Mahabharata on Indian roads

Our roads and drivers make me see Mahabharata and its characters everywhere. Allow me to script the modern day epic on road-rage.

Enter the battlefield, and survey the scene. The armies are complete in all respects. Soldiers on foot (pedestrians, cycles), horses (bikes), chariots (cars) and more. Your curious survey is interrupted by loud shankh-naadas (blowing of the conch shells). There are so many chariots around; it’s hard to identify the Mahaarathhees who blow their conch-shells, what with those tinted windshields.

You drive barely an inch, and you run into Duryodhanas. “I wont yield even a needle width worth of space”. (Suwee ke noak ke baraabar bhee bhomi nahin doonga). The field is full of Duryodhana and his tribe!
Just as every king had to join that big war then, one side or other, you are forced to fight as well. Time to pick your side, and you wonder if there are Pandavas around. Yes, they are, but in the exact same ratio as 4 millenniums ago, 5 : 100. Just the way even Yudhisthira had to resort to lies and trickery to win his battle, our Pandavas too are forced to join this ugly battle for space. As a result, it is rather hard to distinguish the two sets of cousins.

Well, you join in anyway. And move on a bit to spot a few Abhimanyus. No way to go, too many warriors standing opposite them. But these Abhimanyus march along – driving the wrong side – blowing their conch shells and flashing their eyes in battle-rage!
Mahabharata had just one Ghatothkacha (that big fellow, remember?), but we have plenty of them around. The buses, just like that huge daemon, use their size to win the battle for real estate on roads.

How about the king of them all, Dhritarashtra? Pick your cops! Each big intersection reminds you of the Kuru-Mahasabha. Vehicles of various size and shape display disobedience (red lights). Draupadis, err … pedestrians, keep getting chased and hunted. But the cops, powerful yet blind as Dhritarashtra, keep whining away.

How can Mahabharata be complete without our Bheeshma Pitamaha, the grand daddy of them all? Come in those politicians and VIPs. When they take to the roads in their decorated and luxurious chariots, ordinary soldiers (have to) give way. And we, the rest of us, watch in amazement and dream of being in Bheeshma daddy’s chariots one day.

Alas, in all of this Kurukshetra, I can’t find that one character we so desire to see – Beloved Krishna, who could guide us to an end of this modern day Mahabharata. Akshouhinis and akshouhinis of soldiers are fighting the raging battle with no end in sight. O Lord, where art thou!?

Krishna nee begane … baaro.

7 Responses

  1. Your articles on the traffic on Bangalore are fascinating. Would like to communicate via email. Let me know if possible. Either you can post your email or I will. Thanks

  2. Thanks Ram. I have mentioned my email on the about page.

  3. Mahabharat’s impact will go if the VIPs are not given any speical treatment. They throw the traffic out of geat, at least in Delhi

  4. Hiren, the VIPs do that here in Bangalore too. And I am impacted a lot as I live close to the airport road.

    It used to be worst when Deve Gowda was PM.

  5. I am impressed the way you have written. hahahaha.. Last year, I was at Banglore for two days and found roads are impassable. Thank God, some one else was driving.

  6. Silkboard, this is your best indo-traffic item, better than gadgets and terms. Liked the abrupt krishna ending.

  7. Better late than never to ack. Thanks Acura, and Vishwanathan.

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