Lavaanya Garg

Everything should appear to us as it is. Infinite.

Indian “Mental”ity

Are you my sworn enemy? Can you not stand the sight of my secure powerful ball busty being? Do you crave to piss me off in the most lethal way there is? Well listen close Sunny ‘cause I have found that one thing that puts me in the nastiest moods possible- driving on Indian roads.

Let’s start with the basics shall we? Crossing a road.  I don’t know about yours, but my mother taught me to first look right and then left. But that’s not how we desi peeps roll yo. We are much too farsighted to be bothered about the oncoming traffic. Pedestrians choose to check if the coast is clear on the opposite road instead of the one they are currently crossing. Why can’t they “live” in the moment and ensure no possible collision during their crossroads? It’s almost as if they want me to run them over.  Death wish much?

Now moving on to the people who behave like it’s their baap ka rastha. So aloof are they, road crossing happens as per their fancy. With a clear palm stuck out signalling the 60 km/hr oncoming traffic to stop dead in its tracks, they expect all the drivers to step out of their vehicles, bow and courtesy, till the zebra crossing is rid of the idiots. Traffic light, the walk sign and laws of physics be damned!

The pedestrians however are a pampered category of citizens. The municipal corporation is so concerned for their safety that almost every road has a high rise and a wide platform on the side meant only for the charan of these dimwits. Then why not make full use of it? Instead you will find people jaywalking alongside the vehicles, sometimes even in between them. As if the roads aren’t narrow enough!

Ok Ok. Pedestrians are human beings and therefore do not have eyes behind the back of their heads to dodge Indian traffic. You’re right… But how about the bikes, cars, buses and trucks? They are equipped with rear view mirrors, strategically placed horns and indicators- all inventions devised to make transportation easier.  Why then I ask, with all humility, is it so difficult to refrain from putting my life in danger? Before making any kind of turn- I first need to make sure that the right indicator I had been flashing for 60 seconds with a fool proof hand signal did not go unnoticed. But sure enough you can always count on a biker dude who to ram into the back of my car. Maybe him rocking those P Diddy shades at 7pm with an iPod plugged into his ears are what rendered him blind and deaf (and unfit to drive).

Kids these days! Maniacs that are in such a hurry to get to the front of the line!  I hope that you sympathize with me.  Ah who am I kidding? If you don’t like speed then you are probably one of those people who are on the opposite side of the spectrum- you drive like you have all the freaking time in the world. I swear to God, I have seen snails pass by me as I drive at half clutch 2nd gear, behind a huge arse bulky truck smooth sailing like a dandelion.

I have, however, been lucky enough to catch those blue moon instances of Open Road: The sun setting on the horizon, no horns, no traffic, no speed breakers and most importantly. no cattle. Just me and my trusty Maruti Zen. I turn on the radio and roll down the window to have the wind blow in my hair… Eeeek! Bad move. A Volvo Bus comes out of nowhere and ejects a hot steamy jet black emission out of its backside like some Giant Octopus. It hits me in the face, the freshly blow dried hair and every pore in between.

What have I done to deserve this? I am a stickler when it comes to obeying traffic rules. I feel like a square on Indian roads. Here I am acting all pious at the red signal with my engine off waiting for the 180 seconds to pass; while all the cars and bikes I masterfully overtook earlier whoosh past me with a street smart smirk.  The traffic constable himself is so out of it. He could care less if an aircraft landed in the middle of the flyover.

As I write this I have come to realize a rather scary possibility. Maybe everybody is in on it! Maybe there is a secret mafia group whose sole mission it is to make me late for work/date/nature’s call. Maybe everybody goes back to following road etiquette right after I have exited the area. Now it all makes sense! So that’s why my car has been towed 4 times, even though I have no recollection of ever leaving it in a “No Parking” zone! That’s why the traffic signal skips the Yellow and turns Red abruptly, so that I get to pay a Rs.500 bribe to be let off the hook!  It all adds up here and now.

Ok Mr Corleone. You win. I give up. Do I kneel and kiss your ring or should I expect the severed head of my cat in bed? I am ready to handover my driving license. I’d rather subject myself to piggy back rides and public transport till 2050 AD. That’s when the technology of Teleportation shall hopefully come to my rescue. Until then: Horn Ok Please?

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