Category Archives: driving

The Unknown Rule

Rules, as they say, are meant to be broken. They do say the same thing about promises, sachin’s 200 record,  bank balance, diet plans etc, but that’s besides the point. Those who have had the privilege of my acquaintance would know that I take them rules very seriously.  I strongly believe that if not for rules, humans would have killed each other and we wouldn’t have lived to see Veena Malik’s nude picture Viru’s 219.

As always there are some rules that are cardinal in nature and some that stink of cynicism and double standards. People often argue about the efficacy or rationale of a rule. If not convinced, they take extreme measures to voice their disapproval of such rules. These range from minor digressions of a rule like wanting to do shots in the middle of a scotch session to major ones, like actually eating a dosai (yes it has an i at the end) with cutlery. Imagine trying to cut through paper masala dosai at T.Nagar saravana bhavan with a knife and a fork, Oh the humanity!!

Every rule, mind you EVERY RULE ever written has been broken at least once. Be it pet dogs peeing in elevators or men rummaging their wife’s handbag, the world has seen everything. Some people break rules with the whole “I am a free f***ing spirit, no rule can hold me down , yaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyeeee. Go bieber!!” attitude whereas others, a small percentage mind you, break rules simply because they were not aware of them. Of course there is the middle path where people break rules due to oversight or break them for the ”thrill of it” while simultaneously peeing in their pants, but I have never understood the latter.

Going back to para 1 sentence 3,”I take them rules very seriously”. So imagine my surprise when I was pulled up by traffic cops yesterday. I really had to know which never-followed-by-cops-themselves rule I had broken. Turns out I took a turn out of turn. What in the name of Dhanush (Kolaveri guy) was this?? I clearly remember taking the left turn after ensuring that there was no “No free left turn” sign. I even told the cop as much. He said “No sign and all boss. Signal left light will start blinking, only then you can go”. Being the reasonable guy that I am I tried telling him that the lack of a signboard was misleading and had one been present, I would have stopped the car, switched off the engine and drank water from a bottle that’s been lying around for god knows how long before he could say ‘Signal’. Alas, this was not to be.

He looked at me nonchalantly as he typed out my name (from my driver’s license) and said “How can we catch people if we put up sign boards?”. The sheer logic of that argument caught me unawares and I parted with a fifty faster than I would say yes to free food. I came, I paid and I left with a challan.

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My return to driving in Chennai

I recently moved back to Chennai and I noticed that the traffic had gone from bad to worse in the last 5 years and that I had to unlearn whatever I had learnt in Dubai, all the rules and driving etiquettes i.e. I also noticed that my previous experience of driving in Chennai was useless and I needed a completely new skill set to successfully meet the requirements. The population has just exploded like an unattended Prestige pressure cooker on full heat (hehe)

*NOTE – I notice a lot

I share some of my learnings here (modified for Chennai)

1) Always keep the side mirrors open closed.

2) There is no good bad time to use the horn.

3) Give Take way

4) Use horn brake sparingly

5) Wait for the signal to turn green Just go

6) Signal before you change lanes Point 5

7) Follow lane discipline Hahaha

High-Pot- Hetical Situation (or is it?)

You have just turned into a narrow street  (obviously two-way) after avoiding the mountain of a manhole in the beginning and immediately swerved heavily to the right to avoid a stationary car and found yourself face to face with another car coming towards you which forces you to again swerve heavily to the left where a guy in a two-wheeler has parked his bike just a little away from the center of the street to use his mobile. All your senses are on full  throttle and your heart is about to leap out of  your pocket when you notice the ubiquitous Chennai auto parked as innocuously as possible  and an almost black almost round object protruding out of the auto which your discerning eye and analytical mind correctly recognizes to be a helmet but on closer look turns out to be the head of the auto driver.  After you try your best to avoid a head on collision (his head on your car) you pounce on the brakes to avoid hitting the dog that decided to go for a walk across the street. This is exactly when the car driver/ bike rider behind you loses his eye-hand-leg coordination and rams into your car and sets off another beautiful traffic jam. He gets down, you exchange pleasantries, enquire kindly about each others lineage etc. Of course all this starts with the time-tested conversation starter of “Did you inform people at home?”

P.S – 3  is sometimes better than 4

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The need to destress while driving

Man has generally accepted a lot of things without questioning, like the effect of axe (the deo.duh!!) in his amorous pursuits. But there have been instances when questions have been raised, though not all of them have been answered. For example, why the hell does the media numb our senses by creating a show focussed on Rakhi Sawant? or why in the world did Oprah refer to Abhi-Ash(yuckk!!) as the most famous couple or whatever? why?why?why? 

A reader of this blog (yeah i know, the other one is me) wanted to know why they needed to do this. Hmmm….a very good question. By saying this I do not intend to circumvent this question. What do you think the author is? some sort of professor? sheeshh!!

The reason is actually quite simple. We live in tough times (my watch stops working…at regular intervals), too much pressure. Pressure builds up everyday and to handle all the (new) pressure we need to purge our system at regular intervals (not that!!).

