Sunday, May 11, 2008

Are you Gephyrophobic?

Gephyrophobia is the term for fear of bridges or crossing them. It seems I am bit gephyrophobic. ‘Coz whenever I approach a bridge which I have to cross I become little uneasy, restless and anxious. And my state is home to number of rivers and waterways and thus my gephyrophobic spells are frequent, more especially, as I am a frequent traveler.

Recently I spend some introspective time to analyse this peculiar strait in my personality. And I arrived at certain conclusions:

1. Most of Kerala’s bridges were built long time ago and to layman’s eyes like mine not in a “good condition”. Some of them are, surprisingly, in usable condition but I don’t think any expert in bridges would come forward and guarantee their “health”.

2. If you happen to travel by Kerala rivers during summer season, its more likely that you would see the “vulnerable spots” of our bridges, with rusted inlaid iron bars jutting out from the concrete, cracked sidewalls, fully/partially exposed foundation work etc. The undesirable effects of sand-mining which we read in media can be witnessed first-hand if you take out a river journey.

3. Volume of Traffic: The numbers of vehicles plying on our roads have doubled in a decade and the number of vehicles held up in traffic blocks have also increased. Traffic hold-ups in these “bridges from history’ can be pretty scary, like one experienced on Cochin Venduruthy Bridge. You can hear the creaking sound of girders when heavy vehicles drive past you.

Now I surmise, my phobia is not that irrational. The best thing one can do is pray to god each time you cross a bridge and have faith in Him (Some atheists might disagree, but I prefer to ignore them).

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