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The IMACSian

Page 3

Driving in India

I was in India for the first 19 years of my life and it was the most fascinating time of my life. At the age of two, I was given a tricycle for a birthday present. Looking at me ride the thing around the house, my folks immediately knew that I was going to grow up to be rash driver; every turn I took on my little tricycle was at a whooping 100 km/h, and every slope I jumped was like I was riding a dirt bike. As for the people who tried to come in my way, I would punish them well by running over their feet. Soon, I found, the people in India don't really drive any differently on the real roads than I rode my bike, and as a result, I had no problems getting attuned to driving on the India roads.

From my discrete experience from driving in India, I am offering a few hints for survival for the benefit of every Billy, Bob or Bubba visiting India and daring to drive on the Indian roads. They are applicable to every place in India except Bihar, where life outside a vehicle is only marginally safer. Indian road rules mainly operate within the domain of 'Karma': no matter how well you drive, you faith remains in the hands of your past deeds. You crash if you've ever cheated on your wife or you've gone on a shoplifting spree.

If you ask me, " Do you drive on the left or the right of the road?" I would say - "Both!!" Basically you start from the left side of the road, unless it is occupied. In that case, go to the right and if that is occupied too, proceed by occupying the next available pedestrian footpath. Its real simple you know!! Just trust your instincts,

Night driving in India can be an exhilarating experience (specially for those with the mental makeup of Genghis Khan). In a way, its like playing Russian roulette because you don't know who among the driver on the road is loaded with overflowing extra-wide load. What looks like premature dawn on the horizon turns out to be a truck attempting to break the sound barrier. On encountering it, just pull partly out into the fields adjoining the road until the phenomenon has passed. Our roads don't have shoulders but occasional boulders. Don't blink your lights expecting reciprocation. The only dim thing in that truck approaching you is the driver's brain and the peg of illicit booze he'd had at the last stop and his total cerebral functions add up to a little more than a naught.

 

"One Way Street" - These boards are put up by traffic police to add zest in their otherwise drab lives. Don't stick to the literal meaning of the phrase and proceed in any one direction. In metaphysical terms, it means that you cannot proceed in two directions at once anyways! If, after all this, you still want to drive in India, have your lessons between 8 pm and 11 am when the police have gone home. The citizens are free to practice their 'Freedom of Speed' (somebody misspelt 'Speech') enshrined in our constitution.

Wanted! Wanted! Secretary of Literary Activities position open!

IMACS is looking for people who are talented, artistic, and most importantly interested. Do you dance? Play a musical instrument? Love organizing events? Well please do join us for our get-together which will be taking place this weekend at the University Center. We welcome dancers, musicians and people interested in management. The dancers could be interested in any form of dance, from Bhangra, to Bharatanatyam. We also need experienced musicians, and we have no restriction on the instrument that you play. If interested please contact us at imacs-uta@yahoo.com or just watch out for our posters all around UTA campus, for more details. Place and time of get-together will be announced through email and campus posters.

Consider yourself a good editor? Think you have the experience or even the skills to publish a newsletter? Well then, you are just the person IMACS is looking for. We need someone who can take responsibility for editing and publishing the IMACSian, which as you know is the Official Newsletter of the India Music Arts and Cultural Society. Duties would range from helping writers, editing, to publishing the IMACSian. For further details, or if you wish to apply for the position of Secretary of Literary Activities, contact us at imacs-uta@yahoo.com. Direct all correspondences attention of Chandrasekhar Srinivasan or Ganeshram Iyer.

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