Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Street Experiences


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 23rd July 2012, 12:25   #1
BHPian
 
aabidansari's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: chennai / mumbai
Posts: 110
Thanked: 97 Times
Default On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

Wish I could do that!

Whizz, Zoom & be Gone.

Seen for a moment, and in the next, disappear.

Blink!

Here I am, stuck in a mindless throng of vehicles and along comes this car, out of nowhere, cutting through the traffic, honking everyone into silence, slipping into the narrowest of gaps and all of a sudden she is way past you, across the signal and into yonder roads.

And I am still there, with my jaw hanging, eyes popped out, breathless!

Used to be when I was young, me and my friends on our cycles would zip past the pedestrians unmindful of their disapproving glares. Wow! What a high!

Later during my college days I did some amazing fly-bys on my bike, leaving many green with envy and brown in my dust,

Nowadays I just sit behind the wheel of my car waiting for the green signal – wishing I could relive those days.

I am not the only turtle in the race. There are others too, many others - all with expressions of dejection and surrender.

Blink, blink, blink.

Used to be that I would enjoy any opportunity to sit behind the wheel of a car. I love driving. Ahem! Correction – I loved driving.

Nowadays I am just ‘Commuting’ to my office in my car – an activity devoid of passion, filled with dread and always stressful.

My colleague comes all the way from Kottivakkam to Kodambakam Power house, a distance of about 15kms and makes it in about 40mins through winding roads, lot of traffic, etc.

I do Alwarthirunagar to Kodambakkam Power house – a distance of about 6.5kms, (less than half of what my colleague does, which should be a breeze). Hmmm…You think so. Think again. It takes me a good 40mins to do the stretch too. Sometimes more! And that too on a road which is straighter than Sachin’s straight drive.

The reasons are pretty obvious though –

- the dug up road (which was recently laid) at the junction of InShape just beyond Alwarthirunagar,
- the stagnated sewers outside the Fame cinemas,
- the bottleneck at the junction of Kaliamman Koil street at Virugambakkam,
- the mysteriously jinxed road near Avichi school which always collapses as soon as it is laid afresh,
- the crossover at the Ceebros Shyamala gardens,
- the bottleneck opposite Bharani studio,
- the chaos at Saligrammam junction,
- the bigger chaos at the Vadapalani bus terminus,
- the big daddy - Metro works going on at Vadapalani junction,
- the craziness near Saravana Bhavan (Lord Murugan help you on Muhurat days),
- and the bottleneck just beyond where the road is no longer a one-way,
- the bottleneck past Gangai Amman koil street,
- the ‘free-for-all’ traffic discipline near the Power house…etc.

And Google Maps shows a straight road! Gimme a break.

Returning home in the evening is equally daunting. It is no longer a straight road now, thanks to the various diversions.

Whoever said that the stairs which take you up can also take you down would find his/her logic flawed. The road that you take from point A to point B shall never be the same one to take you back.

Even for a seasoned intrepid city commuter like yours truly, this seemingly routine task of travelling to and fro the office becomes an adventure the moment it starts.

Every day brings it own challenges, newer happenings, never before seen ditches and amazing sights

- the banners hung by political parties across the road which invariably are brought down by some high-loaded truck, thus affecting your vision,
- the poles which they erect welcoming some bigwig in the political machinery that fall down and obstruct the traffic flow,
- the siren-tooting convoy of whiter-than-white XUV500’s, Fortuners, Innovas,(for the higher-ups) and the Sumos, Safaris, Scorpios (for the lesser-ups) of the political honchos and their side-kicks,
- the newly pressed road that has been raped and mutilated by the conservancy department workers for ‘god-alone-knows-why’ reasons,
- the inevitable breakdown of the MTC bus bang in the middle of the narrowest of road sections,
- the ‘L’ board driver who treats his car like a baby and blocks a convoy of harassed middle-aged office-goers,
- the odd fish carts who can really scare you when they almost kiss your brand new ‘car-of-your-dreams’,
- the overflowing sewer that simply overflows any time of the year (of course this is not a new spectacle)
- the drunken revelry and fire-crackers for the departed soul whose earthly body is half a kilometer ahead,
- the ubiquitous ‘poosanikas’(bottle gourds) to ward off all the ‘drishti’(evil eye),
- and of course, the ‘Diversion-of-the-day’,

I pity the gearshift of my sedan which has never seen motions beyond the 2nd gear. Equally useless is to have an tachometer which is coloured all the way to 180 when I am yet to cross the 40 barrier. And don’t you dare talk of mileage.

But on my home turf Chennai, however, I have seen some amazing methods to work the motor maze.

Very often an ambulance goes past slicing through the medley of vehicles, the traffic is cleared and right enough, all those who dare, take off behind the whining white van - A sure-fire method of beating the traffic.

