Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Indian driving

After several years in India, the road rules I am used to, coming and getting used to US road rules is tougher than my ever-hated pharmacology exams. Driving in India is an art, and a game unlike in US where they just follow the rules. Being a born non-follower, and a believer of the rule that “Rules are made to be broken” I was thinking of the Indian traffic rules.In India I am a believer of Karma. Depending on karma either you will survive or the other driver will survive.

Me in India: I love blowing the horn. It’s a way of expressing myself and letting other drivers joining me. I express frustration, happiness, sadness, irritation, or to wake up the sleeping dog in the road.. and I am happy others will join me with no objection and it will continue like a music (more like my brothers music). He who is loudest gets the right-of-way here.

Me in US: I doubt if their cars have one because I never hear any body using it. Am waiting for a chance to use it on somebody (at least I need to check if the horn is working, right?)
In fact I have forgotten the use of horn.

Me in India: I love India and driving in India. I just follow the instinct or move in my intended direction, whether it is left or right or center of the road. I can squeeze through the traffic, no matter from which side
Me in US: one of the major causes of husband –wife fight (i.e. us) here is the left and right hand ruleof the road. My sweet hubby kutty and paavam me goes out for a romatic evening for dinner till we reach the corner, and he tells me to keep right while turning left and before I could hear that it would have reached the left curb and my hubby kutty becomes an expert takes the vehicle back to the right lane. (that’s a rare occasion where I get to hear the Horn) Not only he becomes an expert in road.. but an angry, unromantic kettion. That’s not the end of it.. but the end of a romantic evening too and I sleep starving to death. :(

(I do not know why hubby-kutty who drives at 110 mph at a stretch in US free ways in LA-San Diego gets high BP when the highly expert and experinaced taxi driver tries to maneuver through the busy Bangalore Residency road through the narrow space between the Karnataka BMTCs and trucks at a speed of a tortoise per hour.)

Me in India: when I want to go for a movie (rarely happens) my parents, brothers, sisters, sister in laws all go together in one car, along with brothers kids, not leaving an inch of space. 8 adults and 4 kids go easily and lavishly in my car. In fact no need of a belt, coz there is no chance of being thrown out from the vehicle and I don’t find the use of seat belt.

Me in US: even my 1 year old nice has to have her own seat and I feel the suffocation of the tied up kid in safety belt and the separately joined child safety seat. And when the whole family goes out, it reminds me of Hindi movies- fight scene where some 5-10 vehicles follow the hero.

Me in India:
crossing the road in India is a chance to hold on to the hands of whoever is near you while crossing the road. And guess what you will love crossing road if you love adventure

Me in US: I wait for the vehicle to pass, and they wait for me to move… at last the wait ends when the driver puts his/her out and waves me to move on with a friendly grin… and I recognize I am not in India and how I miss India.

Driving in India is like playing the video game. The points will be added up when you overtake each car. And there are reward points when you overtake cows, stray dogs, trucks, goats, auto rickshaws and pedestrians and beggars. Oh.. How I miss India!!