How perceptions change…

It is amazing how my perception of traffic has changed over the years. Few years back, had I been driving in the present day’s Hyderabad traffic I’d have gone mad within hours… Ok, even today it takes just a few people who totally lack driving sense to bring choicest of the expletives to the fore. But than I am not talking about my choice of expletives, but on the perception of traffic.

Few years back, in Raipur, I would consider a road empty if there were hardly 2-3 bodies in sight (I’m using the term bodies to signify Cars, Bikes, Bicycles, Rickshaws, and Buffaloes). The road would be empty just after everybody is done playing Holi, the road would be empty on the early morning after Diwali, the road would be empty when a India-Pakistan match would be on on a Sunday, the road would be empty in the dead of the night, and the road would be empty during a curfew.

These days, in Hyderabad, for me an empty road means that I can hit the 3rd gear comfortably. An empty road means that I am at least two car lengths away from the vehicle in front of me and no other vehicle is behind me honking to say I should move up that stretch. An empty road means that I can cover a distance of 10 kms in 25 minutes or less. An empty road means that I am driving along with the wife, we see there are around 50-60 vehicles within sight instead of the customary 100+, and we sigh, “Thank God, the roads are empty today”.

If I were to encounter a road today that would be “empty” by the old definition, my first reaction would be – “Something is amiss, something is wrong, there is some problem”. I would not think that I am unexpectedly lucky, because that kind of luck has ceased to exist in any big city now. Only ministers get an empty road of the definition of yore. We sometimes get lucky, and get the empty road of the present day.

Still, I love driving in Hyderabad, this is the only place where you can get a National Park bang in the middle of the city, when you drive towards it the horizon is covered with trees, and a mountain of cloud is erupting behind them trying to touch the bright blue sky.

The perceptions of traffic have changed dramatically; the love for driving remains the same.


14 Responses to “How perceptions change…”

  1. 1 Sumati September 9, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Awesome post!
    For me traffic means a blocked road where you cover a stretch of 100 meters in 20-30 min which frequently happens in the route I travel.
    Empty or less traffic also means a road which has high moving traffic…:)
    I wish I was in my hometown for a good two wheeler drive. I hate driving in a two wheeler in Hyderabad 😦

  2. 2 Karan September 9, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    Nicely written. The only ’empty stretch’ we generally find is the one around KBR park.

  3. 3 obelix September 9, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    well, this is the same as haircuts.

    you goto the barber after 2 months and say “medium” and come out with very little hair on top. go look in the mirror and say “WHAAAT”?

    then over two days you get used to it …

  4. 4 sanyam September 9, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Can’t agreee more. Probably while the rest of the city was busy developing and “The Road” was neglected which is one of the most important factor for a city to grow. And yeah Hyderabad also needs to know the importance of Drains, sadly its an alien concept here.

    Looks like MCH, HUDA and private companies concentrated a lot on Intl’nal Airport and the Xpressway.

    Still its not bad as Bangalore but I can bet that one can drive more easily/comfortably and faster in Bhopal than in Hyderabad.

    Its time for Naidu to be back 😉

  5. 5 Kulbir Saini September 9, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    nice post … traffic is the reason i hate going out of campus … campus is green and cool !!!

  6. 6 manuscrypts September 9, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    nice coincidence.. the last post I read was this.. 2 cities, roughly the same story 🙂

  7. 7 RPS September 9, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Nice post!!

    If u really want empty road just drive on the newly built road from telecom nagar (gachibowli) to Raheja IT park. but do avoid office timings:P

  8. 8 mythalez September 9, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    well, u shud be able to find the proper ’empty roads’ in hyd at 3-4am??, I remember coming back after Ohri’s closed, on the mehdipatnam-gachibowli road .. was empty most of the time except for a truck or two 😀 … but obv not arnd hitec with all those call center cabs 😛

  9. 9 Sangfroid September 10, 2008 at 12:38 am

    Traffic … empty roads! Come to Bangalore 🙂 More so when it is raining 😀

  10. 10 Rakesh September 10, 2008 at 8:18 am

    I will agree with Mythalez.. even now if you want to get the proper empty roads.. **get up at 4 am** .. and go on a drive around Hussain Sagar or KBR … awesome feeling…

  11. 11 Himank September 10, 2008 at 9:30 am

    I’m using the term bodies …….. Buffaloes!!
    Lol!! Buffaloes on road,this is a scene which you wont find in Hyd!! Only the pleasure of small cities.

  12. 12 lazybug September 14, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Hyd roads are best to use when empty. I once travelled from Bowenpally to Sultan Bazar in 20 minutes flat at 7.30 AM.

  13. 13 Kunal September 15, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Sumati, even I wish the same… Driving in Raipur is so better than driving here.

    Karan, dude visit that stretch around the rush hour, your “perceptions” would change too.

    obelix, ahh, seems you recently got a haircut 😀

    sanyam, lets see if it is Naidu, or Chiru 🙂 now the elections have been thrown wide open…

    Kulbir, I agree, campus is still awesome.

    manuscrypts, all the metros would have the same story 😦

  14. 14 Kunal September 15, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    RPS, that is one nice empty road (as of now)

    Rama, that’s right, but than now I am a part of the rush hour… driving around at 3-4 am would be a once in a zillion blue moons…

    Sangfroid, haha, nice offer but thanks, I’ll stick to Hyderabad.

    Rakesh, hmm .. seems time to try it 🙂

    Himank, dude start driving around Madhapur.. you’d find that the buffaloes are not the pleasure of small cities only.. Hyd has this pleasure too… just 2 days back I crossed a dead buffalo lying in the middle of the road with cops trying to find ways to haul it off the road. this was in the most posh colony of Hyd – Jubilee Hills.

    lazybug, wow! that is fast 🙂 must have been a euphoric feeling..

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I write! Topic does not matter, can be my life, or my travels, or any match I saw, or the Hyderabadi life, or reminiscing about Raipur, or penning Short Stories & 55s.

I can be contacted at kunalblogs[at]gmail[dot]com.

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