ROADSIDE RAJNIKANTH

I know I wasn’t here for pretty long but this hiatus gave me time to understand my topic fully : The Indian Roads.

First off, whose Rajnikanth, well he is a legendary South Indian actor whose invincibility is allegorical. He can dodge bullets,  knives and specifically in this case, cars. Why use him here?  The way Indian behaviour on roads is just like they all are Rajnikanth. Oprah Winfrey said that driving on Indian roads is like driving in a video game. Believe me I have had worse. Most of them still think that we are still in British India where they could have had the entire road to themselves driving in a swashbuckling manner, like right out of a Jason Bourne movie.

For those who know Hindi:

Yahan khuda hai, wahan khuda,

hai jahan nahi khuda wahan kal khudega.

(khuda has two meanings one god and the other is a ditch. So the couplet uses pun to say that ‘khuda’ is here and there and where it is not a ditch will be there tomorrow.)

Indian roads don’t have potholes, potholes have roads inside them! Just look for them.

According to what I have learnt, you let the traffic on your right go first when at crossroads. Once at a busy crossroad, where I was supposed to cross, a guy with Suv dashed past me and stopped at my side. When I gestured that he was nuts, he performed what cannot be qualified less  than a ceremonial dance.

What makes me all the more surprised is that people actually cross roads being oblivious to the fact that there cars as well on the road that can hit them and they could be crippled for life. No, they will go around like they are in a park taking their tommy out for a walk and if you press the horn, they will actually tell YOU to stop and let me tell you it is not the zebra crossing. Once at a National Highway which runs at a small distance from my home, two men with their arms around each other’s necks were crossing the road taking their own sweet time and I honked, they told me to stop with a definitive wave of their hands.

And please, will someone tell Indians that you can’t overtake FROM THE LEFT and if you move to your left when someone is overtaking they will blame you for it. Te funniest thing is that you will see cycles and cars on the same road and the cyclists take up more than half of the road and if it is a one way then god help you.

The blatant violation of traffic rules mortifies me. Indians really sometimes have problems applying their minds from the poorest of poor to the ones at the highest echelons of power. Due to corruption practically every Tom, Dick and Harry gets a driving licence without actually giving the test. The biggest reason of jams after the admirable condition of the road is people fighting it out on the road itself to decide whose mistake it is in the case of accidents.  If it is a one way people of one side will always try to take the major part of the road which blocks traffic.

Let us hope Indians will some day learn the art of driving.

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