Monday, April 11, 2005

Driving Me Crazy

As the road have improved, driving your car is more a pleasure now. The roads are smoother, wider, and there are sign posts at important junctions. Connectivity is also better to even far flung places.

A major sore point that remains is the users, the Indian public. We are notorious for abusing our public spaces and nothing highlights this more, than the people driving on Indian roads. Here is a list of the major annoyances that drive me utterly insane

1. Long distance lights - Apparently, most Indian drivers don't know that we have a dipper light and a long distance beam. You use long distance beam ONLY when the visibility is poor, i.e. when you are on out-of-city-highways. Visibility is never poor within city limits, and you have to use dipper, coz you’re EFFING LIGHTS just blind the oncoming vehicle. Even on highways outside the city (where there are no street lamps), please switch to a dipper as soon as you see someone coming in the opposite lane, else I am going to castrate you and shine my long distance beam where the light don’t shine.

2. Snails in fast lane - Lanes are created on highways, so that the slowest vehicle should be in the left most lane and the fastest in the right most. How many times, how many times, do you see a farting motorcycle, a sickly tempo, an overweight truck plodding along in the right lane? Always. Esp. bikers, being in direct contact with the surrounding feel as if they are cruising at 500kmph, when it more like 50. They don't realize that they are stopping all the traffic coming behind them. Giving way is not an art that Indian drivers know of. We think, that the vehicle behind can overtake from the left- a sacrilege in driving. But, what to do, solla adjust maadi!

3. Honking - You know, that we, as a people, have a long way to go in being socially responsible, when you see drivers honking, to voice the every breath they take. Most of us are unaware (just like left side overtaking) that honking for any reason - other than showing that you are angry and/or stupid - is a big no-no. Well, boss, then how do I tell the guy in front that I want to overtake? Well, you could flash him. With a flick of a switch, you make your lights blink and that almost always brings the attention of the driver ahead. Even in daylight. Without adding to the cacophony.

4. One eyed/Blind driving - Trucks are esp. prone of this - driving without head lights or tail lights on. More often than not, this truck will be loaded with iron rods, so in case you don't notice the truck, you are barbecue. Sometimes, there is right head light working, so, you cant tell, if its a truck or a bike, but at least you know there's something coming.

5. Parking where...ver - The vehicle becomes a sort of a protective armour for the person inside, so even if you are frail rickshaw driver, you get the gall to park you dingy rick, on a 1/2 lane road (try L&T - Aarey check post, Kandivli (E) Station Road, Borivli station. There might be a awful snarling traffic jam behind, but the rick will be a prick and not budge. Imagine a traffic jam at 11.30 pm and part of it caused by a badly parked rickshaw. Everyone passed him, just muttering angrily under their breaths, but WITHOUT telling the rick to go and park somewhere else. The place he had parked would not get him any fare, but he wanted to have the hideous and sadist fun of watching a traffic jam at mid-night.

6. Might is right - Bigger your vehicle, more the chance of you bull dozing every one out of the way. You will try to overtake on a single lane road and expect the ongoing vehicle to stop dead on its tracks, so you can complete your logic-defying manoeuvre and save precious seconds of your journey, that will soon (one day) end in a heap of crumpled metal. Major offenders are BEST buses, Sumos, Qualis and the hulk.

Soon, I am buying an earthmover- faster and quicker than a bull dozer - with hydraulic claws and platform legs. Anyone that raises my hackles, gets crushed. HeeheeHaahahahahaha!!!
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