, but you miss hitting my car by just a few inches.
What makes you behave the way you do? Why are you always in a hurry? You really ought to take it easy, do some deep breathing exercises, just relax, or take a long break from work.
You see, I am no longer afraid of you. I have learned a few tricks from the rickshaw drivers who do not give a damn for you or your bullying ways. Whenever you appear behind me, turn on your headlights, and sound the horn, I immediately release my foot from the accelerator and slow down my car to a crawl. I hope that the traffic on the right side remains heavy for the next couple of kilometers so that you will never be able to overtake me.
If ever you overtake me just to stop right in front of me, I sound the horn the way you do till you move your butt off the road.
And don’t you dare try that stunt of turning on your headlights and overtaking the vehicle in front of you when I am coming from the opposite direction. I too have headlights and I have flashed them in your face several times, refusing to slow down and daring you to run me down. Hah, you immediately behave yourself when I do that, don’t you?
Of course, all of you are not badly behaved. Not at all! Many of you are gems. The city needs you and your services. After all, most of the residents of Kudla depend on you to move from one place to the other. I just wish that some of you mend their ways.
A resident of Kudla
Photo Credit: Niranjan