Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The delights of Night Driving in Bangalore

If you like that rush of adrenaline in your veins, if you fancy yourself doing daring stunts on your bike, then you'll be pleased to have a ride in the evening traffic at Namma Bangaluru. Not only it keeps your reflexes sharp, it also teaches you the important lesson about the fragility of life.

A ride at any time of the day in Bangalore traffic is incredible, but there are certain areas where night time traffic has definite edge. The traffic signals, for instance, they are not applicable, or so it seems, once the Sun sets. The result, an existing game of touch me not! Just imagine, you arrive at an intersection, traffic is rushing in from all directions; you have a rousing challange in your hands. The field is all set (much before your arrival) and the game is on. You have to beat all others at take up your original direction, as soon as possible. Novices waste too much time in waiting while experts don't mind taking up all sorts of turns, who dares wins!

If this gave you the impression that traffic at that time is cut-throat, you can not be further from truth. The cars coming from opposite direction are so assisting that they keep their lights in high beam. You never know when sleep might get the best of you, someone must take the onus to keep your eyes (and pupils!) wide open. The pedestrians - they are the most considerate lot. They'll search for the darkest spot on the road and try to cross the road from there, lest they might break the concentration of riders by their appearance.

Buses, the transportation for masses and how well they accomplish their tasks! Once the Sun sets, its obvious that their riders are anxious to reach their destination ASAP. KSRTC buses start to run at a break-neck speed at that time, obviously to assist their passengers. Let the roads be narrow, let the traffic be crawling, they never think twice before pushing their buses to the last possible inch! Such is their dedication that they make sure that no other means be possible to reach before them (by literally blocking the roads).

Auto-rickshaws, what can I say about them? They have the license to kill! Its only in the night time that we see enough to appreciate their skills & talents. They have the coveted ability to take a U-turn at any time, in any traffic, without any warning! One can learn a lot only by watching them drive. Give them space enough for a bicycle, they'll try and push their way through it. These are really brave heart fellows and don't shrink from bending the rules or even breaking them. If customer is bhagwan, which authority can be superior to them?

Lastly, the drivers at Bangalore have immaculate sense of timing and razor sharp reflexes! You notice this when just about 10 seconds before the signal gets green, vehicles from behind you start honking. The entire flock gathered at the red light, starts inching ahead as soon as it smells the coming of green. Keeps lazy people, like yours truly, on toes! Car owners, specially software people, never forget their two-wheeler riding days and the essential surviving skills gathered in that period. They still enjoy the same freedom to sway the vehicle, over take from the wrong direction, make combative cuts and what not! We at Bangalore, believe in Work while you work, Play while you play, Play some more while you drive!

One can only imagine how much the car owners enjoy this. As for me, I only get about 20 minutes of this joyride every evening (how I wish I had more!) on my Pulsar.


chutki said...

hehehehe humour n frustutration....I realized after reading ur post that they make a cool combi :)

Vivek Kumar said...

Fundoo.. I can totally imagine such driving..

Delhi is not too far from the same description.. with the added flavous of choiciest concerns for mothers and sisters ;-)