of being driven by justice

How many of you have ever driven on the roads in Delhi? Those of you who have will agree that it is fucking terrifying with the complete disregard for traffic rules. Because rules are for children. This is war, and all that matters is victory, not the bloodbath that leads you to it.

Most drivers are egotistic, homicidal/suicidal maniacs. They will pull out of their driveways in full speed, not caring that there’s moving traffic on the road, and then start driving on the wrong side of the road without so much as blinking (pun intended).

People just assume that they have the right of way. They will flash their headlights at you, and honk until you give them space, even if they’re in YOUR lane. If you don’t move, or flash back at them, the will keep coming at you until you swerve and hit someone. So you end up moving.

And then there is the complete irreverence for human life – pedestrians have nowhere to cross the road, because cars will only stop ON the zebra crossing, a quarter of an inch from where the signal is. No sir, we won’t let anyone pass, not even ambulances. Let them die if they must. Cop cars, however, are free to do as they like. Thulle se panga? No way.

Don’t even get me started on the incessant honking.

Now I’ve been driving for only three (or four?) years – and I know that I am better than most newbies. I know I can easily take on most of the “No if no but, only Jatt” Pajero owners and people with political party flags as they try to stick their cars into the barely-enough space between my car and the next, close enough for me to count their nasal hair.

But I don’t, because I try to obey the rules and be what my ex used to call a “smooth” driver. No jerky movements, no surprises, no rule-breaking. Unless it’s an emergency of course, like when someone’s injured or dying, in which case I’d take just a few nanoseconds to get where I want to be, regardless of how many rules had to be broken. But that hasn’t happened yet.

Now since I conceived, my driving has become slower and more deliberate. I barely drive over 50 km/h (which, btw, is the speed limit here). This slowing down has sensitized me to things that I probably wasn’t bothered by earlier, and the innate sense of justice that I inherited from my father (yes, he did teach me something good) has come to the surface, and I’m unable to push it down.

Which brings me to what happened this morning.

It was drizzling, and I woke up feeling like a cow; bloated, slow, and nauseous. I didn’t want to, but I had to drive to work. I reluctantly pulled out of my driveway, and headed out onto the main road.

Just as I turned, a blue-gray Swift appeared out of nowhere in front of my car. This guy was trying to overtake an RTV that was moving slowly, and had ventured into my lane. Now I did have space on the left to maneuver, but I didn’t stop. Of course I did this only because I knew there was enough distance between us for the guy to slow down – I wouldn’t have risked my baby. Truth be told, I was done being “nice”; done giving way to errant drivers who zig-zag their way into my lane, assuming that they can bully me. I needed to be “just”. So I stopped. He had to, too. He stood there, staring at me through his windshield. I stared back in defiance. The road in his lane was absolutely clear by now, and he could just have backed up and gone his way, but he was just being cocky, so I started honking manically.

Eventually he had to back up, but he pulled over to my side, rolled his window down, glared at me and asked: Aapka steering ghoomta nahin hai kya? Does your steering not function?

Mere steering ki fikr chhodiye, apni lane mein gaadi chalaiye, itni zillat nahin uthani padegi. You should stop worrying about my steering wheel, and instead focus on driving within you lane. That way you’ll never have to be embarrassed, I said, victorious.

He drove away without a word, and I instantly felt better for having stepped out. Justice had been served.

*sigh*

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anawnimiss

Blogger. Crazy bitch. Stalkee. Weirdo magnet. Wannabe housewife. Corporate Slave. Find me at anawnimiss.wordpress.com!

46 thoughts on “of being driven by justice”

  1. Yep!!! 100 points for Anawni!!! From all I heard about driving in India it must be pure horror. I admire you that you take that challenge every day! You are right with your new attitude. It is easier to be the reasonable person whe you know what you are doing it for. Take care, dear!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t even…!! And I live in Pune where people company about the traffic and the rule breakers all the time (me included)… they haven’t seen what it is like in other places… sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Driving in India is a pure horror. But there are pockets and patches, with the best and the worst in stark contrast across the nation and the contrast is huge. And yes, at many places one doesn’t earn a driving license, but simply buys them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess the police is not able to check that anyway. They are overwhelmed with traffic itself and as Anawni mentioned… they have their own rules!!! As you say, that must be horror!!! How is the public transport in India?

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        1. Being an European, these things come as a surprise to you. This might not surprise you, but still the infrastructure is very strong. Here, infrastructure is an excuse to loot public money.
          A dripping water tap is a routine feature in our households. Owners proudly drive a polluting vehicle. Cycling is discouraged too.
          Out of all this some local govt or transport department wakes up and gets things in place and we get a good service.
          Public transport in Delhi is a shade better with a good bus network and the already delayed Metro rail service. Not comparable to Bombay, but still good.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thank you for sharing this all. Of course this all was different to Europe but not in such detail. Hopefully the public transport gets well developed and frequented in order to get this dangerous traffic issue under control. But I think that is a very long way to go.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Been there. Done that. Only in a different city. I think it’s the same all over India! I usually just end up glaring at people and not say anything because of two reasons, one – I don’t know the local language, two – my command over the ‘national language’ is nothing to write home about. So by the time I figure out how to say what I want to say, the moment would have passed leaving me extremely pissed. Glaring and honking is the only thing that works for me!

