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You've smiles to go

The Gurgaon police wants us to smile while driving. A frown is more likely given the obstacles on the roads.

india Updated: Oct 22, 2012 22:55 IST

One thing we Indians don't lack is the drive to drive. Once behind a wheel, even the most timid of us become daredevils who could put Sebastian Vettel to shame. We weave in and out of traffic, we laugh contemptuously at red lights, yellow lines are made to be crossed and the lives of pedestrians are but a mere bagatelle to us. But, be sure that the law is onto you. Our traffic police, in some places, have correctly identified aggression as the cause for this reckless driving and even more reckless disregard for human life, both one's own and that of others. So what do you think they have decided to do? The more sane among you will say that they will go in for tough measures like crippling fines, the suspension of licences and a few days in the clink if need be.

But our police lads in some places are made of gentler stuff. If you were to take a spin around Gurgaon, that Singapore-in-the-mak-ing, you will marvel at the sheer innovation of the police. As you bounce along the symmetrically pot-holed roads, avoiding the amb-ling cow, creaking cycle rickshaw and designer-clad worthies in luxury cars who specialise in edging you off the road, a soothing sight will greet you eyes. The traffic police have put up a huge number of signs with the legend 'smile while driving.' So, if you happen to see your fellow motorist with a fixed grimace on his face, don't assume that he has had a sudden attack of lockjaw or indeed that he is amused by your driving skills. He is just following this a little bit of advice to make all our days that much happier. It is quite possible that to a rank outsider, it might seem that he has somehow arrived in the midst of the motorists' version of The Stepford Wives.

However, if this catches on, dentists will be laughing all the way to the bank. For you don't want to flash your choppers if they are less than easy on the eye. Toothpaste companies too could cash in on this trend to smile the miles away. As for us edit writers, we could impart tips on how to come up with a winning smile. This may cost you a bit, but we're sure you'll smile through it all.