First time in India, and went to one of the main cities in the south. Before the visit, my friends shared their previous experiences and one of it is about vehicle horn sounds. Yup, the exact same thing happened. Once arrive, was hearing many different horns sound patterns when traveling on the road. Sometimes just once, twice, 3 at the same time, and a combination of a few and more.
Curiosity struck and asked the driver about these phenomena. And he says the usage of horns is quite a norm in India, especially in big cities. He shared further; it is a communication mode between the drivers on the road. Even though there are many different sound patterns, it all comes down to a few simple messages. Like, “hey I am here. Be aware”, “Hey, I am going overtake give way”, “I am angry with you, be more mindful”
Inter-city travel by road took many hours. The time gives me a window to think about the situation and the reason behind this norm. Like any city around the world, noticed lots of traffic jams during peak hours, minor accidents, and road closures. But, somehow this communication mode between drivers seems to be working very well here. Throughout my few-day stay, I only noticed one or two very minor accidents, and the understanding of the drivers on the road seems quite smooth. And road safety has been maintained in a very unique way.
Factors like work in progress of road infrastructure work, limited/prioritized resources from officials, and time-consuming road improvement processes caused the people to take care of themselves to a certain extent. They have a problem: Insufficient/less safe roads. And this concern will take time to get resolve. And they come up with a solution that turns out to be the norm for decades now. That is the horn communication method. That is simple, fast, widely accepted and comes at no cost. Solutioning at its best.
The experience shows me a real-life example of the quote (I just changed one word from original), “Necessity is the mother of all solutions”. Solutioning can happen anywhere. In an organized manner in a corporate/government or spontaneously on the roads. When there is a pressing problem, a solution will take shape and will be accepted widely. The word “Solutioning” might sound complex but it is part of human instinct, one of the key surviving and progessing skills for thousands of years. Let it be for a single person, a community, the government, or an organization.
My other blog about solutions - One solution will not fit all/everyone