Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wheels on Bangalore's roads!

It’s been six months since we moved from the US and I still find the traffic in “Namma Bengaluru” mind boggling! In fact, Bangalore has been my Alma Mater when it comes to driving and I sincerely thought if I could drive in Bangalore, I could drive anywhere…..and this was true until I went to the US!  Driving on US roads is an experience by itself! It is all about observing rules, following lane discipline, stopping and yielding at intersections which meant I had to unlearn whatever I had learned on Bangalore’s roads. But once I started driving in the US, driving became much more than a necessity ….I started to enjoy it – the predictability of the roads, the rules and the drivers obeying the rules! But little did I know that at the same time, driving in the US would also disable my reflexes to drive on Indian roads! So its “dejavu” for me as I try to unlearn whatever I had learned in the US! So in place of lane discipline, you’ve got to find your own lane; Instead of yielding to pedestrians, they yield to you; Waiting for the traffic to clear while merging on to the main road is unheard of and frankly impractical, so the trick is to conquer the road inch by inch until the oncoming traffic has no choice but to grant you the right of way! At intersections, it’s not who stops first (as in a stop signs in the US)…it is who blinks first!  Finally, the ground rule if you plan to drive in Bangalore - “Just go with the flow!”J

Speaking of roads and traffic, today we revisited our old favorite Richard Scarry’sCars and Trucks and Things that go”. A wonderful book that features all kinds of vehicles one finds on roads and the detailed illustrations mirror the chaos on Bangalore’s roads. I guess this one is a classic that has been around for a long time and has even adults nostaligcally flip through its pages. This book is not only teeming with accurate representations of both commonly known and lesser known vehicles but also has toothbrush and toothpaste cars, ladybug size cars and alligator shaped convertibles sure to make your little one laugh! A must have for any car crazy boy who is fascinated by all what he sees on roads!

This month’s theme in Abhay school being transport,  both Abhay and me have been concenred with the different wheels that ply on our roads - but only one of us seems happy about it. Needless to say, its Abhay!  So another book that I had Abhay read is “Wheels” a Step 1 Ready to Read book by Annie Cobb and illustrated by Davy Jones. This book is all about wheels – train wheels, plane wheels, wheels in the rain, wheels at night (Fire Engine), wheels on the side (side wheel river boat), wheels you can ride (Ferris wheel), wheels you can steer, wheels in the store(cart wheels), band wheels and grand wheels ( a vintage carriage), low wheels (roller skates) and tow wheels – wheels, wheels and more wheels! So let us hope that I steer my car wheels through other cars’ wheels, bike wheels, bus wheels, truck wheels, autorickshaw wheels, cycle wheels …..and wheels, wheels and more wheels!

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