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Old 17th May 2011, 19:12   #1
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Default Being a Pedestrian!

Disclaimer: This has happened just now, so excuse the obvious frustration visible in this post.

So, I was just returning from the local market with my dad, when a car suddenly reversed and hit him mildly. In order to warn the driver, I did what I could think best at that point - I used my hands and banged on the boot. Thankfully, the guy stopped. Now this is where this should have ended, but it is not easy not be angered by someone who was just going to run over your parent.

So I went to the window, and said 'You were just going to run over us'. The reaction: "aago badho" expression. How hard is it to apologize? Maybe I shouldn't have asked for the apology anyway. So now this guy rolled up his window and I was left with this feeling of injustice done, and in order to give him a piece of my mind, I opened the car door to stop him.

Yes, I could have avoided that. What did I gain from this? Only more frustration. I told him to use his mirrors the next time to which he said - "I have a rear view camera and I would have seen him - Why did you have to bang the boot - How dare you do that..."

Wait a minute! Was I supposed to walk up to his window with my hands folded and asked him to stop? Did I have enough time to do that? He should thank heavens I warned him. But he thought it was all my mistake and none of his!

By then, my father came to the scene, and tried to finish the matter. What he told my father is "I come from a good family and I respect elders, but had it been your son alone, I don't want to say what would have happened". Right! I should have remained calm? Would you in my case? Would you not bang the boot to warn him? Realizing there's nothing to be gained, I controlled myself and moved on.

But what comes to my mind is this question: Can nothing be done except either violence or plain suffering? There is little surprise people shoot each other at small matters like parking. Is this a delhi thing that nobody accepts his / her mistake?

For the mechanics of it, the car was parked on the footpath which was on level ground with the road. There was no other option for us than to walk on the road - which is pretty common in that area because of encroachment of the footpath.

I know there are a thousand such thing that happen on the road everyday. In retrospect, I guess I should have just avoided going up to his window. What do you think? I think there is a systemic flaw - the pedestrians should be on the footpath and the cars on the road. But till such thing happens, god save the pedestrians!
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Old 18th May 2011, 20:25   #2
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Default Re: Being a Pedestrian!

The answer to your questions lies in your post itself!

You bang to tell him that he hit your dad - matter ends there. Now you go to him and bang his window, open his door - that escalates the matter. More so, because he himself doesn't have the humility to accept his mistake or even "acknowledge" the fact that he "could" have gone wrong.

To be brutally honest (as is very commonly accepted by everyone), a general attitude of motorists up north is "I just cannot do any wrong". And anyone who has civic sense will object to it and be disgusted (exactly how you felt at his indifference).

The feeling of not doing anything wrong ever is deep rooted in the mentality. To force changing it is only make things ugly (as happened in your case).

I stay in Gurgaon so I can easily visualize how the situation must've been. On some occasions, it is best to just let go. Trying to "make the other person aware of his mistake" is just going to make your hands dirty. You have to decide if it is worth it.

PS : The "mentality" that I have referred to above is prevalent among a significant population, I am not categorizing it as a majority or minority. Just stating my observation.
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Old 18th May 2011, 22:37   #3
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Default Re: Being a Pedestrian!

Quote:
a general attitude of motorists up north is "I just cannot do any wrong"
Not really, it's more like "Whatever I do is always right".

I've never seen as much arrogance and lack of consideration for other road users my entire life, as I have in 5 months in Delhi and Gurgaon.
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Old 19th May 2011, 11:47   #4
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Default Re: Being a Pedestrian!

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
The answer to your questions lies in your post itself! .
Yes, I realize that I could have avoided what I did. But thought I'd share it so fellow bhpians can better react in similar situations. There is no use complaining!

If it hurts the car its one thing, if it hurts a person its harder to let go.
Anyway, thanks for the comments!
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Old 19th May 2011, 15:39   #5
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Default Re: Being a Pedestrian!

