No rules..!

62

WE don’t need any rules in this country, said the truck driver smiling at the auto rickshaw driver and then looking at me angrily. “We are a free nation,” said the tiny rickshaw driver proudly, “fifty years of freedom from inhuman laws and unfair regulations.” “But traffic laws are meant for our own safety,” I protested, “it is meant for our survival.”
“Survival of the fittest,” said the burly truck driver as he playfully gave the rickshaw driver a slap on the back, which sent him sprawling onto the middle of the road, where he was cursed and shouted at by a group of pedestrians who were making their way to work.
I walked with the two to a roundabout where a massive traffic jam was taking place. The vehicles were all lined up round the circle and looked as if they were chasing each other’s tails. “What would you do over here?” I asked the truck driver innocently, “if you were stuck in this jam.”
“I would shout from my cabin, I know all the swear words in all the Indian languages,” he said proudly. I watched as he filled his massive chest with air and bellowed a filthy word which sounded like a bullhorn but had no effects whatsoever in the chaos and confusion that reigned round the circle.
The truck driver and the rickshaw-wallah walked ahead of me, arm in arm exchanging new swear words and teaching each other how to pronounce them. Suddenly a public transport bus veered onto the right side of the road, hit a cyclist in front of us and came straight onto the three of us.
“Watch out,” I shouted, as all three of us jumped out of the way of the monster and fell into the filthy gutter next to the road. “Stupid idiot,” shouted the truck driver wiping the dirt from his pathan suit, “if I had my truck that rascal would have been dead by now.” We carefully lifted the autorickshaw driver out of the slimy water and laid him on the side of the road. “Those buswallahs should be thrashed,” he said weakly. “I will complain to the autorickshaw nion. We have a very powerful union.”
“But,” I said gently, “the bus driver did not know that you were a rickshaw driver, nor did he know that our friend was a lorry driver, all he did was drive on the wrong side of the road.” We would have died,” said the truck driver vehementally. “Yes,” I said we all could have been dead by now. All because the driver did not follow the traffic rules.” “Rules,” shouted the truck driver and auto driver, looking angrily at me. “We are a free country,” they said proudly together as they wiped the dirt from their clothes and the blood from their faces. “We don’t need any rules or regulations…!”
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