Thursday 17 January 2008

Millions of Unsuccessful Suicide Bids every day on Indian roads

Seeing the traffic scene on Indian roads, I am convinced that every day millions of young Indians set out on their two wheelers, having made up their minds never to return home. Yes, you read right, they DO NOT want to return home, for why would they otherwise ride their bikes like they were in a competition to have an accident somehow! I live in Pune where there was an agitation launched some time ago against a Court order to make helmet wearing compulsory. Would you believe that even politicians joined the protests and to this day, the Court's order remains unimplemented! How do these guys (gals included, by the way) court certain death? Well first of all they ride at break neck speeds, they weave through traffic, overtaking vehicles from the left, right and whichever other way they can! This does NOT stop even in a turn; blind or otherwise! They do not seem to realise that in a turn, the vehicle ahead could turn loosely or tightly and the driver would be looking out for traffic ahead and NOT at them while they are in the over-take mode, thus they stand to risk being squeezed under. At traffic lights, they will NOT keep in their lanes, choking all openings and leading to delays in vehicles moving up, including theirs. (If they just stuck to their lane and waited for their turn, traffic congestion would clear far quicker for all. They also will suddenly drive onto a busy main road without checking out the fast moving traffic on it, little realising that the main road traffic has the right of way and they must stop short of the main road, look for traffic on it and only when clear, join it. But, none of this for our Fidayeen, after all they are on a suicide mission. But one thing is very clear of course, my young friends are very trusting. They trust the other driver for their safety; else, why would they do all the crazy things they do? I wonder if all these millions of unsuccessful suicide attempts are at the root of all the stress that young Indians seem to be suffering from.