You’re out on your morning walk on the pavement (or whatever is left of it), some of you are jogging; the morning Sun’s rays smear through the dust in the air and creates a golden mirage, you smell the freshness all around. Ah! what serenity! what more could one ask for. And then suddenly, you hear a not-so-loud engine noise…followed by a totally unnecessary series of honking —  it’s the yellow school van! The driver seems to have had enrolled a course in F1, but then left it mid-way after the first hands-on session. You are just left aghast by the way they whiff past everything — exploiting the mostly deserted roads which seem to be waiting-to-exhale — stuffed with (or in the process of stuffing) kids, who can apparently go only in a particular order so as the utilize every nook and corner of the van.

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These guys are flouting the rules left, right and center all over Pune — and there’s no one to question them! The traffic authorities seemed to have washed their hands after doing their part — “look, we’ve laid out very strict guidelines for school vans and buses — they’re supposed to put this warning on their rear window: DRIVE CAREFULLY – STUDENTS ON BOARD (or a variation of it)”. “Ummm…err…Mr. Officer, who is this warning for exactly? I don’t think it’s for the driver — he hasn’t ever taken cognizance of it after the first day when he got the package — I guess it’s for the people who just watch the van swoosh past them, praying to their favourite deities in exasperation — for the safety of the innocent lives — both inside and outside the van”.

 

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