Horton hears a honk!

I wish there were a audio dictionary to make things easy but lets try to go back to that part of our brain that stores the audio-memories and think of the time when u snapped at the person right behind you in traffic- the one who thought his loud honk could magically part the traffic and give him the way….yes we r at that junction.

While everyone who has ever been on a busy route knows that every honk has a meaning, but if u are in India then you know that each honk has a meaning, a tone, a connotation and it has a strict grammer- even dialect and accent. From the trin-trink of a bicycle or rickshaw to the PPOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooOOOOO*10 of  a overloaded bus each has a meaning that tells the people in front, behind or along side a LOT about the driver’s personality and his intentions.

The polite honk that requests a path —pum-pum to the one that threatens you with dire consequences– POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!, the very popular honk of overconfidence- piiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeep and the ones that lack confidence, as if not willing to take responsibility of the noise- pip. My personal favorite honks are the ones where the driver uses both sounds and blank  like- poooo_____ooooooo____ooo____ooo which (depending on language, region, dialect etc) can mean- i am keen to drive out of this, i have barely made my way out of office, spare me the route, i have to get home to a horrible room mate give me some space….etc

The sheer shrill and volume with which a honk is blown is directly proportional to his urgency and indirectly proportional to the patience he/she has. Also most drivers change the manner of honking depending on if they are trying to sound of a specific person, a women, a man, some one they know, they like, they dislike, are if it is a general announcement of opinion to the world at large.

At the same time it 99 per cent of all trucks in the country have “Blow Horn” written at least at 2-3 places on each side of their truck, which often makes we wonder if the driver fears that he would doze off if not woken up with frequent snoozing. the last few years have seen a new product launched which has added a new dimension to the honk-world, the recorded horn. Now favorite songs, tunes and noises can be used as horns which do often shock instead of surprise the traffic.

There are some post graduates in the language of honking that have small jingle like honks that literally spell words and phrases like “u r so hot”, “come out i am here to pick you”, “enuf!”, “if you dont leave the road now, i am not responsible for your life”, “!@#$%^&*(*&^%$#@!@#$%^&^%$#@#$%”……needless to say not all terms of road rage can be writtern. Which is why these intricate emotions of rage and frustration can be better communicated with sound instead of text.


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