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Licensed to Kill or Get Killed

Ever since I read my humorist friend’s blog on Accidental Rules (read it here), the fear of a similar fate round the next corner has made me a ‘jumpy’ passenger during our drive to work.

As we know, a jumpy passenger inside the car is often a bigger problem for the cautious driver compared to the lunatic drivers outside. Yes! You read it right. The reason for this dichotomy is not too difficult to perceive.

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The sane driver on the roads accounts for the insanity around him while driving, with full knowledge that the crazy ones hands over the responsibility of their safety to the saner ones. How often have we heard the refrain: “Why can’t you look behind you before braking suddenly?”

Excuse me! But, I am not blessed with eyes at the back of my head. “You do have the rear view mirror, don’t you”? Of course I do. The point is the chap in front applied the brakes suddenly and I didn’t have time to see you approaching at supersonic speed behind me! Sorry about that!

Coming back to my driver’s predicament… he has learnt to live with the insanity outside, but there is no way he can accept the one within, more so because the lunatic inside pays his monthly salary. Smart fellow that he is, my driver procured a few CDs of old Hindi & Tamil songs and started playing it during our 45 minute drive to work and back. Distraction does work!

While the effervescence of Kishore Kumar, SPB and their ilk may have made me less jumpy over the past couple of days, something that a new acquaintance said yesterday suggests that city driving will only get messier in the years ahead.

Having arrived six months ago from London, this entrepreneur decided to get herself a driving license and approached one of the numerous ‘driving schools’ in Bangalore. The first lesson she was given went thus: “Madam! Do not worry about others on the road. Your world is limited to your vehicle. Just worry about yourself and ignore the others.”

Sounds like sane advice?

Now compare this with what my tutor taught me as an 18-year-old stepping behind the steering wheel on a cold winter Delhi morning in 1980. The wizened old man said: “Let me explain the rules of driving. There is just one… Think of the roads as a mad house where it is your bounden duty to ensure that others get home in a single piece. “

Explains why I find myself on the lunatic fringe!

I thought it may be interesting to check out what the road transport inspectors tell aspiring drivers seeking a license? Then again, maybe no! Why would they want to tell them anything, busy as they are counting the currency notes stashed between pages of the application form.

As for lunatic drivers, well… the only way around them is to ignore them and stick to what we do best! A lesson I learnt after reading this Blog: Bad Drivers Need the Rest of Us


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  • Sudhir Narasimhan

    True. Driving in India is all about self preservation and in that process we ensure that others ( lunatics) also go home safely.

  • Anonymous

     True driving skills lie in the strength of you prayers 🙂

    • Raj

      Vetrivel muruganukku, hara-haro hara!

      [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.