Sunday, 22 November 2009

The 8th Wonder of the World


How many mornings in your life have begun with this pledge? Innumerable right. And yet, it says something about our country that we seldom fail to understand.

It stands for the deep rooted conviction in the fact that all Indians are brothers and sisters, related by motherland. Since we have ONE mother (i.e. India), its safe to assume that the siblings share one father.

This is something which every Indian proves every day when he is on the road.

When he rides, or drives or walks……He is living proof that the road….is his BAAP KA MAAL, (Father’s Property)
Think about it, the road is India’s and we are its children. So the next time when you are riding haphazardly, and someone screams behind you, “TERE BAAP KA ROAD HAI KYA??” Proudly say, “YES !!!”

In fact, go ahead and say, “HAMARE BAAP KI HAI BHAIYA.”

I was in India this October. One of those holidays, I had rode all the way to Jayanagar from R.T.Nagar. Its like a 45 minute ride. On the way back, my brother accompanied me, on another vehicle. Honda Activa. 102 cc automatic step through scooterettes, and might I add, one of the finest on Indian roads.

He overtook me at one point, and I did the same after a while. Little did I know, this was as good a gesture for a challenge as slapping his face with a gauntlet. Hence began a road race through some of Bangalore’s most crowded roads. And boy was it a rush. In my prime I was uncatchable on Bangalore roads. Junior here seemed to carry the gene pretty well. I always considered myself an instinctive rider. He does too.

The first leg of the race was through the metro-work-in-snail-pace-progress filled roads ofBasavangudi. And well, he thumped his friend’s activa over humps of every size imaginable, while I glided his activa with care. I mean, the vehicle wasn’t even 6 months old. Babies’ necks don’t stand straight in 6 months, this was a machine. So I rode quick, but carefully.

I saw a grey figure whip past me, one hand on the accelerator, and the other showing the “L” Sign with the thumb and forefinger, raised up high.

Bed-wetting-teddy hugging Junior was taunting me.
The race continued on an even pace, until I got lost somewhere near Golf Course (curse those new deviations) But he knew the place like the back of his hand. And by the time I had got back on track, he was home sweet home. I could imagine him and his smug grin and the “L” sign on his hand. I gunned the vehicle to almost 70kmph on the last 2 stretches. But the damage was done. I lost to my toddler bro.

What amazed me was the subsequent observation I made of the Indian roads.

The world complains that it is haphazard and unruly and crowded. Arjun wrote on his blog about the many many hazards on Indian roads. And I agree with him. Our roads are crowded with 2 wheelers, 3 wheelers, 4 wheelers, 18 wheelers, 2 leggers, 4 leggers, and during Dasarah, 6leggers (Mahout and Elephant) The 2 wheelers can be further broken down to engine and non-engine. The non engine can be further broken down into pedalled, hand dragged, hand pushed,seater skate boards for the physically impaired, so on and so forth.

So if you are a foreigner reading this, this would be a right time to drop your jaw.

If you are an Indian reading this, lets see that proud smile.

Coz believe it or not, these unruly roads are our lifeline. And these unruly roads make us some of the best drivers in the world to be reckoned with. Roads laden with potholes which the whole pro-western crowd cries about are actually a boon. A road with potholes keeps all drivers on their tippy toes. Show me one Indian driver asleep on his wheel (unless he is drunk). You just wont find them. We are precision drivers who have to keep an eye on the road’s skin structure.Coz it changes more often than Paris Hilton’s boyfriends. The pothole you saw last weekend might just be filled up, and a new pothole would be available a few co-ordinates north-west to it. The topography keeps changing, and the Indian driver needs to be alert. I’ve seen cases of drivers asleep while at the wheel, over here in Dubai and heard fatal cases of sleepy drivers in Saudi and Qatar. And the roads are impeccable. Other than a few over-worked truck drivers inIndia, the common public using the roads are actually more alert than F1 Drivers. We are pretty much the top guns of the road, the world over.

When I joined a driving school in Bangalore. I was told to adhere to one rule only. “LOOK STRAIGHT”

The usage of the side mirrors is a joke in India. If you have them on your new Maruti today, they wont be there tomorrow. Believe you me, the best way to keep your side mirrors intact is to keep them folded, or keep them at home.

This one rule of LOOK STRAIGHT. The drivers who are in a hurry will look to their right and left and over take you anyway. But for safe driving, just look ahead. And you’re halfway there already.

Owing to the crowds on the road, The average speed an Indian rider can reach is about 50kmph. This is about the same speed as the Mongolian Wild Ass.

High speed accidents in Dubai cause this.

High speed accidents in India cause this.

You see, the Indian roads are pretty perfect as they are.

  1. Dynamic potholes keep drivers guessing and thereby more alert
  2. High speed accidents result in a broken headlight and black eyes
  3. Cows are nature’s moving speed breakers
  4. Girls are nature’s moving speed breakers –THE SEQUEL. (At the risk of sounding an MCP, they actually drive like the car/bike was a nuke submarine in a mine field, which is awesome. We need them like a nuclear fission needs slow and fast moving sub-atomic particles)
  5. Crowd means less boredom, look around at the “speed breakers”
  6. All are equal. Whether it’s a millionaire in his E Class Mercedes, or a bespectacled nerd on ascooty, the road doesn’t discriminate. Ask all the silver sedan owners who cover up the infinite scratch marks with stickers and their wives’ mascara.
  7. You need papers to drive on those roads, they come in denomination of 10s, 20s, 50s and 100s with Gandhiji on them (Depending on the size of your vehicle)
  8. Two words : DHOOM MACHALE
Print it in the Lonely Planet and all the tourism guide books of the world. Indian Roads are the 8th wonder of the world. Which operate so efficiently based on Trust, Instinct and sheer dumb Luck. If you doubt me, Youtube Indian Traffic / Indian roads. Enjoy ;)

All those who say that the current situation of roads in india is a cause of accidents, trust me, 80% of the developed nations in the world also have deaths on the roads. I’ve seen some of the best roads in Dubai and Riyadh. Yet ppl keep banging around here a lot. And there are no potholes even. They need to get some of those.

Goes to say that an accident isn’t necessarily the fault of the road. It’s the imbeciles who are given the driving permits. They just don’t have the necessary traffice sense. We Indians don’t have it as a sense, we have it as instinct.


Think about it, why change something that’s actually perfectly fine. So you waste a li’l time, big deal. Tokyo is one of the worlds most expensive cities, and the most congested. Same goes forLondon, Dubai and quite a few ‘Merican cities too. Consider your city in the elite group of such cities.

So relax with all the “BETTER OUR ROADS” grumpy nonsense. In fact, petition a few more potholes.

When I become President of India, I’ll order all cities to host a day every 6 months where the elephants will be taken onto the roads and allowed to play Hopscotch.


Arjun M said...


We don need no rumble stripz... The lorry driving by will rumble the deepest guts out of you.

We don need to steal police radio scannerz, the dude coming your way will point to his head, saying checking in progress.

We don need cruise-control, we have a darn good thing called brakes and an accelerator.

Jai Hind :D

farh said...


nice one! :D

Proud to be an Indian :D

санжог said...

It takes balls from COSCO to drive around in India.
I just can't stop laughing imagining you on ACTIVA.


HA HA HA HA HA, keep writing.

Meetz said...

I just cant tell you how much have I laughed and yes felt proud reading this one!!!
Every time I think WOW this is the BEST post of better it and top it still with awesome writing skills and perfect timing of sarcasm!!
I'm your greatest Pankha! REALLY! :D

ranting_lil_whiner said...

elephant hopscotch....rotfl