Tuesday, March 22, 2005


The joys of work, running to office first thing in the morning, dealing with Delhi's absolutely insane traffic. When that Lutyen's chap made Delhi he plonked lots of rounabouts all over the place. Now, roundabouts work on one simple principle - courtesy, and as all Delhi-ites know there is none of that in this city. So dealing with say the Windsor Place roundabout, or better still the Gol Dakhana one are like trying to play a very complicated racing game on a PS2. The only thing being that this is real. Banging into a motorcycle or pedestrian means trouble. And the Europeans think that the traffic in Rome and Naples is madcap, well people just visit Delhi. The city where the traffic is the centrepiece of the chaos, I mean its so bad you can see it from the air.


sightless without eyes said...

This is some luck,
not only do i find a journalist on this site but hes from india & he hates delhi traffic almost as much as me.
I totally agree with you on this towns traffic sense & courtesy(the lack thereof). the biggest irony though is that delhi is one of the greenest metros anywhere but at the same time is one of the most polluted - though that has improved slightly.
Theres one line that stuck with me, if you can drive in delhi without kiling yourself, you can drive anywhere in the world in any state of mind. After what little travel Ive had, i think this is absolutely true.
Im an aspiring writer from delhi myself, you can check out my blog on this site if youre interested.
Cheers to gruntled & disgruntled alike.

Colin said...

Oye Mundu/ Naren

this is the first two paras of a book im thinking of writing. The style isnt original (Dan McGirt and Terry Prattchet are well-known in this genre) but the story is...

Prologue: Armageddon

Kieran looked up. The storm that had been building up over the far horizon was now much nearer and decidedly a lot more violent than he had bargained for. Lightening zigged and then zagged through the gloom and he could make out tiny scurrying figures far below, hurrying to get out of the rain.
His perch high above Khand’um’s tallest clock tower was not exactly as comfortable as he would have hoped but it would have to do for now.
The rain began. Slowly at first but with increasing intensity till the drops were liquid boulders. Kieran shook his massive shoulders and unfurled his gigantic wings, shaking pearls from his feathers before tucking them away under his sable cloak. Twelve feet from tip to tip and black as the other side of midnight, Kieran’s wings were the most obvious symbols of his authority. The race of Anduluza – the birdmen, dominated the Fifteen (and a half) Kingdoms*—or what was left of it. Their slaves were the lowly homo sapiens—menial servants fit for nothing except agriculture and occasional amusement. Not tonight.
Kieran rubbed his hands together. Not so much out of discomfort than out of anticipation of the events to follow. He was going to die before dawn would break. It had been foretold; and even though he held the tales of the soothsayers in regal disdain, he could not ignore the prickly feeling that ran down the base of his neck, settling in his spine.
Kieran stood slowly and removed his cape, laying it on the parapet below him. It was time. Time to hunt the men, nay the slaves, who had dared scheme against him. He unfurled his great black wings slowly, flexing his immense muscles. With a snap, he soared away into the clouds, high above the city, hunting…hunting for prey.

* The half kingdom was really the unruly princedom of Bahir that saw way too many succession battles for its own good. The old king had died leaving an only daughter. Bahiri succession laws being as they were, women were not allowed to rule. Princess Barbi was now on the threshold of senior citizen ship and her multitude of offsprings fought tooth and nail for what was the lamest excuse for a country.

sightless without eyes said...

Thats cool, i think that everyones entitled to their own opinion. Tell u what, ill answer ur mail step by step.
First, yes traffic does move a lot faster in delhi then even cities like bombay where its supposed to be more "organised". however the people here still drive like shit & are inconsiderate & mean when on the road, many are actually nice when not driving.
Next, before u call me a cynic, i need to make it clear that im not. I just believe that we should look at the bad in order to more clearly see the good & that all my observations are as an outsider, not coloured by personal taste - that would become obscene on certain topics. This is just an observation but snce you said that weve progressed in the past 200 years & grown & innovated, well so do diseases & viruses. now im not saying were a plague but look at the hindustan time on the last page today & see what we`re doing. Believe me, im not a religious person - i dont believe in religion & barely in god - as a result my faith depends on people so believe that i have more faith in the in the human spirit then most. Thats actually why i write like i do- i believe that if theyre told these things they can learn.
Lastly, like i said, my faith is in people & i like to look at all ends of it. If i look at the stygian end of society, i also imagine certain utopian concepts. When i say all men are born equal i dont mena in the little shitty things that we all hold so dear but if it comes down to it, a man is still just a man, wherever or whoever he is.
But anyway, like my blog says its meant for open minded exchanges between people so each one is entitled to his own opinion. Its nice meeting u(sort of) & chatting bout this. U could tell me ur email cos chattin over the comment box is odd. All the same,

http://driving-india.blogspot.com said...

Almost 10% of the global road traffic accidents occur in India. Much of the world wide web is full of sarcasm & mocking of the indisciplined driving on Indian roads. Unfortunately in since 60 years since independence the authorities have failed to publish a National Highway code. Licences are given to anyone who can demonstrate an ability to use the clutch-accelerator, consequently the motoer driving schools teach just that and no more. Concepts such as - blindspots, principle of MSM, the tyre & tarmac rule, 2 second gap and most improtantly giving way are not known to the average Indian driver.

This site http://driving-india.blogspot.com/ has been created with the purpose of providing driver education and training to all Indian road users. It is by far the most comprehensive website providing training in defensive driving. Learning simple road habits can make our roads safe and also free up congestion caused by traffic chaos.

At present 17 driver education videos aimed at changing the driving culture on Indian roads are available. The video are unique in that the footage is real life action from streets of London. We have copied the Western habits: Replaced the dhoti with denim, high rise buildings for Indian cottages, burgers and coke instead of Indian breads and perhaps sugarcane juice. Surely we can copy the Western ways of travelling too.

To watch the videos, interested readers may visit: http://driving-india.blogspot.com/

The videos cover the following topics:

Video 1: Covers the concept of Blind spots
Video 2: Introduces the principle of Mirrors, Signal and Manoeuvre
Video 3: At red lights, stop behind the stop line
Video 4: At red lights there are no free left turns
Video 5: The Zebra belongs to pedestrians
Video 6: Tyres and Tarmac (rather than bumper to bumper)
Video 7: Merging with the Main road
Video 8: Leaving The Main Road
Video 9: Never Cut Corners
Video 10: Show Courtesy on roads
Video 11: 5 Rules that help deal with Roundabouts
Video 12: Speed limits, stopping distances, tailgating & 2 seconds rule
Video 13: Lane discipline and overtaking
Video 14: Low beam or high beam?
Video 15: Parallel (reverse parking) made easy
Video 16: Give the cyclist the respect of a car
Video 17: Dealing with in-car condensation

Many thanks