NO LONGER HORNY............!!!!

“Happy Birthday” was the chorus as I was made to cut the cake at 12 midnight.

Blowing out the candles was not advised in the days of Covid– the action could spray the oral secretion all over the cake. Eating the cake with lit candles could become a burning issue. So the candles were put out with the fanning of folded newspaper.

Five decades and 10% more. I turned 55 in February 2021. I was born in 1966 and was/am the fourth child. Thank god, family planning was not in vogue in those days. Having a son seemed to be the main motive of marriage, besides getting some one to take care of household chores. That is how I came into being – one son after three daughters.

My family on my father’s side was very conservative socially and religiously, but very liberal in procreating. My grandpa on that side sired ten kids. Family on my mother’s side was quite liberated socially and religiously but were conservative in producing kids. Grandpa on that side had only two kids. So between balancing concerns of society, number and gender of kids, I was born.

At 55, I almost feel like part of history, having seen evolution in every sphere. From being a kid to raising kids, from going to neighbor’s place to watch TV to TV in every room in the house, from waiting for months for a landline telephone connection to free SIMs, from Doordarshan  to OTT.

Don’t look at me as if I am a dinosaur, I am seasoned and evolved.

I had read about great epidemics of the world. And then got to witness the Covid and the lockdown. It was a scenario right out of science fiction.

Sitting at home for a couple of days was enough to take away the anticipated fun of holidays. Family members, including the pet Labrador were not used to me staying at home all day. Sundays they could endure as I liked to sleep the whole day.  It was with unspoken mutual consent that I decided to visit my office at the hospital, may be for few hours every day.

The society has taken back many social perks of being a doctor, but immunity to curfew and lockdown was sanctioned by the law itself. Hospital staff was allowed to commute.

It was such a pleasure driving a car in the days of lockdown. Minimal traffic. Even the stray animals had disappeared. There was absolutely no need to use horn. Only the ambulances used their hooters, there was no need as there was no traffic, it was more out of habit. Or may be an air of importance.

There are certain situations/ class of persons that are associated with blowing horns without fail:

1.    Vehicle behind you at the traffic lights and traffic jams.

2.    Vehicle trying to overtake you, even if from the wrong side.

3.    Husbands waiting in cars for their wives to emerge from home.

4.    Young budding studs at the sight of a pretty dame.

5.    Bus and truck drivers who are horn happy by default.

They all vanished during the lockdown. Just like smog, pollution and visitors.

Slowly the traffic started increasing. Animals also started appearing on the roads. So did the young and old, engrossed in their mobile phones, oblivious to traffic and oncoming vehicles. I was so happy with my newfound ability to keep my hands off the horn. It was such pleasure waiting for other vehicle to clear the way without unnecessarily adding to the cacophony. I realized, vehicle in front of me would move as fast when the light turned green, whether I blew my horn or not. And that there was no point in blowing the horn if there was a traffic jam and no vehicle could move, horn or no horn. It is much more peaceful at the turns to slow down and be ready for any vehicle on the other side, than honking. Wife will not get ready faster if you are sitting in the car taxing the horn. People walking in the middle of the road present with hilarious expressions whenever I just drive up to them dead-slow, waiting for them to move aside rather than startle them with blaring horn. That way I developed such a patience, I was not angry at any pedestrian or offending vehicle. Driving became more pleasurable, there was no rage.

“Why is the horn of your car not working?” I got a desperate call from a friend who had borrowed my car.

I was wondering with a smile. I never realized the horn is not working. I do not intend to get it repaired. Let it be my little contribution to reduce noise pollution and road rage.

My appeal to all – try not to use horn and feel the calming effect. It’s good for all – the driver, the fellow people on roads and the environment.

PS. Wondering about the caption? It was ‘Horny’ as in horn of the car. Otherwise, I am just 55, still a long way to go !!.


 April 9, 2021.

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