Friday, June 15, 2007

Back to ‘Land of Idiots’

I went on a small trip to North America and I am back in India now. I should have waited for a while to sink in the irrationality of Indian driving before I took my car out. Instead of waiting, I just started driving on the left side of the road making a mental map that I shouldn’t be driving on the right side. I reached a crossing where there is no traffic light or a cop to handle the traffic. And what a chaos it was! Nobody was letting the other go, and soon all the four sides poured their battalions into the center. There was no letup by any party. For more than five minutes the traffic stood standstill, and even when it cleared, it did only in trickles, one motorcyclist escaping here and there. I remember the announcement yesterday on the airplane, ‘Welcome to India!’ Rather it should have said, ‘Welcome to Land of Idiots!’

I stood there amazed at the sheer idiocy of our people at this traffic junction. Common sense suggests that if you let one side go, you will eventually get your chance, so that all can reach our destinations soon enough. However, in an effort to fight that one second, we tend to lose out five minutes. The profoundness of the situation cannot be missed. This attitude- to fight the battle tooth and nail but to lose the war- is seen in almost every sphere of Indian life. Either it is construction of our new house, or a new road, or a new product, we try to make gains in the near term and lose out on the long term. The spectacle that was unfolding before my eyes was just beautiful. It was a presentation on India in a ten-minute snapshot. One could see India, here at this traffic junction. Bereft of common sense, we just tend to fight it out not knowing what we are gaining. The bullies are happy to know that they have beaten the other guy buy a feet of encroachment. The wimps just tag along, are pushed into a corner, and just add up more volume to the mess. Those behind you, who are not right in the center, yell at you to move forward though they can see with their own two eyes that there is no way anyone can move forward. The taxi drivers trudge forward as if they are going to hit you next. The bus driver contributes by blaring his big horn incessantly. This is the same in Indian Parliament, in every Indian office, more bickering and blaring and less of intelligent debate.

There is no escape. The sheer idiocy hits you in your face To even suggest that this country can produce an iota of intelligence or a scintilla of logic and rationality is downright blasphemy.


  1. Dude! The Bangalore traffic seems to have really got to you :)

  2. When you mention this, you will be derided for being "condescending" after your stint abroad.

    People literally laugh at me when I say I do not watch pirated dvd movies. They say I "waste" my money in buying original ones, "irresponsibly".

    It's the same idea, not seeing the bigger picture. Narrow-minded idiots.

  3. Very well said. This artivle should go in the front page of newspapers across all of India.

    ~ Vinod

  4. Damn, I hate it every morning when I have to start off to fact, I hate it every time I have to take my bike anywhere at anytime in Bangalore....cause the traffic never lets up!!....
    read up on my rant on it too...

    Educated - we are not!!

  5. its not like that my friend. well its good you went for a small trip to USA yet its not fair to curse indian traffic.
    Its not the lack of logic do u think americans follow logic, then let me tell you my friend its not logic its the fear of getting a citation from a police, or getting into an accident and having your auto and medical insurance going up because of your one stupid mistake.
    take all those fears from them by implementing same rules of India and you would realize that traffic would be much worse here than you see every morning in India.
    Try to have little respect for your country, then country which bred you all these years.
    I thought you have some spiritual interest and have little sense in your writing but this article showed what you really are...
    enjoy your cursing pursuit, and dream that you would get a green card to migrate to this country.
    May be you want to live like a slave in any other country than live like a free man in India.
    Remember one thing " if you want to see the miracle then be a miracle"

  6. One more peeve of mine - when you turn or back up into a street, the two wheelers don't let you complete it quicky, so that traffic again flows freely - even when you are almost done, there are some idiot two wheelers who would continue to snake their way around you till the last moment, and prevent you from maneuvering quick enough. They don't have any f**ing common sense to understand they are holding up the traffic unnecessarily just because they cannot wait for a few more seconds.

  7. I agree totally with the anonymous post that started "It's not like that my friend..."

    I do hope that his wish of you getting your greencard would be granted. You might also want to become one of those few exclusive club members who take pride in making their kids hate their mother-tongue, their mother-land, and finally the fact that your origins have anything to do with India.

    I pray, though, that once you've achieved your wishes, you'd stop bashing India and Indians... The nature of your posts in several of your blogs seems to do little service to my beloved country, rather they boast how strong your IQ is, how stupid everybody else is.

    To make some points clear, the title of your blog "E=m c^2" was given to this world by a dyxlexic, unable to form ideas in time, doubting the same thing infinite number of times, and so on and so forth, and in your high opinion, "a stupid" or "an idiot",...

    I'm glad that folks of your kind and nature were not around him to call him idiot, lest there wouldn't have been a title of this kind for your blog.

    Oh by the way... coming to the point of the post... It's economy stupid! A TV costs in India a considerable fraction of a common man's month pay. A laptop costs in India several months of savings, and may be a few years. A CD or DVD costs in India a considerable fraction of a day's wage. A pair of shoes costs nearly the same. In US, you go to walmart, and get all of the above for a fraction of a month's pay. I'm simplifying my argument here, but that's the gist. There's a strong tendency for corruption in India due to high prices. A thing that'll help is introducing points on the licenses just as the above anonymous post suggested. But ranting about it to show how high your highness is hardly helps.

  8. I agree with Anonymous and Ramana. Few days of stint in USA perhaps is enough for the author to show off his superiority against the poor yindoos.

    The difference is absolutely economic. Don't ever shoot off your mouth to preach the moral superiority of Americans over Indians or their civic sense. It is is very complicated. Solve the economic issues, everything will fall in place. For example, this is already happening in south east asian countries who were worse than Indians in some of these aspects.

  9. To you Mr Anonymous , you are neither aware of Indian road rules nor the American rule to get a Green card.In fact Sujai is seen as a responsible Indian citizen. Respect to one's country actually means respecting the rules of her. WE just can't be those three monkeys who sees nothing , speaks nothing and talks nothing about the disorderliness and atrocities committed by the citizens in our society. Sujai - you are the face of modern India. Also please let Anonymous know the procedure to get the green card.

  10. Is there an assumption here that poverty will cause people to block up intersections instead of waiting for traffic to pass? I have spent some time in Indian traffic, and I think it would flow more freely if people behaved in a more disciplined manner and didn't all charge forward and block up intersections, train crossings, and so on.

    And I still wonder about all the overtaking on blind bends. Surely it is obvious that vehicles overtaking on blind bends WILL have head-on collisions. But Indians still drive like this, possibly because they think they will be reincarnated.

    I intend never to go back to India.

    P B

  11. The prime sense Indians lack is courtesy. They love their family. But they hate others outside of their family. They don't care if some tom dick and harry suffers provided their relatives don't. So they own all of their properties but not anything outside. So, that means garbage inside home is not OK. Outside is OK (They don't own it). Most Indians are A-holes educated or otherwise.


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