The Daily Mood: Take it easy, we are not at F1

Driving is a funny thing. Everyone thinks that the other person can’t drive. And therefore you can’t be held responsible for anything that happens out there. The best-ever reasoning I heard was when my colleague’s car was hit as he shot out of the office parking lot onto the slip road without looking left or right. The oncoming car had no chance at all of stopping in time. “He should have seen me - he was looking at the road.” No one was hurt except the car, but often these stories have darker endings.

It’s funny that in places like India, Thailand among others - traffic is so much heavier and chaotic and it’s rarely ever that you find drivers getting overly upset. I remember drivers in Thailand singing, trying to make conversation in broken English without the slightest show of frustration even if they’ve been sitting in the same place for over 15 minutes. In India, we have the option of moving to the other side of the road and driving into oncoming traffic.

Here, I don’t know about you, but I get agitated, despite the fantastic roads and the fact that traffic is really not that bad.

A young lady in a dark red Mazda fell in love with my car bumper the other day when I was returning home from work. I couldn’t move out because there were a million cars ahead of me, all travelling below 100km/hr because of a pick-up in front that was finding it heavy going. And in the slow lane, there were even slower vehicles, bowed under the weight of everything from furniture to soft drinks.

I waved at her asking for some space, but she was too much in love. She was close enough for me to see her face which had no expression at all: What I could see uncovered was very little anyway with half her face hidden behind giant sunglasses that every website tells you is on trend these days.

Finally, near the PDO turnoff from the Qurm Heights road, I slowed down to about 50km or less in keeping with the heavy vehicles in the slow lane and decided she could crawl behind me till I reached my exit to Qurm. Childish, right? Not to add, very unfair to others on the road behind my companionable Mazda. But it felt utterly wonderful.

Then, there are those times when some hero keeps weaving in and out to move ahead as fast as he can. I know it’s wrong, but again it feels so good when he ends up making an injudicious lane change and gets stuck behind some excruciatingly slow-moving car.

I can’t say I suffer from road rage but I will admit I pray for a policeman to be waiting when cars drive on hard shoulders for as long as they can just to get ahead. Or, they drive along on the side road as far as they can instead of joining in the traffic when a gap appears.

A study of 100,000 North Americans over a period of six years by a Toronto-based insurance broker had rather interesting findings about the correlation between zodiac signs and bad driving. I read it carefully and totally believe in it: It may have had something to do with the survey findings that indicated that people belonging to my sun sign are the best drivers.

The worst are apparently Libras who are supposed to embody balance and harmony but don’t. They cause the most crashes followed by Aquarius and Aries.

So, the best drivers overall are Leos, thank you, followed by Gemini and Cancer. Those likely to get the most tickets are Pisces, followed by Aries and Aquarius.

Leos were described in the study as ‘generous and comfortable with sharing the roadway’. I prefer to ignore the line that said it could be their ego that drives them to be the best on the road. Aries, which occupies the third worst driver’s position, has a ram for its symbol, which is “not a good sign to have for avoiding accidents. Aries have a ‘me first’ child-like nature, that drives them into trouble.”

Scorpios occupy the position of the fifth worst drivers: “The scorpion’s instinct is to get revenge, and driving is the perfect avenue to vent a little Scorpion road rage. If you pass a Scorpio, plan on being chased.”

I am seriously considering framing this and hanging it somewhere where my family - one Scorpio and one Aries - can see it each day.

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