Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Roads - Survival of the quickest

This is not your typical "I am US return I hate every thing in India" kind of post. Even before also my opinion on our traffic system is not that great. But now that I've a reference to compare it makes it more pathetic. When me and my roomie went for driving classes the first thing that stuck us was the road signs. There were like zillions of them. And also the lane system and the notifications marked on the road. Since neither of us had driven car in India and most of our journeys were either via office cab or by public transport never had that close to the road kind of experience. We were always wondering how the signs would be on our roads in India and it would often lead to arguments. I used to feel that most of our roads never had any lane system and since they are narrow to begin with doesn't make sense to partition them into halves too. He always used to insist that, even if we do have lanes people never used to stick to their sides and would often spill out. That is kind of understandable though not correct, in case of rush hour traffic but I was under the impression that our folks would behave properly when there is lesser need to rush. But I've been proved wrong a million times over. Somehow there is a murderous rage which erupts inside everyone the moment they are seated on their vehicles!! Everyone rushes out like they wouldn't rest till they don't see blood!! There seems to be an army of people on a death race, willing to squash everyone to pulp just to reach their destination a few seconds earlier. I am confused over which is the correct rule of the "honk" - to hit and then honk or to honk and then hit or just honk and keep rushing at the pedestrian leaving him or her to their own fate, taunting them to make the walk if they don't care for their life. There is zero tolerance towards those who walk. Its as if you are one wretched soul, unable to afford your own vehicle of destruction and are not fit to walk on the sacred roads reserved for the death squads. From a  bird's eye view, it must be looking like a dance of death in motion where each one tries to survive and kill each other at the same time. I had forgotten the art of crossing the roads and each day I spend close to half hour, shivering on my feet, waiting for some crowd to join them in crossing the road. Feels like the Israelite, awaiting their Moses to cross the red sea!!! Wish I had his wand to waver off the traffic for the few seconds I need to reach the other side. In the past 7 days on the road, I've been hit or rather "kissed' by autoes thrice. Really really scared !!! :(


Avada Kedavra said...

LOL.. you had me laughing out loud reading this post. Agree with you. Also it is more like "the bigger your vehicle is, the more authority you have on the road". :D And I dont know why everyone is in a hurry, all the time. I remember people honking and giving me stares when I started driving in India after living in US for sometime. I was so used to driving patiently that people didnt like it :P

Ramesh said...

Of course, the driving situation in India is the worst in the world. Earlier cities like Cairo, which used to match India for awfulness have been left behind. India ranks unique as the worst country for road traffic in the world.

We should be absolutely ashamed of ourselves. More than 100,000 people die each year on Indian roads. The most dangerous place in the world is not Afghanistan, or Iraq, or Congo - its the Indian road

Asha said...

Hehehe.... we are like that only. Our perspectives shift conveniently when we are on the road and when in the car.