August 13, 2008

"So, how does it feel..."

Posted By:
Ever since I got married a few months ago, I have been asked this question a million times by every single person I meet. It usually goes, "Sooooo (with a smirk) how does it feel to be married? (smirk becomes a full-toothed smile)?" I never know how to answer this while as I dread the next person who is going to ask me that.

I mean, logically, how are you supposed to answer this question? Of course, life changes after marriage. For some, it's a big change and for some, it's a natural progression. For me, it's been the second thing and I don't know why people are so curious about my post-marital life! So, my natural reaction was to smile back (smirkily?) but now I have had it so much that I just say, "Why does everybody ask me that question?" which is enough to put them on hold.

I guess this has something to do with the fact that people like to state the obvious and it can be very annoying. I mean, if I were to take that question seriously, I would have to go into a complete philosophical and sociological account but of course, I don't want to.

But if I had to answer that question, maybe I would say: Of course life changes after marriage. It's a new experience and it's a new beginning and I am just figuring it out, so please give me some breathing space!

August 11, 2008

Traffic terror in Delhi

Posted By:
I was really happy when I bought my car...the independence of going wherever you want to without having to worry about the public transport was a wonderful feeling. I have enjoyed it so far, but for the past few months, the traffic in Delhi has been getting worse. Roads are jam packed all over the city and you really have to think twice before venturing out on the weekend, or at least you have to keep an hour's window for getting there.

One of the reasons for this swelling traffic could be the lightning speed with which the Metro construction is happening. The other is that every other person is buying a new car. if he already has one, he's buying another one. Money is overflowing in people's pockets, you can't help but notice.

Well anyway, instead of cribbing about it, I have thought of a few solutions to reduce the mess:

Congestion charge - This is a measure adopted in UK and I think it's worth paying a little extra to avoid painful hours of driving in traffic (which, I have realised, is very strenuous). This could be for roads like Ashram and MG Road so that people take another route if they can or think twice before adding to the mess.

Second car tax - People are buying cars at the drop of a hat, and I am not exaggerating. Not only does this add to the traffic, it is also fueling the second hand car market. So, every second car in a household should be taxed, so people buy one only if it's really necessary.

Awareness campaign - I know we have bigger issues like AIDS prevention and female foeticide, but we could have a campaign by Delhi Police to promote good driving habits and encourage car pooling. (The traffic police also need an awareness campaign - to become aware that they have other jobs to do than take bribes from the helpless public.)

Timings - Offices which can afford to should change their timings to avoid peak hours. I would prefer starting early and finishing early. This is esp important, in fact, mandatory for offices in Noida and Gurgaon.

I am sure that once the Metro is fully on track, things will get better. But we must remember that the number of cars is not going down and that we are going to have a deluge of tourists (and traffic) in the Commonwealth Games. It's better to gear up now before we mess up completely.

P.S. This post comes after a long hiatus because I was caught up in more, let's say, offline stuff...but I am going to try and update more often :)