Ok, now being someone who is born and brought up in a place like Delhi honks have been an integral part of my life. Even before I learnt how to drive on Delhi roads I learnt to appreciate( or not) a the horns of the raging Blue-line buses and the snooty auto-rickshaws and the impish Marutis. Why, I have been honked at by even the cycle-rickshaws. Boy what attitude! What music to the ears with so many horns all around you as soon as you stepped out of the house! How could they not be a part of your life?
And then when I started driving, oh boy what a field I had by honking at all and sundry! I used to honk at even those cows spread royally in the middle of the road as though they were in a garden! Even those dogs and cats loitering around waiting for their mates had to be urged- by way of my honks, of course- to find a cozier place to breed!
Anyway in the last 9 years or so that I have been in the Middle East, a no-honk zone, I have been so spoilt with the organized driving and peaceful silence that now when I go home the jarring sounds of the horns blaring into my ears cringe me.
Having said that, the reckless and rash driving that I have been observing in Doha roads lately makes me wonder if my love for honks may get rekindled after-all! Oh you have to hear the different kinds of honks that I blow these days to believe me!
Honk #1- When you are driving at a speed of 100km/h and all of a sudden a pedestrian sprints across you just about getting away from coming under your car, you screech out a ‘Nooooooo’ with your honk! Trust me you’ll come across a lot of such such irresponsible morons here!
Honk #2- When a measly-looking vehicle is attempting to sneak in between you and the car in front in an already stifling traffic jam, you honk to say,’ Dont even think about it!’ FYI the message can be better conveyed when the honk is administered in broad daylight coupled with your piercing stare shooting right through his glass-shield!
Honk #3- is used when the role reverses. I mean, when your car is the measly-looking vehicle attempting to join a stretch of cars(read the Land cruisers, Patrols and the ilk). This time you meekly honk and give the sanest smile on earth to say,’ Please let me go..please please, or else I will cry and tell my mom that you’re not letting me go…waaaaa, waaaa!’
Honk #4- When you are enjoying the drive on a reasonably empty road listening to your favorite song and just when you are turning right, out comes this car from nowhere and zooms past you from the wrong end, as though in a terrible urge to relieve himself! Thats when you blow the dynamite of a honk shooting the nastiest curses that you can think of,’ @##$%%$#$…you douche-bag..teri toh mai!’
Honk #5- This one is a harmless one. When you spot a friend or an acquaintance on your way, this honk simply conveys,’ Hi there! whats up?’
Honk #6- But if, instead of reaching your friend(mentioned in #5), it reaches the ears of the vehicle in front of you, it can be misconstrued as,’ Hey there, move faster, you tortoise’! Which can attract variety of expressions and sign-lingos from the tortoise BTW. He/she may give you a taste of your own medicine by way of the piercing stare from his/her rear-view mirror which can shoot through YOUR glass-shield this time or or he may raise his hand in a dancing-mudra like this
which loosely conveys,’ Whats your problem? ‘
OR he/she may just shoot the dynamite honk #4 at you!
Honk #7- is administered when there is a monster-trailer on road and you want to get past it. Most of these trailers are usually well in their lanes and rarely bully you. But their very enormity is so intimidating that you cower. Thats when you plead with them by way of this honk which says, ‘ Hey truckaasur! Please dont crush me! Please please please! Have mercy!’
Honk #8- This is R’s favourite! This is a ‘just like that’ honk! Literally. He uses it for the love of using it! Just like that. A Delhi-ite to the core! He honks when he takes the car out of the garage. And then honks again while waiting for the gate of the compound to open. He honks when he sees a car speeding off … on the opposite side of the road! . And of course he makes use of all the honk-categories that I mentioned above, during the course of his drive. And honks even when on a long drive with not a vehicle in close-shave quarter…just to spite me ! He goes ‘honk’ and gives me a sheepish smile to say ‘just like that’ Aargh!
Did I just say my love for honks was rekindling? Or not?
So what did you honk today?