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A Honk Free World

by Mariam Rafique on 11th October, 2012 at 12:46 PM CEST

Driving smoothly down the road, my life was happy
The song I was humming and shaking my head to, sappy
Smiley I was ‘coz the report had hit highs, and the day good
Take some flowers for my girl, I thought I should
Ah! Suddenly a blasting screeching non-stop wail came through, oh! What a noise
My head, my brain, my mood, all just lost their chirpy voice
That noise was nothing other than a car horn.
The culprit who honked the horn to shatter the peace of your mind could have been:
Your olden golden neighbor, who probably honks out of sheer admiration for the horn.

This is the man who dyes his hair black every month and walks 5 kms daily to stay fit. He is definitely 112 years old, telling from the kind of stories he narrates and the number of hours he spends panting after his daily workout! But all credit to him for working harder than hard to look 50. He is inevitably impressed by an instrument which has undergone evolution! From being a trumpet attached to the car exterior, to now a fully veiled noise-filled machine embedded in the steering of a car. The history of the horn definitely excites Mr. Oldie, and that’s why he honks so often! ‘Coz he loves it!

    The rapper in a club in your downtown, who probably honks because he finds it musical.

These people love sound and rhythm, so much so that enduring silence and calm on the road is most likely to suffocate them. Like the fish that needs water for survival, they just need noise – may it be the drums in their jamming sessions, the stereo blast in their parties or the horn on the road. They love noise, and noisy the horn is!

    The extra-cautious colleague from office, who probably honks to avoid accidents.

She drives at 40 km/hour, the perfect speed on the road, but needs to honk at the other crazy people out there who zoom by almost colliding into her lane. Or at those who are just zombie-ying by, creating an assembly line behind them and not worrying the slightest about it! This person needs to honk at everyone to bring them into the line! And the horn helps as her guiding ruler!

    The drug store owner at the corner of your locality, who probably honks outs of worry.

Or frustration. This is where we come closer to reality. This is the guy with 3 children, growing up faster than he imagined with a wife who is also working. They are trying hard to strike a balance between their income and expenses, but inflation’s just insane. He has a thousand troubles looming on his head while he drives – utility bills, school fees, grocery shopping, shoppers who buy on credit, loan returns. His worries make him angry at the world and sour at heart. And that’s why he hits the horn hard and loud every time and all the time.

    The Mr. Speed from the TCS service, who honks because he is impatient and busy.

And out of time and needs to be at ten places at the same time and doesn’t have second to waste on the road. He obviously has only two minutes to cross the distance at any given time and cannot keep waiting for the traffic to clear. He needs to make the pathway for himself! And that’s when the horn helps. Getting a penalty from a client is worse than breaking a traffic law for which he will never be fined anyway!

    The Curser, who honked because you sabotaged his right to take the first exit.

Now he can’t step out of his car in the middle of a main lane to tell you that you’re a-you-know-what and that your education and life are useless. So he honks at you - a terse, crisp honk to curse you.

    The bored driver on the road who honked because he thinks honking might help mobilization.

Everyone’s stuck in terrible traffic because there is royal movement on the road. All exits and entrances are blocked and there is nothing anyone can really do except waiting for the traffic police to signal clearance. But hey, just because nothing can happen doesn’t mean we don’t take action right? So, the bored driver starts honking. Now this is really irritating, till the point of annoying you to start yelling! Your blood pressure shoots up and you feel like pulling out your hair! But the bored driver keeps honking and others take it as a best practice and now there is a honking competition going on! And the thought that they are ‘creating’ something, even noise pollution, makes them feel like artists!

The question is, if there is a day celebrated globally where there would be no horns, that is, a honk free day, would the Olden-Golden, Rapper, Extra-Cautious, Store Owner, Mr. Speed, Curser and Bored Driver join in?

Even more importantly, would you join in?

Mariam, Writers Action Team #9

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Samuel Duru

Samuel Duru | Action team

Mariam, I like your narrative - serious but also humorous in tone. I'm definitely in for a honk-free world. I'm tired of these honks that cause so much anxiety and collision. Only if we could learn to be patient. Patience and tolerance are the panacea for a honk-free world.

11th October, 2012 @ 2:12 PM CEST

Dharmesh Bhadja

Dharmesh Bhadja | Action team

One more satire, hit the hard.

I join the anti-horn club seriously. I love your article and I am of the opinion to take some administrative steps on this Honk 'Horners'. In India and of course in your country Pakistan, Mariam, this neusense is difficult to be tolerated. They used to horn even they are alone. This is toooo much.

Great article, Thanks for sharing.

11th October, 2012 @ 2:41 PM CEST



very funny nut nowdays people are so absent minded and lack concentration, in order not to be in a mess or an accident you need to be careful always. The horn is for precaution that is all.

11th October, 2012 @ 9:56 PM CEST

Syed Mehmood Kazmi

Syed Mehmood Kazmi | Action team

"The bored driver on the road who honked because he thinks honking might help mobilization." Sadly, It became trend in most of countries. Hopefully this situation will get better with the time.
I'm also definitely in for a honk-free world. Great Article Mariam!! *Standing Ovation*

12th October, 2012 @ 4:16 PM CEST

Stefan Alievikj

Stefan Alievikj | C:F staff

Cool article!!

It reminded me of a great short story by Julio Cortazar; check the summary here and searchfor the story it is really great read! venture/publishing-adventure-a nd-julio-cortazar/

Cheers and hats off Mariam!

13th October, 2012 @ 10:04 PM CEST

Mariam Vadria

Mariam Vadria | Action team

Samuel, Dharmesh, Kedei, Mehmood and Stefan! Thank you sooo much for appreciating the writing and the topic! You make my morale goo hiiigh :D Hehe. Stefan, the link you've shared is awesome! I haven't read the whole story yet, but it's introduced me to the concept of situational writing and the mere fact that my topic coincides with some great short story is comforting!

Any ideas on how we can actually get down to implementing this honk-free day idea? It would be great if we could take this idea out of the e-zone into the real world!

14th October, 2012 @ 5:35 PM CEST

Dharmesh Bhadja

Dharmesh Bhadja | Action team

Yes, we can announce any day (if I am authority, i will bring rule to have this day every week) globally and awareness can be spread through all medias like FB, Tweeter, news etc.

We must aware ourselves that noise is also type of big pollution.

It can be the 22nd September, the day after International Peace day so message can be easily spread.

17th October, 2012 @ 6:21 AM CEST

Stefan Alievikj

Stefan Alievikj | C:F staff

Yes, we can settle down this as a project, if we sit down on skype and talk :) But, it's a huge thing to be done:)

28th October, 2012 @ 5:08 PM CEST

Mariam Vadria

Mariam Vadria | Action team

Let's do it guys! am serious!
You know I don't drive regularly, only because when i do EVERYONE's staring at me and honking. That's probably obviously also because am dead slow and short and a female and have this pertrified expression on my face =) But a honk free day would make life lovely!
Are we up for it?

29th October, 2012 @ 4:28 PM CEST

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