While driving back home last evening I found myself constantly criticizing the driving sense (or lack thereof) of my fellow drivers. I blamed the drivers, the “mixed“ traffic pattern, and the authorities for issuing driving license to one and all, for the mess that is our roads. With these thoughts in mind, I was almost home, when I took a left turn and found myself “face to face“ with a sedan.
Now this guy was clearly in the wrong, but he didn’t even think twice before gesturing me to back up and let him go. I was in no mood to budge, not to mention I was right, and refused (at which point I may have used a certain finger to tell him to back up himself). After 5 minutes (kid you not!) of both of us sitting in our respective cars (did I mention I ate jalebis to show him I was in no hurry and would see this through?), he decides to get off and talk. He says that he uses this (wrong) route everyday while coming back from his office, so why don’t I just back off and let him go. I told him that I don’t care, you are in the wrong lane, and if anyone should be backing up, it’s you. Unimpressed, he goes back to his car.
We sit in our cars for another 5, maybe 10, minutes before he decides to back up and let me go & told you I wouldn’t budge. During that time, I had cycle-wallahs telling me “peeche kar lo na sir, kya jaayega“, another car lining behind the other car (again on the wrong side, needless to say), trying to honk his way out of trouble, realizing I won’t move, backing up, and taking another (wrong) route to escape our tamasha. I also tried calling cops, since I couldn’t find any around & I am still waiting for the response to my 100 call, Delhi Police!
In case you are wondering how our “shenanigans“ didn’t create a traffic snarl, it’s because instead of taking the designated left turn, people kept going straight and taking the 90-degree left as it’s the “done thing“ at that turn, perhaps the reason why our friend has made this his “regular route“.
Why did I do it? Let’s just say I had enough of people breaking traffic rules without giving it any thought. I wanted to teach him a lesson, though I am under no illusions that the lesson would last a lifetime, if he’s “learnt“ anything at all & he probably thinks I was someone with too much free time on my hand, and that he was a “bigger person“ for backing off. Would I do it again? Absolutely & unless I was in UP of course, where I would happily back off rather than risk getting shot!