Thoughts ridden by kash Jun 19, 2010

Traffic and me

Being stuck in a traffic jam is boring. And that’s when your mind takes over. Either it starts cursing your fortune or it starts planning a rebellion against the slow government actions on traffic regulation. With Pink Floyd advising, “We don’t need no education”, I actually I started thinking that education is not worth taking if you are not going to apply it. You may be a senior manager in a big conglomerate but if you cannot apply your education to help solve societal problems, then it’s not worth getting educated. Because then you would just be “Another brick in the wall”, with no purpose and wasted money on education.

Interestingly I was able to observe a lot during the traffic jam today on my way to office. The traffic policemen were there, trying to regulate traffic as efficiently as possible. But what they do not think or understand is that you should be trying to prevent traffic jams. I saw a certain number of policemen arrive on the scene after the jam became unmanageable. We are talking about the daily traffic jams near Hinjewadi IT park in Pune and on all roads leading to it. In an effort to regulate traffic, they started whistling and waving their hands to make the traffic move. What was not clear to them is that waving hands was not going to make the traffic move any faster. Everyone wants to reach office and are travelling in the right direction so waving hands to edge the traffic in the right direction is no help.

Crossroads and no-common-sense vehicle drivers are the major source of traffic jams. Rather I would say that we, as vehicle drivers, are the major cause of traffic jams. Let me give an example from today’s traffic jam. By the time I reached the tail of the traffic jam, the vehicle line was already around 200 mts long. During the start of office hours, the oncoming traffic is usually minimal. Though it was tempting to break lanes and go down the wrong lane and reach office fast, I decided not to. As an educated citizen who wished to use his education, I thought if I went down the wrong lane, I would be causing an even worse jam. I don’t think anyone was thinking on the same lines as mine. Because I could see all vehicles breaking lanes and causing even more jam further up on the road. The more time I spent waiting for the jam to clear, the more inclined I became to strangle the necks of those who did not understand the simple reason behind why you should not break lanes. If your normal two lanes of office traffic changes to three, then you leave less room for oncoming traffic to go. As a result, the oncoming traffic then starts breaking lanes to go from two to three. Thus, you see an example of a classic deadlock where nobody goes nowhere. And this leads to a even bigger jam. All those breaking lanes, were majorly and interestingly IT professionals who are amongst the highest paid professionals in India and supposed to be educated enough to be part of big conglomerates. A deadlock is a software concept that has been studied by IT professionals during their college education but they cannot seem apply the same to real life. It has been rightly said in the movie 3 Idiots, that “we are well-trained but not well-educated”. We are trained to become a professional but not educated enough to be a professional. It’s sad to know that parents spend so much money on their child’s education but they forget to teach them how to use it.

Though it’s sad to know that the Indian education system may not change overnight, but the need to apply your education should be an immediate change that any thinking citizen can practice.


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