"A profound unmitigated loneliness is the only truth of life"
- R.K. Narayan

I still drive a bike, though most my friends have graduated onto 'Light Motor Vehicles' of various classes. I like the bike for its youthful ride, though I am far from being called a youth or a biker, and all the more for its advantage to zip through Bangalore's slow moving traffic.  Nevertheless, the world (that I know of) seems endlessly crazy over cars.. for the status it brings? for  the comfort it gifts? just for the temptation of it? for catching up with peers? or for the stupid reason that it (like gold) is available at attractive offers?

So much so, that not having a car raises question marks on being a responsible householder! Now, this desire for a car seems to highlight one of the strange ironies in human behavioral process (Much like the hugely popular irony that families are the building blocks of our society - more on that in another post, another blog)

Nearly everyday my bike rides are disrupted by cars gloriously driving on the road as if its their private property. Either its a car parked wide of the pavement or in a place its not meant to be, or one that takes a sharp turn without indication, or one that slows down in the fast lane, or almost always one that does not start even long after the traffic light turns green. Honking or shouting has no effect on the drivers as they seem to be callous to it all, and nothing stops them from repeating the act at the very next turn or crossing. In most cases, the "inmates" of such erring cars are folks on the cell phone or just enjoying loud music or ice-cool A/C's behind tinted glasses. Sometimes its also families or friends sharing a joke or discussing matters while forgetting that others on the road need to get a move on.

I see my nephew riding his toy car inside the home and he zips around hitting everything in his way, unmindful of any rules or discipline. Then I wonder what seperates him from the 'mature drivers' on the roads? Cars look like little boxes and once in it, a person stops thinking 'out of the box', and in this boxed state of mind the world is just like moving images projected on their windows. There is no difference between watching a movie in a theater and seeing the world through a pulled up car-window, or maybe like enjoying a moving circus outside.

Cars, whose sizes reflect the egos of their masters. Cars, whose interiors of black shiny upholsters are as grand as the black smoke emitting out of them. Cars, which are as "hot" as the fumes they boil the environment with. Cars, that put people on wheels and take away the power of their heels.

I have myself traveled by cars occasionally and distinctly remember the instinct to pull up the windows at the slightest hint of noise or gush of hot air from outside. The world "in which" we live, suddenly become "out there" and a sense of aloofness descends into the mind. I haven't experienced such deceptive attitude in any other mode of transport - not even in flights. Its like the world has suddenly shrunk into a small cubicle of leather covered seats and pulsating music, and so does it enforce a narrowness of thought and vision too.

Every car brings with it a baggage of attitudinal changes and, for whatever reason one has bought the car, one also needs to have the spirit to detach from the possessiveness of that reason and use it in a way that upholds mutual respect for all fellow drivers and fellow citizens on the road.

Drive your car, but dont drive the others crazy and very certainly... dont let your car drive you!