While driving you not only have to deal with back seat driving (no, they don’t have a steering wheel there,yet. Thank god for that.), but you also have to deal with drivers like these:

  • They are from the bomb squad and are rushing to diffuse one at the moment and hence cannot use their brakes.
  • They are automobile freaks who will test the breaking power of your car and secretly report their findings to auto magazines. Sometimes,call of duty demands them to check the accident response systems in your car.
  • They are practicing ophthalmologists, who have decided to take the road to study the resistance of your retina to bright light.
  • They are marketing an anu malik/deva album by honking to their latest number.
  • They are fans of NFS and are trying to gain style points.
  • They choose the fastest lane for altruistic purposes (i.e. they reduce the accident rates on roads by slowing down.)
  • They are taxi drivers.

These poor souls are striving day and night to make our lives better and its only fair that we reward them. So the next time you come across one of these specimens do not shy away from rewarding them. They lead miserable lives and you reward will mean so much to them. But obviously you cannot get out , give them a hug, and a pat on the back and say “good job joe”.

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The art of swearing while driving

The author does not promote road rage though it might seem otherwise. But as they say, a person stops growing when he refuses to drink complan.

How many of you out there have wished for a rocket-launcher or at least a water pistol to aim at fellow road users? Well this post does not point you to a shop selling WMD (Weapons of Minor Destruction). Neither does this post contain simple do-it-yourself tips to make any of them. By now even I am not sure what this post is for, but since I never leave anything midway….

Everyone swears while driving. Those who claim otherwise are hypocrites (Shame on you!!). Some people do it openly and some in their mind (The author congratulates himself for coming up with a sentence that can be interpreted in so many ways). For those who are just about enter the big bad world of driving on roads or for those who have found it difficult to mouth the words, here are a few guidelines that can help you master the art.

The swearing while driving rule book

  • Get in touch with your inner self – Dont sham yourself into believing that you are good at heart and get rid of that holier-than-thou attitude. Deep down we are all a****** s. Unleash the demon and let the good times flow.
  • Choose a language you are proficient in – research has established that all of us swear best in our native tongue. If you have been acting posh for too long and are not in touch with your native language, heres what you have to do:- step out, take an auto or taxi and note down (using pen and paper) the expletives that are used by the driver.  Research shows that these guys swear the best. A foreign language can be adopted to add the zing factor (After all the first words we learn in any language are you know what).
  • Enunciate – How many times have you been pulled up by that annoying English teacher for mis-pronouncing a word? Just as it is important to let loose a string of expletives that question the parentage of the other driver it is also important to bring it out in style. So for the love of god, ENUNCIATE.
  • Sreesanthify your facial expressions (this doesn’t require further explanation, or so I hope)
  • Alternate shaking of fist and i-will-pound-your-head-to-your-steering-wheel stares are also welcome.
  • For those weaklings who don’t muster up the courage to swear, just think of Anubumani Ramadoss (yes the same gentleman who instead of ensuring proper medical care for the poor chose to appear on the frontpage of every national newspaper on a weekly basis by targeting celebrities)

Now my friends, you are fully qualified to drive just about anywhere in the world. This guide hopes to add value to people who drive in countries where usage of horn is considered rude. Please keep your car windows up while following the guidelines or the author is not responsible for what happens next. Oh, I almost forgot, please, please do not swear while your parents  or other aunts and uncles are in the car with you (They will judge you).

May peace be with you.

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Final Destination

It had  been a while….he couldn’t remember when exactly. Was it 6 months back? 10? ‘Oh god!’ These words just slipped out of his mouth though he wasn’t in a religious mood that morning. His memory always failed him when he needed it the most. The last time he had done this was out of free will. But now he was being forced to do it….he was gonna teach those people a lesson, a lesson that will make them resolve never to force him again.

His mind wandered to how it had all begun, he still couldn’t remember when. The tricks of time that mind plays on the being….it dint matter anymore. He was already on his way. The beginning had been different. There were many friends when the war had just begun….when he moved, his friends moved. But time, the biggest enemy of man, had removed all of them….almost all of them. 

As he whizzed past the desolate road the machine let out a low grunt. ‘I am sorry….i know I am pushing you harder than ever today. But we need to do this. Maybe….’ His thoughts trailed off. Maybe what? Maybe this meeting will push him to the next level, the level where he could say goodbye to his best buddy forever? He knew that was just a remote possibility. The result of the confrontation could be in either direction and the odds were against him.

The trees on the way reflected the past that had been. All their leaves were gone, looked like even they weren’t happy with what was going on. The thought evolved into a wry smile on his lips. He could now see the battle ground….Oh what a magnificent place. Words failed anyone who had been lucky enough to view this wonder. The gate to the arena creaked as it was being opened by the guardians. ‘Damn the rust’

He checked his watch finally before he charged in.

He had done it…..he had finally reached office before 9 o’clock.

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