12.21 licence to drive

streets in india are a mess: cars, trucks, motorcycles, autorickshaws, people, cows, goats, dogs, bicycles, and the excrement of all the above. there are lane dividers, but i am the only one who notices. i think the brits painted them when they were here! apart from the directional segregation, there appears to be zero organization to traffic.

sanjeev, our tour operator for the north, said this on our first day in the car. "there are three things you need on the road in india: 1- a good driver, 2- a good set of brakes, and 3- good luck".

nowhere was this more evident than on the night drive back to gandhidham from malia. our daredevil driver, ganga-rama, almost gave me a coronary. and i wasn't even in the front seat with him!

after a long visit with family, we piled into the car and ganga-rama set off for the 2 hour drive back to our hotel. full from a scrumptous dinner, i was nodding off in the back seat.

bad mistake!

i was woke up screaming a handful of times (i'm sure this is bad for my vision improvement, of which relaxation is a key requirement), mainly as ganga-rama swirved violently back into his directional lane - usually averting a head-on collision by an inch or two. the headlights and blaring horns of a couple of massive "tata" trucks barrelling past made my life flash before my eyes. i was grateful to be alive. it was during this drive that i wrote a text message to my sister, digitally declaring my last will and testament, of which she would be the sole beneficiary. i'm sure a text message will is not binding but hey, that's all i had!

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