Monday, May 30, 2011

Driving "Lessons"




The Toyota SUV (guess it was a Prado), swerved, honked and braked with arrogance, sending the Maruti 800 shuddering door to door. I was behind the little Maruti and had to literally stand on the brake pedal to avoid a collision. The driver of tiny Maruti lost his nerve and went over the median.The big car was in no mood to relent. In the meandering 6pm traffic it was certainly the big bully of the lot and was in no mood to let anyone go ahead. I made use of an opening on the left and went ahead, as I was about to pass the Toyota, I glanced in and saw a middle aged guy at  the wheel. He saw me about to go ahead and swerved to the left sending me for cover. He went ahead and I noticed him from behind showing no consideration to the pedestrians wanting go to the other side. He seemed to be a law unto himself and the traffic lights were not his concern.

I missed him somewhere further down the road and moved on my way.
Was it road rage, or just misplaced pleasure?

It is the law of Nature that the mighty devour the meek and the weak. The big dwarfs the tiny. Is it not a jungle out here? I remembered someone observe so.

My mind wandered to the past and the recent times. Wondered how many times I have seen the same act enacted in life not by an automobile but by Man. I could recollect a few occasions when I have seen the big and the mighty vandalise the weak.

It is said that evolution is progressive and that the weak has to be the fodder of the mighty. And the cycle goes on. The mighty of the day may soon find itself the meek of the lot, on another day. It is unrelenting. That kind of Vedanta, the philosophy seemed to be an unsatisfactory explanation to acquiesce the unfairness of happenings. Certainly there is quite a lot of impropriety even in the case of that SUV. But the arrogance of the driver was only the tip of many such examples, colleague against colleague; boss against subordinates; wealthy against the less privileged; friend against friend, the list may go on. But does the audacity of the driver of that SUV have something to do with the laws of nature? I do not subscribe to that view.  Is it not something that we have all seen in real life? The power of arrogance! The incident mentioned by chance is only an allegory.
Certainly the SUV and its driver must have reached their destination with a satisfying air of steamrolling along their route. It is a fact that bigger vehicles take on the smaller ones, the passersby and honk them out of existence. I continued to feel the discomfiture that crept in while I was tailing the SUV and was witness to its brazen manoeuvres.

The disregard shown by men /women wielding the mechanical power of an automobile for the man on the street- the pedestrian and the less flamboyant vehicles, may not certainly be a rarity. The automobile is just a metaphor for the rudeness and discourtesy man shower on man. And on anything he sees as inferior or a lesser subject.

I can feel a sense of self-reproach looking back at a few instances of rudeness that I may have displayed on occasions. Isn’t rudeness an imitation of weakness?

10 comments:

Happy Kitten said...

Think it is the power that one feels while sitting atop a big vehicle..

and I guess it is the weak who would exhibit/excercise this power blatantly...

But then if one generalises, courtesy on Indian road is very rare.

Balachandran V said...

Character-building really begins in the streets! As a two-wheeler rider, I have had many close encounters of this kind; recently I have come to believe that if the traffic rules are made stringent, that might develop a sense of discipline in the public, which could reflect on other aspects of their lives too...

Insignia said...

When did anyone follow discipline on roads? But yes, if anything unfortunate, the weak suffer. Havent we witnessed/read 2 wheeler riders getting crushed under lorries/buses?

Human beings dont value fellow beings

dr.antony said...

Civic sense is an indicator of civilization.Abiding law is part of it.
Literacy doesn't mean civilization.Ours is a world of money power.

Shilpa Garg said...

On Indian roads, the ones with the big cars (and with that naturally comes the bigger attitude), always win!!

kavita said...

I am not sure if it is the size of the vehicle ,status or the mindset of the person behind the wheels.I have had mixed experiences.

Harish said...

The rules and regulations are made by society for ensuring that big and mighty will not take advantage. still man goes back to the animal mode sometimes

anilkurup said...

@ Happy Kitten/@ Balan/! Insignia/@Doc antony/@ shilpa Garg/@Kavita/ @ Harish

I guess Baln has a point there,"Character-building really begins in the streets"!
"Human beings dont value fellow beings", B you are right and it is also because as doc observes , "lack of civic sense", you must have noticed people throwing garbage from their compound out on the street as if that does not have any bearing on them.
And I think you folks will agree that brazen behavior is the off shoot of weakness.Though sometimes one has be brazen when put up against insolence.

Bikramjit said...

I have driven on indian roads its madness.. But this thing that you told happens everywhere .. If you are in a bigger car you think you own the road...

I have been told that i am a loose cannon and I have got myself into a lot of trouble .. I have a Mitsubishi sports and it goes fast.. So I have this thing if someone tries to cut me or something .. I make sure i zoom by them and then go in front of them and drive at 10MPH... and beleive me It makes them MAD and i have a laugh.. I know I ma being a Jerk but this is how they learn ..
Umpteen times I have got down tooo I guess the indian punjabi thing doesnot go out of you ...

Its law of nature the bigger always try to overpower the smaller but the smaller need to TAKE a stand some day , some time .. and soon these Big bullies cry like a baby ..

ANd I like that comment "Character-building really begins in the streets".. Indeed it does ...

Bikram's

anilkurup said...

@ Bikramjit,

You see that the driver and the rage or the insensitivity is something that you must not see as a mere traffic issue or problem. The conduct of any driver reflects the general state of the society , its thinking and most of all our formative learning and conditioning.