Wednesday, 11 April, 2012

Why we drive like we do

I read this article in the paper today, about why we drive like we do. Though it did bring out some interesting points, it was far from an interesting read. I do empathize with the POV but it wasn't well put. So I wanted to do my own take on Why we drive like we do? I think the primary feature is the spirit of 'survival of the fittest' with which we approach our roads. Everyone on the road seems to be raging a war against a personal enemy. A Multitude of 'David's fighting their 'Goliath's. The common man feels like the world as an entity is out to get him, waiting to trick him, fool him, take away his hard earned money and replace it with short lived satisfaction of the Chinese variety. And this attitude springs from the fact that we have a large population. Because there are more than a billion of us, fighting for the same resources - the same limited supply of roti, kapda, makan and ofcourse sadak - a spirit of "every man for himself" has infiltrated the way we drive. So no one is willing to follow the rules. People feel the rules are tools to deprive us of our right to drive as we please. The feeling on the road is that if we don't step up and grab our right, we will be left behind and our neighbour will win. So one reason we are such bad drivers is that we are such good reproducers.

Another factor which contributes to our hellish driving skills is genetic. It has been transferred down generation after generation. And that is the Cult of the Bajaj scooter. Since the Chetak was Indian common man's first automatic transport, the skill of driving a scooter has been embedded into our brains. And passed down from father to son to son to son and now to daughter also. So even though we might be driving a hatchback or a sedan or a truck or even a tanker, we feel like we can squeeze into any 2 inch gap and get ahead. On the road you might be in a Merc, but you can feel in your genes that you are riding your trusty Chetak. The belief in the maneuverability of the vehicle, which was justified in the age of the Chetak, still holds strong. And often causes people to come dangerously close to one another.

So the answer to why we drive like we do : Our talent of Reproducing and Our Genetic Inheritance of the Cult of the Chetak.

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