Lights of the Night

“We shouldn’t have decided to start the journey at night. A better option was to start early morning, may be around five thirty or six thirty” she told him.

“It is easier to reach there before midnight. The traffic will be less, and as we usually sleep after midnight, this is not going to be a problem. We will reach the destination before midnight easily. The total distance we have to travel is around one hundred and seventy five kilometres, and according to my plans, we are going to be there as expected” he replied.

“But it is very dark out there. Whatever remains of the street lights are not working and the road has just enough width for two cars. We are traveling towards a mountainous area and there is rain outside. Can you see much in this fog?” she asked.

Darkness spreads. But how fast can that happen?

Darkness spreads. What lies beyond those which the human eyes can catch?

“I don’t understand why you are so worried. I have traveled through such areas throughout my life, and I have driven so much through the dangerous areas. I have driven even through those places where there remained almost no trace of road. You should just take your mobile and log in to Facebook and check a few status updates instead of being tensed. Or may be you can talk to one of your friends on Whatsapp” he said with confidence.

“The rain is only getting stronger, and so is the wind. I think there is complete power failure in the area. There is no light anywhere. I think that this area doesn’t have houses or shops too. We shouldn’t have taken the shortcut; the direct route had more width, better quality roads and some shops and houses. This is like a deserted world. I think that you have discovered the road less traveled and it has created all the problems” she continued.

“Still, I have saved so much of fuel by traveling through this route. Is it so difficult for you to use Facebook or Whatsapp?” he asked her.

“There is no range here, and you are asking me to check Facebook and Whatsapp. Do you even know if we are going in the right direction? There hasn’t been a signboard for the last one hour. The only vehicles that we have seen are some trucks, most of them carrying timber” she said in a worried tone.

“I believe that we have traveled about a quarter of the total distance. The journey was slower than expected because of the rain and the curves on the road. But as soon as the rain is over and a few more kilometers pass, we can go at a higher speed and once we can continuously travel at the desired pace, the destination will feel closer” he assured her.

“This is the last time I am coming with you on a drive. I am going to remember this big mistake for a long time. Next time, I shall choose one of those AC low floor buses or at least take a taxi” she complained.

Suddenly, an SUV appeared from the corner in high speed with its high intensity lights falling right into his eyes along with all those extra lights which were added to the front side of the vehicle. Blinded by the lights and trying to avoid the SUV from coming too close to the car, he took a left which brought the vehicle to the edge which was slippery due to the rain. The SUV vanished from the sight as it took the next turn while the car found it in the air until the people of a neighbourhood under the hill heard a huge noise. They got out of their houses to find the local vegetarian restaurant without its roof and on fire.

“It is the restaurant. There will be no Special Masala Dosa for a few days” one of the men was heard saying.

The rain had stopped and the dark clouds were slowly moving away. The moon had returned from under the clouds. On the top of the hill, two people were having tea. One of them, a lady was wearing black and the man was was wearing a combination of black and red. They finished the tea and looked down to see the fire.

So, let the dark clouds leave and get to the destination I am talking about.

So there is a lot of beauty there, but death has power over everything else.

“I feel for these common people, but I can’t do anything about it. See, I try to have a certain number of souls to finish the month meeting the requirements, but these just add to them and provide me some extra souls. These road accidents caused by bright and high intensity lights give me those souls who were never supposed to come to me so early. It is disappointing that they die. I think about not taking their souls, but I do some mercy killing because I can’t stand their pain” Lady Death said.

“It is the common problem with these humans. They can’t dim the lights and make it better for the other drivers. They only think about themselves. This is why we vampires don’t drive at night. Vampire Bat always talks about this. About seventy five percent of the people never dim the lights even if we warn them using the horn. Unless there is a camera to catch these people, and a restriction against using the extra high intensity lights, these accidents can’t be prevented. But when the rich people use all the high intensity lights in the world, who can stop them in the human world which is governed by money alone?” Dracula asked.

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

TeNy

Safety is a Priority

On the road safety should be a priority. The number of road accidents don’t seem to come down by much, and neither does the deaths by the same. If you open the newspaper early morning, this is what you get first. Yes, there are news about other kinds of deaths, murders, robbery and everything else, but this is more of a case that you can avoid as long as everyone can find safety as a priority, and not some other random things like reaching a place early or driving fast and in a stylish manner with almost no reason. *Except for the first photo on the road which was taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC W310, the rest are from Nissan Safety Driving Forum (NSDF) website.

1. Let there be no pothole: Even as this is completely in the hands of the government, it is up-to us motorists to raise our voice for getting the roads repaired. Yes, it is injurious to the suspension of the vehicles, but the bigger problem is when people suddenly breaks or turns the vehicles causing accidents – there are even cases of people falling into some of the deeper ones and losing control of the two-wheelers, sometimes even causing deaths. There is more than one kind of terror that these potholes can come up with, and repairing the roads shouldn’t take long. There are too many bad roads around, and each pothole is a possible death-bringer, especially during the rainy season. We have such problems even on the state and national highways – not fair at all.

