Sunday, October 23, 2005

Highway driving scene: Racing

As one drives along Indian highways (roads), racing is one of the many scenes that are a fairly common sight. Racing is not what you think it is, read on!

Imagine a lorry loaded with a huge slab of granite 3 kmph on the right most lane and a lorry loaded with sand as much as it can take just behind it. Suddenly, inexplicably, the two decide to have a race.

11.20: Two trucks on the rightmost lane. You are some distance away, but you can see the trucks moving at 3kmph and try to take evasive action. Sand truck cleaner looks out of the window and tells his driver that there is nothing. (Nothing means no huge truck in the distance. Cleaners of trucks never see anything as small as a car, even if its zooming in at 100 kmph)

11.21: Sand truck decides to overtake granite truck and moves into the left lane. You screech to 3 kmph just behind the sand truck and see if there is some gap where you can squeeze and get out. Since there is no space, you decide to bet who will win this big race. Anyway there are no other cars around, so we still have time to decide.

11.26: Sand truck speeds up to 3.5 kmph. You place your money on the sand truck. In any case by now there is a line of cars behind you and a line of cars have bet on the granite truck.

11.27: The front bumper of the sand truck is ahead of the front bumper of the sand truck. Sand truck driver now yells expletives, over the drone of the two engines to the granite truck driver. Granite driver cannot hear it, but his cleaner hears the same, translates it with garnish and passes it to the granite truck driver who replies in kind. Now the sand truck has gone ahead by half of its front tyre. You smile at the Qualis next to you.

11.28 to 11:33: Granite truck driver decides to give a fight to the sand truck driver. He steps on the accelerator. His vehicle makes up for the half tyre distance. Both are same. The Qualis
crew smiles at you.

11:33: Steady flow of expletives through the interpreter both ways. Both trucks have stabilised at 3.5 kmph. The queue of vehicles is now a traffic jam that is moving at a constant speed of 3.5 kmph.

11.40: Suddenly the trucks speed up. Its a slope, they go faster thanks to gravity. The granite truck being heavier now speeds up. There is enough space between the back of the granite truck and the front of the sand truck for one car to go. The qualis zooms ahead through the space between the two trucks as do a few other cars.

You also manage to do the same somehow...until you reach the next obstacle...

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