Helmets.

In the absence of adequate public transportation, Indians depend on private transportation in all its avatars, but most in number will be two wheelers in the form of motorcycles and scooters of all varieties of power and design.

Pune, the city that I live in has the dubious distinction of being the city with the highest number of two wheelers in India.

In many parts of the country, wearing helmets is compulsory but in quite a few, it is not, but the local authorities try to popularise the use of helmets. Some cities had to withdraw legislation making wearing of helmets compulsory when the public took strong objection. The climate not being very conducive is the main reason for the objection.

One very popular God in India is the God with the elephant head, Ganesha. The lore is that Parvathi wished to take a bath in privacy and created a boy figure from sandal wood paste and breathed life into it to keep any strayers away from her abode. When her husband Shiva came, the young lad would not let him inside and so Shiva simply chopped his head off and entered. When Parvathi lamented, Shiva arranged to get the first animal he came across,an elephant to be decapitated and fixed that head on the torso of the corpse and brought the young lad back to life. That lad is Ganesha.

Here is a local authority using that lore to popularise the use of helmets. It would appear that it is addressed to rule breakers there! Perhaps it is compulsory in Kochi to wear helmets and I can understand why the locals would not like to wear helmets. It is almost always hot and humid there.

Using the theme of people not using helmets where it is compulsory, a local advertisement has come up with this short film too.

As an afterthought, I was reminded of the Hill Tribe of Nagas of our North Eastern India who use scooters made of wood to race downhill in a favourite pastime when it does not rain. I only wish that our cities could use more of these instead of the motorised ones.

What a country to live in! Jai Hind!

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