Traffic can be scary. Traffic can make you weary.
And yet I have found that some of the best advice always comes from some of the worst experiences man goes through.
Here’s a compilation of things that I have learnt while I was getting stuck on the roads of India!
1. Each city has a chaos of its own. One needs to understand the chaos and fit in. No chaos is better or worse than the other.
I have heard people from Mumbai come to Bangalore and say “Oh My God! The traffic here is much worse!” And I have been to Mumbai and said the same thing about the traffic there.
But I suppose, as you move forward in your life, the nature of the ‘traffic-jams’ changes. If you have to get through life-situations smoothly, you gotta pay attention to your reality, pick up what is happening around you and adapt.
2. Rear view mirror = What lay behind you; Windshield = What lay ahead of you.
You can’t drive only looking at the rear-view, nor can you drive without a clue of what lay behind you. Someone once said, “The reason the windshield is so large and the rear-view mirror is so small is because they remind you that the future is way more important than your past.”
The only way you can find a balance between what is behind and what is ahead, is by being in the driver’s seat of your car. Stay in the driver’s seat of your life. Nobody else can ever understand your life the way you understand it.
3. Boundaries are important. Each person sits in his car and drives his own car. You cannot drive another’s car, no matter how horribly the other is driving. In fact, you can’t even touch another’s car with your own – it’s an offence. Let others be! You can’t control them no matter how you wish to. Each person is responsible only for his/her own emotions. Let them take responsibility for their emotions. Eventually people do learn to manage their journey.
4. Everybody is in a hurry to get to their destination soon. You need to find the balance between allowing others get ahead and you moving ahead yourself. Sometimes, you might as well let the guy honking-his-brains-out just get past. But you gotta take care of your journey too mate!
5. Traffic sucks! That’s the “ground” reality. Out-of-body-experiences, Astral-Travel and Near-Death-experiences are like traveling in a helicopter. Well, the helicopter does bypass traffic; but life is on the roads you see. Besides, not everybody can afford such fancy modes of travel.
Stay grounded even if it sucks to be grounded. Life is ‘down here’…not ‘up there’.
6. Sometimes there’s an empty stretch. Zoom ahead and feel the adrenaline rush.
Sometimes you’re stuck. There’s no point in crying about it. Instead, switch off the engine, put on some music and feel the beat!
When you are stuck in life, practice gratitude. Gratitude helps you recognise your choices and move through the stuck phase of your life without getting traumatised.
7. You might have a Mercedes Benz or a Maruti 800, but we all go on the same road. It really doesn’t matter what vehicle you have. Even Hrithik Roshan can have messed up relations and even Deepika Padukone can get into depression (both of them are Indian celebrities who are considered very good looking).
The journey is more important than the vehicle. Stay focused on your journey.
8. Most ‘Schools of Spirituality’ are like car/bike advertisements that come on television. They look very glamorous and talk about ideal conditions for the vehicle’s super performance. Unfortunately, you cannot replicate those stats on the road.
Stay real. Don’t get lost by the glamour of spirituality.
9. There are people who zoom at high speeds on the road. Maybe they are a Michael Schumacher. Maybe they are blindly aping a Michael Schumacher. The problem with zipping past in the middle of traffic is that sometimes the situation demands that you apply the brakes. However, the further away you are from being Schumacher, greater the chances of you missing the brake when you ought to hit it.
People who blindly follow kundalini practices, yoga-siddhis and other advanced yogic practices sometimes come crashing with tremendous impact. Don’t zoom blindly!
10. The people who matter the most are those sitting in the car next to you. Sometimes we allow the drunk cab-driver (yes, we do see drunk drivers on Indian roads!) and the arrogant bus-driver to affect us so much that we miss out a large part of the journey with the ones traveling with us. In the end, it is about enjoying the journey as you get there.
What life-lessons have you learnt in the midst of traffic?