My other lab-mate told me about an experiment that he read on one of the blogs. He said, ‘S…, you should swear’
‘I read about an experiment. In that, they filled a tumbler full of ice and asked the participants to put their hand in the freezing water and to stay so as long as they can. The people who swore stayed the longest. Swearing takes some of the tension away. So you should’
I looked at him and nodded my head in disagreement. I maintained my non-swearing attitude until I completed my Ph.D. in Chicago and came to Bangalore and as soon as I started driving everything changed.
This very ugly habit of mine props up when I see pedestrians lurking behind the bushes on the divider, waiting to cross. At this point of time my heart skips a beat. Would the pedestrian jump before my car like a primordial tribeman/woman? At that speed can I stop? I also hate that the tempo and the BMTC bus drivers have the right of way at all times. They overtake me mercilessly and come in front of me. No hand gesture, no indicator! The psyche of these drivers is mysterious. The bus stops are on the left side of the road but they still want to drive on the right side and most of the times they drive very slowly.
A few other cab or bus drivers are very talented. They drive on the left side of the road but they want to take a right turn at the junction. They willfully stop the traffic and turn right and all the honks are unheard. Auto drivers are the worst. They have absolutely no sense of direction and their brake lights never ever work. Sometimes, I am amazed at their quick thinking and movement. As soon as they see an empty space they budge in. The bike drivers do not fall behind the auto drivers. They drive in sinuous routes and God forbid if there is any space between one car bumper and another bumper they move in between. I am always scared that I will hit some bike guy. I imagine that I am big whale and all these bike drivers are small fishes and I have to skilfully maneuver so that I do not eat up those small fishes.
Patience is never a virtue at the traffic junction. People behind me honk as soon as the light turns green. Where do they expect me to go? The car in front of me has not moved yet. Do they think that my car has wings and it could fly over the car ahead of me?
There is no wonder that with all these lovely people sharing the road, I do swear, when somebody overtakes me and comes in front of me without giving a signal, when pedestrians wait to pounce on my car. Swearing is one of the essential elements that help me survive in the Bangalore traffic.
Image from http://www.mindfulnessbasedhealth.com/blog/2015/6/10/working-with-pain-injury