Unarguably, The Toughest Driving Test You Can Take

driving wrongside
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Enlightenment doesn’t happen overnight. It takes several years of penance and painful abstinence from almost everything that makes living worth it.

Some of us however are exceptions to the rule. We attain enlightenment with just a few years of existence on this ‘planet’. Just in case you think this column is about philosophy or theology, you are sadly mistaken.

‘Planet’ for me is the city of Pune. I live to exist and survive the amazing repertoire of kinks this city offers. Besides our very own ‘Pune365’, interestingly this city offers a plethora of infotainment options.

Driving in Pune is probably the ‘top of the list’ for me; A new experience by the hour.

Now, which city can boast of two-wheeler riders who are straight out of a science fiction movie? It was bad enough having all the pretty women riding around town dressed like the epic ‘Zorro’.

Now it’s the men wielding these ‘skull cap and mask all-in-ones’ who can be seen crawling out of bylanes and roads much like the proverbial Hiroshima roach. Creepy, isn’t it?

To add to this nonsense, these masks have things written on them. I noticed one 38 kg hunk riding beside me with this woven extremity that said “Welcome” in three fluorescent colours!

I honestly wonder if the creative genius who wrote this copy was in the Pune Doormat business. Every second doormat in this city says ‘Welcome’.

Mind you, some of them are even more ingenious:  ‘Well’…’Come’ !!!

How brazen can we get with our copy? Sure we can come, but on a doormat? Blasphemy of the Pune order. Negotiating the traffic here takes quite some genius, but that’s a skill that you will acquire in a few weeks. Let me caution however, that this is just the foundation of your learning. You will soon find yourself initiated into the wonderful world of trunk roads that have two- and three-wheelers coming straight at you.

Yes it’s you who is on the wrong lane always! It doesn’t matter if you drive on the left side of the road but remember that it’s important to give way to oncoming traffic. On your lane in case you didn’t figure!

This calls for aviation reflex and focussed monitoring.

And since it’s your fault, you will get a earful in chaste Marathi. Fortunately for me, enlightenment happened early in my life and I was equipped to handle the local language well enough to retort handsomely.  But it sure takes some deft handling since the manoeuvring is directly proportional to the car’s breakpads. And that’s one thing that your digital dashboard doesn’t indicate. In fact I think car manufacturers must start customising these things based on the location of the customer.

So if they’re in Pune or Bengaluru, the brakepad efficiency indicator must be built in. Bengaluru cars must have those GPS-powered ‘nearest loo’ indicators. This is as you rightly figured,is mandatory. A decent traffic jam in Bengaluru and soon in Aamchi Pune can stretch your bladder beyond medically acceptable limits.

It’s time we introspect and delve deep into creating the ultimate survival kit for our cities. This will take some research though the basics – that is, adult diapers, anti-anxiety tablets, water, food and linguistic training are imperative.

Amen.

Jaisurya Das

Jaisurya Das

The industry affectionately calls him a Marketing Maverick; Known to be brutally candid with his writing as much as everything else, Jd is a much respected media and brand commentator whose prolific writing sees no boundaries.

Jd also consults in Consumer Neuroscience and Neuromarketing, both of which are integral to his brand interventions.
Jaisurya Das

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