Delhi-ites are a spoilt bunch of bumpkins
So it’s Mid-October. In plainspeak this means that the “bearable” season of weather has begun in North India-. It gets cold (cold being defined as less than 20 degrees Celcius) in the morning. You can spend some parts of the day without a ceiling fan. There’s a particular flower that blooms in this season between 5 pm and midnight – it smells GREAT! Is it Rath ki Rani? Somethine else? Dunno. Anyway, enough rambling about onset of Winter.
This post is on New Delhi’s roads. By most anecdotal accounts the roads of New Delhi are apparently the widest intra-city roads in India. This probably true. I know we have Bombay beat. But some people go so far as saying these roads are the widest intra-city roads ANYWHERE.
This is probably unlikely. Okay so most of Western Europe is old, so the roads within cities are narrow. USA follows a grid system and one-way stuff, so yea, we probably beat intra-city roads there too (’cept maybe Texas cities). Anyway, the thing is, we have some the best roads in the country. This really comes home to you when you are driving after 11 pm at night in a Honda City. That’s when you realize that if you just obliterated all the trucks, buses, cows, elephants, dogs, pedestrians, cyclists, three-wheelers, e.t.c it would actually be a nice smooth drive at 100 km/h….heh ok, keep wishing.
Well the reason that Delhi has some of the best roads but the worst traffic jams/accidents is of course because of a complete lack of traffic sense, which of course everybody already knows. But has anybody stopped to analyse the cause? And even if you came to the conclusion that this is due to sheer apathy/poverty/illiteracy did you bother to change it? Well most people will answer no.
So after getting into an argument with a friend of mine, I commit to print the following:
My contribution to attempting to help sort out the traffic situation in Delhi is to write out the traffic rules. One probably assumes that these are already written somewhere and are accessible to one and all. But I don’t think so. Having actually gone to a driver training school in Delhi I can assure you that they don’t teach you the rules of road. “Haath-pair chalane aate hain? Chalta Hai.” Translation: Can you move yer hands and feet – i.e. use the clutch, change gears and move the steering wheel? If yes, then you know how to drive. And this is really ALL the education that 99% of the drivers on the road have.
So it is this Voice’s aim to write out The Rules of The Road, complete with nice illustrations – not hard to do in the 21st Century. Since I consider my first language English, it’ll be in English. This is a call to all Hindi experts to vist my blog, and help me with translating the finished work into Hindi (other language experts are welcome too, of course). Then try and convince an NGO or maybe even a pvt. publisher or the Government, to print a gazillion copies of that manuscript and then distribute it as a download from my site for free, maybe sell it in bookshops, maybe distribute it with new cars, or at street intersections – may even be able to get the beggars involved and get them some money… anyway this is my grand, ambitious plan.
The rules of the road are almost written.. and I’ll put them up on my site soon, for anybody who wishes to help me revise them. And the entire journey from my hands to actual physical print shall be documented on this blog, from time to time, provided, of course, that it actually gets that far….
This Voice is just trying to do its bit to reduce India’s number from 2.5 to 1.5….
Hey, this is a shameless rip from the Delhi Times – a supplement to the Times Of India. But I’ve put some effort into typing it out at least (and I wanted it here for easy future reference….)
The Laws of New Delhi
A lot of outsiders feel that there are no rules in this city, and that it’s just absolute anarchy…this absolutely false. Delhi-ites follow a strict code of conduct, which I have documented below:
1. The Other Side Law
If there is a traffic jam on my side of the road, then I am within my rights as a Delhi-ite to start driving on the opposite side of the road.
2. The Queue Nahin Rule
If there is a long queue of people waiting, nobody will notice me jumping it, as I am looking the other way.
3. The Mind Over Matter Law
If a traffic-light is not working on a 4-way intersection, then four cars going in 4 different directions shall be able to magically pass through each other. In some cases this does not work, leading to the Law of Grid-Lock, and in grave cases the Automobile Destruction and Loss of Human Life Rule.
4. The Automobile Direction Axiom
I am not allowed to use my indicators/blinkers to specify which direction I am turning in due to the Official Secrets Act. Further, it’s good to keep the motorists behind alert and on their toes, thus they need to be kept guessing.
5. The Spitting Image Rule
The more I lean out of my car/bus, and the harder I spit/puke, the stronger the roads become.
6. The Theatrical Freeze Law
When my mobile phone rings in a cinema hall, the movie automatically pauses, and the audience takes a breather by listening to my loud voice tell “Bunty” where I’m sitting and what movie I’m watching how crappy it is.
7. The Incest Law
If I want to win an argument, I simply terminate all sentences with SisterFucker(in Hindi). If I’m losing the argument badly, then I use the more high-priority MotherFucker suffix.
8. The Baraat Right
When I am on the road to marriage, “all Delhi roads are belong to me”(sic)
9. The Salman Khan X-Ray rule
If I open enough buttons on my shirt, the hot babe at the bus stop can see through my hairy, Punjabi chest into the depths of my soul
10. The Relative Registration Rule
All motorists are hereby advise to paste the names of their kids/uncles/spouses’ names on the backs of their cars, so that the trailing motorist can know that Rash Driver from Hell (Registration # DL 3CB 7679) is associated with “Honey” and “Guddu”.
11. The JK Rowling Postulate
If I double park my car, the road automatically widens to ensure smooth flow of traffic.
12. The Chill Bill Position
When I park and block somebody else’s car, I’m giving said person a chance to pause and reflect after a long hard day at work, in line with Ancient Hindu and 21st Century Punjabi Principles
13. The Flatulence Fundamental
The louder I burp/fart in a public place, the better the digestion, and overall well-being of my fellow Delhi diners.
14. The Bus Karo Law
If buses stop precisely at a bus stop (or at all, as opposed to merely slowing down near bus stops), the city will explode due to a doomsday device planted by Dr. DelhiLove.
Well there you have it. This being said, Delhi is STILL one of the great cities of the world. Come visit, but when you do, make sure to keep these laws in mind.