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Horn Please, I’m Ok!

Go slow, it's going to be over soon. Enjoy the heat and dust and the wait. We know not when the time to get into gear and move on appears.

Indian summers can be excruciating, to say the least. If you have the misfortune of being stuck in traffic in South India on a sweltering, summer afternoon, you’d agree. Air conditioning does not help much, trust me.

So here I am, on my way to pick up my daughter from school, precisely at 1.45 p.m. on the penultimate day of March, caught in a traffic jam, an unending line of vehicles ahead. And a sea of them around me, we move and then stop. The minutes tick by but the wait seems endless. Restless people in their vehicles look around for some answers. When will this traffic move? When the signal turns green, I guess? The car behind me honks then the biker besides, and soon it’s cacophony all around!

We move but a few yards on, it’s a halt again! The futility of fretting dawns on me and I turn up the music volume on the pen drive. Glancing around, I wonder why we call life “A Journey?” It’s a “Ride in Traffic” actually. Stay with me, and you’ll begin to piece it together.

Life Is A Journey 

We are all waiting in our vehicles, some in fancy Limousines, Mercedes, and Jaguars. Some are in their shiny SUVs, basic i10s, and comfortable hatchbacks, while others are on bikes, scooters or buses, and autos. Each vehicle is symbolic of a person’s house, lifestyle, and worldly possessions. Each person carries their burdens of karma with them as luggage. We must steer our cars with the utmost care, or else someone will dash you. It’s indeed, a dangerous world with everyone eyeing the other, ready to snatch and overthrow. As we are waiting for the traffic signs to say GO, we look around us and envy other people. The man in the Limousine is too high and mighty and continues talking to his co-rider (elite circle of family and friends). All the others want to be in his car, some staring with obvious envy, some with hatred, and the other contented lot look on.

Life is an overcrowded road with other vehicles around us. These are the significant others in our lives. Family, friends, colleagues, and all those who share our journey. As the green light glows, we all gear up and move. Some move faster than the rest. They zoom ahead and out of sight. These are the ones who chase their dreams and race on, leaving others behind. Now they ride with other vehicles, and new friends they meet and bond with. At some point the automobiles that were trailing caught up. As the saying goes- “The past comes catching up.” Learn to let it go.

You must have noticed that as soon as you start getting used to a pattern, it could be a lifestyle, a job, or maybe something as insignificant as a workout routine. You feel, “yeah, I’m doing great now, this is going to be smooth sailing.” Up comes a sudden jolt, and things grind to a halt. Like the traffic light just turned red. You must wait till it changes colour and then move, either on the same road or change course. I’m sure we’ve all experienced this. No matter how hard you make the attempts you will see the results only when the right time comes, when the light turns green, metaphorically speaking.

Learn To Handle The Waiting Period 

It’s how we handle the waiting period, the ‘stuck in the traffic mode’ that defines us as humans. Some people enjoy each moment and live to the fullest converting every obstacle into an opportunity. Some bicker and bawl, feel frustrated, depressed turning to vices, etc. Others quietly wait. “Leave it till the time is right.” Everyone goes through each phase, each traffic jam and comes out wiser in their unique way.

We all know that ultimately the green light will beckon. It’s inevitable. Each one must pass through once that happens to leave all the others behind. Yet, we hold on to the road like it’s never going to end. While waiting in traffic we get restless, annoyed, or start snacking! As the sweat drips, we beg the cars ahead to move. We bang our horns incessantly, step out and go check- “what’s keeping the traffic so jammed” I’m going to miss my meeting!!!”  Loosen up, guys! Let’s learn to jam in the jam.

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Go slow, it’s going to be over soon. Enjoy the heat and dust and the wait. We know not when the time to get into gear and move on appears. Some will go straight, a few turns left, some right, and some might take a U-turn and join the Jam again!

“HONK, HONK”- the line is moving! Yay! I need to rush to pick up my poor girl still at school. Will I get stuck in the traffic on the way back home? I’ll probably say, “HORN PLEASE, I’m OK!”

Published here first.

Image Credits: Ximena Ibanez on Unsplash 

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About the Author

Meeta Chablani

Hi! I'm Meeta Chablanii- an animator, illustrator a freelance fashion designer and a full time mom to two little brats. My journey of bringing them up forms the backdrop of most of my posts. read more...

11 Posts | 8,107 Views

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