On one of my most recent visits to India, I did get a chance to witness and experience the madness that is driving. Driving in india is like endangering oneself and daring in a lawless world. The only law that is followed is try to stay alive.
There are more types of vehicles on the road compared to probably any other country in the world. We have the street kings – pedestrians who would like to cross the road whenever they want. A la Jaywalking but then again this is the regular method to cross a street. Then the one level up is the guys running around for a bus or auto or for no particular reason whatsoever. They beat the jaywalkers in that they dont even look around when they are on the street.
The next level is the two wheelers, three wheelers and the four wheelers. The two wheelers category starts with a bicycle. This ‘what can a bicycle do’ kind of vehicle when rode by a normal Indian transforms into nothing but a speeding turbojet twin engine 6 cyclinder race car. Not really but atleast thats what the rider thinks of his ride. They cut corners the way that puts the nascar drivers name to shame. They are everywhere, they dont care for the rules, they have no rules. one level up in this category is the two wheelers that includes the girly looking pep and activas and the macho pulsars and hunks. The driving requirements prescribes that the driver come with an attitude. Helmets are a must so they hang by the seat hook. The speeds are 100+ in a 40 zone and these folks are always in a hurry to get somewhere.
Three wheelers is the transportation class that includes the infamous auto-rickshaws aptly named autos. The vehicles seems to have a mind of their own and so the drivers never apply their when driving. the lesser said the better for this fleet of vehicles. The four wheelers is the community that is quickly catching up despite the gas prices and inflation rates. Four wheelers is a status symbol. If you have a four wheeler you are already a hero in your group. If more than one person owns a four wheeler then its the maker that puts you at the top of the list. There is hardly any maker left in the world who doesnt have a model on 4 wheels trying to rule the street.
The only thing that is common to all drivers on the indian street is almost everybody is trying to overtake everybody else. There are no rules, they dont want to follow the rules. Ofcourse when stopped by the cops, they are either the son of some big shot or a cousin of some movie actor. After spending three weeks in these life threatening conditions and after many futile attempts to drive my old scooter on the street, i just gave up. But then everytime i looked at the street, I thought of a new way to implement the driving laws and atleast come up with some since there are none. More about that later.