Licence to Learn - II

  • Ankur Mithal
  • India
  • Mar 27, 2015

I had thought my driving education was complete after my initial skirmishes in Gurgaon. But I was wrong…once again. In just a few weeks I have learnt lots more. Let me start by addressing the lament of many a road veteran today – the lack of any ‘road etiquette’ (like giving way, slowing down, using indicators and headlights etc.). They believe that not only is it not practised, the drivers of today do not even seem to be aware of any such etiquette or courtesies. I disagree. Not only are they known to the drivers of today, they actively practice them. To ensure that there is no ambiguity, their basic guidelines are: ‘Give way to traffic on the right, when I am on the right: give way to traffic on the left, when I am on the left; dip your headlights at night on an undivided stretch of road when you see my oncoming high beam vehicle; give way to downhill traffic when I am going downhill; pedestrians or cyclists around a puddle of water on the road should scatter fast on seeing my oncoming car, as I like to splash through at high speed; give way to a siren-blazing ambulance and to my car in its ‘wake’; you can double or triple-park your cars only alongside other cars that have followed me to a ‘No Parking’ zone (which includes all footpaths or sidewalks). If society has enabled you to earn the money to buy a car, it needs to provide for parking it as well. Further, to avoid being caught driving drunk, keep ‘paan’, cardamom, mint and other aromatic condiments handy. You can also eat and text while driving. Of course, not all can do this - it is an art.’   

  So, whose side are you on? Aren’t the new millennium rules cool? Go ahead, drive like a banshee. If you don’t know what banshee means, don’t worry…chances are that you drive like one anyway. Hire goons to shoo people out of the way of your car (while you sit inside wearing a white kurta-pyjama and a Gandhi cap). Have a Khan Market red beacon and siren installed in and on your car. Most importantly, never ever follow a traffic rule simply because it makes sense and is the right thing to do and will make for a safer and more wholesome driving environment. We all have to shoulder such societal responsibilities from time to time. We cannot expect the authorities to take care of everything.


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