‘Belly hunters’ and ‘rattle therapists’

Who said I was done with the traffic lessons? Sit tight on your benches and listen, the bells are yet to ring! In this class, you will learn about a very important member of the Indian traffic ecosystem. Some call them speed breakers, some speed-bumps, but I prefer road humps. These are a necessity in India because hints and pleadings like “stop”, “slow down” or “school here, watch for kids” just don’t work. We are a rude nation you know. Anyways, now for the types of these.

Belly Hunters are designed to scrape the bottom of your car. If you don’t slow down enough to please these road humps, you car’s belly literally gets hunted, hence the special name. A Belly Hunter ‘scores’ more if it is the unpainted unsuspecting type. But, when painted neat and bright with black and white stripes, these manage to ‘score’ only the low ground clearance vehicles like Honda City and Suzuki Baleno.

Rattle therapist is a special rural variety. These are usually spotted on highways in rural areas or city outskirts. These humps have been designed to soothe passengers by way of providing free rattle messages. Structurally, these are nothing but a few – usually four – smaller humps lined up one after another in the hopes of that proverbial “2+2 equals 5” effect. Rattle massage is fun and highly recommended, though you should avoid sipping coffee or coke when taking one.

Sine wave humps – a rare but dangerous variety – start their life as regular Belly Hunters. But when rain water creates crater next to a regular hump, it gets the profile of a sine wave, hence the name. Amount and intensity of love these humps inflict on your vehicle depends on what side you approach from. If you approach from the crater side, you slow down in time to save your car a solid nose brush. But, if you approach from the other side, the invisible ‘trough‘ catches your car by surprise! Front tires get to suspend in the air for a bit while your car balances like a fulcrum on the ‘peak‘. You imagine the rest, I cant type stuff that your car might find too gross to read.

Sorry, I don’t have pictures handy. But I do promise to update this traffic lesson with photos pretty soon. Stay tuned.

Note: Past posts in the ‘traffic terms’ series:


15 Responses

  1. […] ‘Belly hunters’ and ‘rattle therapists’ […]

  2. Pal u have carved out a niche by your witty style.
    Your Traffic lessons are the best

  3. i wonder what you would call the 2 wheeler maniacs who are positioned at right angles to the lanes near the signals. They will be aiming to inch forward by moving in any possible direction including some times being at right angles as someother smart alec would have blocked their ‘progress’. Have you seen this SB?

  4. Thanks Jerry!

    NammaNadu, that’d kind of fit under “Amphibian Bikers“. But that sure is an idea for the next ‘lesson’.

  5. This is absolutely hilarious!!!!

  6. I like all your witty writings….

  7. Thanks Abhipraya, Mohan. Our traffic is such a goldmine, wonder why more people don’t look at it as a source of humor.

  8. […] Humpster – It is fun and it is easy. We will mount these aerodynamic wings on the sides of your cab. And then you can land a few meters farther when you fly over those humps. Good fun, and helps your mileage too! Domestic laws don’t let us produce wider wings, otherwise we would have converted each belly hunter to a kilometer long gliding opportunity for you. […]

  9. […] rattle therapist Posted on December 11, 2007 by silkboard When I wrote about the belly hunters, rattle therapists etc, this (see picture) is one of the guys I was talking about. This one in fact is an all-in-one. […]

  10. I’d never really seen a speed hump till I came to Bangalore to adopt a young boy in 1995. By that I mean, we have speed bumps in America, but *nothing* like the mountain range that we crossed on the way to the city zoo on the outskirts of town. It was like watching the taxi climb the steps to Sravanabelagola to go over that series of humps. Be proud of your speed hums; there are no mountains in America to rival them for size or stature.. : )

  11. hilarious post :) :)

  12. read most of ur traffic related posts… cool they r.

  13. thanks Vee. You inspire me to do a traffic lesson post yet again after so many days. Will try one next week.

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