Monday, July 24, 2006

Drive to Noida !!

The drive from Delhi to Noida in the morning rush hour traffic was full of Fear, Shock, Anger, Happiness and Excitement. I was Fearful of being hit, Shocked by suprises on the road, Angry at people jumping ahead of our car by breaking the traffic rules, Happy to be alive and Excited on being in a city so very full of variety, divesity, life and death. In other words, lets just say that I could feel the adrenalin rush all the time. Emotion that I experienced the most during this ride was that of fear, this is despite the fact that I was born in India and lived in Chandigarh till 2001. (BTW Chandigarh is 250 km north of Delhi).

Delhi in my opinion has the craziest traffic in India. Considering the way people drive in this city, one would be really surprised :O at the road accident rate for Delhi (too low IMHO for this kind of traffic) and one would also admire the ability of the Delhites to drive and avoid accidents.

I took few photos during this ride, but trust me, I am not exaggerating when I say that most of the time during this ride I was in too much of a state of shock for my body and mind to function properly in order to take photos, So I missed to freeze some very interesting and shocking moments (to the western mind) on my CCD sensor (for the curious mind, I was using my P&S camera while shooting from inside the car).

Here are some highlights of the ride from Delhi to Noida
1. The lanes on the road are just for ...... hmm ...... let me think ... still thinking ... I really don't know what they are for. I can't figure why do they go through the pains of painting the lanes when nobody is going to drive in them .
2. Near traffic lights there were on an average of 5 files of vehicles (cars) in no particular order jammed in three lanes on the road.
3. On my way, I saw two accidents on the road and one person running towards the hospital emergency while carrying an old lady in his arms.
4. A cyclists in the fastest lane of the supposedly freeway where many people were doing 120+ kmph.
5. I saw many Mercedez and BMW's, even one Austin Martin.
6. I saw many people driving on the wrong side of the road, one driver even drove his car over the road divider to the right side of the road (In India, just like England one is supposed to drive on left side). Anyways, this driver drove few meters on the wrong side and than again crossed over the road divider to the left side of the road, just in time to avoid the on-coming traffic after the red light had turned green. Please keep in mind that this driver went over the real physical barrier that proved to be too small to prevent his car from crossing over to the other side.

Lanes and Traffic: Look at the position of cars wrt to different lanes on the road.

Space between: This was a moving traffic.

Chaos: Watch the closed side mirror of red van.
Delhites usually close the side mirrors of their cars as they want to minimise the chances of these mirrors getting broken. I don't think they use these mirrors anywasys.

In Delhi now .... yay !!

Yay !!!! ..... I have finally made it to India. It was a pretty comfortable flight with pretty decent food. Jet lag was relatively manageable as I did'nt really had much of a sleep pattern in Canada either. From the duty free, I bought a stuffed Canadian moose, who might be travelling with me for a while, but than I might change him for a something in blue. But for now you can say Namaste to Yappu. The moose from Canada who is super-interested in Yoga and would be travelling with me for the first month atleast.

I had a nice surprise in the morning when I was woken up by my friend's maid who had made some Bed Tea for me. Yes ... I had completely forgotten about bed tea while staying in Canada. For those of you who do not know, bed tea is the first tea that you drink in the morning. People drink it just to feel motivated to get out of bed. Yes I had the pleasures of relishing the luxury of bed tea. Well I have never been much of a tea drinker, but I drank some bed tea on the first morning as this is something that i had'nt done for a long time and I am the kind of person who is always looking for experiences.

In Brief:
1. The night was a bit too cold for me brrrrrrr. I could not find my blanket or the controls for the AC, I think I was too tired to find them as I had slept for 3 hours in the last 36 hours.
2. It was nice and heart warming in a way to see few types of tropical insects that I had'nt seen for four years (last time I visited India).
3. Bringing in my Twinrix vaccine from Canada was quite a feat.
4. Enormous number of people holding placards with names at the Delhi airport.

This is the camera (my beloved) and and my travellig partner Yappu (The Moose)

View of the room where I spent my first night in India

Friday, July 07, 2006


I will be flying to new Delhi from Toronto on July 22.
The stories and pictures will start trickling after that.