Bhubaneswar: Traffic signals are one of the most mundane spots in a bustling city where everyone seems to be in a rush. Long lines of vehicles moving at a snail’s pace and repeated honking have become a daily headache in Odisha capital.
Amid all the hullabaloo, home guard Pratap Chandra Khanduala manages to bring a smile on the face of even the most harried commuter crossing Khandagiri Square with his antics, which include sharp body movements, jerky hand signals and loud whistling. It is definitely a sight to behold!
“Two years ago on a scorching summer afternoon at the Sriya Square, I decided to experiment with the hand gestures and have been doing so since then as these amused commuters on the road,” said this native of Kendrapara.
Four years in service now, he is a centre of attraction at traffic signals, as some people flip out their phones to make videos of him while others wave at him to show their approval. He kneels down and even rolls on the road, sometimes!
The pièce de résistance of Pratap’s act is not just the way he manages traffic, but also his frolics while requesting bikers to sport helmets and drivers to tuck in seat belts, besides asking them to refrain from using mobile phones while on the move. He also alerts two-wheeler riders who forget to raise the kickstand and makes passage for ambulances and fire trucks in cases of emergency.
“Many a time, people wear their helmets and seat belts right away, when I gesture them to do so,” he said. Pratap uses two whistles for the sheer volume of the blasts to be heard above the cacophony of the daily traffic.
During route clearance for VIP movements, he, however, follow the usual singals of traffic management. “People are always in a hurry and especially during peak hours, irritation levels are on an all-time high. I try to provide them a little relief with these stunts,” added Pratap.
Watch all of his stunts and full interview here: