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.