Friday, August 13, 2010

No Honk Challenge

Last year in April I wrote a post "Horn Not Okay Please", where I No Honk Challengerecommended noise pollution level in Delhi is too high, so we should honk less often. Last week one of my ex-colleagues argued that it is practically impossible to drive in Delhi without honking. Though I suggested
to honk less and not go down to zero but this brought up the thought to test how practical is it to drive in Delhi without Honking at all. Thus I took a "No Honk" challenge.

No Honk challenge means I will be driving to my office (23 Km one way) and back without reaching to that big button in the middle of my steering wheel. This means braving the traffic intensive areas like Badarpur and Kalindi Kunj among others. Do you think it is possible? Some say not possible at all while some other believed it is very much possible. Kanwaria RushInitially I thought of trying it for one day but later decided to extend it for 1 week. So the challenge started on last Thursday and I'll have to admit that the challenge started with a honk as soon as I started my car (damn this honking habit). But believe me I didn't even look at the horn for even once for the entire day after that. The next day was a bigger challenge I was subjected to the construction related diversions and also Kanwaria (Holy road trip on foot by Lord Shiva devotees) rush. But things till now have gone smoothly. I have driven close to 350 Km and in all have pressed my horn only 5 times. This include 2 times when I honked in parking lot when this guy standing in driveway refused to move and once when I started 10 minutes late but wanted to reach office 10 minutes early (did you read my post "Sure way to avoid traffic on the roads is to start early"). Now I know you would be wondering how many times I reached office late. Any guesses? I reached late to my office in total of 0 times.

I know there are some morons who will just honk because of no rhyme or reason. Some even take responsibility to invent some kind of music out of the noise (read that honking). But for more reasonable ones, I did an analysis for reason which force us to honk. In this No honk drive for a week I was frustrated, on some occasions. Lets talk about that guy who was the reason behind 2 of my 5 honks. In the evening when I reached parking lot, this guy was attending a call on his cellphone standing right in the middle of the driveway totally unaware of the risk he took over his life. God bless such idiots. Same is the case when someone stops in the middle of road, may be coz they wanna count the stars in day light.

A common reason we delhiets face is when the vehicle in lane next to you, overtakes wrongly, switchesBus Tand on T-Junction lanes and jumbles whole lane in order to win the race with an unknown vehicle. Having this bad habit of driving so that they block 2 lanes (or as I say driving in Opportunity Lane) gives them an opportunity to swerve across multiple lanes. I have one more classical case to frustrate drivers. People using a T-Junction as the bus stop and buses obliging them. What you don't believe this? Just see the picture.

So next time when you complain about so much of noise pollution on the roads just be sure that you are not being the reason to add some more. Following are some points I suggest to help Delhi fight this noise pollution.

  • Be attentive when you are on the roads.
  • Do not swerve across multiple lanes.
  • Slow down and look for traffic before you merge in the road coming from a by-lane or street.
  • Start early to get less frustrated.
  • Don't be a speed monster behind the wheel.
I have lost the challenge but I have understood 1 thing how much unnecessary honking we all indulge in. But it would be unfair if I don't credit those guys who are considerate and genuinely honk less. My friend @hapharzd is one such guy who called me up and said how much he agrees with honking sensibly and he himself think twice before honking.


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Rajeev Lochan Sharma