Delhiites cannot drive. We never stop at red lights but stall for hours at a free left. We overtake from the left and drive on high beam before sunset. And, we just don’t get Lane Driving. Those painted white lines slashed across roads challenge our sense of freedom.
We trample the lines out, drive over them and on them and pretend they don’t exist. We refuse the hegemony of a three-lane divide, and rearrange our cars in space-defying jams. Who cares for a lane, when there’s six inches of free space?
“Only mad men drive in Delhi,” Jeffrey Archer told me once. (Yes, THE Jeffrey Archer.) One of his biggest problems with Delhi is that drivers are oblivious to lanes.
If you’re making an indignant face, ready with a self-righteous defence, shut up. Our lane sense is so bad that they’re colour-coding the roads for the CWG - blue for Commonwealth, potholes for Commoners.
In Delhi, autos take to the fastest lane, while DTC buses drive zigzag - a complete roundabout to what the spokesperson of the Delhi Police informs me is the norm.
The rules go like this: heavy vehicles, such as trucks and buses, stick to the left, autos to the middle lanes and the lane on the extreme right is for the fastest vehicles. So, if you’re one of those people who hog the fast lane and drive at 35kmph, kindly bugger off.
One more thing; a driver’s licence does not grant you telepathy. Squint your eyes and concentrate for as long as you want, you will not be able to guess whether the guy ahead of you will be turning left, right or pulling off a Houdini.
No, for that, there is the magical indicator. A little click, and everyone knows which way you’re headed. The problem is, I always forget to switch off the indicator and so I am perennially turning left.
My Sunday resolution is to stick to my lane; I’m just a little confused which one to choose.