Its an adventure driving on the capital's roads. Drive along Akbar Road or Shantipath and it is a pleasure and calming too. Drive on the expressways and it can get thrilling if you put your foot down or downright monotonous if you don't. And everywhere else, its sheer torture. The road death capital of the country has the unusual (and dangerous) combination of having the best road roads in India and the worst drivers in the world. My mom had spent more than a decade trying to be a disciplined driver on Delhi's roads hoping that at least some would learn by example and others would reciprocate the politeness. She, after years of being almost run down and constantly honked at, finally decided that the old adage "If you can't beat 'em then join 'em" is the only thing that works out here. So here's my guide to all you need to know while driving in the NCR (National Capital Region) and how to survive the NCRs (Nasty Commuters on a Rampage).

WAR!!
Driving may be an activity in most other places or a chore in some crowded ones but out here it is WAR!! And since everything is fair in love and war, everything is fair on the roads. Your fellow commuter on the road is not a fellow, he is the enemy and like all enemies he needs to be defeated. Always be prepared and never lose an opportunity to take the advantage away from another commuter. Buses are tanks, especially the Bluelines, and get to close too to one and chances are you will be mowed down before you can say "Teri ma kaa...."! Pedestrians and cattle are like landmines as they will be scattered all over the road and you have to use all your skill to dodge them. Also remember, pedestrians are no more intelligent than the cattle out here. Only your car gets a smaller dent and you do go to jail if you hit 'em. The police are like air raids. They aren't there most of the time but when they are they come out of nowhere and bomb you with a speeding ticket. So watch out soldier!!

SWEET SYMPHONY....errr... CACOPHONY

Forget what they taught you in driving school or what was engraved into your head by you daddy when he taught you how to take the wheel. The most important component of the automobile is NOT the brake its the horn. Most obstacles that could threaten you (and your car) on the road are the ones which can move out of the way themselves. Confounded cows, problematic pedestrians and dimwitted dogs can all be scared out of the way by honking (most of the times). However do keep your foot over the brake, just in case. Also horns are an important weapon used in psychological warfare. If your enemy commuter is annoying you by his coming in your way you may simply honk him up the roadside tree by applying constant pressure to the centre portion of your steering wheel. Having a loud air horn does help. Also, honking the moment the lights turn green is customary, so please don't annoy the locals and do honk!

BE WILD MANNERED
Please, do us Delhiites a favour and leave the Pehle Aap load of crap in Lucknow. In Delhi, its my way or my way. The moment you let some guy pass you he'll bring the entire herd that was behind him along. So be a jerk and don't show him any decency even if he happens to be your own sweet old grandpa.

WOMEN CAN DRIVE??

What rubbish? Is it even legal for them to drive? These modern lipstick applying and hair brushing upstarts shouldn't be anywhere near the steering wheel. If one does commit the sacrilege of overtaking you ( a guy) then please, feel free to force her the road or run her into a ditch or at the very least overtake her to put her in her place. However if this upstart happens to be pleasing to the eye then you are more than welcome to leave your comments and suggestions by shouting it at her using the choicest of words. After all, chivalry pays no??

A LITTLE DEMOLITION HURT NO ONE
You know what really stands out on the city's roads? A car with no scratches. It stands out like a dude at a rave party who doesn't dope. So be a philanthropist and give that brand new car a scratch. You may chose to use you own (and obviously scratched) car as your tool if you happen to be driving at the time. If you are walking then, at the very least, use something to scratch your name into the paint of an unscathed vehicle. Sort of like an artist signing at the bottom of his/her painting.

3 comments:

lol...a wonderful and somewhat truthful article...
I have been in Delhi and i quite agree to what you say but i have to mention that Delhi cannot and should not get the crown of the "NCRs" (Nasty Commuters on a Rampage). Living and driving in Houston,TX for a little more than 4 years I can testify that driving is not for the weak hearted. If some kind person does have a blinker on while changing lanes it is considered as a factor defect. What more can I say to share your frustration of a city's driving life?

December 12, 2007 at 3:21 PM  

I am not coming to Delhi . Period ! By the way , what's the message on your blog about having a nice day in Mumbai man ?

December 14, 2007 at 11:28 AM  

@kislay
thats a javascript that basically figures out your location from you IP address and comes up with that message. it still has a few bugs i guess... for me however it reads fairly accurately as "have a good day in Delhi"

December 14, 2007 at 12:09 PM  

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