Or you could cruise behind the Ministerial road convoy. You can bet your last liter of petrol that the road couldn’t be any clearer for you to drive.

But no matter who you follow, there are others faster than you and after a while all you can see is the belch of exhaust.

There are times when I wish for a Roadroller. Believe me you, some of the newer models are worth pining for. Having said that, let me also add here that I really have the hots for the cute, small bulldozers that one sees on the roads nowadays.

There is no way any driver in his right mind would not want to make way for a Roadroller. At least that way I would get ahead. If not, I have option of crushing the car in front of me into the road and then make my own way.

Yeah, that’s the stuff of road rage!

There are times when I miss my old ‘Luna’. Maybe I should bring out my faithful bicycle. Or better still put on my running shoes.

All I am saying is – let roads be roads. What is the fun in owning a car if I cannot push her to the limits, burn the rubber, floor the pedals, guzzle the fuel, Whizz, Zoom & be Gone!
aabidansari is offline   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 23rd July 2012, 15:31   #2
BHPian
 
RIC.BURNS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Chennai
Posts: 192
Thanked: 101 Times
Default re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

This happens when every single person takes his car to commute instead of bike or other modes in a over crowded area of the city. why cant you use a bike or better yet car pooling if possible. you can avoid tension/agony and save time for you and others. you cant /should not push her to the limit in your daily drive, go to a deserted road outside of the city limit and burn it till there is fire.
RIC.BURNS is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 23rd July 2012, 16:13   #3
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 300
Thanked: 82 Times
Default re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

So true. That is why I don't take my Car to office so when I reach there I am still in fresh mood. My office is around 3 km and I commute either by a Bus or on foot (yes, I enjoy this luxury). This requires me to pay higher rent than those staying even farther, but at the same time I save some part in fuel and more importantly the stress.
ottocycle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd July 2012, 16:35   #4
Zed
BHPian
 
Zed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 456
Thanked: 256 Times
Default re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

@ aabidansari - I can relate to your sentiment and to your post. Except that I disagree with your closing statement. If you want to find the limits of your car, please don't look for it on public roads. Why don't your try your hand at amateur \ semi-pro motorsports ? If the MMSC track at chennai is still functional they will have something to whet your appetite for speed. Or these's the cheaper alternate - karting.
I believe in better late than never - Welcome to the forum !
Zed is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 23rd July 2012, 17:38   #5
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: mumbai
Posts: 450
Thanked: 181 Times
Default re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

Aabidansari
Hi
You have a great way with words.
Liked your reference to Luna(the ad with the line "chal meri luna" became a rage at that time specially in non metro areas)
Incidentally I suggested to a member here to use a road roller(instead of his car) on his next trip to Varanasi.
Regards
faustus77 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 23rd July 2012, 19:09   #6
Distinguished - BHPian
 
vb-san's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: S'pore/Thrissur
Posts: 4,579
Thanked: 3,475 Times
Default re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

Quote:
Originally Posted by aabidansari View Post
Wish I could do that!
Whizz, Zoom & be Gone.
I agree with all those comments you mentioned. Better education (on road use), road planning, better infrastructure etc. maybe the possible solutions to ease this up.

But while agreeing, I have a slightly different thought as well. The chaos and mayhem mentioned is applicable for all the road users, including pedestrians. When I see all those folks who tackle the chaotic traffic on their bicycles, scooters, or by foot, fighting with the acute pollution and scorching heat, I have no reasons to complain. I feel blessed for the fact that I can do the waiting game in the cool comfort and safety of my car. There is actually no reason to get tensed/agonized – just my viewpoint.
vb-san is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 24th July 2012, 10:03   #7
BHPian
 
aabidansari's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: chennai / mumbai
Posts: 110
Thanked: 97 Times
Default re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zed View Post
If you want to find the limits of your car, please don't look for it on public roads. Why don't your try your hand at amateur \ semi-pro motorsports ? Or these's the cheaper alternate - karting.
Hey thanx for the suggestions. I would love do some laps on the track at MMSC. If only I could afford it. But I do like the karting option. Yeah maybe I should try that sometime.
aabidansari is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th July 2012, 10:48   #8
BHPian
 
aabidansari's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: chennai / mumbai
Posts: 110
Thanked: 97 Times
Default re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

Some societies have a strange way of welcoming visitors. Take a look at this place which I happened to see on the drive.
Attached Thumbnails
On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore-parking-area.jpg  

aabidansari is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th July 2012, 17:13   #9
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 114
Thanked: 34 Times
Default Re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

Hey Aabid, love the way you write. Sadly (or maybe you can look at it positively) this problem is not limited to Chennai alone or even to those who drive cars.

