Saturday, January 27, 2018

For Safe Travels

Ganesha on Dashboard watercolor 7"x5" by Meera Rao 

Almost every vehicle in India has an idol of the owner's favorite deity stuck on the dashboard for blessings and safe travels for the driver and passengers.  They come in all different sizes, styles and colors tailored to individual tastes.  I came across an article recently that there is an "Unique campaign"  going on now where  "deities in car dashboards being equipped with accelerometers, lending them pre-recorded voice."  urging the drivers 'to slow down or drive safely.'  According to the company Droom that sells these pre-fitted idols, " India is the 3rd country in terms of deaths due to road accidents and stands at the 67th spot in terms of number of Vehicles per person. There is one death every four minutes due to a road accident in India. Moreover, 20 children under the age of 14 die every day due to road crashes." and ".. our idea comes from that sweet spot between technology and a razor sharp insight on the Indian driver. We thought we could make the Indian driver listen to us. After all, god was on our side!"

This particular abstract green marble sculpture is of Ganesha, the remover of obstacles though not fitted with a accelerometer! It became the first sketch in my India sketchbook from my trip last November. I used Indian handmade watercolor paper that I cut to 7x30" and folded into an Japanese style album. It was the first time I was using that paper which is heavy and rough and took a while to get used to. 


Carol Blackburn said...

Good morning Meera, Isn't it India that has no set speed limits? I've seen programs and see how the drivers zip in and out between each other at intersections and down the straight aways. Yikes! That would drive me batty. Have a wonderful day!

Sue Clinker said...

Hi Meera. We've never seen/experienced an accident on Indian roads so gu3ess we've been lucky. We have often observed that although the roads are crazy and full of unexpected obstacles (cows, dogs, goats etc) the driving skills seem to be very good with most road users knowing the width of their vehicles to within a couple of cms.

Lane discipline isn't good but with lots of horn blowing communicating one's presence everything seems to work out OK.

We're just back from another 3½ week trip and our main observation is motorcycle usage has increased which makes driving far more hazardous and also parked bikes take up one lane on many two lane roads in towns which causes congestion.

Anyway, lovely painting and anecdote.

We visited a handmade paper mill and I fell in love with some of the beautiful papers but all I brought home were a few cards and gift bags.


ashok said...

Nice one

Meera Rao said...

Carol, Mostly people ignore traffic rules -- even though as the roads get better, and divided highways increase, the traffic and rule following is getting better. Also, the sheer number and types on vehicles on the road - cars, motorcycles, rickshaws, carts, buses and lorries (trucks) all of varying sizes, agility and speed adds oi the road congestion. Most of the drivers though are extremely skilled!!!

Meera Rao said...

Sue, Thank you ! great to hear from you --glad your trip was wonderful and you had positive road experience :) I enjoyed your blog posts and look forward to your paintings :)

Meera Rao said...

Thank you very much, Ashok :)

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