When I think of going on a drive, I imagine empty roads, the windows down with the wind in my face, music so loud that you can’t possibly hear yourself sing, and everyone just straight up having a great time. Unfortunately, my dreams are shattered, with me living in a city, especially in India, well, need I say more?
I started driving to college more than a year ago with a friend as I desperately wanted to be independent. I was looking forward to creating everlasting memories with said friend, which happened but what I didn’t expect was the great amount of stress which came as a packaged deal. What makes this whole situation worse is my road rage - the inside of my car (and sometimes the outside as well) is filled with colourful and creative insults, judging stares, and a whole lot of showing of hands, which I’m not proud of, but definitely working on.
But come on, can you really blame me? I’m not a perfect driver, but for sure a safe one. It’s extremely frustrating to witness others driving without thinking about the consequences to their rash actions - lives are at stake here. I’ve heard the phrase “If you can drive in India, you can drive anywhere” way too many times because if driving is a game, India has all the obstacles. Be it cows,( bless their poor souls, they just want a place to walk, even if it is right in the middle of the road amidst traffic) stray dogs, absent minded humans, potholes, humans who walk in the middle of the street for kicks, people who think they can park anywhere and so much more. There’s no denying that pollution rates are up - both air and sound, but I have somehow become immune to the irrational honking during a red light or when a car wants to overtake when there’s no space - it’s futile, but if honking makes you happy then you do you.
What gets my blood boiling is when drivers are in the wrong and yet they try to get their way - there is this one street in Mylapore which is a one way, but of course there’s no surprise that the majority do not follow it. The road is already painfully narrow, I was driving and this fellow on a motorbike comes in the wrong direction and has the audacity to drive smack dab in the middle and flash his lights at me signalling for me to let him go first. I lost it. I lost it. The more I write, the more I realize that this is pretty much a rant at this point but do bear with me.
Time for an incident which was frustrating at first, but hilarious now that I look back on it - On that very same fateful road mentioned above, two people on a motorbike came on the wrong side (shocker) and almost rammed into me. Rude stares were displayed by my friend and I and in response, the girl on the back of the bike stuck out her tongue in that picchi viduven ( refer to the picture below ) manner. We both burst out laughing, we honestly did not know how to react!
Don’t even get me started on buses, one of which hit my car a while back. Yes, the car is fine, but my worst nightmare had come true. I had stopped my car in anticipation of the bus trying to overtake me, yet my side mirror got hit and all I heard was glass shattering. Panic ensued, with me thinking he hit the front mirror and conclusions were jumped to. I was extremely scared to break the news to my parents - but all they declared was that I’d finally become a true driver, after gaining a few scratches!
But, the anxiety is real whenever I see buses in my vicinity, I try to keep a considerable amount of distance from them as much as possible. All these efforts are in vain, because there exists multiple bus stops right outside my college :)
Links you’ll love
A few months ago, I had to give a presentation on Stroke (a condition where there’s a blockage in the blood supply to your brain), and a friend of mine told me about the extremely interesting Beauty Parlour Stroke Syndrome.
Although Seaspiracy, the shocking Netflix documentary which delivers an exposé on the fishing industry has apparently misrepresented a few facts, it’s for sure worth a watch as I learnt a plethora of distressing things about the way in which fish are caught.
Considering how most women feel the need to be on survival mode all the time, men, here’s what you can do to make women feel safer in public.
I hope you have a great week ahead, stay safe, wear your masks and make good choices! Here’s to hoping we ride this Covid wave quickly and smoothly.