Of all jams and jellies in this world there is none better known or common than the Traffic jam. And mind you this is without any sort of advertisement even. It is a jam that all of us have to partake with no choice in the matter so it seems reasonable to go into what goes into making this jam, a traffic jam that is.
First of course the ingredients:
1. Narrow Roads.
2. Encroachments (permanent as well as temporary)
3. Ill-conceived crowded bridges
4. Vehicles (assorted – large, medium and small)
5. Pedestrians (all sizes)
6. Stray dogs (as many as possible, for these are freely available)
7. Stray cows (a few )
8. VIP cavalcades (can be added as a special flavor)
9. A political rally (optional – as per taste)
10. Traffic police (add as a garnish)
Now for the preparation:
Take a whole network of narrow roads. To make them even narrower add a smattering of permanent encroachments. Tighten the whole thing up by deploying hawkers, vegetable vendors, fruit vendors etc. clogging the pavements as well as considerable portions of the roads. If you want to add further squeeze put up security bunkers and barricades.
Then you put in bridges made especially narrow so that any traffic that moves over these is not only bumper to bumper but neck to neck as well. Ensure that at least half of these bridges are under construction and then a few more under repair.
There your stock is ready! You just have to add the rest of the ingredients. Take a few trucks normally not allowed to ply during day time. Carefully peel off the 'No-entry' restriction by means of crisp and sharp currency notes fresh out of the pockets of the drivers of these trucks. Add as many as possible of small public transport carriers – mini buses.
Various brand names like TATA, Swaraj Mazda etc. are available in the market. Make sure that these 'mini' buses move at a snail's pace and make them stop frequently to pick up passengers and then again to deposit them at their choice locations correct to a millimeter.
Now go on adding private vehicles – cars and SUVs – the bigger these are the better results you will get. Make sure that at least half of the guys driving these vehicles are talking on their cell phones while they drive, oblivious to the honking behind them.
Vigorously stir all these ingredients till you get a good mixture. By the time you have finished stirring at least a quarter of the vehicles should be randomly switching lanes, with a few of them moving on the wrong side. Now is the time to add that vital ingredient in any traffic jam – the auto-rickshaw. Put in a liberal quantity of these in a random order.
Stir the mixture till all the empty spaces get filled up. It is likely that some spaces, small ones like say bubbles, will remain. You don't have to worry about these because they will be taken care of by another vital ingredient in this recipe, the two-wheelers. These should be woven into the mixture making way into any nooks and crannies that remain.
Now add a liberal sprinkling of pedestrians after making sure that all of them are in a highly confused state, you know the sort that will hesitate and stop when the vehicles are all standing still and will attempt to cross the road only when the vehicles start moving. Be sure to include some children as well, ready to break free from their harassed mothers and step in front of the vehicles.
Your jam is almost ready but wait it can be made even better! Add some stray dogs in chasing-mode to the mix and a stray cow or two as well. Mix thoroughly. To add variety to the taste and a degree of piquancy there are other additives that you can put into the preparation. Like say you can add a political rally in the vicinity. This will add real thickness as well as colour to the jam what with all those 'volunteers' sitting on the roofs of the buses waving colourful flags and shouting slogans and bullying and harassing the rest of the ingredients.
Then again you can add a VIP cavalcade or two which come real cheap nowadays. This will send all the ingredients into a tizzy and you should see the effect this ingredient has on the traffic cops whom you can add to the confusion…er…I mean the concoction by way of a garnish. For best results ensure that half of these traffic chaps are stuporous and the rest hyperactive, the later swinging their limbs at a dizzying pace as they try to inspire the by now moribund drivers to move even as there is nowhere to move.
The mixture cooks well under a hot sweltering sun with sweat and grime as additional seasoning though it cooks equally well in dripping rain only in this case the seasoning is usually muck and slush.
Your traffic jam is ready. Lie back and enjoy it… for there is little else you can do about it!
(Truth is mostly unpalatable…but truth cannot be ignored! Here we serve the truth, seasoned with salt and pepper and a dash of sauce (iness!). You can record your burps, belches and indigestion, if any, at email@example.com)