A couple of months ago, I visited the town where my parents live India. It used to be a dusty little town where I and my brother used to assemble during the breaks from our respective colleges. Where countless nights were spent on the terrace sipping tea and chatting until the wee hours of the dawn.
The town has now transformed to quaint little city in the smallest state of India. Our ancestral house, which once used to stand tall amidst quiet pastures now a pigmy in the urban jungle hidden between multistoried malls standing shyly on the busiest road of the city.
One of the benefits of living in a true commercial space is the silence in the night. There is nobody around just like older days. But the day break transforms the soundscape . Noticeably into an envelope of everlasting honking. Honking of all pitch and frequency , each merging into other. It was almost like conversation between different modes of transports plying on the road.
“Honk - Here I come! ” says the overtaking car to the motor cycle. “Honk – I don’t care” says the motorcycle back to the car. “Honk-Honk-Honk – You will do if I hit you!!” replies back the car.
I had been driving around the town in my Dad’s car and frequently participated in the honking conversation. Mostly “Honk - Watch out Here I come!” or “Honk-Honk - Really watch out now!!”
One day, me and my wife decided to go out on a spin on a Scooter that my parents use to run small errands. The scooter reminded me and my wife of the older college days where I used to ride in one gifted to me by my dad. It was indeed a prized possession in those days and the selected few claiming to own one enjoyed significant societal advantage. With significantly less time to be spent in comparison to the conventional form of transportation using a bicycle, the scooter opened up more time to explore the world. It also doubled up a tool for exploration !
So my Wife and I doubled up on the scooter. Weaving through the crowded streets, the wind sweeping through our hair as we rode past the bridge across the river leading to nearby forests and hills.
I suddenly realized that I had not honked all this while. I had got so used of the honking that I was almost missing the cacophony in the quiet setting we were in.
“Where is the honking thing in this?” I asked my wife. I pulled the scooter to the side as both of us explored the different knobs until one of them produced the ever so known sound.
“Honk-Honk-Honk ... What the hell, I am happy”, we honked on the empty road leading up to the forests.