Dear Indian Road Users,
I am a random person living in Mumbai, a city inhabited by 20 million people. I use multiple modes of transport to access my college, which is neatly hidden in a quiet residential area. This residential area is surrounded by a million arterial roads, with a million more being planned.
So going to college and coming back from college is pretty horrible, since I do it 6 days a week. It’s worse than the mental image you get when I say “fat naked guy eating a yellow semisolid”.
I’ll explain what I’m getting at here.
I was crossing the road this morning when I observed a lorry coming at me. Keeping with Indian road user tradition, I decided to cross it anyway, because stopping for the truck would cost me 3 precious seconds which I could ill afford to lose. So I waltzed out in front of the truck.
He then accelerated. Yes, he actually accelerated when I crossed out. I was then subsequently hit by the truck and killed.
No actually, I can’t put this in words properly enough : those were the hairiest 3 seconds of my life. My heart literally pumped NOS into my bloodstream and I moved so fast that I missed the truck by a whisker. Or the truck missed me, by a whisker.
Whichever way you look at it, I am not flat-roadkill right no, so it’s all good.
I turned around and looked at the truck indignantly, but I was shaking. There was nothing I could do about it.
I had survived serious injury/death and it was all part of the uncomfortably disturbing daily routine. Not for me, but for pedestrians of India in general.
Sometimes people become smart and stay put till the threat, be it a bus or a lorry or a cyclist or even an elephant, passes. Sometimes people become lucky and move fast.
Other times, they just become quite very dead.
And I kind of know how it felt to be in one piece and also for not falling down and expiring/embarrassing myself. A couple of guys shouted from (what was) the sidewalk in concern and I nodded at them and walked on. I then went to college and relieved myself of the 2000 litres of pee that collected by then.
This is a huge mammoth titanic immense problem in India and it’s not a joke. I mean, the road rules are a big fucking joke, but the consequences of ignoring them/not being aware of them are not.
I trust you to check that link out.
Anyway, when I went to the US, I discovered the Americans have this little thing called “right of way”.
Basically, pedestrians have right of way. That means vehicles have to stop in areas where pedestrians are allowed to exist, for the pedestrians. If I want to cross the road, they have to fucking stop, even if there’s no light.
Holy shit! Someone cares about pedestrians !
Pedestrians are a very ignored lot in India and that’s an open fact. If you are any moving object with an internal combustion engine, you are the boss. Depending on your size, you are also the boss of other moving objects with ICE engines.
So lorries pwn buses and buses pwn autos. Everyone pwns pedestrians.Even fucking cyclists and dudes on Activas.
It’s like people in vehicles just hate using their brakes. I mean seriously, apart from a signal (which they’ll try to beat if its yellow) or their destination, people in vehicles don’t like to stop. At all. Stopping irritates people for some reason.
So if there’s a puny pesky non-motor object in your way, then straight up run over it, right? I mean, that guy actually accelerated as I was crossing. What the fuck man? Seriously, what the actual fuck?
Crossing any road in any part of Mumbai at any given time is an absolute nightmare. So the BMC/MMRDA (I don’t know who) went straight up ahead and built skywalks for pedestrians. These skywalks help people cross the road and also go to the railway stations, to which they’re connected. Since the trains are the lifeline of Mumbai, everyone’s happy right?
Wrong. They had plans to build skywalks in most stations all over Mumbai, but scrapped the plans after they discovered pedestrians don’t actually use it. Hawkers, tramps, beggars and lovers do, but not actual people trying to cross the road. Me included.
Indians are not just impatient but fucking lazy. It’s more “Oooh man…stairs..lets just cross this road” than “I refuse to walk on that because I fear its structural stability and integrity“.
Seriously. I don’t think I have any right to complain about anything because it’s my own fault I did not use existing infrastructure for my benefit. It would have been ironical had I died below the skywalk.
And plenty of people jaywalk. I attribute the jaywalking problem to two reasons. One is pure laziness. The other is the fact that if the road is empty, why walk till a vague and fading zebra crossing to cross the road? It’s really as simple as that.
But seriously, what can pedestrians be expected to do when every fucking person is out there to run over us or NOT let us walk on the road?
That’s how it seems, you know. It’s like they’re saying “ha ha, you’re walking. Here I’ll honk and make you deaf, then proceed to run over you because I am boss.”
Well, I humbly and forcefully object to being treated that way. I am a self-respecting human being who is 20*(20) and I refuse to die till I reach 90(90). Dying by Indian traffic is especially embarrassing.
So, hotshots-in-vehicles, my message/request/order to you is :
1) Use your goddamned fucking brakes once in a while for PEOPLE ON THE ROAD.
2) Take your hands off the fucking horn. Neither me nor the traffic will vanish because you’re honking your hair off.
3) Do NOT yell cuss words at me, because I don’t understand what you say anyway.