Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Great Indian Art of Car driving

My apologies for getting lost for a while now. I have no lame excuses this time. My sister's wedding is less than 4 days from now. My computer at home is dead, and the net which is delivered by the infamous *cable walla* is not working because of an earthquake in Indonesia 1 week back. I have never felt more cut off from the (cyber) world, the way am feeling now!

Finally I landed up in a friendly neighbourhood cybercafe, and typing this blog cost me Rs.20 :) !! Hehe, so this one is an *expensive* blog, so you better appreciate!!

Most of you already know my undying attraction towards anything on 4 wheels (read cars!) and minutes after landing in India, I wanted to get behind the wheels of my stick shift (Santro..). However driving in US for more than 6 months made me realize that I had actually forgotten the *Great Indian art of car driving*.

Driving in India is an art. Period. No wonder not everyone in India can drive. Any monkey can learn to operate a car, but driving requires different skills. For the last week or so, I have been trying to understand this art again, and here are a few of my observations:
  1. When you drive, you are the king of the road, and everyone else must understand and follow your will.
  2. The bigger the vehicle you drive, the more respect you command on the road.
  3. You can either drive on the right or the left of the road, as long as you yield to bigger vehicles coming in the opposite direction (vehicles smaller to your's must take care of themselves).
  4. You yield to only those drivers who are more aggressive than you are. But the moment you yield, you let the other driver know your displeasure by honking loudly.
  5. Pedestrians, cattle, stray dogs, and bicyclists do not exist. As long as they do not directly come in your path, they are an illusion and they should watch out for you for their own good.
  6. Red traffic signals are used to decorate the road, they do not serve any purpose.
  7. You should honk every 15 seconds for everyone around you to know that you are coming.

If you understand these basic rules and you know the geometry of your car to the last millimeter, then nothing can go wrong. You can squeeze your car in to the last millimeter and cause traffic jams and be proud about it.

Once I started following these rules, I figured that I was back to my roots, now I can comfortably drive in India. I guess I will have to go through the "California Driver's Handbook" once I am back in Uncle Sam's land :) !!!


  1. Hey dude! am here to 'Appreciate' ur post. Do admire ur undying devotion to this blog - sitting in the cyber cafe, with their frustrating speeds and cramped seatings!!!
    The post as usual is remarkable! btw, not only are RED lights for decoration, the lane demarcations also serve the same purpose. And did u also master the art of parking, stopping and driving with only an inch to spare b/w ur car and the next??? how bout the art of chasing a vehicle, keeping pace with it, rolling down ur window and letting out a string of expletives at the driver and his entire ancestoral line... coz somepoint he/she cut your lane or did something equally common or mundane.

    The Great Indian Art of driving is definitely interesting. Never a dull moment there :))


  2. hey u really hav a gr8t sense of writing!..keep up the gud work .................... thing U've GOt PATIENCE MAN! and happy blogging!