I use my bike to commute to office on most days, I cover the 12 kms to work in about 30 mins and on the rare occasions I use my car it takes the same amount of time. This is because I need to leave 30 mins earlier or else I will not get parking near office. In addition to all the obstacles that you have mentioned you can add these as well - garbage heaps and garbage trucks, kids taking care of their morning business, the crushed street dog, auto drivers using their legs to push other autos and of course the the large truck or bus trying to make a U turn during rush hour. Sadly I encountered all of these things on my way to work today, and I was on the bike .

I really look forward to the days when I need to take the car to work. If I leave early enough I am not fretting about parking and I know that I can ignore everything happening around me by screaming along to my fav music. I love driving from Bangalore to Chennai or any where else, its not because of targeted destination but because of the few hours of stress free driving.

Pick one weekend each month where you can leave the city behind and cruise on the highway.

Parik
parik_ind is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th July 2012, 18:30   #10
Senior - BHPian
 
libranof1987's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: All over!
Posts: 3,549
Thanked: 2,483 Times
Default Re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

I was recently watching a Top Gear episode about exactly the same.

There has been an unprecedented rise in popularity of track days in Britain just because they absolutely couldn't use their cars to their true potential on normal roads.

And on such track days, a lot of people with almost ordinary cars but beefed up for track use turned up and had a go.

I think that concept might just get an impetus soon in India with the amount of high-powered vehicles being sold here.
libranof1987 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th July 2012, 19:19   #11
Zed
BHPian
 
Zed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 456
Thanked: 256 Times
Default Re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
I think that concept might just get an impetus soon in India with the amount of high-powered vehicles being sold here.
Its only a matter of time before someone with an entrepreneurial disposition, and hopefully some flair for motor racing, figures out that the concept could have business potential in Indian Metros. My only hope is that when the track-day concept catches on the madness we see on the road (scant regard for rules and safety) does not find its way onto the track. That would be the mother of all disasters.

I remember when dad used to drive us to sholavaram (near Chennai) in our Amby to the annual motor race weekend in the mid-80's. There was one event, as part of the weekend races, where spectators could race their fiats, ambys and a motley assortment of other road going vehicles around the track for top honors. That was the Chennai track-day experience of yore.


OT : I vividly recall the sights and sounds from the year when Tiff Needell & Jim Crawford in their F-1's ( I kid you not) were battling each other with a pack of slower cars ( F-3's ?) thrown in the mix.
The scariest part every year was the drive back home when spectators decided to emulate their hero's by trying to race on public roads. There were accidents on the drive back every single year.
Zed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th July 2012, 19:45   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
scopriobharath's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Chennai
Posts: 3,561
Thanked: 1,170 Times
Default Re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

Mumbai traffic is pretty much famous.

I have changed my work timings to beat traffic. I work from 3:00 pm - midnight so that roads are clear. It helps with work too. I commute from Malad(residence) to Saki naka.

In Chennai, It used to take me an hour or more to drive 6.5 kms from Ascendas Taramani to Teynampet(Chamiers Road).

I used to leave before 5pm or used to take my two wheeler
scopriobharath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th July 2012, 20:21   #13
BHPian
 
DWind's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Singara Chennai
Posts: 765
Thanked: 164 Times
Default Re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

Abid! Looks like you are doomed. Arcot Road I am sure it is only going to get busier when more independent houses in Saligramam / Virugambakkam / AT Nagar / Valsaravakkam give way to apartments. There is no road nearby which is broad enough to balance the load with Arcot Road.
I have lived in Virugambakkam for close to 21 years (my parents still stay there) and remember when this road had very little traffic on Sundays or afternoons that I could do zig zags on my bicycle (near Christ church) . Now it is unthinkable for me to use this road on normal weekdays. I tried for a week and gave up. Now I have shifted closer to my workplace.
DWind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th July 2012, 13:54   #14
BHPian
 
aabidansari's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: chennai / mumbai
Posts: 110
Thanked: 97 Times
Default

Mod Note : Please use the EDIT or MULTI-QUOTE buttons instead of typing one post after another on the SAME THREAD!

Quote:
Originally Posted by parik_ind View Post
garbage heaps and garbage trucks, kids taking care of their morning business, the crushed street dog, auto drivers using their legs to push other autos and of course the the large truck or bus trying to make a U turn during rush hour. Parik
Thanx Parik for adding to the list of miseries. Yes, of course I forgot completely about them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scopriobharath View Post
Mumbai traffic is pretty much famous.

I have changed my work timings to beat traffic. I work from 3:00 pm - midnight so that roads are clear. It helps with work too. I commute from Malad(residence) to Saki naka.

In Chennai, It used to take me an hour or more to drive 6.5 kms from Ascendas Taramani to Teynampet(Chamiers Road).

I used to leave before 5pm or used to take my two wheeler
Yup, quite agree with you. I remember when I used to commute from Diamond garden in Chembur to Chunabhatti - most horrible.

