Friday, April 13, 2007

Horn OK Please

In India, roads are noisy and you can hear the traffic not only when you are stuck in traffic but also when you are sitting in the living room of your thirteenth floor apartment sipping a drink!

I was on my way to work the other day looking at the crazy and chaotic traffic on 80 ft Road (yes, that is indeed a street name in Bangalore) and the main reason for this noise hit me. Almost everyone around you (including your own driver) is continuously honking the horn of their vehicles. There are no exceptions to this. This orchestra is played out starting from the ringing of a bell on a bicycle to the deep bellowing honk of a bus and includes melodious horns of cars and the wheezing sounds of an auto-rickshaw horn.

And of course, nobody really pays any attention to this din so clearly the purpose is not functional. So what could it be? I realized that everyone honks because they are being told to. If you look on the rear sides of large trucks and buses, you will see big signs that say the following:
  • Sound Horn
  • Please Sound Horn
  • Horn Please
  • Horn OK Please
  • Please Horn
and many other variations of the same ....

Mystery solved!


PartingGifts said...

I was amazed that horn honking is not done in anger or surprise. It is done to say "I'm here." I'm here sneaking around your blind side. Or I'm here, about to overtake you at some tremendous speed and you should probably consider moving closer to those people on the bicycle to your left. Or, Hey, I'm here to your right; why are you drifting into my space?

marsha said...

Thanks for spolving the mystery of the unending noise festival!

Anonymous said...


very interesting observation. The people are creating their own problems once again! But until we can get rid of these old heaps of junk or new laws are passed better stock up on those ear plugs. (May come in handy in the house too).