Driving in India For the benefit of people visiting India and daring to drive on Indian roads, I offer a few hints for survival. This is applicable to everyplace in India except Bihar, where life outside a vehicle is only marginally safer. Indian Road rules broadly operate within the domain of Karma where you do your best and leave the results to your insurance company. So here are the driving hints:Had a nightmare of driving a Maruti 800 ( where was my jeep ?? ) across a desert for no good reason.. as I am trying to control the car in the shifting I am wondering what circumstances forced me to drive this in a desert.. that too with a stranger with a peaceful smile... maybe someone was trying my patience or was it a message that no matter how much I try I cannot go ahead given the circumstances.. SIGH... and what else is new ?? Aero show is the talk of the town.... last time was not that impressive.. maybe this time will be a good one.. they seem to be having new airplanes... Here are a few shots of the flowers growing in the backward of our home in Assam.. I took some time out to capture some of them in macro .... some roses, some marigold, etc.. after a bout of rain.. Click here to view the album... And the rest the same old wednesday.. without much to weed about ...
- Do we drive on the left or right of the road? The answer is "both". Basically you start on the left side of the road, unless it is occupied. In that case, go to the right, unless that is also occupied. Then proceed by occupying the next available gap, as in chess. ( just as it was proved today)
- Just trust your instincts, ascertain the direction, and proceed. Most drivers don't drive, but just aim their vehicles in the intended direction. Don't you get discouraged or underestimate yourself. Except for a belief in reincarnation, the other drivers are not in any better position. (that bloody tempo was just bent of going straight without bothering about poor ol me on his path...)
- Don't stop at pedestrian crossings just because some fool wants to cross the road. You may do so only if you enjoy being bumped in the back. Pedestrians have been strictly instructed to cross only when traffic is moving slowly or has come to a dead stop because some minister is in town. Still, some idiot may try to wade across, but then, let us not talk ill of the dead. (specially the hand showing car sttopping, saree picking and running pedesterian)
- Blowing your horn is not a sign of protest as in some countries where we honk to express joy, romance or just bare lust (two brisk blasts). Here, it may be to show your resentment, frustration, or just to mobilize a dozing cow in the middle of the bazaar. (tell me about it.. sometimes I have to beep just to remove a confused grazing cow in the middle of the road)
- Keep informative books in the glove compartment. You may read them during traffic jams, while awaiting the chief minister's motorcade, or waiting for the rain waters to recede. ( I listen to music or meditate.. helps me keep calm .. ;)
- Night driving on Indian roads can be an exhilarating experience. The roads do not have shoulders, only occasional boulders. ( and twisted parts of dividers)
- Truck Drivers are the James Bonds of India and are licensed to kill. Often you may encounter a single powerful beam of light about six feet above the ground. This is not a super motorbike, but a truck approaching you with a single light on; usually the left one. It could be the right one, but never get too close to Investigate. You may end up proving your point posthumously. ( hate them lights)
- During the daytime, trucks are more visible, except that the drivers will never signal. Often you will observe that the cleaner who sits next to the driver, will project his hand and wave hysterically. (sometimes its to slow.. sometimes its to indicate.. sometimes.. just for the heck of it .. god is it a puppet show or something...its your lucky guess)
- Occasionally you might see what looks like a UFO with blinking colored lights and weird sounds emanating from within. This is an illuminated bus, full of happy pilgrims singing bhajans. These pilgrims go at breakneck speed, seeking contact with the Almighty and often meeting with success. ( may god enlighten them)
- Driving in residential areas has been prevented by providing a "speed breaker" which is two for each house. This mound, incidentally, covers the water and drainage pipes for that residence and is left untarred for easy identification by the corporation authorities, should they want to recover the pipe for year-end accounting. (what about new humps that appear out of the blue)
Good Luck !
February 09, 2005
Felt like showing the middle finger of my hands and toes to the bus drivers of two buses which blocked my way... along with one tempo, one car 5 bicycles, 3 autos... from all directions.. realised that I could not do much about it and to add to it everyone was trying to be the first one to go... ahead.. good heavens... everyone is in a hurry and we are all late... HUH ... give me a break... serves me right to start late... reminds me of a fwd a friend sent ...
Posted by Pallavi at 2/09/2005 12:36:00 AM