When one is merely a passenger on lazy, long road trips, it becomes essential to keep one’s boredom at bay by looking outside the window. The trees, shrubs, mud, animals, birds, sky, people, cars, trucks, bikes, autos, traffic lights, signboards, shops, petrol bunks – all of these things are seen with varying amounts of interest by the bored passenger. Wait, did I miss something? Ah yes – the backsides of trucks politely telling you to “Horn OK Please”.
See, I just did something unforgivable back there. One does not simply forget to mention “Horn OK Please” while listing out the things one gets to see on Indian highways (generate a meme with Sean Bean in your head for full effect). Why? Countless are the references to this phrase in popular culture – it’s the title for a movie, a book, a magazine, and many restaurants. Not to mention home décor designs based on the same. And you still think you can forgive me? 😛
Probably not the most overlooked phrase on the back of vehicles (trust me, there is a lot you wish you could have overlooked), “Horn OK Please” has been receiving a lot of attention these days for all sorts of reasons. But what could the driver possibly mean by this phrase? According to me, the driver is asking the guy driving behind him to “Sound Horn” to know whether it is OK to overtake his truck, with due courtesy (Please). But after a little research on the Internet, I found several theories for the now-famous phrase, the most interesting of which links it to World War II! (Bet you didn’t know that!)
Blowing one’s own horn – now that isn’t looked upon very kindly nowadays. As the days pass by, Horn OK Please is being copy-pasted to a lot of other vehicles, including autos, buses and taxis. These vehicles mostly ply on congested city roads, not highways. Having asked other vehicles to Horn OK Please, city drivers have started following their own request by blowing their horns at every single thing that irritates them on the road – be it a traffic jam, or just a harmless cow.
All those blaring horns are enough to make a country deaf. Apart from irreversibly damaging one’s eardrum, it also raises one’s blood pressure, not to mention causing stress, anxiety, distress, anger and aggression. But if you think of it, sounding the horn is the only way by which drivers can communicate on the road – unless we invent some device which enables the drivers to get their point across without having to create so much noise. Don’t we all look forward to that day?
Moral – Blowing one’s horn is a necessary evil, but it isn’t looked upon kindly, even on the road.
Horn. OK? Please! – Only when needed. 🙂