While the world spends tons of money for ways to solve problems, we Indians find interestingly simple ways to solve the problems. What, you don't believe me? Let me take something simple and prove that .. "looks around.." ah.. there you go, lets take the poor simple horn fit in the Indian Automobiles .. Cars, trucks.. ah, yes, the same old horn... what could you do with this? Wait till you hear what all we do with it.
In india, the horns have many, many uses:
In india, the horns have many, many uses:
- Remote Garage opener - I have seen many a foreigners having a puzzled look on their face, when in India, they see a car honking at a close gate. Rarely do they realize that we are using our garage openers. And like a child pressing the button of the remote until the TV starts, our drivers just sit there, continuing to press the horn, until someone comes out to open the door - Even if all it takes for our driver is to get out of the car and walk two steps to open the door, and it takes 5 minutes for the guys inside the house to reach the gate. After all, you have invested so much i this technology, it better work! While the automobile companies in the west invest more and more money in making better garage openers with long range, we simply go ahead and fix ourselves a louder horn. When we want a seamless drive in experience, we just continuously honk right from the turn of the street. Apparently, we have the ability to tune out this incessent noice, if we don't belong to the household of the car owner.
- Calling Bell - "No way" you say? Let me invite you to stay with me. I live next door to a family who have school going kids. A Van comes about 7 A M in the morning to transport the kid(s?) to school. I think he has stronger hands than legs - If he doesn't see the kids waiting for the van, the driver, instead of using his legs to run up and ring the calling bells, decides to use his hands to sound horn. If you want to know where the phrase "blowing one's trumpet" originated from, you have to listen to this. Now, here's the weirder part. Somehow most of the parents have taken the horn to be a signal to start feeding breakfast to their kids. I believe they think that it is better to hear the horn rather than the the TV noise. unfortunately, i don't! :(
- Blind spot Indicator - While the newer automobiles in the west spend much on ads that tell the drivers "Hey! you don't have to turn around and 'painfully' check your blind spot now - We have neat indicators in the rear view mirrors that indicate ( what else would indicators do? :P ) if another vehicle is in your blind spot", we at India, simply use our horns. That ad campaign i mentioned above will not work in India, because we anyways don't turn to check who's in my blind spot. If you are in my blind spot, you better sound horn! and God forbid, if you do go and have a small "car to car kiss" with someone on your blind spot, you get down and blame the other guy " abey! Why didn't you horn? Careless driver!"
- Traffic Light Indicator - "Now I have gone too far", you say, "how can a car horn replace the traffic lights at the roads and junctions?". Well, then you haven't driven enough in India. When you are on the road, and you see the light ahead of you turning to Red, you simply start honking continuously, telling everyone around " I am coming, i am coming". Somehow it has got into our minds that if we honk continuously at a signal turning red, it will turn back into "Green" for how many ever seconds it takes for us to cross the light / junction. and if by chance, any other driver on the intersecting road didn't notice that, you screech your brakes, take a wide turn to go around this nuisance, roll down your window ( all at once ) and shout at the oncoming driver "Abey, can't you hear my horn?"
Now, you believe me? We use our horns so much, i think we should call ourselves a "Horn"y country. ( No puns intended :P )
Image courtesy: http://www.scottishdocinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/sound_horn_ok.jpg ( If there is a copyright around the image, please do let me know, and i will remove it immediately )