This morning, when I boarded the office transport, I settled down in my seat quickly. I plugged in my earphones and let music fill my mind, my eyes shut to the world outside. There is a very strong reason I cannot keep my eyes open for certain stretches of the road to office.
Red FM has put up perfectly horrendous signboards all over the road. They scream in cacophonous unison: “Don’t Be Horny. Horn Nahin Red FM Bajaa”. This is supposedly an anti-honking campaign addressed at the impatient city commuters. Now, I don’t deny that we are a bunch of helpless honkers who always presume the vehicle in front loves being stationary. But, but. All that these signboards ever remind me of is a bunch of notorious kids in my school, who got so fixated with the Biology lesson on reproduction that they couldn’t read a single line aloud without lapsing into a fit of giggles.
Back in school, there was a time when the dictionary was everyone’s favourite book, and the “sexy” words would be looked up with single-minded concentration. Luckily, the more humdrum of words hadn’t yet associated with their sexual meanings – “come” was still the verb for arriving at a place, and “wet” brought to mind rain-clouds in the sky. There was secret joy in figuring out that “sex” didn’t just mean gender, and “pant” become infinitely cooler when appended with a “y”. Likewise, it’s so cool that a boring horn can become sexy and attention-seeking when forcefully converted into an adjective. Except it really isn’t. Except we are adults.
Are we really living such sad lives that associating everything with sex will get bells ringing? Well, the sellers of deodorants, shaving cream, vests…(and heck, cement!) would agree. It seems a lot of us have been in time warps ever since we hit puberty, and never grew up from there. What is sadder is that campaigns such as these get adopted by people real quick. No, not in essence; they still honk as if they rule the road. No, the real fun is to harass people of a less “cool” generation, who preferred reading books without hearts on the cover: “Hahaha, Uncle is so horny!” It seems like such a witty joke to make, especially for people who have no idea who the PM of India was before Narendra Modi.
Anyway, keeping my eyes shut temporarily is working for me now. As for what to bajaao, I shall stick to my MP3 player, thank you. The music that plays on FM lately is almost as jarring, if not more, as the honking on the road.