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        1. Well, people may be nicer but that doesn’t stop them from driving in the incorrect lane or honking incessantly or speeding like they’re stunting for Matrix! Even in Baroda, which is said to be a very cultured place (which it is by the way), driving is the same. *We are in a hurry and our priorities are urgent than yours. Hence, we will speed* seems to be the motto everywhere!

          They may be polite or smile sheepishly to acknowledge their fault, but it doesn’t stop them from making them again!!

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          1. Since there’s no escape from bad drivers in India, I think that being driving rash and acknowledging it when cornered is way more forgivable than driving rash and being cocky about it. 😉

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Never ever had the pleasure of driving in India. When I visited 10 years ago, we hired a driver and the hubs was so awestruck, he was recording it. It has to be a nightmare. I would be in fights everyday with the misogynists with my broken hindi.

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    1. You’re lucky you survived in India. Drivers are nuts! They wait to change lanes until there is someone approaching from the opposite side, and then swerve and pull up right in front of them, daring them to stay on their path!

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  4. We didn’t drive in India but we had a driver. (thank heavens) It was a nightmare as you say. I have written a song about it called “Getting Nowhere Fast” by swo8 Blues Jazz, and will be releasing it in a few days as a video on my site. This is a problem world wide.
    Leslie

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    1. Leslie, you have no idea how blessed you are you’re still alive. Drivers are not to be trusted; they’re more frustrated than anyone else on the road, and are willing to fight duels with death. Oh and when do we get to listen to the song?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Our driver had just recovered from a car accident and in the short couple of weeks that we were there with him, he hit a motor cyclist. THe motor cyclist was okay but very upset. They almost had a fist fight right there on the street.
        Oh, the song will be coming out in a couple of days. I just need a little more footage of traffic congestion. Keep checking.
        Leslie

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  5. Nicely done Ana. Drivers like that annoy me – nobody counts but them. Arrrgh! in my career driving I’ve exacted vengeance on a few over the years – put one off the road and caused a few to back off when they tried to bully. ha! I was driving a tractor-trailer on a 4-lane divided highway in a rural area once and there was a car far in the distance parked in a dirt pull out on the side. He backed out and started the wrong way on the highway. I was passing another vehicle when he decided to drive towards me in the passing lane. He was determined he was right – that I was on the wrong side of a two lane road. He had a woman in the passenger seat and the two looked very determined that they were right. It actually came to the point where we both had to stop because neither would give in.We were nose to nose in the passing lane when I got out of the truck to fill him in, and suddenly he realized he was wrong. He took off backwards down the road, did a fast turn and raced off in the right direction. Ha! I know guys who wouldn’t have stopped – who would have kept going until there was an accident. But i’m not that bad. As I once told my girlfriend – who is bad for bluffing other drivers : Some day you will meet someone who won’t buy your bluff and then you are in trouble.

    Great post Ana.

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  6. Emerging out of the tractor-trailer, you must’ve looked like a formidable enemy, Paul. No wonder they scooted out of there as fast as they could!
    Bluffing in these cases never works – you’re either willing to take the risk, or not! I’m usually not risk-averse, but right now, I have two hearts beating inside of me, and I just have to be careful. Another life, far more important to me than my own, depends on my staying sane.
    *enters zen mode*

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A pet peeve of mine! Tailgaters and honkers. The worst part of experiencing these people are that they’re usually encountered on the way to work. That’s when everyone is in a rush. Consequently, they ruin the rest of our day. Good for you for such a good comeback. Victorious!!!!

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  8. This is seriously terrifying, I have a distant cousin whose tiny little nano was pushed to one end of the road by these pajero wielding jatts, which is when she decided to use the DTC buses during the day, and only if she has extremely unavoidable work in the evenings/night does she drive. Apparently these guys scared her off good, threatening her with their ‘machoness’ and their political connections…

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    1. Well, it’s a cliche for a reason – these Pajero guys are brash and will stop at nothing. Unfortunately for me, I can’t take public transport – my commute is Delhi to Noida, and it’s a pain changing autos/buses. (Not to mention the unwillingness to let go of the comfort of driving on your own!)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I have a short fuse and I have this crazy need to be “just” as well. So I just honk like nuts and then offer up my middle finger while mouthing “a$$hole”. You have no idea how much restraint I have to employ when I’m driving my daughter around!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m kinda in the same boat right now, Krith. I keep saying the “ch” word every chance I get, and then realize there’s a tiny little person inside, listening and imbibing. Then I curse myself and swear never to use that word again. And I fail miserably. 😦

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  10. Thanks God, I am in this miserable city for just two years. I didn’t want it, was forced into it, now will leave happily. That also gives me an idea for the next photo series.
    Drivers in Delhi dont park their cars but abandon them. I will start to click some masterpieces of “parking”.

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    1. Well, yes. I’ve seen cars “parked” right in the middle of the road because the owner wanted to get out and buy a cigarette. These morons are what leads to massive jams.

      Like

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