Thursday, 30 August 2007

Man meets dog

Have you ever noticed how traffic moves in Bangalore? Mornings, everyone's in a rush to get to work, so to hell with the signals or the rules -- cut in front of the santro here, zig around the swift there, zag round that cyclist, just miss that crazy biker, brake in front of the BMTC and swish... you're at work.

Not that evenings are any better. People seem more dazed then, more zoned out, the traffic signals are just another 'to do' item on the list and the pesky pedestrians? To hell with them. The general consensus is: Let's speed up when they're trying to cross the road, let's chortle helplessly as they run to beat a traffic light that stays 'walk' for precisely five seconds. Who said life is fair?


Yesterday, at the Cubbon Road-M G Road junction, there was the usual mad scramble. . Like a group of well-trained zombies, a group of us obediently scurried to the middle of the road, then we paused, like ballet dancers en pointe, like sprinters straining every muscle for the sound of that shotgun -- for the signal to turn green. That's when I noticed him. He was waiting patiently, oblivious to the hullabaloo around him. The signals weren't working so there were only cops trying to get the traffic flowing. As usual, the rest of us were itching to move, some pedestrians were already jumping signals, never mind they were endangering their own and others' lives, the bikers were revving their engines, the car-wallahs were honking, the cyclist was digging his nose. But he stayed quiet.

The harassed cop on duty waved us on. With a quiet whoosh of his tail, he got up. That's when I noticed that he only had three legs. Still, he trotted, elegantly, quietly. More dignified than any of his fellows -- human or animal.

So, don't ever call a man a dog. It insults the dog.