Guest Author: George M. George
Driving in Kerala sometimes makes me wonder whether Dante failed to describe an essential part of that descent into the inferno.
A recent advertisement for a major automotive company actually made this statement: Make Your Own Rules.
Oh. Thank you so much. It seems that most drivers here have in fact made their own rules and do not care how the ‘game’ is played as long as they win. So it is imperative that when you get here you opt for a slower, safer drive to your destination by asking your driver to go easy on the right pedal. If you do so, you will actually enjoy the scenery, of which there is plenty. But, you will still have the sonic thrill of your life.
It seems that while the right foot is busy aggressively massaging the gas pedal, the hands are free to use a device called the horn in the vehicle to let every other person on the road know how the driver is changing the rules. Honking ceaselessly on the highway has become a general part of driving in this country, and it is very difficult to wean most drivers of this nasty noise polluting habit.
I have decided to start my own initiative against noise pollution, which basically begins with awareness creation amongst the people of Kerala about the adverse impacts of noise pollution. The subject has not been touched before yet, and I think it makes it a bit harder for me to convince people about the empirical evidence I have collected regarding the same.
But I go forward with confidence, calling my campaign ‘Horn Not Ok Please’- a sarcastic but serious take on a public message frequently displayed on most trucks and buses stating the words ‘Horn Ok Please’ or ‘Horn Please’.
The journey is long but the spirit is strong. Maybe I could make new rules…
About the author: I am a director of Muthoot Group, based in Kerala, India. We began investing in hotels a decade back, and I took responsibility for managing those investments. We recently contracted Raxa Collective to operate Cardamom County, River Escapes and Pampa Villa; they are also responsible for developing new conservation resorts for us at Marari Beach and Panangad. Most importantly they are responsible for continuing and strengthening our longstanding commitment to conservation and sustainable development. Now I will have plenty of time to contribute here.