I think your immediate reaction to someone getting hurt is very human.
The reactions from you & the driver are completely justified. You wanted to confront the driver for his mistake & hoped he acknowledged it, & he in return became defensive when he was confronted, because that's natural behavior.
Remember, as kids too, when we were confronted by parents about doing something wrong\breaking things, the first reaction is denial.
Thankfully your dad was not hurt seriously, that's important.

Last edited by mb_jg : 19th May 2011 at 15:42.
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Old 19th May 2011, 16:10   #6
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Default Re: Being a Pedestrian!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ricky_speed View Post
Is this a delhi thing that nobody accepts his / her mistake?
This thread is on its way of becoming a Delhi bashing thread, and hence will be closed soon. But for the time it is open I will add my 2 cents.

Dear OP, please be careful from next time. Life is more important. This is a city where two people fight over a scratch on the car. Then one person pins other on the ground. And runs him over with his car. Forgot the Pilot incident already? Or a woman is shot dead in night because she interferes in a traffic brawl.

Meanwhile let the debates continue.
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Old 19th May 2011, 16:21   #7
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Default Re: Being a Pedestrian!

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Originally Posted by cranky View Post
Not really, it's more like "Whatever I do is always right".

I've never seen as much arrogance and lack of consideration for other road users my entire life, as I have in 5 months in Delhi and Gurgaon.
Sadly, I think this is not restricted to just Delhi and Gurgaon, but the whole country in general. As a country, we have a terrible attitude to admitting our mistakes and learning a lesson. If politicians or sportsmen get caught doing something wrong in the west, they admit their mistake, apologize and pay the price. In India, we cry hoarse saying we are innocent and try to put the blame on the others instead of ourselves. The same attitude has spread to all walks of life and shows in our attitude on the road too .
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Old 19th May 2011, 17:04   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newpunter

Sadly, I think this is not restricted to just Delhi and Gurgaon, but the whole country in general. As a country, we have a terrible attitude to admitting our mistakes and learning a lesson. If politicians or sportsmen get caught doing something wrong in the west, they admit their mistake, apologize and pay the price. .
I remember that a HR car tried to run over pedestrians at the mgf dt pedestrian light in gurgaon. When a guy protested, three men came out and attacked him. The pedestrian jumped to the police post and was saved. The attackers just drove away after that. There is no fear of being caught!

Forget singapore and UK, in my recent visit to china, I saw two guys whose cars scratched smiling and shaking hands!
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Old 19th May 2011, 17:13   #9
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Default Re: Being a Pedestrian!

Well, lets just say, these days I've realised theres really no point in even trying to point out to someone that theyre making a mistake. Guns, baseball bats are just a part of normal life these days, and from what I've experienced - even more so in North India.

On my way back from the airport last night at about 1am, saw a Esteem stop a trailer leading to an argument between the two. Normal, I thought to myself, until the Esteem guy pulled out an AXE!! I kid you not, an axe.

Things are just going from bad to worse, and there's really no point. As mentioned, the "I am always right" attitude plus a certain mentality that is really pushing civility or even normalcy down the drain. And you can NEVER be too careful.

Just read the Delhi-bashing comment, I'm from Delhi! But the above statements are made on the basis of my experiences, and I may be wrong about such incidents being focussed/predominant in North India - not just Delhi alone. Hope no one gets offended, I apologize if you do.

Last edited by anantnehru : 19th May 2011 at 17:15.
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Old 19th May 2011, 17:19   #10
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Default Re: Being a Pedestrian!

Quote:
Originally Posted by download2live View Post
This thread is on its way of becoming a Delhi bashing thread, and hence will be closed soon. But for the time it is open I will add my 2 cents.

Dear OP, please be careful from next time. Life is more important. This is a city where two people fight over a scratch on the car. Then one person pins other on the ground. And runs him over with his car. Forgot the Pilot incident already? Or a woman is shot dead in night because she interferes in a traffic brawl.

Meanwhile let the debates continue.
oi, get it right.
the pilot incident, that is about 180 degrees from what had happened.
It happens, yes.
but quote the correct example.
and what city in the world doesnt have fights when you scratch their car?
come on....

