Roads – down the wild side

Requested by Anbu @ 11:16 am | Dec 1st 2004
Topics Suggested: Boss,Canteen food,Indian cricket,roads
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It is now fashionable to use the sewage system to move around the city. It is less polluted and less crowded. And costs only Rs 10.00 – the price of one Rin Shakti.

According to a Tamil movie, a Nair has already set up a tea-shop in the sewage canal that runs along Mount Road, here in Chennai. And he is doing brisk business.

The trend is fast catching up in the Metros where bumper-to-bumper traffic has resulted in many babies being delivered on the matted floor of a car, many jobs being lost, many bridegrooms missing the marriage, many young men with good kidneys pissing in their pants and many losing the battle against cancer while caught up in traffic jams.

While the Radio Jockeys (including Suchitra Ramadurai of Radio Mirchi, who happens to know me) alert the public at regular intervals, it does not quite help.

If you are a truck or bus driver, you are King of the Indian road. But then, if you are a jeep/car driver, you got to be scared of the truckers & the busers (is there a term?). If you happen to be a poor guy, like me, and ride a two-wheeler…you command over the bicyclists and pedestrians. But ensure a safe distance from the heavyweights.

Due to such demanding traffic, the average Indian driver is put under severe stress. If the trend continues, soon drivers will be paid as much as the fighter pilots. In India, drivers think that to smile at others is to accept defeat. Each maneuver on the road is like a dog-fight indulged in by the fighter pilots of World War 1 & 2. You either survive to tell the tale, or you perish while traveling to office..or returning home.

Working under such stressful conditions forces the drivers to take stiff shots of whiskey or vodka to calm their nerves. This is probably the reason why the Government`s campaign of “Drinking & Driving Don’t Mix” is such a failure.

Talking of the Government, the PWD (Public Wrecks Department) also has a hand in the bad roads. Or did you know of this already? Some of the terms that the PWD employees are not aware of are – legal tender, good contractor, quality raw materials, durable roads, deadlines and above all…tar.

God forbid if it rains in India. If you live on non-metallic roads…you are doomed. It is like chocolate slush…and the only thing you cannot do is licking. If you stay on metallic roads…the gravel comes off and you don`t even know…the potholes fill up and you don`t even know (some drivers are known to have lost their lorries in pot-holes)…the dividers submerge and you are not even aware.

The bad roads and heavy traffic don`t just affect mortals like us… even the traffic policemen are seen complaining of occupational hazards. Most of the Chennai’s traffic-men are complaining of stomach & lung cancer. While the stomach cancer can be attributed to the free lunches they have walking into any nearby restaurant …the lung cancer is blamed on the pollution.

I am surprised my wife does not ask me to stop traveling…instead she keeps harping on the benefits of quitting smoking and drinking!

By Jamshed V Rajan

Jammy, as Jamshed V Rajan is affectionately called, is a wannabe stand up comedian. He has a funny take on most things but documents only some of them. If you are interested in chatting up with him, do drop him an email at or message him at +919650080255.

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