Shillong Jottings

A toot of the horn
Ever seen two cars honk at each other when they cross paths? What are the odds that they just had a conversation? Or rather one of them really said something?
Of course, trucks have fancy horns which sing tunes. But what we are going to talk about is totally different.
We have time and again observed cars honk horn, whether on the road or when sitting inside the very machines, to tell the fellow drivers what to do or to convey some message. For instance, when one of the drivers pulls up on a congested road just to let another pass through, the latter toots the horn to express thanks. The one that pulled up says welcome too: “toot”!
This phenomenon exhibits such a positive feeling. It tells us that people are considerate, benevolent and compassionate.
If gestures like this are replicated on a daily basis across the busy roads in Shillong city, it would do wonders for the citizens and the traffic police.
So let’s not honk unnecessarily, what say you?

Jaywalking almost a trend
If the ever-growing traffic snarls weren’t enough to get our goats, jaywalking along with it would make the perfect recipe.
Unless there is a zebra crossing, it is not advisable for the public to bolt across roads; it invites needless risks. But they, nonetheless, have gotten into this habit.
An irritated commuter, who drives his car from Mawdiangdiang to Shillong regularly, speaks of this peculiar behaviour of people at one of the junctions in the city. “The cop (traffic personnel) signals at me to move forward amid traffic but these people come out of the blue in front of the car, stop me with the show of a hand and imprudently walk across the road,” the person, who looked quite displeased, said. “Whose signals should I be following? The cop’s or the pedestrians?” he asked.
It is true that most people do not look for zebra crossings to move across city roads.
Signalling drivers with hands and asking them to stop in the middle of a thoroughfare is unwarranted, albeit common in Shillong. But isn’t that risky? What happens if one is driving fact having got clearance from the cops?
So here is a thought you might want to stick to: “Alert today — alive tomorrow”.

Sunglasses not so orthodox
Wearing sunglasses has been, in some way, associated with style and the ones wearing it are considered as some sort of fashionistas in Shillong. Actually, sunglasses have their utility. They help deflect the glare which is quite capable of hurting the eyes.
Our eyes get a breather when the sun bears down on us and when the fierce winds blow, sunglasses keep the dust out of our eyes.
Last week when Shillong witnesses a cyclonic storm and the dust had risen to the skies, the SJ team stumbled upon a group gazing at a neighbourhood guy who donned sunglasses to keep his eyes safe since the wind was blowing at some dreadful speed that day.
It was an entertaining experience overhearing what the group had to say about the person and his sunglasses.
“Does the sun look too bright to you?” asked one from the group. Another replied, quite spitefully, “I’m standing right under the sun, I’m doing alright”. The first speaker continued: “Never saw him wearing sunglasses before; what has got into him all of a sudden?”
As the other went and took another look at the walker, a lady from the group — who herself seemed quite contemporary — entered their discussion: “Sunglasses are a fashion statement these days and its a trend just like wearing jeans is!”

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