The quickest way out of Bengaluru traffic jams is humour, parody Twitter handles say

These dedicated Twitter handles are giving a vent to their frustration online by adding a dose of humour to it.
The quickest way out of Bengaluru traffic jams is humour, parody Twitter handles say
The quickest way out of Bengaluru traffic jams is humour, parody Twitter handles say
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You know there’s a serious problem when Bengaluru’s traffic jams have inspired dedicated Twitter handles.

The description of the Silk Board Junction @silk_board Twitter handle just about sums up what many Bengalureans feel, but were unable to articulate: "Timely and detailed updates from India’s largest parking lot. Parody. Sapiosexual."

Silk Board Junction was just started last week by a Bengaluru resident who’s "not really a techie". There are about half a dozen such handles, with several of them inspired by @silk_board.

The 30-year-old who started the handle works on the business side of a tech startup on Outer Ring Road. Replying to queries on Twitter’s DM service, the man told The News Minute that he’s been a keen observer of how slow traffic is around Silk Board junction for about a couple of years.

"So I commute through Silk Board twice a day. And I thought I deserved something nice for it – like a Param Vir Chakra or something. But apparently I am not eligible for it – some random clause that I need to fight a war or something."

"Anyway, for a long time I tried all sorts of things to beat the traffic – tried leaving early in the morning, tried early from work, tried late from work, tried religion, etc. But whatever I did - Silk Board was ALWAYS jammed. Always. Basically there's no way to beat the traffic. It's not possible. Silk Board is invincible."

There are at least 3,500 people who understand his frustration. They’ve followed him on Twitter.

"So I figured the situation isn't going to change, so might as well try to make others laugh. Because, we all need it,” he says, adding that the account “exploded” the way it did because he “combined absurdities in both traffic and startups and melded the two. And that seems to have struck a chord."

Another busy junction of the city that is inspiring humour is @JayadevaFlyover handle.

A techie who is "very much active on social media", created the account after he was inspired by the @silk_board. He hopes something good can come of his daily frustration in commuting past the area. "If popularity (of the handle) increases, then we can use it for something good, (maybe) get someone to beautify it and fix the issues," he says.

Referring to this tweet, he jokes, "Next time they will remember not to do this."

Ask him how often he is late to work and he counters, "Ask me how often am I on time to work. I reach late almost 4 days a week."

A 30-something techie, who lives near the Hebbal Flyover and has to "invariably cross it every single time I go into the city", recently started the @HebbalFlyover account following in @silk_board’s footsteps. Like Silk Board, he says, Hebbal Flyover is also home to a perennial logjam.

He has around 130 followers, and has a theory on why it is so. "Silk Board (Twitter handle) got the first mover advantage and the chunk of followers and more people have a daily, emotional connect with Silk Board than Hebbal. And also maybe because Silk Board talks only in tech & biz language."

Tinu Cherian, a marketing professional created the @KadugodiFlyover handle after the Silk Board Junction account became popular.

"I stay close to the Kadugodi flyover. It is a major bottleneck for me and I get affected on a daily basis. The distance from my house to the office is 5 km and yet it takes me 45 minutes on an average each day to and from work," he says.

Tinu has 215 K followers on his personal Twitter handle and he retweets all the tweets from the Kadugodi Flyover account. "I have an advantage here and it helps get my tweets a larger reach," he adds.

The @tin_factory is run by two people – "Fella", a man who is a techie, and "Felli", a woman who runs a business. They say that the traffic pile-up at Tin Factory junction doubles their commute time.

"We were totally inspired by Silk Board's handle. It is a pain to travel through such hotspots and humour is the only way through this," the duo tells TNM over Twitter.

Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery. And though @silk_board is flattered by the number of handles that have sprung up, he feels each individual account will need to create a niche for itself to sustain and survive.

"I hope these other handles find a niche about what they want to talk about - then things will get fun. Retweeting each other and having conversations among each other...I don't know. I think much, much more can be done," he says.

Are the accounts here to stay?

While some said they’ll continue as long as they can, others said that it is only natural for some of them to die down eventually and those who wanted to stay on need to focus on their content.

"I do this for fun. When the jokes stop, I will stop too. But in Bengaluru there are enough absurdities about traffic and startups. So I have enough material," says @silk_board as he signs off.

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