Oct 19, 2007

Perspective: Have we lost it?

It's a matter of perspective. When there is an earthquake, the usual warnings suggest that you mosey on far away from buildings. Why? Because they are big, huge things. If they fall on you, they cause pain and grief. However, no one says that during an earthquake stay away from, um... say a fountain pen. It isn't about to shatter into a million shards that will invade your sorry carcass. At worst, you'll end up with a splattered shirt. Right?

That's just a matter of perspective.

When it is this easy to grasp something so simple, why the heck do I see people on motorcycles taking chances with trucks and buses on a daily basis? It's like someone forgot to tell them that their all-up weight of 200-odd kgs is a matchstick in front of a 15-ton behemoth with bad brakes. That even the faintest of contact would probably be serious to fatal.

The other day, I was in a rick coming back from the airport and this autorickshaw driver basically hung a left sharpish across the nose of a fully loaded, sand-filled truck. We were ducking under a flyover (which I'd told him about three km in advance would be a good move, navigation wise), and the truck man was heading up the bridge.

I distinctly remember the staccato hissing of the brakes fighting to slow the mass of the truck. If the truck hadn't slowed, this blog would be history. Hey, who's that who yelled hurray?

This isn't just an obvious thing, not to realise it is just plain suicidial. Now and then, you will get squeezed in a bit between a bus or something. If you come away unscratched, please, don't try to teach the driver a lesson. It's an argument you cannot win.

Like General Hummel said in The Rock, 'Your unit is covered from an elevated position, Commander. I'm not gonna ask you again. Don't do anything stupid. No-one has to die here.'


Frankinsmoke said...

Very valid point there.... There is something very humbling about a Volvo creeping out on you at high speed and cutting off your overtaking options that makes you wonder if the fancy, slick shifts were ever worth it. Had that experience last night on the BARC flyover..... It's not all about our skill... The guys in the massive cages barely seem to notice us anyway.....

Sankoobaba said...

its freaking!! almost all trucks and most private buses have weak brakes(BEST buses are better)!! and taking a U turn is damn risky!!the process of.... take stock of road clearance! honk at 'em ! flash at 'em ! and just wring the throttle doesn't work! I usually use bad roads as points of U-turns in case of emergencies(like spotting a petrol pump on long rides when out of fuel)!