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2. Know no traffic signal breaks: We see this too often, and the cars which do this often are the big ones, and the same is the case of those huge trucks or buses and often the auto rickshaws. Sometimes, it won’t be that easy following the signals, as they could work in a strange manner, and there might be occasions when they just stop working or when the police tries to help, it doesn’t work well. But our duty is to obey the signal, and at the same time look for the movement from other vehicles. Yes, a few adjustment would be needed here as there is a difference in the concept of “yellow” for many people. So always look for any vehicle passing through before obeying the traffic lights. Some of those who breaks the traffic signals even have number plates which are hard to read – how can someone allow such a thing?

3. Realize your speed limit: Even if someone has bought a costly car with a top speed beyond comprehension, he should also be paying the fine for breaking the speed limit, may be a bigger fine for the bigger cars – small fines rarely make an impact due to having a big purse. What we should do on these occasions is to try not to race with the maniacs who can’t decrease their speed. Let’s keep within the speed limits because a rule is a rule, and it is a fair thing to do. Along with the same, use helmets and seat belts – yes, we may be driving slow and causing no trouble to others, but there will always be those maniacs who drive fast and without any responsibility. Let’s save ourselves and not fall into the death-trap for the fault of someone else. After all, it seems like a group of drivers who don’t care at all, and it is up-to us to bring a change here. Let’s also hope for more “hidden” cameras to catch these people.

4. Respect the rest of your kind: There is nothing like giving chance for the rest of the humanity, including the motorist and the pedestrian a chance to pass. We are not the only busy people out on the streets, an everyone needs a fair chance. It might not be easy to let someone pass through and take a turn when some random stranger is honking from the back, but lets give that person a chance. To add to it, the road doesn’t belong to anyone in particular, and so keep left and stay off the side of the path. It is only by respect towards the rest of the people on the road that once can claim to be a good driver – not by driving fast, scaring others or by showing circus on the bike. It is not about having a costly vehicle and making some ridiculous sound either – give respect and take respect, as for a good number of people, vehicles are for transportation and not to show off.

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5. Discover the indicator: Some people still don’t know where this button is. It comes under the steering, for some cars on the right and for the other, on the left. It also seems to take too much strength to do the same, that a lot of people just turns without prior warning, especially the auto rickshaws, buses and trucks. I have often wondered where their indicators are? Do they usually come out of the showroom without that facility? Everybody needs an indicator, and let’s hope that someone will tell these people about the same. Meanwhile, lets make sure that each and everyone of use indicators whenever there is a need, and after taking a turn, we need to be sure that it is turned off – we don’t want to create another nuisance on the road by having a tendency to turn in a direction almost every second.

6. Find a way to dim the lights: This is a necessity, especially as the road is no private property. There is roughly around fifty percent of the night drivers who dim their lights. It is all about what they can see, and the rest needs to adjust. They don’t realize that the other person also has the need to see the road. Even when we brighten and dim our lights, some people don’t seem to care. I would guess that it is because night driving is not taught in driving schools. Those who wish to get a licence are taught only how to take the “H” in the case of four-wheelers and “8” for two-wheelers. Even the driving time on the roads happen during the daytime and nobody knows that what to do with the bright and dim feature. The system of giving driving licence surely needs a change.

7. The things that are never to do: The first thing to follow is never to drink and drive. Any doubt about the same is just plain ridiculous. There are so many of such incidents that we know from the newspapers. The second thing is not to use the mobile phones while driving. I don’t know why too many people do this in broad daylight when other people are watching. It is clear that doing so is not safe. But it seems that some people value that more than human lives. When there is a phone ringing, stop the vehicle and talk or call back later. There is the need for bigger fines for these two categories. Another thing – never keep changing lanes; it could be solved by developing a certain amount of common sense, I guess. But it is becoming more and more rare these days – not common. Let’s try to do what is in our power and hope for better results.

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This blog post is written in relation to Nissan Safety Driving Forum’s nationwide safety campaign with the concept of “Safety begins with me”. It says that saftety and etiquette are not to be taken lightly as it is the responsibility of each and every driver and not a selected few. There is a duty that we have to our fellow motorists as well as the pedestrians who consists more of the common man. For more details, please check https://www.nissan.in/innovation/NSDF.html and make sure you drive safe.

The Nissan Motor’s Nissan Safety Driving Forum (NSDF) is part of its safety driving promotion activities, having the beginning in 2012. Starting with three main Indian cities – Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai – it has gone on to touch other cities. This year, NSDF has new cities to go – Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Jaipur, Vadodara, Nagpur, Chennai, Mangalore and Cochin with a reach to about two lakh citizens. NSDF has also seen an impressive 126% growth in the sensitisation of wearing seatbelts. It also conducts simulated car crash to understand safety. Nissan’s NSDF continues to try to build awareness of safe driving in India as it encourages drivers and passengers to wear seatbelts through interactive programmes. Nissan’s aim is to decrease fatalities and injuries caused by traffic accidents, and it considers the same a commitment to the customers in India.

TeNy