Monday, July 30, 2007

Wanna be a daredevil???

Yeah!!! You read that right... And I have not gone crazy (yet)!!!

I have to make a confession. I am a rash rider. I go wild when I listen to the roaring sound of an engine. It just takes senses out of my mind and I feel like flying on my bike. It thrills me taking my 150cc bike to 120 kmph on curved roads. I love the feeling when the person sitting behind me gets scared :-). For the records, there has been just one person who was never scared of sitting behind me! Thankfully, I have very good control on two-wheeled vehicles and have a very good record of avoiding accidents or at least reducing the impact to a minimal.

While I was in Mumbai, things like crossing lanes, applying sudden breaks, tilting the bike as opposed to using the handles for taking turns, wheelie (okay... I didn't do that too many times) etc were fun but I exercised them only when there were no (or very few) vehicles or cops :-) on the road. And I used to call them stunts and I thought I was a daredevil. Nevertheless, I was a happy rider with a bit of guilty feeling of not following some of the traffic rules.

There has not been much of a change since then.I am still a rash rider. I still take my machine to 120k. I still love to take wild turns and scare people sitting behind me. But there is one thing that has changed. And that one single change has made doing any of the above mentioned things almost impossible. And that one little change is -

(insert mystery music here, dramatic entry)

- I am in Hyderabad.

You may be thinking its not possible for me to all my favorite stunts (I need to reconsider use of this term now) because traffic rules are strictly followed in Hyderabad. Let me make a correction to your thoughts - You are absolutely wrong!!!

The fact is - any rule that you read in your driving school does not apply. Hyderabad has its own set of traffic rules and people (including traffic cops) follow them religiously. Here are a few rules that people do follow

  • You should see road-signs (do we need to follow them??? Oh.. I thought they were there for decoration)
  • Somebody had a lot of extra white paint and spilled it on the road. Some fools say they are lines to indicate lanes. Why on earth do you need lanes when you have roads. Idiots!
  • Traffic cops are not cops... They stand there on the roads for all emergency purposes... such as - when you meet with an accident, or to clear the roads when a minister (or any VIP) arrives.
  • You have all rights to take turns anytime and anywhere. All the vehicles behind you must watch your moves (and not your indicators. indicators are a nice way to host a small little light show. why should I use them for turns?)
  • You don't have to stop at signals. God knows why they waste so much of electricity on those flashing colorful lights. You know... we must question the government for spending tax-payers money for such light shows.
  • One way??? What the heck is that??? Don't try to quiz me man... I see a road. And I am going to drive through.
  • You must follow all the above rules. You can append this list with any new fancy rule that you discover (provided it is not a rule in the government's book)

I am not a racist. And I have nothing to hold against people from any particular region or state. I don't want to hurt anyone's sentiments. But I must say this - I am sick and tired of this place. People have absolutely zero civic sense. They don't understand what discipline is. They have no respect for human life. Coming from a place like Mumbai, these are certain things that we take for granted in a citizen. These are core values that I grew up with.

I get speechless when someone compares Hyderabad with Mumbai. I have no words do describe how I feel. The best description for Hyderabad that I can for is - It is a village that is trying to become a metropolitan very fast. A metropolitan is not just about tall buildings or bunch of IT companies or for that matter a lot of money. The word metropolitan identifies a culture. It comes up with a lot of social responsibilities and moral values. Mumbai became what it is in more than 300 years. Please don't insult Mumbai and Mumbaikars by comparing Hyderabad with Mumbai.

I have not seen too many places and have been confined pretty much to the limits of Mumbai city for a long long time. Maybe rest of the country is like Hyderabad. I don't know. But if that is the case, we must stop feeling good about ourselves. It is our country and we must take the responsibility of making things right.


Ankit Sukhija said...

Citizen Journalist - Deobrat Singh! :D

Vivek Anand said...

I second you Deo...:)

Anonymous said...

This post sounds good but lacks lateral thinking. I am not able to understand your problem here. Do you think mumbai has so much of human values with all those dance bar gals, prostitution, mafia, killings and supaaris? Do you think riding a bike which was not designed to race at 150 km on a civialian road is humanity or core values you have grown up with? Do you call that as civilization?

Deobrat Singh said...

Dance bar girls, prostitution, mafia, killing, suparis... is there one single place in the world that does not have any of these???

As far as riding a bike at high speeds is concerned, I have already mentioned I did that only when there were almost no vehicles on the road.
In the context of this post, by values I mean simple ethics that you would expect from a civilized person.

BTW, I would really appreciate if you could come up in open and stop being anonymous.