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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Surface Transport

I was reminded of this on account of the recent increases in the prices of fossil fuels, to exorbitant levels. I had borrowed my brother's camera to shoot this, at Ooty, since mine does not have optical zoom.


Sidhusaaheb said...

The world would be much better place if people went around on foot, bike, public transport or even horse for short journeys. Though people do go everywhere in car. One thing I realized from my time in the states, is that everyone drives everywhere. In the UK its not as bad, though people still do drive a bit too much.

When I went to Punjab only a very few people in the village kept horses. Those who did kept them for a hobby and not really for transport. But virtually everyone had cars and motorbikes. It would be great to see the the Horsemanship of our people, re appear. It would be good if horse trading can be done with Pakistan and Afghanistan, so we can have the same strong horse breeds we used in the times of the Gurus.
Ranvir Singh Bassi | 06.11.08 – 1:54 pm | #


hain Hain .. horse cart inverted?? :D
Asma | Homepage | 06.11.08 – 7:15 pm | #


@Bassi sa’ab: Thanks for dropping by!

I had an opportunity to learn horse-riding at college, which I missed and I regret that now.

@Asma: Click on the image to enlarge it and you’ll discover if that’s indeed the case. :D
Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 06.11.08 – 8:53 pm | #


I grew up on horseback and it is wonderful. My personal horse was a mighty stallion, a white horse named Whitehorse (not as silly as it sounds; he was named after the city – town, really – of Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory.)

The unity between horse and rider can be a joyous experience, almost mystical in nature. I knew Whitehorse and he knew me – and we seemed to understand each other well.

And it’s fun to ride a horse.

However, horses are not without problems, to whit, they poop. Messy, smelly, slippery poop. If people took to horses the way they today take to motor vehicals, I hate to think of the mess.

Although horse riding is fun and glorious, I think I would opt for the majority to take to bicycles, the pedal variety.
Mai Harinder Kaur | Homepage | 06.11.08 – 9:22 pm | #

Sidhusaaheb said...

I suppose community stables, where every one could ‘park’ their steeds, and using the waste to make biogas could solve the problems. :D

BTW, I believe European countries and even China had a bicycling culture that is being lost now, which is a real pity!

Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 06.11.08 – 9:34 pm | #


Another consideration is that a horse is an intelligent, feeling, living being who needs and responds to love, who bonds with his person. No one should keep a horse unless s/he is willing and able to supply his emotional, as well as physical needs. This is a major difference from a bike or auto.

(BTW, I use ‘he’ when referring to horses since I have always ridden stallions. Mares are also good riding companions, I am told.)
Mai Harinder Kaur | Homepage | 06.11.08 – 10:18 pm | #


Hehe…I suppose not every one can afford to have a ‘personal’ horse and horses are owned by institutions that include the armed forces, police departments, schools, colleges, etc. So, it can obviously not always be a single person that cares for a horse or rides it. The stablehands, the riders, the trainers, etc., have to be a part of the team that cares for the animals, obviously, in a very humane manner.

I care for my motorbike almost as if it were a part of my family (more on that later!) and would love to make friends with a horse or horses.

My ancestors used to own mares, horses as well as camels, but that was a long time ago.

So, it is all a matter of perspective, perhaps.

BTW, the animals visible in the photograph are either ponies or mules, but definitely not horses. :D
Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 06.11.08 – 10:42 pm | #

Sidhusaaheb said...

We desperately need to usher in a bicycling culture, where bicycles could be kept in junctions, taken for a ride and left off at another junction… could have electronic tags to guard against theft. But all this is so faaar away. And who can safely take a bicycle in our bloomin’ city roads without ending up dead on the third day? In some ofthe better parts of the world, they have bicycling tracks by the side of the road, under the shade of nice green trees.
(I remember having seen a similar track in some part of Delhi recently – dont know if it was a private or a govt. initiative – someone please chip in)
sriram | Homepage | 06.12.08 – 12:03 pm | #


I guess you might have seen such tracks somewhere along the BRT or Bus Rapid Transit corridor (which is another long story about ‘brilliance induced by cash’, wherein two IIT professors had a ‘brilliant’ idea induced by funding from major bus manufacturers like Tata and Volvo!), but I guess if they do build more of those in Delhi, those would end up being hogged by scooterists and motorcyclists during rush-hour, with the cyclists being driven off-track, literally.

Delhi’s traffic is just about the most indisciplined in all of India, I suppose. I am now reminded of your blog-post about Singapore and the hefty fines it imposes on offenders!

BTW, I am all for bicycling being promoted in a major way in all cities of the world.
Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 06.12.08 – 1:17 pm | #


I wish i could cycle to work, but it is unsafe due to so many reasons. Enjoyed the picture.
Mridula | Homepage | 06.13.08 – 5:48 pm | #


Where I live, near Seattle, USA, there are many bike paths which get quite a lot of use.

There are many benefits of riding a bike, health as well as financial and environmental.

Many motorists, however, are hostile to the bikers, not without reason, as the bikers often refuse to follow the traffic laws. A little courtesy on both sides would go a long, long way.

In the 21st century cities, horses as transportation may be completely impractical. Still, I remember with great fondness of the days when when my shaheed husband on Midnight Hurricane would race me on Whitehorse, the wind ripping around us, the world whizzing by, our horses competing as much as us two, all four happy and exhausted at the end, whoever won. Perhaps I need to write about this ion my own blog, eh?
Mai Harinder Kaur | Homepage | 06.13.08 – 11:22 pm | #


Back to the basics.

I remember, I used to go to school in a Tonga. What beautiful days !
Manpreet | Homepage | 06.14.08 – 9:02 am | #

Sidhusaaheb said...

Aray yeh aik ghora naraaz hogaya hai kya :P
Fariha Akhtar | Homepage | 06.15.08 – 12:21 pm | #


Ha ha -

Perhaps we all need to revert to this mode given the fuel prices

Raza Rumi | Homepage | 06.15.08 – 7:14 pm | #


I am not sure about other regions but in the Scandinavians region at least, there is a great tendency towards using bicycles or more eco-friendly means of transport. People also use horses in their farms, rural areas etc.
While using bikes , horses would be good to stay fit, I believe vehicle making firms should be pressurized and encourage to make investments in more eco-friendly and cheaper vehicles which are less dependent on fossil fuels. Right now such firms are not doing enough and that is one reason the consumers have to suffer.
Irfan | Homepage | 06.24.08 – 9:11 pm | #