t is not out of norm that you come across a number of people on the road violating traffic rules (especially the young blood). Rather let me forthright to state that if on Pakistani roads one does not find someone breaking the signals or overtaking the other car from the wrong side (the left one mostly) or kicking the horn beyond the reason; one actually can not perceive that “It is a Pakistani driver and a Pakistani road”. As hustle and bustle is the part and parcel of busy roads of busy cities (like that of Karachi and Lahore etcetera) in our country. And what to comment about the wardens of these jammed roads-the traffic police! These poor souls always remain worried about their empty (but blown with air) tummies.
There lives a hip hop guy in my vicinity. As he is brought up in this sophisticated society so tacitly he was supposed to follow the footsteps of his elders. He drives his bike just like other patriotic Pakistani Driver hazrat. Breaking the signals and zigzagging on the roads is nothing but a source of pleasure for him. Once as per his routine he was crisscrossing his bike that got captured by traffic police. “Copy of your bike?” asked the warden. “Nops!” was the anticipated reply. “License…?” Traffic sergeant put forward another query. And once again the boy had to nod his head in negative. “Kaka, your bike is supposed to be locked up”, the soulless-threat given by the traffic sergeant. And then greasing the palm of the traffic sergeant with a twenty rupee note the boy spoke tenderly, “Oh sir gee, ello chai pani pee lena…” The sergeant forwarded his hand just like a Dulhan does on her Mehndi night and accepted the amount for “chai pani” and let the boy to abscond…
I know, though this particular story is astounding but not out of the blue. Most of you can share a number of such real time incidents when either you or any of your conversant might have come across these traffic legendaries accepting the “chai pani” in such a way. As corruption, bribery, dishonesty etc. are some of those prolific fruits that this particular land has produced abundantly in last 60 years.
Recently during the class discussion a teacher of mine said, “insan ka Pait or uske Olad esa fitna han jo baray say bara gunnah kernay per majboor ker daity han”. These particular wordings of my teacher directly hit my heart and I was enforced by my conscience to think that if traffic police is enforced by their empty tummies and family then what’s the thing that enforces us to commit these malpractices? Why don’t we as a nation obey the traffic rules? Why is it necessary to place a warden at every square? We ourselves are the real culprits. Yes qasam sy we are…! We uncomplicatedly call someone “Rishwat Khor” (the bribee) with our mouth wide open but in fact if we just flick through the other side of the picture we clearly can find ourselves in the cage. We don’t follow (rather don’t want to follow) traffic rules as for this we have to practice the most difficult exercise, called “patience”.
Now indubitably you people will be thinking that I’m showering a bundle of unnecessary lectures as it’s also a bitter fact that at times traffic wardens needlessly stop the citizens and bother them without any reason. Well okay! Certainly this argument has roots but since the new British traffic system has been introduced the scenario seems to be changed now, especially in Punjab Province. Muhammad Kamran is serving as a traffic sergeant in Lahore. According to him, “Since this new British traffic warden system has been introduced, conditions have improved swiftly.” He further added, “First this profession wasn’t esteemed that much and there was not any specific educational requirement for this as well but now the traffic warden staff is quite educated. Moreover, we are handsomely being paid and the behavior of people is also quite decent.” However, his colleague seemed grumbling in such a way, “Some people, specially youngsters think that we the new wardens are also on the footprints of ex-controllers of traffic. When they are caught, they try to offer “chai pani” to us as well. People ought to realize the obligations on their part.”
Being a nation we ought to stifle this “chai pani” system from our society. It won’t cost us anything if we follow laws and regulations that are meant for our own security. The introduction of the new traffic system is an opportunity for all of us. If we don’t make use of this opportunity, it’ll be our hard luck then. A little cooperation from our side will not only smoothen the traffic rather will save our expense of “cha’ay Pani” as well. :) Happy Driving!