The commonwealth games just got over and they’ve left Delhi a cleaner and newer place than ever. While most of the Delhites enjoyed the games on TV and in the stadia, I entertained myself by simply traveling in the Metro with several firangs for company every day. The exciting bit about being in the company of these foreigners is the opportunity to overhear their conversations replete with “amazing” tales of how men and cattle travel together on the roads in India.
The topic is banal for Indians who have grown up in the company of cattle on the roads. Not that we had options while growing up for no matter which part of the country you are in, that bovine expression is sure to greet you while you are driving around the town. I think there’s a lot to learn from our 4 legged horned friends though:
1. Calm: No one can teach you calm more than a cow/bull sitting in the middle of road ruminating (in more than one ways) over that polythene bag it picked up from the dustbin the other day. Oblivious of trivial things like traffic on the road, drunken drivers and the summer heat, our dear friends sit relaxed admiring the surroundings. The only question probably in their head- To chew or not to chew. Indians have picked up this quality well. We do not panic during crunch situations or impending deadlines. Our CWG preparations are testimony to this.
2. Courage: If you thought you had balls of steel, try matching your guts with Mrs and Mr. Bull. Not only do they reside in the middle of the road with absolute nonchalance, they also do not hesitate in giving you an- I-ONLY-GIVE-A - SHIT – look when you try to honk them out of your way. In fact, the most feared vehicles on the roads (that’s - trucks and BMWs owned by celebrities) kneel down to the courage of our friends. I tried a few times myself by speeding towards them blowing the horn all through the approach only to slam the breaks barely a couple of meters from the target. All I got was a look which probably said- “Trust me, you don’t want to BULLY me, I am not moving an inch”.
3. Grit: When you want ‘em, you’ve gotto have ‘em. The bull lives by this principle. I wouldn’t elaborate on this but I am sure most of us have seen the odd cow being chased by that mad bull while everyone chooses to simply stay away.
4. If you have the power, show it: I still remember how on a trip to a vegetable market once, an absolute pandemonium broke out. Source - A bull that lost its temper just because it felt like losing it. We all ran around the market place with little clue about the direction from which the bull might approach. The bull went around the market hitting everything that came in its way. It was finally cooled down by buckets of water thrown on it from roof tops. The mighty bull walked out of the market leaving behind dented cars, broken shops and a road strewn with vegetables. I also lost a shoe but was happy to have made it out alive.
In developed parts of the world, accidents are often caused only when a driver chooses to change lanes or slam breaks without warning others. In my opinion, driving in such a controlled environment is devoid of the real thrill. In India, we like to take things as they come. So while there are traffic lights and driving lanes to keep things in order, we also have a few cows and bulls and a couple of dogs thrown in here and there to add thrill to driving. In fact, driving on Indian roads is very similar to that cool driving video game you bought the other day. The challenge every time you drive is to watch out for that odd animal that might suddenly appear on the road from nowhere. And if it’s a cow/bull, the onus of avoiding the accident lies entirely on you (refer: quality no:2). That makes driving so much fun and at the same time makes us the best drivers you could find across the world. This probably explains why most taxi drivers across the Gulf, Europe, America and Canada come from India. We are the best guys. Cheers.
So the next time you come across a bunch of firangs talking animatedly about that cow they saw on the road, give it back to them. We love our cattle and we’ll take no bull shit.
Have a happy Saand-day.