Driving in India

Stories Mar 12, 2020

I might be the first guy to use indicators in India. Most motorbikes and autos don't even have side mirrors! They remove it, some bikes even turn them inwards, so they can creep into the narrowest of gaps without breaking the mirror! The only button/switch drivers use is the honk. They overtake from both sides, absolutely no rules in roundabouts.

While escaping all this, avoiding that cow and this barking dog in the main road, you suddenly see a bunch of cars and motorbikes coming directly towards you. The first reaction is shock: "Am I on the wrong side?".  No. This is my side. They are on the wrong side. In addition to the two main flows in a road, there are two more flows, streams of drivers driving on the wrong side on either side of the road, to avoid a U-turn.

On the other hand, Indians are extremely helpful when it comes to vehicles. My first scooter had a poor battery and as I struggled with kick start multiple times, people just walked to me and offered help without asking. Also, the drivers are extremely talented. They can stop immediately or skillfully manoeuvre the vehicles around each other in the absence of traffic rules.

Jaipur is better, that's where I drove a scooter for two days. Roads are wide and roundabouts are huge. If you can trust the driving skills of all other drivers enough, you can drive in India, at least in Jaipur.

PS: Coronavirus update. The airport is locked, I can't return. Even if I return and join immediately, I don't get long leave afterwards. So, I'll make change the plan, avoid the corona hotspots like Kerala and Mumbai and stay in small, less touristic places and villages. Taking necessary precautions btw. Thanks a lot for the concern! ❤️

First posted on Facebook: facebook.com/abarajithan11/posts/10219022285059553