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|25th January 2005, 16:13||#1|
Senior - BHPian
u gotta love this country...
For the benefit of every Tom, Dick and Harry visiting India and daring to drive on Indian roads, I am offering a few hints for survival. They are applicable to every place 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.
The hints are as follows:
Do we drive on the left or right of the road?
The answer is "both". Basically you start on the left 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 trust your instincts, ascertain the direction, and proceed. Adherence to road rules leads to much misery and occasional fatality. Most drivers dont drive, but just aim their vehicles in the intended direction.
Dont you get discouraged or underestimate yourself except for a belief in reincarnation, the other drivers are not in any better position. Dont 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.
Blowing your horn is not a sign of protest as in some countries. We horn to express joy, resentment, frustration, romance and bare lust (two brisk blasts), or, just mobilize a dozing cow in the middle of the bazaar. Keep informative books in the glove compartment. You may read them during traffic jams, while awaiting the chief ministers motorcade, or waiting for the rainwaters to recede when overground traffic meets underground drainage.
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, often meeting with success.
Auto Rickshaw (Baby Taxi): The result of a collision between a rickshaw and an automobile, this three-wheeled vehicle works on an external combustion engine that runs on a mixture of kerosene oil and creosote. This triangular vehicle carries iron rods, gas cylinders or passengers three times its weight and dimension, at an unspecified fare. After careful geometric calculations, children are folded and packed into these auto rickshaws until some children in the periphery are not in contact with the vehicle at all. Then their school bags are pushed into the microscopic gaps all round so those minor collisions with other vehicles on the road cause no permanent damage. Of course, the peripheral children are charged half the fare and also learn Newtons laws of motion enroute to school. Auto-rickshaw drivers follow the road rules depicted in the film Ben Hur, and are licensed to irritate.
Mopeds: The moped looks like an oil tin on wheels and makes noise like an electric shaver. It runs 30 miles on a teaspoon of petrol and travels at break-bottom speed. As the sides of the road are too rough for a ride, the moped drivers tend to drive in the middle of the road; they would rather drive under heavier vehicles instead of around them and are often "mopped" off the tarmac.
Leaning Tower of Passes: Most bus passengers are given free passes and during rush hours, there is absolute mayhem. There are passengers hanging off other passengers, who in turn hang off the railings and the overloaded bus leans dangerously, defying laws of gravity but obeying laws of surface tension. As drivers get paid for overload (so many Rupees per kg of passenger), no questions are ever asked. Steer clear of these buses by a width of three passengers.
One-way Street: These boards are put up by traffic people to add jest in their otherwise drab lives. Dont stick to the literal meaning and proceed in one direction. In metaphysical terms,it means that you cannot proceed in two directions at once. So drive as you like, in reverse throughout, if you are the fussy type. Least I sound hypercritical, I must add a positive point also. Rash and fast driving in residential areas has been prevented by providing a "speed breaker"; 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.
Night driving on Indian roads can be an exhilarating experience (for those with the mental makeup of Chenghis Khan). In a way, it is like playing Russian roulette, because you do not know who amongst the drivers is loaded. What looks like premature dawn on the horizon turns out to be a truck attempting a speed record. On encountering it, just pull partly into the field adjoining the road until the phenomenon passes. Our roads do not have shoulders, but occasional boulders. Do not blink your lights expecting reciprocation. The only dim thing in the truck is the driver, and with the peg of illicit arrack (alcohol) he has had at the last stop, his total cerebral functions add up to little more than a naught. 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 prove your point posthumously. Of course, all this occurs at night,on the trunk roads.During the daytime, trucks are more visible, except that the drivers will never show any Signal. (And you must watch for the absent signals; they are the greater threat). Only, you will often observe that the cleaner who sits next to the driver, will project his hand and wave hysterically. This is definitely not to be construed as a signal for a left turn. The waving is just an expression of physical relief on a hot day.
If, after all this, you still want to drive in India, have your lessons between 8 pm and 11 am-when the police have gone home and the citizen is then free to enjoy the FREEDOM OF SPEED enshrined in our constitution.
[COLOR=DarkRed] [SIZE=2]Having said all this, isnt it true that the accident rate and related deaths are less in India compared to US or other countries!!![/SIZE][/COLOR]
|25th January 2005, 17:05||#2|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Jun 2004
Thanked: 45 Times
Add to this.....every animal born on this part of the earth have equal rights on the road. Sometimes they take the road for their bedroom but most of the time it's their loo.
|25th January 2005, 18:25||#4|
Join Date: Dec 2004
Thanked: 9,044 Times
india is a democratic country and every living being born here has right to travel on road on whatever means they have and however they like and those seldom dont have a place to live are always welcome on roads and footpaths adjoining them,.........anyways good article iceman.
|25th January 2005, 18:41||#5|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Feb 2004
Thanked: 16 Times
Fantastic man..had me in splits all the while
Last edited by RJK : 25th January 2005 at 18:43.
|26th January 2005, 14:37||#12|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Nashua, NH
Thanked: 1,592 Times
Another similar article... another laugh riot
Came across another similar write up... here's the link
My favourite in this article was ...
" All wheeled vehicles shall be driven in accordance with the maxim: to slow is to falter, to brake is to fail, to stop is defeat. This is the Indian drivers' mantra."
|27th January 2005, 09:11||#13|
Join Date: Aug 2004
Thanked: 36 Times
Yes, this was written by a dutch guy, if i remember correctly, he was a Baan employee (an erstwhile erp gaint) and he wrote this out of his experiance in Hyd. Nice article to read thru again.
|27th January 2005, 11:38||#15|
Join Date: Nov 2004
Thanked: 2 Times
Good one mate!!
But just luv this country... So many things to laugh about.. Things people elsewhere cant even imagine on their roads.. Heheheee....
Mera Bharat Mahaan!! Jai Hind!!
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