Frothing At The Bit

We are close to the end of the year. This is the time that you are supposed to be happy, and have to show it. So, you put on your best underwear, get into your car, and zoom around town from party to party.

It is also the time of the year when the fog comes down heavily, but that does not let the average Indian (or, Delhi-ite/Dilliwallah in this case) slow down the pace at which the car moves along the road.

We did have a 48 car pile up last week.

The roads in India are largely pot-holed. They are also peopled with cyclists, careless pedestrians, antiquated rickshaws and trucks, buses, pigs, cows; and an assortment of policemen scratching their balls while they watch the world go by.

So, you really cannot drive fast. However, to further slow you down, they add almost invisible speed breakers, and police barriers. Road rage piles up.

Oh yes – to add to the fun, people will go from the left (at a traffic signal) across to the right, and take a U-turn. They will also drive in the wrong direction.

What you have is a smorgasbord of assorted traffic mayhem all moving in a rapid Brownian motion. When the fog descends, then shit sometimes floats through the fog.

The question is – how do we cope? How do we get by?

A lot of people have these nippy little cars that swing through traffic, and teeter precariously on two wheels while the owner attempts something heroic.

Many more have these trucks. They are officially called SUVs, and the bigger the better. Sometimes people even wear sunglasses at night, to show that they belong. They belong. I don’t know what they belong to, but they belong. That is the operative verb.

There is something about this fuel guzzling SUV-Truck that transforms a paunchy, spindly legged Indian into a frothing maniac. You see them driving, looking around as they sail over the pot-holes and shove the other drivers aside.

You see them at the traffic light, champing at the bit, tooting their horn wondering at the temerity of a red light that has dared to stop their flight. Until, they decide to do away with the niceties of observing traffic rules and break them.

There is something about this SUV-truck that turns a mild mannered young girl into a snarling, frothing male like thing, albeit with breasts and the other anatomical features that are unique to women.

They too champ at the bit, at a red light. Or, they overtake you and look back at you with a sneer on their face as they talk on the mobile phone. They are possibly exchanging fashion tips at that point….

So, before I end the year with a “Happy New Year, y’all”, just remember that tomorrow, when you put on your best underwear – beware the wolf-man and the she-wolf behind the wheel of the SUV-truck…

And, before I end the year with a “Happy New Year, y’all”, just remember that tomorrow, when you put on your best underwear – beware the wolf-man and the she-wolf behind the wheel of the teetering, nippy little car as it whizzes by on two of it’s four wheels!


  1. Wow, this is incredible…
    Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year (in spite of the driving!) 🙂
    Thanks again, for sharing so many wonderful photographs and writing with us.
    Best wishes,

    1. Very true. My kids claim that they have seen me showing the middle finger to errant drivers. And, it seems that once, when a woman was driving the wrong way, squeezing me, I rolled my window down and yelled “You Bitch…”

      So my kids claim!

  2. I don’t like SUV’s either! I think they’re for middle/upper class people as a status symbol, who think that they are more powerful because of it. I personally think that they are very dangerous, and even on good roads! It must be a nightmare on your Indian roads! Keep safe, and all the best for 2015 Rajiv! Bridget 🙂

  3. Lol, Rajiv, this post did make me laugh 😀 In Australia, certainly the state of Queensland, SUVs are the norm – especially for families. I find that women tend to turn into she-wolves when behind the wheel of an SUV…lol!
    I can imagine how they would cause some strife on Indian roads. My pet hate is people with Hummers – they are ridiculously oversized (not to mention environmental monsters).

    1. When I was living in China, I visited Cairns, and I went in a Hummer for an off-road experience. I could appreciate the benefit of the Hummer there, but I almost fainted when I saw the size of the vehicle. I believe that some chaps in some North Indian cities bought Hummers, to “show ’em who has the bigger one”.. And, if the size is not enough, it seems they went and painted these humungous things a bright orange!

  4. You must suspect how I feel about giant behemoth vehicles, since I am a squiggly-eyed, phone-less little bicyclist. They terrify me. I squeak my little horn to no avail. I teeter in their whirlwinds. I cry frequently as one of my precious books is sucked off the back of my rickety little two-wheeled chariot as a sky-scraper-tall SUV zooms by. Most precarious. Excellent read, but a true horror story.

    Best wishes to you and a happy and joyous New Year to you and yours. Jubilant cheers,

    smiling toad

    1. Yeah, I do get an inkling of how you feel! While my blog is not a travel blog, I have created a section on driving, because I do so much of it!
      I love cycling, and used to cycle a lot when I was living in China. I am just to scared to cycle here in India..

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