Friday, September 23, 2005

Driving in India..A Crash Course

For all of you who want to visit India and dare driving here, this blog is all about driving India. Read very carefully and if you feel like laughing, laugh before you take the wheel!!

Indian road rules operate within the domain of Karma (Do ur best and leave the rest to the insurance company) Some of the tips/ hints are as follows:

Left or Right?? - Answer is "BOTH". Start from left if the left lane is free. Then move right if right is free. This is more like chess...move to the next free spot on the road. Only trust your instincts

Pedestrians - Dont stop at pedestrian crossings just because some fools want to cross the road. You'll easily be bumped at the back. Pedestrians are strictly instructed to cross the road only when traffic is slow moving.

Horns - Blowing your horn is not a sign of protest as in some countries. We honk to express joy, resentment, frustration, romance and bare lust. Sometimes to mobilize a cow dozing in the middle of the road.

Night Driving - An Exhilarating experience. U will never know which drivers are loaded. What looks like a premature dawn on the horizon turns out to be a truck attempting a speed record. On encountering it, just pull into the adjoining field till the phenomenon passes. Our roads don't have shoulders. Boulders? Yes of course. Blinking headlights expecting reciprocation is sheer stupidity. The only dim thing in the truck is the driver, with a peg of arrack at the last stop. His cerebral functions could all add up to a little more than naught

Truckies - James Bonds of India (License to kill). A single powerful beam of light six feet above the ground... Not a super bike. Instead a truck with only one light on. Usually the left one. Dont get too close to investigate. Your point may only be proved "Posthumously". Of course, this is only at night. During days, trucks are more visible. Except that the drivers wont pass any signals. Only at times the cleaner projects his hand and waves frantically, to beat the heat.
Occasionally you may see what appears to be a UFO with blinking colored lights and wierd sounds emanating from within. This is an illuminated bus, full of happy piligrims singing Bhajans. They go at break-neck speed, seeking contact with the Almighty, often succesfully.

Autos - Collision b/w automobiles and rickshaws (Auto Rickshaw). The triangular vehicle runs on ext. combustion engine. Fuel - Mix of Kerosene and Creosote. IT can carry iron rods, gas cylinders or even passengers. After calculations, children are folded and packed into these autos until some in the periphery are not in contact with the vehicle at all. Then their school bags are pushed into the microscopic gaps all around. These drivers follow rules depicted in the movie BEN HUR and are licensed to irritate.

Mopeds - Oil Tin on wheels and make noise like an electric shaver. They run 30 miles on a Tea spoon of petrol and travel on break bottom speed. As the sides of the roads are too rugged, these drivers always drive in the middle of the road at a max speed of 20 Kmph. They are often "mopped" off the road by bigger, heavier vehicles.

One final aspect that could be added apart from other normal occurances like Leaning tower of passes (people hanging outta buses by 3 passenger widths) and one ways, is the speed breaker technology; one per two houses. This mound, incidentally, covers the water and drainage pipes for that residence and left untarred for the authorities to identify easily, should they want to recover the pipe for year-end accounting.

After reading all this, if you still want to learn driving in India, you are welcome from 8 PM to 11 AM, when the cops have gone home, to enjoy the "Freedom of Speed".

Try This Music - Aaja meri gaadi mein bhait jaa


Akshay said...

I think u need lot of experience to drive in India, Crash courses will cause a crash :P

Nitin said...

Yup, the crash course could well be considered just a Warning!!

Adhiraj Joglekar said...

Almost 10% of the global road traffic accidents occur in India. Much of the world wide web is full of sarcasm & mocking of the indisciplined driving on Indian roads. Unfortunately in since 60 years since independence the authorities have failed to publish a National Highway code. Licences are given to anyone who can demonstrate an ability to use the clutch-accelerator, consequently the motoer driving schools teach just that and no more. Concepts such as - blindspots, principle of MSM, the tyre & tarmac rule, 2 second gap and most improtantly giving way are not known to the average Indian driver.

This site has been created with the purpose of providing driver education and training to all Indian road users. It is by far the most comprehensive website providing training in defensive driving. Learning simple road habits can make our roads safe and also free up congestion caused by traffic chaos.

At present 17 driver education videos aimed at changing the driving culture on Indian roads are available. The video are unique in that the footage is real life action from streets of London. We have copied the Western habits: Replaced the dhoti with denim, high rise buildings for Indian cottages, burgers and coke instead of Indian breads and perhaps sugarcane juice. Surely we can copy the Western ways of travelling too.

To watch the videos, interested readers may visit:

The videos cover the following topics:

Video 1: Covers the concept of Blind spots
Video 2: Introduces the principle of Mirrors, Signal and Manoeuvre
Video 3: At red lights, stop behind the stop line
Video 4: At red lights there are no free left turns
Video 5: The Zebra belongs to pedestrians
Video 6: Tyres and Tarmac (rather than bumper to bumper)
Video 7: Merging with the Main road
Video 8: Leaving The Main Road
Video 9: Never Cut Corners
Video 10: Show Courtesy on roads
Video 11: 5 Rules that help deal with Roundabouts
Video 12: Speed limits, stopping distances, tailgating & 2 seconds rule
Video 13: Lane discipline and overtaking
Video 14: Low beam or high beam?
Video 15: Parallel (reverse parking) made easy
Video 16: Give the cyclist the respect of a car
Video 17: Dealing with in-car condensation

Many thanks