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!!


Mez said...

Hi Beena...Thanks for droppin by my blog. U such an opposite from the rest of the pople who have driven both in india n abroad.Ppl detest drivin in India..it requires such a lotta patience and esp. the honkin sound is like arggh! so damn annoying..Don telme u luv all that. Lol.

vEENs said...

heheheh! totaly :)

that was a cuteee post :))

dnt try to try yur honk on anynoe.. they feel it is offending :) i heard so :)

**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[..]

i lov this part :)

pavam hubby-kutty. and LOL at the fight on left and rights :))

i read this sweet post on driving.. very funny one on one of my friends too :)) u shud read it :)

here is the link http://anerimasissoapbox.blogspot.com/2008/04/take-care-of-her-ok.html

have fun driving :))

rahul said...

what a beautiful take on driving in India...you make it seem like disneyland :P

Arthur said...

Hi Beena, looks like driving in India is very different from here. You know, I've been in US twice, and I checked how people drive their cars, not so different from here, but it's really ruled.

Thanks for your comment in my Dreams.

Big greetings, big hugs and big kisses

Sweet Dreams, from the bottom of my Heart:

gunj said...

lol...funny post but wat i cud eally infer was dat ppl get so comfortable in the no bar ways here that even if they knw they are wrong, they are reluctant to change em!

Beena said...

mez: i love India.. but i was trying to depict the trobles of driving in India in a funny way..lol

veens: ya i love driving.. and i dare not horn anyone.. or my hubby kutty will ,.. lol

rahul & arthur: thanks.. a Big thanks

Gunj: ya.. its difficult to change ppl and the ways.. but slowly we can expecta transition may be .. atleast with the next generation

Nirmal's Blog said...

ha ha good post.....
was just wondering how people from US will feel if they drive here in mumbai...

aneri_masi said...

hehe :) I had an opportunity to honk today. By the time I could reach a decision on my to-honk-or-not-to-honk, the offender was miles away! And I sat there cursing myself, horn bhi nahi bajaya!

I read some where that India has the lowest rate of fatal accidents, in spite of all this, amazing isn't it :)

That said, I hold my 10 yr old niece's hand while we cross the road in India, I can't do it alone anymore!

$mit@ said...

hey beena! thanks a bunch n half for the kind words!

durjoy datta said...

great post....!
though at the end of it all....
it felt like Indians are nincompoops when it comes to road sense!!!!
in fact you made them sound uncivilized!!!!
and the saddest part.....they are....!

Vineeth said...

Hi ji,
Did u rememember those books in our school library??? ie stories..

There was a series of book about a bull-dozer(JCB in short).The narrator was that JCB itself. in that story it says its strength, sorrows and all feeling in a very nice way.
just nw i feel like reading it..
u r GREAT yaarr.. simply gr8.

Sahefa said...

how are ya?

Niyara - Asian Rocxs said...

LOL!!!! so true! i miss the horns for the hell of it, and the loading of as many passengers possible into the car rule!! the noise and dust and organised chaos. There are prob more accidents on the "follow the rules or else youl be banned" roads!

Prajwol said...

I agree with you :)

But guess what, I got more shock when I went back to home country than when I came in here :D

Try driving here for 4-5 years, and then go back to India and try driving :)

Beena said...

nirmal.. good thinking.. they will consider Mumbai as another disney land and the travelling as a roller coster ride :)
Aneri: i wish i dont have to hold a 10 yr olds hand to cross Indian road.. pls no :)
Smita: :)
d Datta: i dint want to degrade them or anything.. i ust love Inida... but feel bad for our indian driving culture
vineeth: ente kunje orama pisakaarikkum.. onnum ormayilla. oru peekkiri chekkane ky pidichu schoolil kondu pokunnathumaathram ormayundu
sahefa: doing good.. fantastic i shud say
Niyara: infact thats a news to me.. i thought accidents are more ther
Prajwol: wow..u back. i was missing all my old bloggers. so HOW DO U DO?

J said...

After spending two years in Europe, I can proudly say that my driving skills in India is now much better.

And well, driving wouldn't be that much fun if it wasn't for some morons who lack the driving sense.

Anonymous said...

Safety First. Being safe is no accident.One solution that's making a differnce and save lives SEAT BELT.

Shiby said...

Hi b.chechy,
good observation. What are your suggestions to improve driving in India?

BIG Omi said...

Hey naish one,
Have a good weekend

rocksea said...

haha. it is so weird here too.. esp with right side driving!

i love driving thru india.. not the cities though.

Nightingale said...

goooooooooood post

preethy said...


Beena said...

j: is driving there in Europe that bad? :)

shiby: nothing to be done.before driving thru indian raod call brother pappachan and ask whther it is a safe day to drive pulli YES paranjaal .. drive. allel veettil kuthi iri.. :)

Big Omi: thanks Lol

RoXee: driving thru bharanaganam shudnt be that exciting :)bvut i really njoyed your wedding driving to church. Great IDEA

nightingale & Preethy: ThankX lol

Anonymous said...

enniku vaiya.....ithraium patience evidunu kitti? ..and wht do u get in return? try adding google ada you can generate some income too:-)

shaju ks said...

I have to say that i liked ur blogs coz u made me read all of it. I have a son who is away at Blore and i miss him a lot. I also have a pet back home whom i luv a lot. So, i liked the blogs on the above subjects. You have good writing abilities. But when it comes to the blog on driving in India i got reminded of Shashi Tharoor's "cattle class" comment. You seem to be just another not-so-proud-Indian who takes pleasure in criticising India & its ways the moment you step into foriegn land. Sorry i didnt mean to hurt u, but as a patriotic Indian (again i dont mean to say that u r unpatriotic) , i would suggest that u spend time trying to think of ways to solve the problems of our country rather than criticise it. People with good blogging abilities like u can bring about a difference. The mouse is (definitely) mightier than the sword. Hope u will delete ur unpleasant blog before u delete my comment. ksshaju@gmail.com