Wish I had the luxury of changing my work timings to suit the traffic. Lucky you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWind View Post
Arcot Road I am sure it is only going to get busier. There is no road nearby which is broad enough to balance the load with Arcot Road.
And imagine this - there is a huge mall cum multiplex (one more Satyam escape) coming up just after Vijaya being built by Prestige builders. Not to forget the huge mall / multiplex that is due to open at Big Bazaar.

God grant me a road that I can drive!

Last edited by GTO : 27th July 2012 at 18:04. Reason: Please use the EDIT or MULTI-QUOTE buttons instead of typing one post after another!
aabidansari is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th July 2012, 18:46   #15
BHPian
 
AlphaKilo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: VOMM-EDDW-EDDM
Posts: 773
Thanked: 362 Times
Default Re: On the Drive : Driving in the city isn't fun anymore

In the recent past we have been evidence to the fact that the number of posts in "Bad drivers, How do you spot them" and "Accidents in India" thread have been on the steady rise. Also, I see that there is quite a sharp increase in the "Road Rage - Confession" thread.

Recent accident/road rage discussions:

1. Child falls from bus through a hole - who's fault?
a. Driver
b. Owner/Bus Operator
c. School Management
d. We, the People

There are many more but I would like to start the discussion with the above.

Discussion:

It is always the government/management/bus operator/driver and finally the individual who is responsible for one's as well as others safety. But in this case, since it was a kid, which knows nothing about the death trap in the bus or the dangers of it, who should be held responsible? And even if that person is held responsible, given the way our politically biased judicial system works, will that individual be ever punished? even if he gets punished, will others realise and correct before any such incident repeats?

My answer for all the above is a simple "NO". Because, the collective responsibility lies with every one of us. We send our children in those autos which are legally authorized to carry only 3, like butchers carrying cocks n hen for slaughtering. Those autos are overloaded with children and their huge bags, and if the auto turns turtle or in case of an accident, we beat up the driver or the management or the owner.

But, first of all even if the auto driver was willing to make more money by carrying more kids, arent the parents responsible for accepting to send their kids in such a mess? trying to save money? what for? Why blame the auto wallah or the school when the first responsibility lies with the parent to check the safety of the mode of transport by himself personally?

Why should we get angry in the first place, when some other road user causes inconvinience? By engaging in road rage or riot, aren't we doing the same? How different are we by trying to teach an idiot, the rule in the middle of the road or showing him/her who's the boss. What are we going to achieve, by proving that we are correct?

Solutions(my suggestions):

-> If at all we have rage on somebody, be it a private party or a govt. bus, then why should there be a government, law, police and court? If we rage, what is the difference between us and the goons/morons/idiots (call what ever you wish to, those who break rules and behave without manners and understanding for others).

-> There is something called as defensive driving. Most of the TBHPians know what it is. For those who don't, lets start in TBHP, the ones who know, please educate the one's who dont. (My request and suggestion to mods, please make such a thread be sticky - i.e. always stays on top and every member has to read it and learn it. following it, has to be honestly taken up by that individual himself/herself). Afterall we are all grown up/growing adults, mature enough to understand what is right and what is not! As a part of this community, to whom I can request, considering them to be a part of my family, to stand up and be honest to their conscience and follow rules meticuolously and follow defensive driving style.

-> We are already a community of over 10000members, why cannot we represent the part in which we live and organise traffic lessons, drives or even those who are in the government/influencial positions, use that influence/power to organise meetings with higher officials with whom we can discuss and come out with positive solutions for road accidents/rule changes in traffic/RTO/licencing?

-> Let us educate our kids(those who have and those who are expecting, well I am in neither of that category ) to follow rules and set an example for them. Afterall, education starts from home.

-> We, Indians in general, have been talking enough and not doing anything worthy action about it. Why not start now? Its always better late than never.

At the end of the day, I wish my country to have good road manners, better infrastructure and civilized humane citizens, who in any event of accidents will be ready to help and not be just witness to a gore death or lead a riot!

Let peace prevail and as aabidansari wishes, let us enjoy a pleasant and safe journey every single time we drive out.
AlphaKilo is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Honda City (4th gen) niggles: A compilation. Are Honda cars niggle-free anymore? CrAzY dRiVeR The Indian Car Scene 379 15th July 2017 21:41
Does anyone buy a Honda City anymore?! Oops! I did-and fell in love with it!! charthom Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 903 20th January 2013 23:50
If it's Maruti, make sure it isn't Vitesse ivor Indian Car Dealerships 29 1st August 2008 10:05
Mahindra Concept cars - Isn't it Cool!!! ulytel The Indian Car Scene 25 30th May 2008 13:27
Why isn't anybody talking about Civic on TeamBHP now? salilpawar1 The Indian Car Scene 35 2nd July 2007 16:58


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 17:53.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks