The most famous road hog in India is the politician. Every politician whether in power or not elected in the last election travels on the road surrounded by a convoy of sidekicks, black belts and security persons. This convoy can include anything from three to four cars, motorcycles, auto rickshaws, cycles, SUV’s, ambulances, police jeeps etc. depending on the politician’s importance individually and in the party that he/she represents.
I live in an area that is the hub for the two leading politician leaders of the two most important political parties of Tamil Nadu. If either of these leaders are moving around, the traffic comes to a stop. Many of us spend this waiting time counting the number of vehicles in the convoy and I can assure you that once I counted 23 motor vehicles….it can go upto forty!! So…the tag road hog surely fits this convoy mentality!!
The other road hog is an inanimate entity…you may question why I call this as a road hog. Well!!
Potholes in India are not found just here and there. They are an important deterrent to traffic in urban India. You can see vehicles dipping in and out in waves as they traverse the potholes in the road!!
We are a nation who loves processions. It can be religious, it can be demos, it can be weddings and even funerals. The other day there was a news item where a rich businessman relinquished all his worldly trappings and took to a life of austerity. He had this huge procession in a silver chariot and literally threw away his money, car and home keys and so many other possessions. A donor road hog, you could say, right?
Local ganglords are an important part of our city slums. In a slum there is a funeral every week or so. The custom is to arrange a highly decorated lorry or cart elaborately…with flowers, gold trimmings, buntings, mirrors and other embellishments. This is called a chariot and the procession is taken very seriously. Ducks walk ahead, followed by hens and pigs. Then kids join the procession dancing to the drums of the local boys. Country liquor is passed around and the chariot with the dead person is taken on a road strewn with flowers. At the back sometimes the women join too for some distance. The custom is that women do not go to the cremation grounds!! Naturally, traffic comes to a stop.
So, a road hog need not necessarily be a driver of a single vehicle. Our bus drivers and two wheelers have road rules crafted by their own ilk. Buses rarely stop at the kerb of a bus stop…they prefer the middle of the road to disgorge the alighting passengers. You have to be really agile to climb on to these buses pushing and pulling with arms akimbo to give you leverage to get onto the bus after crossing a few yards of macadam where you may have arguments with two wheelers who are weaving to destinations any which way!!
How we navigate our roads and live to tell a tale is entirely due to our Divine destiny!! We even have an avatar of Lord Vishnu, our caretaker, preserver, CEO of our lives with a boar face called Varaha Avataram!!
Varaha is the third incarnation in the Dashavatara, the ten principal avatars of Vishnu. When the demon Hiranyaksha stole the earth (personified as the goddess Bhudevi) and hid her in the primordial waters, Vishnu appeared as Varaha to rescue her. Varaha slew the demon and retrieved the Earth from the ocean, lifting it on his tusks, and restored Bhudevi to her place in the universe. Varaha is depicted with a boar’s head and human body. His consort, Bhudevi, the earth, is often depicted as a young woman, lifted by Varaha.
This topic was suggested by me for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where currently nine of us write on the same topic every Friday. I hope that you enjoyed my take on it. The seven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Ashok, gaelikaa, Lin, Maxi, Pravin, Shackman, http://rummuser.com/ and The Old Fossil.