Death: Why is it so common on Indian roads?



Driving around big cities, village roads and highways, the thought that comes most in my mind is

“I need to get home alive”

Dusty Indian roads are a surreal experience, you will find the most unexpected objects dabbling around on the tarmac waiting to tackle you to the ground any second. Dogs and cows are nothing, ever seen a bullock cart racing around a corner? Does the man have any real control over the beast?

During certain seasons, we also get to see a massive amount of trucks and tractor-trolleys overflowing with people. Drop around the festival of Holi to see one of the biggest congregation of humans on the planet. Devotees throng the Anandpur Sahib temple in millions to offer their prayers at one of holiest Sikh shrine, the problem being these people choose to arrive in rickety trucks and tractor-trolleys, resulting in total mayhem.

Dug up roads, potholes, open sewers, broken dividers, dogs, monkeys, cows, buffaloes, horses, mules, antelopes, jay walkers, accidents, lane hopping morons, high beamers, chronic overtakers, racers, drunk drivers, wrong wayers, red light runners, trees, poles, wires, trains, tolls and  temples in the middle of the road are just some of the dangers we face daily.

Dramatically enough,  while riding I feel like I am in an ultra-realistic simulator of the legendary game – Road Rash, all that happens in that game happens here, even the kicking-people-while-riding part. Do we know why we just can’t get to our destination, without fighting through what seem like hurdles set up by the undead to capture us?

Daily and dangerously, I have been trying to find the answer to this question. Doubtful of a single explanation, I have come out with many theories: some of the dimwits are just pubescent, others are in a real hurry, some others are just trying to show-off. Disturbingly, it’s not all about the people, the whole image of driving down a few kilometers sends shivers down the spine of many. Deaths and injuries due to bad roads, freak objects and crazy animals are abundant, is it the fear the scares people into making mistakes?

Danger is part of the equation, but I think I know what is required to stay alive and I have tried to do my best in the 70,000 kilometers so far. Definitely and inevitably, one day things are going to get out of my control and it’s all gonna go to hell, it’s just a matter of probability.

Drink for my safety and pray to God no one else gets hurt through me!

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  1. bal53

    Ha, Haryana Roadways!! First thought that came to my mind was: How much distance did the bus travel before either toppling over or breaking down/! Certainly, the bus is loaded 5-6 times more than its intended capacity.. Unfortunately, there’s no end in sight for such blatant violation of road ethics, And that’s something that I’ve been experiencing first-hand for the past year or so.

    As a side note, it would’ve been appreciated had you also mentioned some stats relevant to the headline of this article.

    1. AK

      Yeah, but stats are just numbers man 🙂 Nobody gives a shit about them!