January 16, 2009

Driving in Delhi: Do you know the rules?

Posted By:
I started driving in Delhi over a year ago, and needless to say, was apprehensive about the notorious ways of the road in Delhi. So far, I have realised that there is a code of conduct that 80 per cent of the people driving in Delhi follow, except for the remaining well-behaved minority and the more abundant irrational cab drivers. So, here are the ten rules followed by most people on Delhi roads:
  1. DON'T drive in a single lane. This shows that you have no knowledge of driving. Why follow one lane when you can zig-zag your way through and get there faster (even by two minutes, it's worth it)?
  2. When there's a traffic jam in a two-way lane, don't be stupid and stand with the rest of the morons. Instead, go to the OTHER side of the road where it's clearer. Don't worry about the traffic coming from the other side, you can just bully them into the corner. Besides, very soon, the other morons will follow you and extend the traffic jam to both sides of the road so that it's total chaos and nobody gets anywhere.
  3. When the traffic policeman signals you to stop, just inch your way into the middle of the road and zoom off while the traffic coming the other way tries to dodge you.
  4. Even if there's a red signal, keep honking so that the person in front is compelled to do the stunt mentioned above.
  5. Honk even if there's no reason to, it's shows them you're the man!
  6. Overtake from the left without even so much a twitch of the eye. Don't bother honking, it's the other person's responsibility to watch out for cars coming from their right and left.
  7. When you are driving at night, MAKE SURE that your car is on high beam so that people know you have them. It's ok if you blind everybody around you to crash into the divider. (same goes for fog lights, even if it's not foggy)
  8. Indicators are for wimps. When you want to turn right or left, just do so, what are you waiting for?!
  9. When you see a woman driving treat her like an idiot and NEVER let her overtake you, even if it means risking your life. Your manhood is more important.
  10. Lastly, if you ride a two-wheeler (esp a bike), you are naturally exempt from traffic rules. Drive any way you want, go over dividers or even footpaths, and generally, flout all rules of civilized driving.
Happy Driving!

January 9, 2009

Panic, panic!

Posted By:
The scenes I witnessed in Delhi today made it look like there was a war on or something. There were km long queues at petrol stations and even the lucky ones who got close to the pump had to contend with hoards of people carrying plastic bottles and cans. Yes, there is a strike on by oil companies (I am no longer interested in knowing why), but it's not like the world has come to an end. No one is interested in putting an end to the world's petrol supply or burning up the remaining oil fields!

But if you saw the scene at petrol pumps today, I was afraid we would have nationwide riots. And I strongly believe that our media is responsible for this. As is collective human nature, panic spreads quickly when you don't have complete information. So, instead of reassuring people to take it easy at least for a day or two, our Indian news channels were on a war footing...creating even more panic among people, who were hoarding petrol like it's going out of fashion.

Instead of just hyping the shortage, what they could have done was spoken to the authorities, found out what the situation is (and why the strike is happening in the first place!) and tried to make things look reasonable. Strikes like this happen in a democracy like India and we have to live with it. Just to add a note, there is also a truckers strike happening, due to which vegetables prices are touching the sky, and I am sure people have started hoarding them too...

Anyhow, it's the duty of the government to take the support of media to control crisis situations such as these. Why is it that, forget about even making a national announcement, our PM doesn't even issue a press release?!! It's a pity, really. Hate to say this, but even the terrorists who attacked Mumbai in November 2008 knew how to use our media better.

Update: As if on cue, the Indian government has taken stringent steps to tackle the crisis, and even published print ads to prove the point. See Ad 1, Ad 2.