If you are like me and live somewhere in South Asia then the above image must be a familiar sight and for those of you mortals who are lucky enough not to know what that is …well its hell on wheels.
What’s my grouse with these death defying contraptions?
Well these days my route to work has become the road to hell due to road construction and you know how it happens. Not in a methodical way with proper road signs and diversion of traffic. No sir, you are driving happily on a Monday morning singing Natasha Bedingfield’s ” a pocketful of sunshine ” and suddenly …eeeeps …..slams on breaks… there is a huge pile of rubble on the side of the road.
Sunshine turns slightly cloudy and you mutter a few sentences with the word fuck liberally interspersed and maneuver your way out of the blocked lane to the next, you put your signal and try to turn and look at your side mirror, Clear road behind you, you step gingerly on the accelerator and see a flash of yellow with horns blaring brush past you at the speed of light . You slam on the breaks and scream ” Mother fucker!!!” and try to swerve back to the blocked road you were in and another blur of red cuts you off, and you narrowly avert a collision and loss of life. You utter a few choice words curtsy of Emimen and drive ten feet before you come across the next block that has been dug up and the same is repeated. And to top it all off it starts raining cats and dogs and visibility is almost nil and then your phone rings. It’s your boss who wants to know if you saw that email he sent two minutes ago.
By the time you reach the office, your face looks greasy, your hair looks like Medusa’s and your pocketful of sunshine has turned into this,
Trust me during my daily ride i have plotted many ways of slowly and painfully maiming and killing all of them. I have worked out the exact guns which hold’s the exact number of rounds i need and angles i need to be in to shoot everything from their hubcaps to knee caps.
Now the thing is this .. as much as they are a menace they are also a life saver at times. They are relatively cheap ( don’t get on ones without a meter they will rip you another one) and fast ( a contradiction .. i know i know!) and can maneuver through anything during an emergency. Not to mention a mode of transport for millions who does not have their own vehicles or cannot go through the insufferable agony of public transport. Trust me i have been in cities in certain developed countries where there is no subway and no bus and have to wait for a cab to go two streets down to buy a burger and i had been fervently praying like a man on death row … if only they had three wheeler’s on this god forsaken country.
On a daily basis in the country that i live in there are accidents related and caused by three wheeler’s. Hundred’s of pedestrians and motorist’s barely escape with their lives while avoiding and travelling in these death traps. The driver’s i can swear have never been to a driving school and does not know a single road rule or the basic functionality of the vehicle itself apart from the horn. They actually do not know a signal light exists to indicate they wish to turn.
They have no value for their lives or the lives of the passengers they carry but each and every one of them harbored the secret passion of becoming a formula 1 driver. Each one! And you really can’t beat them for ambition and verve… there is a v8 engine roaring in front of them but does that put them off from trying to overtake that vehicle and cut in front when its going at 100km/hr and your top speed is 40? The short answer is NO. And i must say that in times of an accident or car trouble these closet Schumacher’s have been some of the most friendliest helpful people on earth.
So what is the point of this whole ramble … no point.
I am just wasting your time to point out the obvious that three wheeler’s/ tuktuk’s/auto rickshaws as you may call them are a menace you cannot live without. But for the love of God..can’t they for one day in their lives drive like a sane human being…just one day… please????????