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I had been told by my Japanse ex-colleague that Indians blow more on the vehicle horn than any other country he had been to. Japanese people are pretty silent, except for rowdy teenagers. In Europe except Spain people do now blow horn that often. Yet in India, you cannot seem to move on the road were it not for horn blowing.

I remember my driving instructor telling me - dont remove your hand from the horn. It is the only way of letting the other person know you are coming.

That is the difference. In other places the drivers look out for on coming traffic. In India you make sure others notice you. In most countries driving means saving own skin, going through paved roads. In India, there are few paved roads and people are used to making their way, literally too. Hence, the driving is more like driving of the "Knight Bus" from Harry Potter. You drive and make sure no one falls in your way. If they do, bad for them. They should have looked out. The only way to do that is to warn them you are coming at breakneck (or slow) speed. Hence, you, as the rear ends of many trucks say, "Blow horn".

This has spawned quite an industry. The honks you can hear all over India can vary from the persistent low decibel tinkle of the cycle bell to the loud blaring truck ones. Apart from the normal "Honk" sounds, there are the musical ones which go "peeri peeri peeri-peeri peep" and "beep".
That horn sounds are proportional to the car size is a myth. It all depends on the size of the brain of the driver. A tiny motorcycle can have a deep throated loud reverberating horn fit for a USV. And many a truck driver makes do with the air-based "bho poos" to make their presence felt.

In recent past there was a rise of unconventional environment friendly horns in some parts of come cities of India. Horns with sounds aing to natural sounds - baby wailing, dog barking, people shouting. however they did not catch on. For obvious reasons. There are far too many of those sounds on the roads eitherway for people to notice them and make way for the vehicle. And then again, people have a pavlovian response like no other to an insistent "honk-honk". Though even that can be quite ineffectual in cities like Calcutta where the two-legged being is King.

Nowadays, truck drivers have found a new toy. Horns with sounds akin to latest movie songs. So by pressing the horn once, they can make their ride sing. Literally. You can have kajrare kajrare or dhoom machale or even agar tum mil jao being played to you often enough on a trip through one of the national highaways. In case you hear ones of these, dont get mesmerised in the music, just move to the side and let the 10 ton through.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
22nd Feb, 2007 10:36 (UTC)
Your post title had me thinkin of something else ~_^
..but yeah. And have u noticed, they always honk at you in a traffic jam, like you can levitate your car to make way for their highnesses?
22nd Feb, 2007 11:09 (UTC)
Re: Your post title had me thinkin of something else ~_^
;) that was the intent ;)
what life without a little p(f)un.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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