Wheels within wheels! Kolkata driving manual
Driving in any Indian city brings its own share of challenges. I recently had some driving to do through the length and breadth of Kolkata. My father asked me the other day,”how is the driving experience in Kolkata? Is there some kind of a pattern?“ My first response was that there was no pattern whatsoever. But I then thought back and realized that there was definitely a pattern and driving in Kolkata is a unique experience and there are certain rules of the game which one has to learn and certain rules which have to be forgotten! I would like to share some of the rules I have learnt in my short diving experience in the City of Joy ….
(a). Driving on the road is always a race. You have to, have to, have to come first !
(b).You can overtake from the right but it is preferred to overtake from the left!
(c).You have to realize you are always in practice for the Monaco Grand Prix; weave in and out of traffic; keep changing lanes to hone your reflexes. It is most imperative to keep changing lanes!
(d).Try to keep your vehicle as close as possible to the vehicle adjacent or ahead of you. Try to graze the other vehicle at least once ;from any side. If you fail to do so ,overtake and follow rule (a) or (b).
(e).The Horn is a weapon to ensure victory on the roads. Try and keep one palm fixed on the horn and try not to stop pressing the horn ,whatever the distraction or provocation!
(f). If you are a cab driver ,your license may be suspended if you do not have a success rate of at least 75% in landing a healthy dose of Paan juice on the door of the adjacent vehicle!
(g). Another weapon in your hand is the “indicator”. Use it liberally to confuse your opponents on the road. Indicate to the left and turn right; indicate to the right and turn left or indicate in any direction but don’t turn at all!
(h). Above all , remember , when you drive ,you are the King of the roads. The road belongs to you and you alone and others on the road are incidental; a necessary evil to be borne and tolerated. You are the King!!
These are some of the rules I have picked up and I am sure there will be some more as I drive along. But for those new to the city roads , assimilate these rules; these are key to survival . You will win the race! Actually , with some modifications , this manual can help you drive in any Indian city...