I'm not sure that automobile companies are actually designing cars for India, as they seem to claim. Because then the vehicles would be a lot different considering the unique requirements of driving in this country.

First of all, there wouldn't be any horns; or at the very least they'd be for decoration purposes only and not really functional. Secondly, lucky charms ( not the edible variety ) would be found in abundance; four-leaf clovers, rabbit's feet, horseshoes, they would all be either part of the vehicle or given away as free gifts. To protect the driver and passengers from the numerous dangers on the roads. And of course, there would be better safety features, but lets not state the impossible now.

People in India have just no road sense; be they pedestrians or motorists. They consider themselves to be the sole owners and users of the streets and woe betide anyone who thinks otherwise; which is pretty much everyone else, so you can imagine the chaos that ensues.

It doesn't matter what strata of society they come from or what vehicle they own; they're all guilty of one or the other traffic offense. Pedestrians either dart across the road suddenly, like startled animals, or stroll along without a care in the world, often in ( or close to ) the middle of the road. They don't care that they're holding up traffic. Nor do they have any fears for their personal safety. After all, it's all up to God isn't it?

Then there are the cyclists. They weave in and out of traffic, ride on the pavements, cross when the lights are red, turn without signaling, ride down the wrong way on a one-way street and most seem to be under the impression that they are faster than the motor vehicles, judging from the way they endevour to overtake bikes and cars. A variety of cyclists particular to Delhi and adjacent areas are the cycle-rickshaws. They are the bane of these streets. They are insanely irritating. They are always crowded together at the front of the queues that form at traffic lights and then take their sweet time getting started once the lights change. This, of course, is when they stop at all, because most of the times I see them continuing across as if nothing else existed.

The motorcyclists aren't much better. They zoom around on their mean machines ( cliché alert! ), usually without helmets, and do pretty much anything to get ahead of the traffic ( not realizing, of course, that there is only more of. It doesn't actually end anywhere. you know. ) I've seen them riding on the pavements in their efforts at leading the pack, usually successfully, but I've also witnessed some who encountered an abrupt end of ridable sidewalk, often with no easy way of getting down, and a couple who were accosted by policemen who seemed to be waiting for just such specimens to ride by.

Four wheelers are just as bad, given the reckless way they drive and their lack of concern for any of the above mentioned sharers of the road. I've actually seen a group of people talking at the entrance to a service lane of the main road get plowed down by a car that just drove into them without any warning; no horn or anything. And after that he/ she ( though I seriously doubt it being a member of the fairer sex ) attempted to ( futilely ) drive away, tyres spinning uselessly as the car pushed against the side of the pavement. The last I saw of the scene, the guards of my colony were running towards him ( / her ), presumably to beat him ( / her ) up. Team these horrible driving skills with the alarming increase of spontaneous combustion of newer models of cars and you'll see why you should stay away from this category ( and roads in general, actually ).

But trucks and buses are easily the worst of the lot. Delhi's infamous Blue Line buses have made news all over the country and they stand testimony to what happens when you let idiots drive. These behemoths can scare the hardiest of souls when they suddenly loom up in their rear view mirrors and honk with their horns which are aural equivalents of a 1000 watt flash right in your eyes, in the dark, without warning. The state of the roads and the cretins driving on them doesn't do much to make them any safer. Yet, there are some foolhardy enough to consider racing with them!

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I ride a bike myself. But I am different now, aren't I?

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