Crossing the Circle

Last Sunday, in exasperation and anger, I hit the rear passenger door of an Audi with the flat of my hand. The Audi went a little ahead and slowed down, but then prudently decided to drive on, once a traffic policeman started walking towards it. My hand however kept stinging for another 10 minutes. And worse, my usually hot-headed daughter started counselling me about temper control.
The Sunday before that, I lashed out at a bike and managed to hit the pillion rider. Luckily for both of us, the rider in front did not lose control.
It’s been the same story for the last 5-6 Sundays. In the evening, between 6 and 7 PM, my kids and I take a walk from our home to Abbas, the only circulating library left this side of town, so that the kids can return the previous Sunday’s books and borrow new ones. The walk is quite nice… and the Circle bustles with activity; people buying liquor, getting their photographs done, checking out the various salons that have suddenly mushroomed all over the Circle, waiting patiently outside the various food joints, eating ice-cream or partaking from the various food-carts on the broad pavements, getting their shoes polished or on their way to or from Matunga market.
Our walk involves crossing the main road once to go over to the other side of the Circle.
It’s an insane situation!
The signal for pedestrians is just too short. The time that it takes to cross is barely enough for a young, able-bodied person; elderly people often have to wait in the middle and cross over two signals. Part of this is because the pedestrians are rarely able to utilise the entire time allotted for crossing.
Because, the cars just refuse to stop.
It’s a busy pedestrian junction. The cars and bikes can obviously see that there are people waiting to cross. But they don’t stop. Perhaps if it was 5.00AM in the morning, the ‘not-stopping’ could be justified. But at 6.00PM in the evening? Worse, there is hardly anyone around to enforce the law. And once in a while, if there are cops, even they are ineffective. But, that’s not the point!
What is wrong with these half-witted, idiotic, “sitting on their brains” drivers? Can’t they see the elderly and the young children waiting to cross? Is one minute of ‘waiting’ going to make an earth-shattering difference to their useless, boring, inconsequential lives?
Virtually each time the vehicle signal turns red and the cars continue past the signal, someone has to jump into the traffic and shout at the dolts to make them stop. Sometimes, someone like me hits out as well. It’s less painful during the monsoons, when there is an umbrella at hand.
It’s a crazy situation that seems to have no solution, simply because both the problem and solution are us. And we are not likely to change!
We are all like that only!
So, for whatever this is worth, here is an appeal to any of you, who drives past King’s Circle. Please! Stop at the signal, when it turns red! Please!

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email is never shared.Required fields are marked *