As a man drives, so is he

Whatever happened to the lot of “operations” that the police are supposed to be performing to surgically remove the nonsense from the roads?

I happen to drive every day at all sorts of hours and when I look around and see that I have to be thinking for Ram, Shyam and Suresh and Anita and Divya too, I get annoyed, really annoyed. But I realise that driving in Manipal is only a reflection of some of the attitudes that we have as a people.

Take the half-of-fools that make all sorts of turns and stops without signalling. If the truth be told I really feel like getting out of my car and going to give them a big slap around their heads for not letting me know that they were going to make that move. Then I thought about it and I realised that these are like the people in society who make plans and they are the only ones who know about them. They don’t give any sort of sign of what they are going to do next; kind of like how the government operates sometimes.

Then you have the people who drive slowly on the highway and every other car is backed up behind them and they are totally oblivious to what is going on. Either that or they really don’t care. But they are like the bureaucracy that you have to go through to get something done. I remember it took nearly five years for me to get a problem with my insurance cleared up. When it wasn’t that I couldn’t find the officer who was handling the case, I was told that they were looking for the file. In the final analysis, they told me that the file room was in a mess and that whoever was trying to find my file was having a hard time. I took that to mean that it was lost. I wasn’t in for the long talk, all I wanted was my money. I had to say to myself that if I had owed them, they would be on my doorstep and to top it off they would have demanded interest. Not so with government. As long as you are driving behind them, it doesn’t matter what sort of pace they are going at. But let the tables turn and you would hear a different story.

Rash Driving

Then you have the ones who will speed wherever they are going. If they are going around the corner to the minimart, they are speeding. If they are going to temple, they are burning rubber. They can’t wait at all. This class in our society is the one where they want something done and they want it yesterday. I only realise that sometimes I fall into this section when the other day I was behind a car at a junction and the driver saw somebody on the other side of the road and he apparently beckoned to her and told her that he would give her a lift. She proceeded to take her time in crossing, or so it seemed, and then got into the car slowly. My first reaction was, “ Why she doesn’t hurry up?” Then I had to catch myself and realise that it was only a few seconds that I had to wait for this man to do his kind deed. I had to repent, because I didn’t recognise how impatient I had become on the road. So it is like the prayer “Lord give me patience and please hurry up.” Everybody is like this today and we drive with an attitude.

One of the last categories is the back seat driver. These are like the people who call the radio talk shows and those who write letters. More often than not they can tell you what is wrong, in their opinion, but they have little power to change it. All they can do is to point out the errors of the person(s) in control.

Then you have the real, real idiots on the road. I don’t mean the run-of-the-mill kind that will stop without notice or switch lanes foolishly, or jam-bust without sense. I mean the ones that are at the top of the stupid ladder. Let me give you a couple of examples. The other night there was an accident between the Syndicate Circle and the KFC . Now this was about midnightish and the traffic was backed up. As I was creeping along, I heard the ambulance coming and like all good law-abiding citizens the cars cleared a path for it. To my surprise, then again I shouldn’t have been surprised because anything can happen today, I saw a car speeding and moving through the traffic behind the ambulance. Well, well, the driver only wanted to get through and this was his method. He didn’t care if the police caught up with him or anything, his goal was to get through the gridlock. Then there were the others who were overtaking on the shoulder. None of them knew if the vehicles involved in the accident were on the highway or in the ditch for that matter. It was only to beat the traffic. These are the people in the society who work like Machiavelli – by any means necessary. They are a danger to themselves and anyone else around them.

I guess you can see what class you fall into. It is amazing how you are how you drive. The simplest things that you do show what is on the inside and you can certainly gain deep insight into a person’s personality by getting into a vehicle with them.

The next time that you sit in the passenger’s seat do a bit of observation and you will see exactly what I mean.

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