Left turn not free

If you’ve ever driven a motorized vehicle from point A to point B in Delhi, you’ve probably experienced human nature at its most profound level. Spend enough time on Delhi roads and there remain only two possible outcomes:

1. You die. Crushed by an SUV, or by your own pent up frustration.

2. You move to the Himalayas.

I’m somewhere in between, but I have managed to begin steering myself towards the second outcome. It’s quite simple, really.  If you follows some basic do’s and don’ts.

Things to watch out for.

The white Suzuki Swift with opaque tinted glasses.

The first thing that’ll strike you is that they really are opaque. Even the windshield.

Which will lead to the second realization: the gentleman can’t see shit. (I’m not being politically incorrect (as much as I’d love to). Trust me, it’s always a man.)

Recommended course of action: Immediately turn on the blinker and get out of the way.

The Toyota Qualis/Tata Sumo

Watch out for the number plate. If it’s Delhi, you can breathe and move over slowly.

If, on the other hand it’s Haryana (the two most dreaded letters: HR), try to remember that the man (again, always a man) behind the wheel has been bred and trained for one singular purpose: to overtake your ass.

Your best bet is to pull over as fast as you can, lock your doors and start chanting the Hanuman Chalisa. (Yes. Learn it.)

Under no circumstances are you to communicate with him in any form. I am not kidding, they have iron rods below their seats.

Oh, and do not hit the blinkers. For Haryana drivers, they work opposite. A left indicator means they are free to swerve past you from the left. True.

The Auto-rickshaw

So, in case your ego has taken too much of a bruising after a couple of encounters of the above-mentioned kind, worry not, we have the Auto.

Although the auto-wallahs often mean no harm – they are a victim of a severe identity crisis. The thing has three wheels, but is driven and manoeuvres like a two-wheeler, leading them to believe they can easily cut through that narrow space in front of you – there are few more infuriating things on the road than those aerodynamics-defying yellow-green nuisances.

And they’re lower than you in the road hierarchy, so you can safely cut them off, bully them around, etc. and feel a little better about yourself.

Although if you happen to be stuck behind a rolling barrier: 3 autos climbing a flyover and simultaneously trying to overtake each other in a slow motion race, spare the horn. All you can probably do is try to think of the pleasant things you saw online last night.

Well, there are quite a few more: the Blue Line buses (popularly known as Killer Lines, Death Chariots, Maut ki Sawari, etc.), the SUV with a flag of a friendly, for-the-people political party, the boucer on the Enfield, and so on … but I’m a bit bored, so I’ll complete this with one universally applying piece of advice.

Just keep repeating to yourself: It’s not a fucking race.

Sounds stupid, but really helps.

And if it doesn’t, you can always put up a bumper sticker saying: Andi, mandi, shandi, jisne overtake kiya…

(Seriously want to print that out.)

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One Response to Left turn not free

  1. The Regular says:

    So you started driving in Delhi regularly now, eh? Welcome to hell.

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