With all the hooting and cars swinging from one side of the road to the other across multiple lanes, it’s like a jungle on Indian roads. To the uninitiated it might look like things are happening haphazardly, but the truth is that there is a method to this road madness.
I was lucky to experience a ride full of the unexpected recently. I got a chance to see the impossible happening first-hand. Who would have thought that one could travel hundreds of kilometres with hundreds of lane changes and turns without using indicators even once? This kind of driving can only be experienced in incredible India.
On Indian roads you can see:
sacred cows taking a nap on the highway divider,
motorcycles making U-turns on the highway,
cars driving the wrong way,
people dashing across six highway lanes with fast driving cars and getting to the other side without a scratch,
camel-pulled carts also join the highway traffic from time to time,
backs of trucks with signs that say, “Horn Please” as hooting tends to be used as substitution for indicators.
Even dogs and goats are part of the highway traffic.
If you are lucky, you can even spot monkeys crossing the highways in the centre of town in search of food.
As you can see, India is not called the biggest democracy in the world for nothing. All animals have exactly the same rights on the road. A true democracy indeed.
Everything is possible on Indian roads. As our driver said, “Two eyes are not enough to drive on Indian roads.” You need at least six eyes in order not to miss anything – two in front, two at the back and one on either side. The best option would be to have one big eye with 360 degree vision instead of the head. And that might still not be enough. But that’s part of what makes India incredible. To survive this jungle on the streets, the only option is to hire a good driver, fasten your seat belt and enjoy the crazy ride hoping that all will end well. As John Lennon said, “Everything will be ok in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end.”
When travelling in India, the only thing you can be sure of is that your journey by road will not be boring.
Even the road signs can be interesting. One road sign which I liked a lot said, “The highway speed limit suits all needs” which is true, when you think about it.