So my motorbike was sitting in the workshop being serviced after a rather strenuous ride through Bhutan. One of the two (peep peep) horns stopped working more than a year ago and I never got it repaired because honking is the devil! Before the guys began working on the bike, I pointed it out as a minor inconvenience. It was comical when a mechanic spent more than 15 minutes repairing the horn even after I insisted that it wasn’t necessary.
But I have to admit, now that I have the use of both horns, it feels … Indian! Honking is almost a religion here. Start your engine beep, take a turn beep, stop at a red light beep, have no reason whatsoever beep. Its as if we derive a primal satisfaction from the cacophony of beeps and bomps. Then there are the melodious symphonies played by trucks and buses on the highways. I imagine that the drivers of these horn-ok-please machines have multiple buttons at their disposal and each button is affixed a different tune. Each tune is dedicated to a certain driving scenario – overtaking, passing, get out of my way, pedestrian alert, road rage, reversing blah blah blah. Were this driving model to be adopted internationally, horns would be more important than brakes 😀
Anywho, I was riding back home and happened to sound a warning-honk at another vehicle and lo-behold! Dual horns! Twice the power! Twice the rage! Twice the ooohhss! Twice the satisfaction! I never do this but I honked randomly during the entire ride back home. Having ridden through Bhutan, the road manners of that country rubbed off on me. Traffic is self organised – they don’t have traffic signals anywhere in the country! If only we in India could be just as well mannered on the roads. Oh what a wonder that would be!
This land-locked state has a curious history, surrounded by relatively giant countries, it has held its own through the centuries and earmarked a niche boundary. Still under rule by a monarchy, it is steadily developing and opening up to the information age. Tourism is a ripe industry in this country and the Bhutanese know how to juice it.
Much is to be said about the ride through this country. What we saw was only a fraction of the beauty this land has to offer. We rode on tarmac and through slush, through rain and mist, through the ever changing topography of the Himalayas.