Saturday, August 3, 2013

An open letter to vehicle users in India

Dear Vehicle User,

I wanted to talk to you for a long time.  As usual I begin the conversation.  I hope you would find this medium engaging, for whenever I try to communicate when we meet on the road, you were in a hurry and I was short of words; only abuses came to my mind.

Let's get to the point.  Congratulations on your new vehicle.  I would like to remind you that our governments haven't started selling roads in retail (only wholesale), most probably because of the people with powers prefer bulk payments and not EMIs - which is why you could buy that vehicle.  This means roads are still common to all. You are taking more than a fair share of it - amounting to stealing. Let's come back to this later.

If you think it is YOUR achievement that you got to drive the vehicle, please check your perception.  There are hundreds of factors, beyond your control or comprehension that have resulted in your ability to purchase a car (on EMI I must repeat) and drive it.  There are factors like liberalization, global economy, crony capitalism and plain greed that have made this possible.

But I have to give you some credit for you have achieved something.  You are able to control, well, almost control a vehicle that is at least 10 times more powerful than you and just as smart as you are.  In honor of this achievement, the RTO must have given you a license.  Congrats.

Please note that I have nothing personal against you and do not want to downplay your achievements.  It is the power of that vehicle that you seem to control, scares me.  I would prefer the powerful to be more responsible.  I'm sure the vehicle, if it ever had a mind would behave responsibly as demonstrated by Google Car.  When you start controlling the vehicle, it goes for a toss.  It has to obey you - you are the master until it gets a mind on its own.  So, I have no option but to complain about your irresponsibility.

A person is allowed to exhibit a bit of swagger when he walks, especially if he has achieved something.  You, on the other hand is wrong on couple of counts - there is no achievement and you exhibit swagger when driving.  That's just not right, but a sign of insanity..

I hope you appreciate the fact that a powerful machine controlled by an insane is lethal.  Talking of lethal items, if I carry a sickle or a sword publicly, I will be arrested.  Sickles and swords are weapons and can be lethal if I chose to use them to harm others.  I would need a lot of hatred and energy to be really lethal even with such weapons.  You, on the other hand, is insane, appear to control a more lethal machine but won't get arrested.  In fact, bigger the machine, bigger is the insanity and bigger is the respect they get from the traffic police.  I can't understand this... ever.

Now I come to the point that you are using more than a fair share of the road.  An average motor powered two wheeler takes at least as much space as two bicycles or three pedestrians.  A small ugly car like the one you have, occupies the space equivalent to five or six bicycles or about 10 pedestrians.  It may be justified that if more people use the car, it isn't as unfair as a single occupancy car.  But you chose to have one car per person in your family.  You could afford a car (on EMI again) but couldn't afford a parking space.  So, you usurp the road.

Next time, when you pass by a truck carrying illegally quarried sand or when you gossip about a politician accused of land / water / spectrum grab, please be nice to him.  He is one of you!

Yours truly,

P.S:  I hope you understand on why I chose to be anonymous.  Even as a harmless pedestrian, I am so hated by vehicle owners like you.  It would be suicidal if I don't stay anonymous.