Is it the tolerance intolerance debate that is driving me crazy?? Is it tennis that is driving me crazy?? Is it Ranbir who is driving me crazy? I wish at least the last one was true..it’s the traffic in Bangalore (especially Whitefield) that’s driving me crazy ..or may I am driving like a crazy.
Why Am I writing on driving in Whitefield?? Is it because of the car mileage? Is it because I pay tax? Is it because I live in a metro? Is it because driving here is next to mission impossible?
Because it has to do not only with those who have gender ‘M’ on their DL and are reckless, rash and irresponsible drivers ( while those who have F stamped on their DL are just bad drivers) but also with those whom we elect every five years to make sure that we receive all those basic amenities that we deserve.
Last week I did a course on defensive driving. A few of the rules taught by the instructor were:
# Try to move the steering with both the hands.
# whenever you are stuck in traffic just switch off the engine and apply hand brakes, sit back and wait for the signal to turn on
# Don’t overtake from the left hand side, remember the rule of being seen…so always overtake from right
#Don’t change the lane while taking turn, change it before taking it.
# A good driver never honks, so try to avoid honking.
# Always maintain a distance with the vehicle in the front such that you can see his cars rear wheel.
I thought I learnt the defensive driving skills and so the next day with confidence I started my cars engine to head towards my office.
Disclaimer: The events depicted here are real. Any similarity to any person living or (God forbid) dead indicates that you have also stayed in Whitefield.
It’s November and a Monday morning and on top of that it’s raining in Bangalore…thanks to the climate change.
8:20 a.m : I start the engine (ofcourse the engine of the car..not mine…I guess a cup of coffee already did that for me…though I am not a morning person..Bangalore traffic has made me one), it’s raining since yesterday so no tennis today. I curse Lord Indra for these untimely rains…My office is around 2-3 Kim’s from my apartment, and ideally it should take me around 15 mins to reach office. I try to stick to the 1st rule for about a few 10-15 minutes. I try to find my way amongst the various potholes and speedbrakers while switching the gears from 1st to 2nd. Whilst I realize my one hand is on the wheel and one on the gear.
8:35 a.m: I stop my car at the traffic signal, switch off the engine, apply the hand brakes, check my make up and wait for the signal to turn green.
8:37 a.m : The traffic signal doesn’t have a timer, so I have no idea when the signal will turn green. As soon as the signal turns green, I restart the engine meanwhile the people behind me start honking. I wonder whether the green lights automatically presses the honking buttons on . Some smart asses just make faces and move in front of me as I didn’t move immediately when the signal turned green.
8:40 a.m: I am just about 1 Km away from my office and I take a turn, then someone in his royal enfield comes from the opposite side. I try to avoid him to only find myself in a pothole, filled with muddy water… again thanks to Lord Indra for the untimely rains and BMC for the unplanned pothole. This wasn’t enough that the car behind me bangs on the bumper. I check he was driving an expensive car than mine, so to avoid the clash with him I just drive away.
8:50 a.m: I drive about 200 m more and meet another huge speed breaker. This could be 10th or 11th in the 1.2 Km stretch. Well, it’s difficult to distinguish between this speed breaker and a road divider. It is so high and abrupt that the engine always hits the road…Bammmm. I apologize to my pretty car and drive ahead.
9:00 a.m: I try to maintain a good distance with the car ahead so that I could see its rear wheel..but damn a rickshaw and 2 bikes come in between…Now I could only see the bikers jacket…he was so close that I could even see the hole in his jacket..poor fellow…
9:10 a.m: I am yet to reach office( it’s around 300 m away) , and the car in front of me has given a right indicator I am happy as I have to go to left, I wait.. I wait..and .I wait and this fellow suddenly turns left….it’s not uncommon to see a car with its right indicator on to turn left and vice versa..also it’s not uncommon to see a car overtaking other car from right whose right indicator is on.
9:15 a.m : I reach office exasperated!!!
5:15 p.m: I plan to leave early to avoid the peak hour traffic. Oops that a mistake..there is nothing like peak hour in Whitefield, even at 11 pm you can find yourself stuck in the traffic.
5:25 p.m :I hardly cross the signal that a , girl, listening loud music, I am sure it was loud as she didn’t listen to my honks, crossed the busy lane, without noticing any car. I slowed down the vehicle and thanked myself for saving her life.
It’s been an year I moved from Ahmedabad ..which has 6 lane road, a lane for the bus, a lane for the bicyclist and footpath for pedestrians to Bangalore, where there is hardly a 2 lane road…and so many potholes that it’s difficult to find the road amongst the potholes. In Ahmedabad I used to move from 4th to 5th gear while in Bangalore I move from neutral to 1st. The mileage of my car has gone down from 16.4 to 10.4!!!
It is indeed an art to drive on the roads of Whitefield.You should know to maneuver on the roads here with patience. I have definitely learnt to be patient with the people and the traffic here. It’s so difficult for someone to reach hospital on time. Parents wait hours for their kids to reach home. People who ride 2 wheelers are complaining of back pain, thanks to the hour long traffic jams.
The road here is always under construction and the the pot holes too. As soon as the roads are renovated, the pot holes are soon make their way and rains work as the icing on the cake, making our lives even tougher in nemma Bengaluru…..