Driving on Bangalore's Wild Roads
There is no subtle way of saying this – Bangalore roads are hellish and most drivers suffer from Road Rage. Everyone tries to squeeze into that extra space and the minute vehicles scrape each other, people start fighting, they scream and some even start beating each other up. The past few days I’ve been virtually living on the roads of Bangalore, driving from one end of the city to another and I've come across four accidents in four days which seem to be a lot.
On Monday, I saw a three wheeler rammed into an Indica , Tuesday I saw an overturned bus on Hosur Road near Electronic City, Wednesday, I saw two buses hugging each other’s sides while the drivers fought and today on Sarjapur I saw a gruesome car accident.
I hate driving. The light drizzle we've been suffering for the past two days has made the traffic conditions even worse, add slush and flooded roads and what we have on our hands is a recipe for disaster. People are madder than ever. Instead of slowing down, they drive faster when they see a car turning or people crossing the road. It’s as if they have shelved their rational selves and become complete morons. No one is willing to give the other way causing jams and then just sitting in their vehicles expecting the cops to come and sort out their shit.
Indians have no concept of personal space and more so on the roads. There is always a biker zipping in too close or buses squeezing the car in from both the sides. I found myself screaming when two buses closed in – both wanting the middle space and who was in the middle? My dinky little Alto with the entire family sitting in it!
Today I had enough; I cannot bring myself to drive beyond the speed of 40km/hr or a maximum of 60km/hr. People keep honking behind me but I drive at my steady speed. Why speed up? There is bound to be a pothole the size of a cavern in the middle of the road which would have us all go back to the first gear or some massive pile up that would make us stop altogether.
Also, I honk judiciously, I find myself crawling behind a cyclist or pedestrians, the roads are slushy, and there aren’t any footpaths for them to walk on. Honking at them won’t get them off the road when there is nowhere for them to go. Seriously, these
fuckers people in their vehicles expect the two legged sods to fly their way home.
The biggest morons on the road are those who drive with their headlights at full beam. Even worse are those who get extra headlights fitted on their beastly vehicles and cause complete blindness for the next five minutes. Thankfully, until now I haven’t bumped anyone off the road at night and with me crawling at not more than 20km/hr in the side lanes, the chances of this happening seems slim. Another trick I have learned is to drive behind those mammoth trucks. Yes, it gets painfully slow but I rather be slow then go blind by those high beams!
Nowadays, I don’t mind getting those nasty glares from drivers who think they are the kings of the road. They are no different from the apes we see on the National Geographic Channel on testosterone overdrive. All I do is remind myself that what’s important is to reach home in one piece no matter how long it takes and then to destress with a cup of tea and some pakodas.
Driving on Bangalore's Wild Roads
- » Published on December 20, 2007
- » Type: Opinion
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