Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Road Rage

One of the few things I love doing is to drive. During my driving days in Madras and in this part of the world, though I enjoy every ooportunity to dirve, there are certain categories of people who spark my already volatile temper.

1. Desi with expensive car (US of A)

    You can never miss the signs - BMW 3 or 5 Series (not the sedan model, the SUV X Series), Lexus or Acura cars, My Kid is a genius fender sticker, vermillion on top of the number plate. The biggest clue of all would be that the driver will be taking every damn precaution not to have a single scratch on his/her vehicle. I agree that he/she is paying a big chunk towards the car every month but then travelling at below the speed limit speeds on interstate, thinking a zillion and one time before changing a lane, braking 2 miles before it is required make my BP zoom. And once when going to the temple I was so pissed because of the car infront of me - a BMW 5 series sedan that I passed him on the right lane - which is wrong but that jerk did not give me an option. Unfortunately that car came to the temple as well and the 40 something desoid with the tummy, polo shirt and shorts intact comes to me and says that I need more maturity. He went home after a 5 minute talk from me, after which, I doubt whether he would talk to any 20 something guy about maturity and road driving.
2. Aunty on Kinetic Honda in Madras
    I agree that Madras is polluted and all that and there are rowdy pasanga waiting to site adichify and all that but dressing up like this (below) is too much wonly!
= =
These makkal have a travel trajectory which resembles something like this:
In the picture, the red line shows the trajectory. They travel at exactly 30 kmph and have the sudden habit of thrusting their hand out to signal that they are making a turn. There are 2 issues with this: 1. They are right in the middle of the road when they want to make the turn, and 2. They do not care to see if there is someone coming back right behind them. Once the hand got me square on the midsection. It might be inkeeping witth their costume to attack people when they lease expect it. The situation gets complex-er if there is another specimen with the same costume or a kid on the pillion. The kinetic honda (or scooty, sunny or whatever non-geared, cannot go more than 50kmph vehicle there is on the madras landscape). The vehicle suddenly does somersaults, skid brakes and tries to cut you, all at 25 kmph. The biggest of my crib is that their attire makes me feel that I'm bad mouthing myself whenever I try to give them a piece of my mind and that, my dear makkal, is not a nice thing to do yourself.
3. The thirutu-kaadhal case in Chennai
This is the kilu-kiluppu case. The guy brakes suddenly and sharply for what purposes you might have already guessed. While it may be mid-road masala for him, for us its anything but good. As more often than not these are kalla-kaadhals of India, they satiate all their want-to-do's on the road. Enna kodumai saravanan idu?
After a while, tired of swerving and getting used to braking for nothing,  you get pissed and try to use the usual chennai lingo on him for bad driving and he says "saar, ladies irukkum poludhu ipdi pesreengale, saar?". And you feel like punching the guy in the nose - he does R rated stuff on the road and when you try to square off, he says that you use R Rated language. Jackass!
4. The (White) Chick in USA {Sometimes comes in the black variant too}
These are very easy to spot - Volkswagen Beetle (Bug), Jetta, Rabbit or Mini Cooper or Mazda Miata - and a (female) driver  whose head seems to be stuck to the cell phone. They roll over at stop signs and are given to sudden lane change syndrome. And in parking lots, they turn lethal. Give them a parking spot with no other car in the next two spots on either side and still they will manage to scratch another car. And when you try to talk to them, they put on that I'm-so-cute-and-adorable-please-flirt-with-me look that you'll feel like thirigifying their head and throw it to the kaaka (crow).
5. The Yo-Mama in USA
The cars bear strong similarities. The suspension tweaked so that the cars are always bouncing like bobble-heads. And kanda kanda car will have alloy wheels. The most popular here in tampa is Honda Accord or Toyota camry (the staple desi car) with alloy wheels. You know that you can honk or show him the finger as you know such cars rarely ever have a driver who DOES NOT have a gun. Some hip hop beats come through and if you are really unlucky you will have music blasting. If you thought these guys had insurance you must be from the planet Mars. But on the whole, apart from giving you a headache if you are in their proximity in the traffic lights, they pose no driving danger to you, though seeing somebody driving a car in the posture that may be better suited to the couch is a bit unnerving.
6. The uninsured pick up truck
When you a specimen of this or a close variant keep 2 lane distance away from it. Mostly has a trailer trash white guy or a கீழ் நாட்டுக்காரன் (keezh-naatukaaran, a.k.a ola comistos) . One fact that you need to drill down your brain is that insurance companies do not insure pick up trucks which are 20 years old. Or at least not at premium rates that the drivers of these pick up trucks can afford. I had the experience of one such battered pick up truck simply lose control and move into my lane, thereby totally damaging my friend who was driving ahead of me here (see below)
I was, for once, like 50 feet behind my friend and had time to park on the shoulder and when I went over to the spot where the pick up truck and my friends car were in close communion, I found out the truck driver was trailer kinda person and all that he was able to say was the f- word and he, seemingly, did not know that insurance was mandatory to drive on the road! 911 was called and the cops duly arrested the old fart and all that. But, the point was, there was nobody to pay for the damages. My friend, as does every dutiful desi had a high deductible (copay?) amount to reduce his 6-month premium which meant he had to shell out 2000 bucks then and there. The lesson? Avoid old pick up trucks like the plague. Run, hide or take the next exit. And oh, also make sure you don't have more than 500 dollar deductible.
7. The GPS-Enabled makkal in US
Easiest to spot - you cannot miss the 'light of knowledge' from behind throught the windshield. Major makkal in this category are MS in US Junta (or software onsite makkal) who are 'enjoying' long weekends by renting out a car (its another matter that they applied 2 coupons, 1 mail-in rebate and 1 preferred member discount to get the GPS for free) and driving everywhere and anywhere. But they are easy to avoid. Do not go near Indian Restuarants, Theaters playing namba ooru padam, touristy places like Caladesi (Honeymoon) island, Clearwater Beach and Miami, Strip Clubs/Night clubs where ragudu is possible on saturday nights and on very rare occasions, near temples (especially on Sunday evenings when its time to search for retribution for all the sins performed during the previous 2 days). God Save you if the rental car guy gave them a non-text-to-speech enabled as they were getting it for free. Arbit-ly swerving into exit lanes and in the last minute rejoining the main lane, suddenly stopping in the middle of the lane (especially near the destination points) are common symptoms. Pass them asap and don't give them a damn as, mostly if they see a desi passing them (and if you have a female or someone resembling a female in your car), they show off by hitting the pedal on the pitiable Chevy Cobalt and revving up the engine and trying to show that you can never pass them. On such occasions, if you are driving a better car (do not ask me if there is any car worser than Cobalt!), just speed up and go your merry way as there is a nice chance that alocohol or cigerretes might be a part of the mix in the other vehicle (I do not know why, but whenever desi pasanga meet up for a get-together, sarakku, cigarrette and porn {called Foreign Film} are always there in the agenda)
8. The Family of 4 (or more) in Madras
My family has been guilty of doing this when I was a small kid (you know it was a LOOOONG time ago, seeing my size now). But you are struck to marvel how the guy is balancing the motorbike and at the same time, talking to the pondaati and all that. Throw a cell phone into the mix and you will have a potential, India has got Talent show on your hands.


Kaushik said...

Ha ha, nice arbit one! Entertaining, and interestingly thought. I consider category 2,3 to be major erichal-moottifiers. I somewhat sympathise with and appreciate category 8. Not much about others, though.

adi said...

we are not tht bad karthik. we take cobalt only to get license!