I have heard many people (including my father) bragging about how bad the traffic condition is in their city and how difficult it is to drive there. Their favourite line is ‘If you’ve driven in my city X, you can drive anywhere in India’! To all such people, I extend my kind invitation to test their driving skills in Noida or, for that matter, in Uttar Pradesh once!
The people are highly impatient when they are out driving on the road. The shared-auto drivers and rickshaw-walas, on the other hand, behave as if the roads belong to their father! They change lanes or stop their vehicles (to pick up or drop passengers) in the middle of the road on their own free will and ignore you even if you are travelling at 70kmph, even if you have to use disc brakes to avoid a collision and even if you are raping the horn of your vehicle like a maniac! Moreover, the red light signals stand merely as an indication that you might want to halt when the light is red- you don’t really have to if you don’t want to (this stands true for drivers of motorcycles, cars, buses and trucks alike: rickshaw-walas never stop at red lights!). Most motorcycle riders never wait at a red light unless there is traffic policeman visible somewhere or they are locked in a place from where it is difficult to manoeuvre their vehicle forward.
Such is the sorry state of affairs, in this city, with which I put up every day. And it is here (on one fine morning of January 26th this year) that I decided I won’t jump any more red lights while driving. Believe me when I say it is a mighty task to keep up such a promise when everyone around you is doing exactly the opposite! I am trying my best and have been pretty successful up till now.