Driving in Delhi
Driving in Delhi is an experience unlike anything else. If you think you know driving, try driving in Delhi for a week. You will return with a new perspective on life.
Delhiites give a new meaning to driving. Once these people sit inside a vehicle (or on it, in some cases), they undergo a transformation. They are not human anymore. They are warriors, ready for business.
Honking Away to Glory
Horns mean different things to different people at different times. For some, a horn is a way of informing everybody that you are out and about. These people will honk whenever they do anything. They will honk when they start the car. They will honk when they stop the car. They will honk when they pass a car. They will honk when a light turns red, and honk louder when it turns green.
As soon as a traffic light turns green a thousand impatient horns go off. God forbid if you get nervous and drop the clutch necessitating a car restart. Heaven have mercy on you if your car refuses to start. You might just die from the shame of a million glares coming your way.
Lanes are a Pain
Less sophisticated societies use devices known as indicators to alert other drivers when they turn or try to change lanes. Not in Delhi. Firstly lanes are meaningless here. The misinformed and misguided government comes in and marks a three lane road. Little does it know that we the people can actually manage five lanes on such a road. It’s called sharing. A little horn here and a little nudge there, and we can achieve optimum utilization of our roads.
Anyway, back to indicators. Elsewhere, people turn on an indicator when they want to change lanes, and people following them slow down to enable them to make the change. In India we do it differently. We don’t use indicators. Our gut sense is good enough for us to make sudden and rapid changes, sometimes across multiple lanes. When some novice driver makes the mistake of using the indicator we just speed up and go past, until the sad soul realizes his naivety.
Real men don’t feel pain. They don’t cry. They also don’t use an indicator. We in Delhi – we are all khaalis mard. All Man.
Survival of the Fittest
On Delhi roads, nothing is out of bounds. We can add lanes to roads on the fly. We can drive two cars in one lane. Hell, if somebody doesn’t cooperate we can just run him down with our Tata Sumos. If we are unable to find space on our side of the road, we can borrow some from the opposite direction. The name of the game is cooperation.
Darwin talked about survival of the fittest. We proud people of Delhi have taken it to a new level. If you are not ready for it, dont dare venture out. We will hunt you down and teach you a lesson. You gotta be strong enough. You gotta be a very refined driver to survive on the streets. You ought not to leave a metre’s gap in front of your car in the cash lane of the toll plaza or we will cut across you in a superior show of skill and then show you a middle finger. We don’t want any losers on Delhi roads.
The naïve might call it all one big, painful, awful mess. Little do they know the beauty and humanity behind it all.
We are teaching our kids important lessons on how to survive in this world. They will thank us when civilization is gone, and man is back to living in jungles.