Last edited by mayankk : 19th May 2011 at 17:20.
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Old 19th May 2011, 17:19   #11
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Default Re: Being a Pedestrian!

It is always preferable to walk away/turn back if no harm has actually been done. Yes, your ego might take a hit in such cases, but in my opinion, that's way better than you taking a hit. More so, if you have your family members around you. Yes, no doubt, you care for your parent's safety, and that is what made you act in the manner described, but in doing so, you could have actually put your dad in harm's way. Think for a moment, what would you have gained from the involuntary apology tendered by an unknown/inconsequential person? If the apology comes without asking for it then its fine, but what's the use in asking for one?

Coming to the other part of the event, the banging of the boot and opening of the door to be precise :
I think there was nothing wrong in you banging the boot to alert the driver, desperate times call for desperate measures. But the driver, whose callousness kept him unaware of the gravity of the situation would get annoyed at first, which is again, quite natural if he loves his vehicle as we bhpians do.
Now, forcefully opening the door to stop the vehicle wasn't the brightest thing to do. Frankly speaking, if i were inside that car, i would consider the act to be threatening and would definitely retaliate harshly. This could have really escalated the situation. Anybody who feels his/his family's safety is under threat would go to any lengths in order to assure his/his family's safety.
The roads, especially in the metros and cities are a very dangerous place to be in. Keep your cool and do not indulge unless absolutely necessary.
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Old 19th May 2011, 17:28   #12
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Default Re: Being a Pedestrian!

ricky, good for you, your father intervened before it turned any uglier. Banging the boot to alert the driver is ok. Opening the door to give him a piece of your mind is not. Not many people like somebody opening their door, taking the keys, in such situation. I learnt it the hard way once.
I think most of our metro's are heading this way. No time nor compassion for fellow humans. Everybody is in a rush to reach the destination. Like someone pointed out, one will not give way to a vehicle for 5 seconds but will endure 30 minutes of traffic jams these days.
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Old 19th May 2011, 18:58   #13
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Default Re: Being a Pedestrian!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankk View Post
and what city in the world doesnt have fights when you scratch their car?
come on....
Sorry but all cities in the world don't have fights when someone scratches their cars. In a normal civilised world, the guy who made the mistake apologizes, they ask if anyone is hurt, then exchange insurance details and move on. They even try to help each other.
Sadly, in our country ( and a few other countries too ), the guy who made a mistake never apologizes, and some of them don't have proper insurance or even a driving license. Then the crowd joins the fun and everyone tries to earn something out of the incident and fist fights ensue .
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Old 19th May 2011, 19:04   #14
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Default Re: Being a Pedestrian!

This is one incident I would have rather not talk about - partly because I know I am at mistake. I thought I was the last person to open somebody's door, until I did that! Mostly, I have had people hit my car and run away, so there has never been a confortation. Partly because of this, I unconciously did not want to let him go, especially after that 'aage badho' expression. How futile! To forgive is divine - and perhaps the best option.
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Old 19th May 2011, 21:22   #15
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Default Re: Being a Pedestrian!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newpunter View Post
Sorry but all cities in the world don't have fights when someone scratches their cars. In a normal civilised world, the guy who made the mistake apologizes, they ask if anyone is hurt, then exchange insurance details and move on. They even try to help each other.
Sadly, in our country ( and a few other countries too ), the guy who made a mistake never apologizes, and some of them don't have proper insurance or even a driving license. Then the crowd joins the fun and everyone tries to earn something out of the incident and fist fights ensue .
I agree with you, so let me try and rephrase that.

what city in India doesnt have arguments on the road when scratches occur.
and youve taken my statement out of context, without the the preceding text and relevance from previous quote, about "this city".

You mention this, and i recall before i learnt drive, i read about fender benders in books, and how people asked,"i hope you are insured!!"
but when i got around to driving, and in the learning phase, i asked people, "when accidents happen, we exchange insurance details, yes?"
and everyone looked at , as if saying" are you a kook?what is this youre talking about?"
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