Thursday, May 05, 2011

Road Safety is Mind Boggling

Late afternoon yesterday I had this urge to have some tea from the street. So I headed down to the tea stall below the office and while sipping that hot “cha” from the “bhand” I noticed these chaps fixing the light bulb on a street lamp. So while one guy was up there changing the bulb and another holding on to this ladder which seemed to go up into heaven. But the most hilarious part of this entire operation was the third bloke. He was pulling on a rope which was tied to the top of the ladder which was propped up against the lamppost and had his head tilted over to his left should. I thought that maybe the pressure of having to pull down on that rope had him standing in this odd posture, till I figured out that he had a mobile phone placed between his should and ear and was busy chatting away.

Talk about Safety; firstly he was standing on a bustling Park Street with cars whizzing past him. Add to that the fact that someone’s life was in his hands and finally he was busy talking on the phone oblivious to the world around him. Could be the 3 Mistakes of his life, or rather the 3 mistakes of the man up there replacing the bulb, entrusting his life to the man on the phone. But then, this is India, right!

After yesterday’s scene, this made me wonder even more about how our administration thinks. I park my car on the opposite side of the road from our building and have to cross the road at this very Zebra Crossing every morning. There’s a Cop there with his Walkie Talkie every morning when I’m crossing and he blows on his whistle to stop on coming traffic to let the pedestrians cross the road.

This morning, I noticed something new as I was standing at the white stripes; a new sign had been painted on the left beside it which read “LOOK LEFT”. Yeah sure! Like all those poor guys on the street are going to understand what that sign means. Sure we were under the British Regime for many years, but they left over 60 years ago. So what’s the point of having signs in English, when the population doesn’t go to English Medium Schools? Anyway as I was readying to cross the road, I noticed that there was a “LOOK RIGHT” sign painted too.

I guess someone made a killing with taxpayer’s money painting these Road Signs.