Blissful Ignorance and Powerful Knowledge


Blog Buddies
Hot Spots
Monday, February 06, 2006
Disclaimer:Long post!Be patient while reading.Dont become a patient after reading.

Menacing is a term that best describes the experience of driving on Chennai's roads.The same is true for any other indian city,be it metropolitan or "branded"(read Bengaluru).Commercial complexes open up in narrow streets(most of which are named as "royapettah,thiruvottiyur etc high road") and a guy staying in the street calls it shrinks."The width of the road has shrunked due to the opening up of shopping centres".As if it was a national highway once upon a time.

People moving into Madras from other parts of Tamilnadu generally shudder at the thought of driving a two-wheeler or a four-wheeler on Madras bitumen.I am no exception.Three years ago,when I got an ungeared two-wheeler,I stuck to driving in streets and bylanes and kept away from arterial roads.But with the passage of time I graduated to a professional rider and now I cut across the path of other vehicles.It is for this reason that one of my professors calls me "Road Romeo."It so happened that I tried cutting across the path of a Maruti car in saidapet.Out of desperation to beat the green signal,I overtook the car from the left forcing the driver to brake suddenly.Only later did I realise that the person at the wheel was none other than my professor.

Back to our topic.Where were we...yeah...driving in chennai.I say driving can turn into a thrilling experience in mount road or 100 ft road or poonamallee high road or anna nagar 2nd avenue or any other arterial road for that matter,provided you maintain a positive frame of mind while driving.

Two wheelers form a major chunk of the vehicle population in Madras with bikes outnumbering ungeared scooterettes.You are bound to come across on-road enemies if you are an impatient rider like me who does not like to brake quite often.The enemies you are likely to encounter are the following:

AUTO--It's notorious for its high fares.A trip from koyambedu to tiruvanmiyur costs 150 bucks while a trip from trichy to chennai costs only 136.It's notorious for another reason--unethical driving.Turn indicators never flash at turns,no hand-signalling either,sudden U turns and occupying bus-bays.To beat the auto,it's better to have a high-frequency horn fitted to your bike.Just keep honking and overtake him.(but beware of the Noise Pollution Control Board)

UNGEARED 2W--If you are looking for a bike race in the city,this is your best bet.For most ungeared two-wheelers are driven by girls.Most girls do not have a road-sense,as quoted by a famous blogger.The figure-on-wheels simply zips past you justifying another blogger's description of her Activa as "minnal"(lightning).If that is minnal,prove that you are puyal(wind).This doesnt mean you have to book a Bajaj Wind 125 and revamp its moribund sales.Just hit the throttle and catch up with her.If that is a risky proposition,then just leave it.She's likely to get stranded at the next signal where you can catch a glimpse of her face.

GEARED 2W--I consider them my comrades.A virtual race ensues when you see one of these speeding ahead of you.But when it comes to overtaking the figure-on-wheels,you seem to join hands with the other biker.Precisely speaking,you are least likely to lose your patience when you are in pursuit of a geared 2W.

CARS--My worst enemies.I detest the sight of them in narrow roads.Most roads in Madras had to be converted into one-ways because of these cars.If you are an impatient biker like me the frustration that emanates, when you see a car in front of you moving slower than a snail,will be evident in your face.Cars are difficult to manoeuvre in a city like this and I wonder what the fate of this city is going to be,given the number of automobile firms setting up shop here.The reason why I(or any other impatient rider,for that matter)detest the presence of cars is that while you are out riding your bike at night,a car coming in the opposite direction blinks its headlights at you as if to show how bright his headlight is compared to yours.To counter this,have a halogen lamp fitted to you bike.You can also attach a laser light to it.To overtake it,keep honking and go ahead.

BUSES--There's no other option.You are the one who must adapt to the direction the bus is taking.Which one is easier---manoeuvring a heavy vehicle or controlling a 2W?An information about which bus stops at which stop would come in handy.If there's a bus-stop a few yards in front and if you are tailing a bus,u can overtake it from the right side without second thought(unless you are out to see ur figure in the bus).Bus here refers to MTC.

In all,riding a bike is the best way to overcome traffic snarls in a city like Madras which has got better roads than the branded city.How else can you relish the experience of getting sandwiched between two buses or make your way amidst "minnals" to the forefront of a traffic signal?
Property of Sheks @ 10:37 pm  
Post a Comment
<< Home

About Me

Name: Sheks
Home: Madras, TamilNadu, India
About Me:
Complete profile
Previous Posts
Powered by
© Blissful Ignorance and Powerful Knowledge