Thursday, July 06, 2006

Of men, drivers and rain!

Of course, REAL men have two Z's in their name and should stand to become President of France. I'm thinking of buying a French supporter tee before the final, but usually when I buy a tee that team loses! Anyway, Allez Zizou, Vive La France and thank god they showed those diving Portuguese something. I'ld love to be on Champs Elysse on Sunday evening as the country hails one of their greatest sons.
After my weekend plus two pit-stop to the far drier climes of the capital, the city where the roads are large and there and parks exist, but the drivers are completely insane. And I'm not just talking about auto-drivers who I believe are a community that should put onboard a plane and sent to North Korea or something.
When you speak to people from Bombay or Bangalore or even Calcutta about driving they launch a fusillade against Delhi drivers whom they consider a bunch of uncouth idiots who should not be given licences. It is surprising just how many people hagve this attitude problem, I just call it jealousy. Driving is a pleasure in Delhi, where else in the country can you possibly finish a 16km commute from home to office in under half an hour (beacuse it has roads - nice roads), or even less if traffic was more sparse.
I've driven in Bombay, Kolkata and Bangalore and in other smaller Indian cities - no drive has scared me more than driving inside Goa, but that isn't 'city' driving. Indian drivers are bad, pathetic indeed. Show them a roundabout and they will want to charge through the flowers/fountain/what have you, the concept of 'right of way' is as alien as the speed limit. But in Delhi every bit of insanity occurs at 80kmph in the day and 120kmph at night, which is fast in anyone's book. I'll admit that I'm also guilty of madcap right-foot happy driving quite a few times - I once made it from the University to Saket - and people who know Delhi know that this is almost 40kms in well under half an hour in a canary yellow Opel Corsa Swing.
But, I'm not even half as insane as the cult of 'drivers', people who usually once drove a 16-ton truck now under the guise of what people in the west would call 'chauffers'. Most of these folks don't know the concept of 'overdrive' and when to change gears and usually they do get you from point A to point B with relative comfort and ease, but man when you tell them to drop the hammer you wonder why we sent Karthikeyan to make a fool of himself in Formula 1.
Bombay is a lot drier today, even though I think the television media made a hash and a crisis where there was none (and RajdeepTV being the worst culprit among the Anglais channels) - to the best of my knowledge when do Milan and Khar subways NOT get flooded. Let me make an analogy to Delhi - its like Tuglaq Bridge - that gets flooded every year.
Again, Kalina gets flooded every year - its low lying - the only solution break that area down for the new airport! Yes, the rains and the winds were quite strong yesterday on the way back from the airport when I was travelling over the Reclamation flyover, I often though that the auto (I know, I have to use them sometimes!) would topple over, despite me weighting it down. In fact, when I was flying in to Bombay for the last two hours it felt like someone had poured Erasex outside the plane - even at 30,000 feet.
No doubt when the suburban train you're travelling in makes a bow crest (even at 5kmph) and the rails are under water, you know its wet, but yesterday wasn't that bad. Thankfully I wasn't around day before when it was really bad, but Bombay does shut down at least one a year whenever the rain gods get incontinence. However I'm hoping that this year the gods don't get diaherrea like they did on 26/7. What I am pissed off about is that Bandra's Hill Road is completely destroyed, its like a mine-field out there.
Anyway, the sun is shing outside and it seems a lot more pleasant right now, so let me get back to work.


thalassa_mikra said...

As I said before, I love Zizou, but Italy's the underdog here, and I do love the country. So Viva Italia! Go Azzurri!!

Anonymous said...

Check this out...

Anonymous said...

That's Tilak Bridge, zizou