Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Traffic in India

It takes about 25 minutes to drive back from our temporary office in the Eon Free Zone to the Central Park Hotel in downtown Pune, and as far as I can tell there isn't a second when I'm not hearing car horns in action.

Back in London I'd be distressed - horns there generally mean anger or imminent collision. Here it feels more that they are simply a way of gently nudging your fellow road users. Nobody follows the rules much, there's no lane discipline, yet curiously no visible anger or discourtesy, no audible screeching of brakes, and the bikes keep weaving through the road with their one, two, three or even four helmet-less passengers chatting away cheerfully.

It seems to me that it's a kind of non-aggressive anarchy. You don't follow the written rules much, but you have a lot of respect for the unwritten ones, of keeping people alive and property undamaged and tempers cool. 

I wonder if Gandhi ever talked about the traffic?

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