To the Muggles on the Other side of My Windscreen

4 min read · Posted on: Jul 6, 2010 · Print this page

This might turn out to be a pedestrian writeup but enough of pile-ups. Enough of puns, actually. They say you really appreciate an interview process only if you have sat on both sides. Same goes for driving. Unless you become a driver you’ll never know what these fancy coloured tin boxes zipping past you are really thinking.

Chicken Runs Courtesy

These little nuggets of wisdom are the ones I always wanted to share to my clueless pedestrians. Sometimes, I have wanted to pull down the glass and scream till its drilled down into their thick skulls. But generally speaking, ignorance is bliss. They look so happy without this knowledge. That’s definitely not normal.

So without further ado here are the top things that every person who comes within 100 meters close to a road must know:

  1. Hang-up - I know you love the ones you…ummmm love. But if you are walking close to the road, please do, in the name of Graham Bell, turn off the damn mobile. Unless you want your beloved to hear a live audio of a road accident, it is best to keep a close watch on the road first. I know, I know, you can multitask. But trust me, from a driver’s seat, I have honked at so many mobile-zombies till my hands ache.

  2. Don’t be shy to look at the right direction while crossing - Since you are in India, you know that vehicles come from your right. Yet, so many of us choose to carefully watch your left before leaping to the middle of the road. There might be an oil tanker blaring its horns from your right, an auto squawking endlessly in an annoying tirade and even a friendly pan-walla kaka mouthing obscenities, yet you would be transfixed to your left. I mean, what form of dark physical humour is that? Unless, you have recently completed a very long onsite trip from US or the Middle East, you ought to know that the things with wheels come from your right. No, not that right. The other right.

  3. Don’t cross in an underlit road - It is a long day and you are walking back home with that blessed device on your ear. Streetlights are alternately working and in some places pitch dark. Guess what, in your infinite wisdom, you pick the dark spot to cross the road. The next thing you know, a speeding Honda City missed you completely. Yes, they come with headlights these days. But being seen on the road and not seen, is the difference between life and death.

  4. Don’t dance in front of cars - I know that you know some moves, but tarred roads are not the best dance floors. I am referring to those half-minded pedestrians who cross the road, see an approaching vehicle, pause, then moonwalk, then pause, then move forward, then do an about-turn. Imagine the horror of the guy in that incoming vehicle. He is in a hurry and all he can see is chicken dance. So the advice is - JUST CROSS SLOWLY, the drivers will take care of manoeuvring the vehicles. Don’t be a moving target.

  5. Don’t hold hands - Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against PDAs (not the electronic kind, the kind that couples do). There is a split second difference between a person in the line of an incoming vehicle and outside it. So don’t drag someone along while you cross. Unless the person is a clueless toddler, let that person decide whether to cross or not.

  6. Don’t pretend to be a traffic cop - There are so many not-so-old fellows who have been given the honorary tile of traffic cops… IN THEIR DREAMS. They tend to authoritatively stretch their palms to signal a stop for an incoming vehicle. They also get to decide if they have goofed up and cannot cross, to signal that we should continue driving along. Thanks, but no thanks. You are of no help, but I appreciate the straight face in times of absurdity.

These are the ones I could think of straight off my head. But I am sure there are more. The clueless pedestrian will never cease to amuse me.

Arun Ravindran profile pic

Arun Ravindran

Arun is the author of "Django Design Patterns and Best Practices". Works as a Product Manager at Google. Avid open source enthusiast. Keen on Python. Loves to help people learn technology. Find out more about Arun on the about page.

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