Wednesday, December 10, 2014

(This is an entry for Nissan safety driving forum and you can know more about it at

             Driving.......there’s more to life than increasing its speed!

                                  @#^!<.>$%^&*()Free  flowing and fulsome  expletives and interjections  as we mindlessly cut lanes, honk incessantly, jump signals, drink and drive, make vicious u-turns or enter one-ways,  when not allowed ,seat belts hardly matter- throwing caution to winds and having scant regard for fellow drivers with headlights on high beam, is indeed  the prevailing maddening order of the day on Indian roads!
                                I drove past a luminescent billboard featuring an advertisement with an interesting tag line “I love traffic”  - ah..I rejoiced at the thought that I was not one of a kind who enjoyed driving even with all the mayhem on the roads, there are others as insane as me to be so passionate to spin, turn and whirl! But the next line broke that joy of exclusive company as it read ”stay close to your workplace so that you do not have to commute!” I realized the ad was for an apartment with close proximity to everything so that we do not have to hit the roads!!

Learning the nuances of driving in the pre Maruti era, in the sprawling gated township community  was easily child’s play even with  an over protective dad doing back seat driving , however  the real test of one’s skills and adroitness was put to test on the main roads of Kochi  and this was nothing short but  dare devilry and adventure. No hand breaks, seatbelts, side view mirrors, bucket seats or airbags to give one a cosy comfort of safety nor there was a coolant to keep the whirring engines cool and composed, it was just plain water that quenched the thirst of the bye gone engines. Yes, I hasten to add the vehicle population twenty five years ago was scanty but the red devils(Kochiites would know what I mean and for the un initiated folks who live outside the crude imaginary lines of boundaries, they are the private buses painted in bright red ) were already present in full magnificence, honking to their ears ‘glory, breathing down our necks, revving the engines for all its worth and pressing the gas pedal to their feet content much to the jittery and sweating new driver’s discomfort and agony! So I learnt putting pedal to metal the hard way and this has stood the test of time, graduating fearlessly from a lesser known metro with an out modelled car, to a burgeoning metro –Bengaluru. Moving up from a geared four wheeler to an improvised automatic version to an all powerful sports utility vehicle with all the safety accessories in place,  was indeed a quantum leap as I continue the happy hours on the road, despite gridlocks and logjams, cranky and cantankerous cows, 
 jaunty and prankish kids, zippy zesty road hogs, flying cabbies, roaring roadsters, unscrupulous lurking cops, abysmal craters,

harassing vagabonds, engrossed prattling phone users
 and exasperating expletives and curses. The use of the prefix “happy” connotes the will to drive safe without the sound of screeching rubber or blowing the car’s trumpet, obeying the traffic rules and not putting anyone in jeopardy for I believe in Gandhiji’s words of wisdom....

Increasing motorists with rampant issue of licenses, collapsing infra structure with roads that are hardly 10 feet wide, automobile manufacturers growing like mushrooms, lopsided growth of cities owing to availability of livelihood, haphazard town planning that is ever expanding vertically, horizontally, arterially and peripherally are undoubtedly reasons for incapacitating and crippling our freedom of movement on the roads , but do we keep cribbing on the shortcomings or  be the change we wish to see in the world .
It must begin with me and I must be the catalyst to bring about harmony on roads and convert distress into pleasure.
So here goes the mitzvah, some of which I have faithfully followed, few of them intentionally ignored, conveniently forgotten, tried and failed miserably while the rest I am  determined to adopt in the New Year....
v Never lay rubber - normal speed meets all needs!
v Stop for signals – never be colour blind and get fined!
v Never cut lanes – criss cross, zig zag, a strict no no!
v No jaunty rides - Alcohol and accidents go hand in hand!
v Wear seat belts - Always strap and buckle
v Drive on low beam – headlights are not beacons!
v    Abide by the law and follow the rules – flout and land up in a bout!
v No texting or talking on mobile - Got the message?
v Let pathways be walkways and not roadways!
v Care for the habitat – toxin is venom!
v Documents are a must - Possess and preserve papers!

Come, join me in embarking on a lovely sojourn to pursue a safe drive with conviction and perseverance and let us all together make our journey a joie de vivre!!!


  1. People lack basic manners, forget about road manners. Wish all can adopt your new year resolution list.


Stop by or stumble or take a forced break and share your wonderful thoughts , I am waiting with bated breath!!!