Sonny: Dad, can I please borrow your Super-Cycle for today? Please, Dad....
Daddy: Darling, you are not old enough to ride a cycle so advanced. You stick to your cycle with pedals. It’s the safest for you.
Sonny: But Dad, my friends are my age and they get to ride their Dads’ cycles. We are not kids anymore, Dad! One of my friend’s dad has the Killer-Cycle that can go at great speeds and carry an entire family along!!
Daddy: Bad...bad, I don’t recommend that at all. You know when I was your age, my Dad didn’t let me touch his car till I finished college and you are still in school.
Sonny: Daddy, did your car also go zooming like the Killer-Cycle?
Daddy: (laughing) you cannot compare cars and cycles. Cars had a lot more power and speed. You could see streams of cars moving bumper to bumper during peak hours and it turned into a stream of lights by evening! I would sit in mine and listen to music while waiting at red lights, some of which could be on for minutes.
Sonny: Stream of lights!! That must be quite a site, dad! Did you have all the models that we see in the car museum now?
Daddy: Well! A lot of those models rode on the road. People were crazy about cars. To some it was some kind of a prestige issue! There were cheaper and smaller versions like Nano and Bono cars to cater to the middle class. In our joy of affording the four-wheeler, we didn’t realise the blunder we were committing! There were cars and more cars and not enough space either to park them or drive them on the roads. Not to forget other vehicles like two and three-wheelers like scooters, bikes, rickshaws and autos. The roads would get chocobloc and people would go crazy trying to handle all of it.
Sonny: But we have each one of us own a cycle today and things don’t sound crazy like you say.
Daddy: Yes but we’ve become wiser now. After the law allowing only one cycle per head and sticking to your lanes legally binding, there’s a lot of discipline on the roads. In our times, you could have as many cars as you can afford and drive them around with no lane discipline. You can imagine the kind of space it required and the noise it created. We were insane enough to leave the engines running even during our wait for the signals to turn green! And, of course, all the fuel we had ran out much faster because of this. We never dreamt of times like these when there would be no petrol left to drive our cars around!!
The noise of the engines running idly greatly added to the noise pollution. You should have been there to deafening honking that people irresponsibly resorted to. The ban of horns on cycles has made our world a much quieter place to live in.
Sonny: Daddy, I think I am happier being born when the mad phase is over and we have some peace and order restored!
Daddy: You bet! And take my cycle tomorrow...but only this time, alright!!
Sonny (happily): only this time!!