One fine day on our way back from work, just escaping a traffic jam only to enter another one, yours truly and a friend + colleague + fellow-commuter decided to do some "Root Cause Analysis" using all the management jargons we had learnt in our glorious career. Glorious because, if I call it boring, it defeats all the marketing lessons we have had!
So we started by the book - by creating a "problem definition" first. Then follow some simple logical steps to arrive at a solution.
Traffic jams are caused all over Bangalore in the morning hours and evening hours. What is traffic jam and why does it happen?
Traffic jam is a phenomenon where inflow of vehicles at a certain location are more than outflow of vehicles, resulting in accumulation of vehicles at that location.
The problem is now defined in simple words. Let's look at the parameters involved. Vehicles are the subject of traffic jam. Inflow and outflow are the activities involving the subjects. Since higher inflow being the root of the problem, this is where we should address it.
Location: Marathahalli Bridge. Inflow: Arrives from Whitefield, via graphite junction and Kundalahalli gate. Outflow: Outflow is regulated at Marathahalli Bridge.
Ok, now we know what needs to be addressed. Next question is to work on an approach. The solution now looks obvious. Regulate the inflow to a degree that it does not overshoot the outflow! So let's take a careful look at that parameter to arrive at a solution.
Inflow comes via Graphite Junction and Kundalahalli Gate. So the obvious resolution to the problem - let's have checkpoints at these locations to ensure reduced inflow at Marathahalli Bridge! Now for the implementation strategy - install signals and appoint cops in these junctions so that no more vehicles than what Marathahalli Bridge can take shall pass through these places!
Incidentally, those who have been taking this route for last two years would have noticed that this is exactly the approach taken by Bangalore Traffic Police in the stretch. Two years ago, we had a major problem of a traffic jam at Marathahalli Bridge. It was eventually distributed to multiple areas, creating traffic jams all over the place.
But can't really blame them. We simply don't have enough roads to match the number of vehicles that are getting that are getting into the roads everyday. Guys, let's start taking buses, let's not become contributors to the pains that the city is going through.
I was looking at some photos in my gallery just now and memories of Thadiyandamol came rushing. We had a so-so weather and so-so scenery the previous day and we weren't expecting much. But when I woke up in the morning just before sunrise, I was awed. It all was too beautiful to be true. No more words, just pictures...
Views from the place where we had camped
sights of the morning
I guess Thadi is a place I can't stay away from for long. It was my third trip there 2 months ago, and have been toying with the idea of making another trip this winter.
As I go out for a walk, I look at the weather and feel good about the overcast sky that is keeping the day pleasant. I look around and think of the few trees that have managed to hold on to their life in the concrete jungle, and admire them and the people who planted them. I feel grateful and happy, but not for long. A cabby honks and drives past me at a speed unreasonable for the small road we are in, and I get irritated. I instantly recall of some insecure cabbies I see on the road, who have the practice of habitual honking every few seconds even on the empty roads. They used to make me go crazy once but I smile at them now and pass them as silly folks. The whole thought process now expands to Bangalore's fast growing traffic that has increased the commute time to twice what it was a few years ago. There is no reaction in the mind for this one, it has become a thought too common and gets ignored. It is no more than a few seconds before I move on to a much larger picture of Bangalore's fast, unplanned growth and all things sundry. All of it was broken by pretty girl who walks past me from the opposite direction, and there is an attempt to assign her with a prettiness quotient! I am now walking on a nicely laid footpath with no loose stones or any such surprises, and I begin to feel grateful all over again. The process continues, forming a chain of unrelated things..
No wonder they said it is all in your mind - happiness, sadness, joy, sorrow, call it what you wish. And we ofcourse continue identifying these emotions with external stimulus.
Here is how to guess what time is it, by observing the sounds of the night, and early morning.
1. If you hear the sound of a car reversing, it is necessarily beyond midnight. I guess some car owners enjoy doing it - first get an awful, cacophonic reverse alarm installed in the car. And then set an alarm at 1am or something, get to the garage and do some reversing practice! It is all the more surprising that I hear these noises in the weekdays.
2. If it is the honking of a tata indica, it is the call of a nocturnal cab driver to his nocturnal passengers. Check what time is it in your watch one day, the call comes at the same time everyday.
2. If you hear prayers from the nearby Darga, obviosuly it it beynd 5am
3. If you don't have a Darga near the hour, listen to the koels. If they are getting noisy, it is again beyond 5am. These guys never seem to sleep till late, probably stay awake thinking of all the worms that the early birds get..!
4. If it is the ruckus of the Mynas, it is beyond 5.30. They congregate in a group very early in the morning, and start howling as though there is a catastrophe coming!
5. If it is the crows, it is beyond 6 am. It is your wake up call - as harsh as your alarm can get!
6. If you hear a mix of sounds - shouts of veggie vendor, school buses, autos, and anything you can't decipher, wake up or else you are going to be late to work!