My hands get sweaty with excitement, my heart is pounding with anticipation. Any moment now.
I can see the countdown: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4...
I put my car in gear.
Engine revs to 6000 RPM.
And I missed it. The traffic light turned green, but I did not declutch in time. I was late by a microsecond, but the motorists behind me did not fail to inform me of the same.
Has this happened with you? Sometimes, it makes me wonder. We are so patient when it comes to parliamentary proceedings. I mean, we are still debating over bills that were proposed in the 1950s, but we cannot wait even a millisecond when driving. Time is money, you know. In a poor country like ours, we have no money, so let us not waste any more time.
Someone much older (though I doubt much wiser) once complained that the younger generation was always in a "tearing hurry", which is why they never bothered to follow rules, weaved in and out of traffic, did not stop at traffic lights, never waited for pedestrians, etc. I'd disagree. I'm not even 22, and yet I wait patiently at a traffic light for turning left (most left turns are at drivers discretion in India; some, however are controlled by traffic lights) while other (older and impatient) drivers just speed past.
I slow down to help pedestrians cross (stopping is out of the question, unless I wish to be rear-ended, and then be unceremoniously pulled out of my car and kicked); another person saw a person limping across a zebra crossing, swerved towards him, and then narrowly missed him, then cussed "साला लंगड़ा!" (lit. trans. "damned lame!")
It's just scary to drive on Indian roads. Not only are the roads in terrible state, but also the people that drive on them.