Partially taken from : Mohan Dadlani , Outlook Lounge
After driving around in Singapore for the last 10 years, taking to the roads in India was an exhilarating experience. Singapore driving teaches you to follow rules, and over the years, I had forgotten just how much of an experience Indian driving is. Sitting at the airport (as I am now), I came across this article which I just have to reproduce (with some minor variations- due apologies to the author Mohan).
Excerpts from the article:
For the benefit of everyone daring to drive on the Indian roads, here are a few hints for survival. They are applicable to every place in India except Bihar, where life outside a vehicle is only marginally safer. Indian road rules broadly operate within the domain of karma where you do your best and leave the rest to your insurance company. The hints are as follows:
1. Do we drive on the left or right of the road? The answer is both. You start on the left of the road, unless it is occupied. In that case, go to the right, unless that is also occupied. Then proceed by occupying the next available gap, as in chess. (it could be in inches).
2. Just trust your instincts, ascertain the direction, and proceed. Adherence to road rules leads to much misery and occasional fatality.
3. Most drivers don’t drive, but just aim their vehicles in the intended direction. Dont you get discouraged or underestimate yourself. most other drivers are not in any better position either.
4. Dont stop at any crossing or Pedestrian crossings just because some fool wants to cross the road. You may do so only if you enjoy being bumped in the back. Some idiot may try to wade across, but then, let us not talk ill of the dead.
5. Blowing your horn is not a sign of protest but to express joy, resentment, frustration, romance or just a wake up call to a dozing cow in the middle of the road.
There are other points- but this really hit the mark for me. I am sportingly taking the car out – and taking it for a drive every now and then. I spend more time waiting in corners waiting for someone to stop and let me go- much to the chagrin of people behind me! Of course, I have learnt to ignore the horns blaring around me- and am re-learning the joy of pressing that horn- which gives an immediate release to pent up frustrations. The other learning is the ability to rapidly look at all the mirrors in the car- and also in the front of the car. I realized that it is not necessary now- most drivers just don’t care- as it is not their responsibility to worry about someone’s else’s insignificant life. The others will take care of themselves – and they do.
Lastly- don’t get attached to your cars! Especially if you cannot stand scratches & dents. They tend to appear magically even when parked on empty roads.
Having fun! Honk Honk.