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:: Tuesday, October 29, 2002 ::


Much has been written about driving on the Indian roads. Can't help writing another piece which basically tells the same thing in a few different words.

On a typical morning, I leave for work from home hoping that I am not going to break any rules today. After a few minutes, with situation demanding, I will bring it down to 'I will break as few rules as possible today' :-). But by the time I reach office, usually at least half the rules in the book will be broken and shattered. The remaining half, I will take care when I am going home in the evening. ;-)

So this is how it goes. It will be a peaceful, low speed drive until I get out of home, drive on small roads to reach the mainroad. Once on the main road, this one being being near the end of the town, the most guaranteed encounters happen with the truckers. I follow them quitely and patiently for sometime. Once I figure out that they are not to go one kilometer faster than 10kph and there is no way they are going to lend me the right lane and move left, I decide that it is time to overtake from the left. So I hit the gas pedal, change lanes to the left and lo! There is somebody out there who can drive much slower! I am back on the right lane now. The next bus stop has already arrived and there is a bus parked bang in the middle of the road. Now, neither the truck nor can I pass and we stop and wait till the bus moves. Now the bus and the truck move in parallel and there are only 2 lanes in the road. So I have to tread at the standard 10kph for some more time. Finally after a fairly long test of patience, I see there is a narrow gap in the left lane, a chance I am not going to miss. So I hit to the lower gear and zoom past the giants. There I am! Phew!! Now, just as I am about to reach the 40s, an auto appears from god knows where. The driver seems to believe firmly that the road belongs to him and he can do as he pleases. He does not want to leave me way and does not go any fast either. After loosing all the patience I have, I know I can't help honking this time. I have tried hard enough to resist. The first gentle honk normally does not help. Same fate for the second attempt. Well, that's it!! I have no choice but to disturb the world with some cacophony now. But that helps! There I have the open road and I tread beyond the fortys. The sleepy fifth gear was complaining all the time that it has been unused and gethering dust. Time to wake up the guy and make him feel good. And just before I change gears, I see there is opening in the median. I slow down again. I know if I don't slow down, someone who loves driving perpendicular to the direction of the road is going to bang my car. And they sure seem to believe they have the right of way and not me. Ok, after I cross this obstacle, there is a junction to cross. Wait for 5 minutes at the intersection. Once it is green, there is a mad rush to conquer the road ahead, and two wheelers win hands down in this race. So there I go, like a looser, at snail pace again. The journey continues like this and several times, I change lanes like a drunken maniac, honk till my own ears start protesting and corss all limits of good manners. Finally I reach my workplace, 7kms away in around 20 to 25 minutes after I started. And I spend the day preparing for the evening drive back. :-)

Well, on the other hand, I still do enjoy driving. Though ofcourse, it is more fun to drive on a clearer road. Also, despite all this, my friends actually fume at me for being extremely cautious and careful driver who gives more attention to rules than they deserve. :-)

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