Abide by this rule of road safety
Travel on an Indian road or highway and it is unlikely you’ll miss the words ‘Horn
OK Please’ painted on a colourful truck-back.
This ubiquitous sign with multiple theories of origin, is said to have evolved from
an older system of road safety.
The words ‘Horn Please’ were a warning to drivers behind the truck, to sound
their horn before overtaking. The word ‘OK’ dates back to WW II, when most
Indian trucks ran on kerosene, and could explode easily if hit. To caution other
drivers, the phrase ‘OK’ (‘On Kerosene’) was added.
The phrase and its purpose, reinforces the Indian tendency to go by what we
hear, rather than what we see. A honk versus a look in the rear-view mirror!
Maybe that’s why we prefer a phone call to an email, confirming a meeting!