This is a lighter look at the traffic scene in Kanpur, a city in Eastern Uttarpradesh in the heartland of India. Although it has been written in a lighter context, do not be surprised if you happen to encounter such situations for real if you are planning a trip. I suggest that you should!!! So read on…

Need adrenalin rush? Thirsting for excitement? Forget the package tour to the terrains, a wild life safari. Instead come and savour the roads of Kanpur and experience the thrill of a lifetime, for it’s a real jungle out there. Get set to be showered with red fountains of pan masala spit, get ready to meet humans in their best and worst… but never forget the golden rule-“The fittest survive”. Now isn’t that some thing you are all looking forward to.

Ladies and Gentlemen! Time for take off. Please fasten your seat belts (Don’t bother if you do not have one) Do you drive on the left or the right of the road? The answer is both. Basically you start on the left of the road unless it is occupied. In that case you proceed to the right (Via the centre or by any other possible route) unless that is also occupied. Then move on to the next available space and so on. Always keep your mind alert and your eyes and ears open and always be on the lookout for opportunities. Man! It’s almost like a game of chess.

Try to follow these few points whilst on the road:

(i)         Trust your instincts just as real animals do. Ascertain the direction and proceed. Adherence to the road rules leads you nowhere except misery.

(ii)       Do not drive, just aim your vehicles in the intended direction and let go. It is just a matter of time before you reach your destination. The traffic rules be damned!

(iii)      The traffic cops are just doing their duty. They may wave red and green flags, even hold ropes in a desperate attempt to bring some kind of control to the traffic. But treat them with the utter contempt that they deserve!!! Don’t let these small hurdles disturb your concentration. The red flags are supposed to awaken the matador in you. Just keep charging and go for the kill. Ole! Ole! And don’t let those ropes deter you .You see all these are minor obstacles. Just concentrate on reaching your destination. The main idea here is to outwit and outpace the already hapless cops.

(iv)       Blowing your horns is not a sign of protest or celebration as in some places. Here you have to blow it to express your emotions: joys, sorrows, frustrations, when you start, when you stop, to divert attention, to grab attention: You name it! The golden rule: Always keep your hands on the trigger…err..horn.

(v)              Do not stop to say a kind word or two or to apologise in case you cause an accident. You will get the beating of your life. Instead you should use your memory and communication skills to hurl the choicest abuses at the hapless victim and then proceed to claim compensation. (vi) After all the twists and turns, if you happen to reach your destination in one piece, do not forget to park your vehicle on the road so as to obstruct the smooth flow of traffic. And when the blaring of the horns of the stranded commuters reaches a crescendo, calmly come down and move your vehicle away. After all don’t all of us have an ambition to be the cynosure of the public eye!

It indeed is a sad story that in spite of it having world-class institutions like Indian Institute of Technology etc ,Kanpur continues to lag behind in matters of civic concern. Though this could be any other city in the world, Kanpur takes the cake. With its overflowing tempos, irate drivers, people chewing and spitting tobacco all over, the ever moving rickshaws, the herds of buffaloes lazing their way to their milking points bang through the centre of the road, Kanpur or rather the roads of Chao(s)-n-pur is one helluva experience. So get set and go mate!!!

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