Tuesday, June 22, 2010


As I ease out of my gate onto the lane that leads to the main road , a racing and screaming car belches its horn loudly from behind my car forcing me to slam my pedal hurtling the car towards another passing car . I turn around to see the driver of the car holding onto the wheel for dear life probably trying to remember if he has paid his cars insurance and his life insurance premium! I turn around to see all passing cars shouting profanity at me for not playing by the rules!

No one wears seatbelts – guess the car companies will stop making them as cost reduction initiative. Roads will never improve and travel speeds will never increase either. I lower my windows and get a blast of loud honking from all passing vehicles, grunting diesel engine trucks and buses and the blaring music from the hi-fi of many a passing vehicle. I promptly pull up my window.

I shift into gear and was about to accelerate forward when the most irritating thing on Bangalore roads come up towards my car – the inevitable speed breaker! I barely see it and the car goes over it shaking everything in the car including me and making me wonder if it was a speed breaker or a back breaker!

A vegetable shopkeeper throws the day’s junk from his shop out onto the street. Some of it splashes on my windshield and the rest go under the wheel. I set my wiper on to clean the window and spray the remnants off my window with moderate success. A lady at the balcony of the 2nd floor apartment right above the car on the road chooses this opportune moment to empty her bucket of washed clothes waste water onto the road and on to the top of my car. The water washes over my car leaving soapy suds all over the car and some grime and color. My car looks like it is emerging out of Eastman colour bollywood movie.

I recover and try to keep the car on course. A yellow tin box of a school bus comes dangerously rattling and passes my car, almost kissing the rearview mirrors. Four squealing school kids in their pretty school uniforms dart from the sidewalk across the front of my car to the school bus that had screeched to a halt. They boarded with great merry .I could hear them singing. I slammed the brakes to avoid the children and the car squealed to a stop, tyres burning and spitting smoke. I had just managed to stop short of murder!I could see the yellow bus on the rearview mirror, rattling away from me further and further .

I was still in the lane, I notice another another speed breaker and slow down. This one is a mountain. It certainly broke my speed and my back. I wondered what else it breaks! My car climbs the mountain and rolls of its side to be encountered with a big fat brown cow glaring at me straight on with every intention or ramming into the windscreen. I punch on the horn and the car lets out a loud honk. The cow is unperturbed. It stands its ground. I halt. No amount of honking makes any difference. Then after a few dangerous lolls of its tusks near my windscreen, the bovine being moves away and turns around. I catch a glimpse of its grinning teeth and wait for it to turn away before I restart the car that had switched off after idling for a while , and move on. My day and the journey to work had just begun. I turn on the stereo and the familiar RJ starts chattering again like she was the most happiest person on earth. I hope it is a good day.


I enjoy driving. I enjoy the feel engine drumming out the power of a hundred horses from its belly pushing the metallic beast forward in a glorious war with the tarmac raising my adrenaline a few notches high on the rare occasion when I get to slam the pedals to the floor and let the beautiful metallic beast cut its way through wind, water and sun.

I enjoy this experience of being cocooned inside the little luxury of the air-conditioned, soundproofed, unpolluted environs of my car, listening to my favourite tunes or to the sexy voiced favourite RJ chattering away as if this was the most happiest moment of her life always. I enjoy the smooth way the car smoothes over the city’s numerous speed bumps, pot holes and eases through the maze of sulphur spewing , grunting and coughing diesel guzzlers whose respect for other vehicles stand next only to India’s respect for Pakistan.

I enjoy the various insights I gain in life by merely driving from home to work and back. The sheer experience it provides one with in life that reminds us of the animals we are at the basic level is such a humbling experience in itself.

I slide in behind the wheel of the car in the yellow boxed darker than hell parking lot at the basement. The security guard doubling as the car wash guy car had left the wipers up to make the car pretend that it has taken a wash. The guard must be poor, or must be lazy, I muse. I put the gears into reverse and almost hit a pillar. My car inches eases out of the little yellow boxed parking space allotted for my car and brushes at the mirror of my neighbours vehicles which is parked as if we were sharing parking lots. Is the builder’s greed bigger than my neighbor’s insensitivity, I muse. By the time the car’s rolling out of the main door of my apartment complex I have gained immense insights into human life that I wouldn’t have gained through penance at the Himalayas. More on my next post – the great pleasures of driving in Bangalore.