Monday, August 16, 2010

Road Crossing for dummies

So I have started driving a lot more regularly than I used to, and other than the auto's/two wheelers that try and squeeze into every nook and cranny available on the road, the other feature of Bangalore roads are the people crossing them.

I have managed to identify a few popular techniques of road crossing.

1. The Test match opening batsman

People who follow this technique of road crossing are super cautious and have a "great temperament".
Just like Sunny Gavaskar, who would wait for ages for a bad delivery off which he could score a single, these people will wait for almost ever, before they feel it is safe to scurry across the road.
They are especially irritating when you want to cross the road and they are "the lead" . They never make use of those promising gaps in traffic!

note: "The lead" - in road crossing jargon means to be the one closest to the approaching traffic. Though this person may change frequently, especially if you are standing in the middle of chickpet or The lead is responsible for crossing the road first, the rest just follow cue.

2. The "Kaho na pyar hai" dance step.

Now this a step that has been popular on Indian roads for ages . Much before Hrithik displayed it in the title song of the hit movie Kaho na pyar hai.

The step comprises of 2 movements: one step forward and one step backward, alternate this with flailing arms and you will have mastered this technique.
This is the best technique for people with commitment issues- step into the traffic and suddenly go back onto the pavement, repeat step till you finally want to commit to getting to the other side of the road.
If you are driving, you need to be able to ascertain when the person will come forward and when he/she will go back. You will be able to identify this technique only with experience of driving on Indian roads.

This step is demonstrated by Hrithik in this video watch closely from 1:21 to 1:25 of the video

3. The Matrix

This technique is fast gaining popularity thanks to the incessant flow of traffic. To master this technique - think Neo stopping bullets in the Matrix.

This is the simplest of techniques. Do not look left or right, put out your hand at the approaching traffic and walk across the road. The traffic will stop and give you way.
Note - you will have to have an expression of disdain and 'I don't give a damn' on your face. The traffic will NOT stop if you look like a cornered rabbit.

This can only be executed if you are super confident of the driving abilities of all the other Bangaloreans and have calculated the probabilities of brake failure on an average day.

As with all things 'Matrix', I cannot tell you more about what the technique is. You have to see it for yourself.

4. Flash

This technique is as old as the dinosaurs. Look left and right. If you notice the tiniest of gaps in the flow of traffic, put your head down and run at top speed across the road. Keep eyes closed till you think you have reached the other side.

5. Equated Installments

This just like the EMI concept, this is based on the divide and conquer principle. Don't wait for the traffic flow to dry out. Just cross the road a few feet at a time.
If its a 30 feet wide road, cross 10 feet first, thus making yourself an island as the traffic goes past you. Wait for the remaining traffic to slow down or take pity on you and then cross the remaining section.
This requires good agility as there arise a need to be able to duck out of the way of a speeding motorbike that is overtaking a slow moving bus from the wrong side and trying to occupy the same space of the road that you are standing on (or were standing on a fraction of a second before you ducked out of its way).

6. The parasites

Now this is the recommended technique for beginners and amateurs. Just stand on the pavement looking busy staring at the sky or at something across the road. Wait for an expert to arrive at the scene (This will be the person who will immediately take "the lead"). The expert will use one or more of the above mentioned techniques and you can just tag along.

See you on the other side of the road!


karthik c said...

asho ! good job... couldn't stop smiling

kardimari said...

Gawde..this is hilarious! Good job..

btw, which type are you? ;)

Apoorv Gawde said...

@KC - Thanks man :D Hows it going?

@Selva- TY. I use the Casual walk style. One that I have not revealed in the post.

longblackveil said...

Well done. Well writ, Casual Walk Good Gawde. But you have forgotten the most lethal and irritating of all road-crossers, who fashion themselves after Kamikaze pilots. The go-all-out-don't-bother-with-Matrix-bullet-stop-technique. The blind mice who randomly walk across without so much as an initial hint. Followed immediately by 'Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeee....!" as some poor driver stops in the nick of time.

Deepa said...

Good one. Not to mention people would come up with more techniques since there is so little importance, measures & crossways given to pedestrians.

Try crossing road in areas like EGL. You will need to use combinations of techniques :) I use 1,2 & then 3 to get to the other side (phew!)

Apoorv Gawde said...

@LBV - yes yes there are loads of other flashes of brilliance that one can achieve when crossing the road, my post is just a small sample in this universe of random road crossers. :)

@Deepa - Yup A combo is the best, especially when it comes to crossing any road that has a'ring' in its name ( Outer Ring Road, Inner Ring Road so on and so forth) :P

The Empty Rickshaw said...

some other types of crossers i have noticed in pune

The diagonal crossers: They paid attention in geometry class & know that the length of one side of a triangle is always less than the sum of the other two. You will often find them walking along with traffic in their quest for efficiency

The torch bearers: Driving down a dark road you will suddenly find an elderly gentleman shining an eveready torch into your eyes. He is not trying to spot you - he is trying to blind you into submission... the hunter becomes the huntee.

The directionally challenged: These poor souls never learnt to tell left from right and are found looking in the wrong direction.

Apoorv Gawde said...

@Khali rickshaw - I like the diagonal and the directionally challenegd ones most. I had no clue about the torch bearers. That is something indigenous to Pune I think! Thankfully.

Neha said...

Which one are you?

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