Horn Ok Please: The Struggles Of A Daily Delhi Traveller

Anyone who lives in Delhi is familiar with the city’s fantastic roads. This is irrespective of whether you drive yourself or you have a driver/boyfriend (Tomāto/Tomäto).

Let’s start with the obvious. The capital of the country is home to some of the best roadways and waterways in the country, no, world. So much so that both often end up merging, especially during the months of July through September. These are the times when you’d find it difficult to reach work on time but since you wrote swimming as one of your hobbies on your CV, your boss would expect you on the clock. These are also the times when you can laugh at that arrogant Porche driver who zoomed past you a kilometre back and is now stuck in the water canal which your Wagon-R can easily cross.

Even the roads that aren’t waterlogged somehow shrink in width, particularly when they’re eclipsed by a flyover or an overhead metro track. How? Because this is the best place for two wheeler drivers to decide to stay dry! Screw the incoming traffic, “I am stallin’ till the rain stops fallin'”. Peace Yo!. Also, the potholes that the monsoon gifts us are enough for a physiotherapy for your back. And you thought Mumbai locals were the best massage salons. Huh!. Living in Delhi renders the feeling of smooth roads as abnormal, after a while.

delhi-rains-1

Stop! That’s what red lights are supposed to mean, right? I guess Delhites know about a red light only when it’s attached to a district or an area. And it is interesting to watch what happens when the over speeding-without seatbelt-on the phone-wearing sunglasses at 8PM-brat jumps a red light and is stopped by the cops? Well, he gives the cops a sweet (apology) *cough cough* NOTE or sometimes several of them and the police let him go. Because the traffic police and the guy both really like the song “daddy ji de cash utte kari jaave aish”. Also amazingly the E-Rikshaw drivers are not a part of the target audience for the traffic rules and signals.

Traffic jams; oh how you see the diversity of Delhi when you’re stuck in a traffic jam. On one side you’ll see a guy in his car, screaming his lungs out, abusing everyone left, right and center, honking away to glory. On the other side you’ll see people who take this opportunity to showcase their talent. Enter *drumroll* Bike riders! Yes, this is like an open contest for these people to show the world that no matter how bad the traffic is, they’ll find just enough space to squeeze in their bikes to reach the front, as if their lives depended on it.

Of course, for all great things, there’s collateral damage and so these bike riders will take away the paint from your bumpers, your doors, and even the entire side view mirror sometimes as a souvenir of their achievement. Speaking of bike riders, you’ll be amazed how 4 people can fit on a 2-seater and no I’m not talking about the republic day parade here. All 4 of them will be without helmets, of course.

Delhi has daredevils on the streets, not just on the cricket field. And somewhere along the road (haha) they’ll lose balance and fall. And if a car happens to be nearby, a scratched finger will turn into a fractured bone, a scrape on the elbow will turn into a paralysis threat. You’ll hear screams as if it’s doomsday, just to make it obvious that it’s the car driver’s fault, even though the car wasn’t in a 2 feet-radius from the bike.

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What does one do when it gets dark? We turn on our headlights. However, cars like the XUV-500 and Toyota Fortuner etc. have freaking floodlights. Now, these they could use to light up a small village. However, they’re proud to boast it even though it’s only dusk and there’s plenty of natural light still left. I guess their eyes sight is weak and they’ll make sure that the rest of us lose ours as well. Delhi is also home to very charitable people who do concerts on the go. So don’t be surprised when you hear loud music and drum bursting bass just fly past you. It’s just a white swift with a Sony bass tube, JBL speakers, and Bose amplifiers. All inside a hatchback. Yup.

Lastly, one small tip to all the 5’6″ peanuts like me. If a car with flaming decals and stickers like “daddy’s gift”, “jaat buddhi” etc., white in colour with shiny alloys and tinted black glasses bumps into you, don’t even think about arguing. Fold your hands, apologize, and pray to God they don’t follow you with their 10 “bhai” and hockey sticks. Because if you tell them politely that it was clearly their fault and they should do something about it, it sounds like “$#*%£!” to them and they don’t like it.

So go ahead, experience the ways of one of the best cities in the world. And look both sides before crossing the road, even though it’s a one way, single lane road.

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