Life was moving at a nice pace, driving down the winding roads in the university, watching greenery on both sides, listening to the birds, and listening to the air whistling in my ears, her song, so much one with the environment. The past few weeks have just been the opposite. Driving down 30 minutes to work is a nightmare. I hear all the unnatural of sounds, pam, poom, peem, creee, keee, kiichh........ oh noises of every kind, not to speak of reverse horns,,,,, tick tick, tock tock, pick pick, pock pock. Thankfully, they don't play the national anthem, everything else is there in the menu. For otherwise, me and my car would have had to stand in attention right in the middle of the road.
It feels like a rat race, with competitors of every kind trying to make the vacant inch of road ahead of them theirs. They would overtake you left and right, and make your hair stand on ends, but overtake they will to obtain that vacant inch. And if you are slow, they will honk the hell out of you till you and your car nearly jump off the road, till they get their way.... plain bullies. There are then vehicles who drive all round the road, left to right, break, and zoom which makes you wonder whether you unknowingly became part of a computer game. It's crazy I tell you. In India, you have vehicles starting from the poor cycle, poor because we don't consider them anymore as vehicles of conveyance, so much so that we push them off the edge of the road, like the poor pedestrian who is considered as person non-grata on the road. Then you have the three wheelers, auto rickshaws, rickety as they are, their pulling power at an all time low, but their emission levels always high. Then come the cars, big and small. Small like the Maruti, which occupy less space and were meant for India roads and the ugly like the Sumo, Innova and the Safari's, big time bullies, who I believe should be banned from the Indian roads. They are the rakshasas of today, scaring anyone in their path, and having air-horns that blow your ear drums off. Then there are the buses, the state transport ones, typical elephants they are(in a nice way - I love elephants). Huge, carrying the heaviest possible load and the means of conveyance of many, they are the most ill-serviced of the lot and their drivers, the most harassed. But then, there are those private buses who believe that the road is theirs to rule and follow the 'push everyone off the road' mantra, again, big time bullies. I can only thank the people who decided to keep the lorries off the roads during working hours for they heavily loaded as they are are a veritable pain moving snail paced, occupying a major part of the road and heavens forbid if they break down.
All of the above I manage, laugh and move on. The only kind I don't understand are the two-wheelers, the bikes. They think they move in air, going from left to right, right to left, scratching the edges of the car by trying to go in any nook, gap and corner they find. The worst is when they think they are elephants. What I mean is, they drive in the middle of the road and would not let you go. Besides, they love driving in the middle of the road in single file, not to speak of some drivers speed and occupy all the space. To add to this, they are gingerly and start shaking if you go near them, making it a terrible experience to overtake them. Then there is a special kind among them, who when driving look at posters and shops and everything around, and sway with the wind that moves, thereby confusing you as to what is their next move. There was this guy who was driving in the middle of the road, and kept looking to his left over the shoulder, that I thought he is going to go left. Instead, he took a sharp right. Maybe for him, yes is a no and a left is a right. They are the ones who need to be taught road rules first, for they rule the roads as of today and are bad rulers.
So much for the madness on the road I face every morning and evening, a total of one hour, that to survive I must learn these rules. I must learn what left and right is for whom - so much patterns to pick and so much confusion to resolve.
Oh, driving is mad, especially in the mornings, when everyone is driving to reach on time somewhere. As someone told me once, "Would two minutes more matter ?"