Everyone Is A Choudhry In Pakistan…

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“Choudhry Ashraf’s sister ran away” – my new friend whispered to me as I stepped outside after hearing an uproar on the street.

We had just shifted to a small town near Khanewal. It was the nineties, PTV and STN era, and there were no mobile phones, no cable channels, no personal computers and laptops and no internet. The whole region would turn into a ghost town after 8 pm as everyone slept early; save the few privileged ones with TV who would wait until the 9 pm Khabarnama. In short, those were the days when the air was clean and….well you know the other bit. Hence, the chaos in the street a few hours after sunset got everyone running out of their houses to see what happened. There were no crimes in that area; at least not the serious sort that we hear every hour nowadays. The common conflicts of stealing a few desi eggs from underneath someone’s hen, or secretly milking someone’s cow at night were settled casually in the Panchayat. This, however, was huge.

We, a couple of 10-12 y.o. kids sat there on the steps outside my house chewing on our miswaaks while the elders stood in small groups in our semi-lit street discussing the matter when suddenly Choudhry entered  from one side of the street. He was furious, raging red with anger and flushed with shame and defeat. He had lived a life of pride and arrogance, and suddenly all seemed to be slipping away. Accompanied by a few of his ‘tuchchay’(sidekicks) he stomped pass us flashing his torch at people signaling them to make way for him. The ones who didn’t recognize the mighty torch signal, he or his sidekicks physically pushed them away.

Chaoudhry TorchNow this was no ordinary torch, Choudhry had brought it from Peshawar – it was from the remains of Russian Afghan invasion and it allegedly shone brighter than any other torch in the surrounding 14 chak (villages). Some said it could blind the person looking at it from 3 miles away. Some said it was used by Russians to signal Morse-Code to their satellites orbiting earth. Some said a similar torch was beamed by Russians to take down Gen. Zia’s plane. And some said it used the same technology which is being researched at Kahota Labs.

My apologies for getting carried away, it was indeed the ultimate torch.  My point being that since then, whenever I see someone driving around flashing his HIDs on full beam in city or on motorways, I recall Choudhry Ashraf. Each time someone ‘HID ka dipper marta hai’, I am somehow reminded of a guy whose sister has run away and he’s out there with all his rage and lights to find her. He’s tailgating you and shoving you off the lane because he doesn’t want her to get far. He’s honking like a maniac because if he can’t find her, he won’t be able to show his face to the community the next day.

I tell myself that he’s doing all this because the matter must be very serious. There can be no smaller reason than his dignity at stake for exasperating everyone else on the road.  Or is there?

Unfortunately, we don’t need a big reason to antagonize our fellow countrymen. Unfortunately, we don’t even need a reason at all. We do it because we can.

There are those who drive in the center of the road, occupying two lanes at a time blocking any possibility of overtaking. Most of the times they are the ones driving at 30kmph in a 70kmph zone as if they have nowhere to reach. Once you do get across them, there are high chances that you’ll find them busy gossiping on their mobile phones unaware and unmoved by the sea of cars they’ve caused to accumulate behind them. You pass them and they wave at you with their 6 incher Samsung as if you’re the crazy one. You look at them wondering how a douche with 1.5 million rupees car and 50,000 rupees cellphone can be utterly cheap when it comes to buying a 500 rupees Bluetooth headset.

Idiot Lane JumpingThen there are the lane intruders – they have to go straight or right but they consider themselves superior beings, unlike the other worthless earthlings waiting in their correct lanes. So they choose the left lane blocking the left turning/oncoming traffic and once the signal turns green, they start shoving their way into the legitimate lane slowing down all the traffic legally waiting for their turn. A similar scenario is seen when you’re stuck on a two way street. There is always that smarty pants who thinks he’s the real genius, overtakes everyone via the oncoming traffic lane and blocks both ways.

RELATED: Pakistani drivers make a mess of traffic through lane jumping while making turns

If all those weren’t enough, there come the 2-minute-guys. Alright, it’s not what you’re thinking. These are the guys who would park blocking your car and when you ask them, they politely reply “I’ll come in two minutes” – again not what you’re thinking. The thing is, those two minutes are never less than half an hour; you find yourself stranded there frustratingly waiting for them while they forget about you or your possible need to leave as soon you’re out of sight. 30 minutes later they arrive with a smirk on their face and throw a random excuse at you.

The bikers, on the other hand, have a world of their own – never have I seen a clan more disoriented with their whereabouts on the road than a biker doing 60. Those are still bearable – worst are the ones who kickstart their bikes, get on the main road and somehow, Dhoom 2 music starts playing in their head and with their imaginary Aishwaria Rai sitting behind them, they begin to dodge the hypothetical barriers going zigzag and ultimately crash into the sidewalk and then sit on the greenbelt holding their knee with agony dripping from their face. The normal traffic rules don’t apply to them. Red light doesn’t mean stop, in fact it means if the traffic warden is not in sight, go for it. If and when they are stopped by the Warden, rather than presenting their documents, they start dialing some number on their phone and urge the Warden to talk to the person on the other end.

Then we have public transport – they work together, like a mafia, like a brotherhood. You cannot argue with them, you just cannot win. A rikshaw, for instance, just needs to get its tiny front wheel in, and you’ll have to provide him the way. If God forbid he hits you in process, you can’t do anything. Fellow Rikshawmen will emerge from nowhere and soon you’ll be begging to let go. Same goes with Qinquis. The donkey carts top everyone else with their “tussi sai keh raye ho, par ae gal khotay nu kon samjhaye?” (You’re right, but explain that to the donkey). The urban transport vans stop, it seems specifically, at points where they can maximize traffic blockage. The university buses are fearless because well, in case of a mishap, who’d want to pick on 70 students on board?

Looking at the traffic conditions in Pakistan, it appears that every one of us is in a rush. What I fail to understand is where we are always rushing to? It’s not like all of us have a second job we have to get to. Most of the times we’ll just go home, fall on the couch and start watching the same monotonous talk shows on our TV while scratching our ummm…..let’s call them ‘axles’.

RELATED: Driving Advice Of The Week: Tackling With Road Rage in Pakistan

Driving, which for many of us on PakWheels is a lot more than going from point A to B, has become a hectic procession we have ceased to look forward to. We buy cars/bikes of our choice and fail to enjoy driving them. By easing our minds, relaxing our nerves we can turn our everyday journeys into a cherished affair. By being a little more calm and considerate, we can savor the technological marvels we drive; we can experience the 21st century equivalence of horsebacks – all at the cost of 20 minutes. I am sure our ‘axles’ wouldn’t mind if we scratched them 20 minutes late.

So, what are the most annoying things you come across on the road on daily basis? Don’t forget to post below and let us look for changes we can make to bring more positivity on the road.

DISCLAIMER: Actual names have changed to protect the privacy of the characters. Any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely incidental.

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  1. guest says

    lol the torch part

  2. Baber says

    When I leave office at main tariq road, most of the car drivers sit stationary until the signal is green but motorcyclists and rikshaws who have less speed and braking power, just push forward even if the traffic who has the right of way has started to flow out. And if there occurs a band, the rikshaw wala goes “Mein gareeb hu…”, and I can only yell that when I was in college, I drove rather quite carefully just so I don’t get into a mess where I have to pay. The motorcyclist instead stare down on you through their black sun visor like Darth Vader’s is about to unleash the dark side of the force upon you.

    Everyone is a Chaudary on our streets indeed.

    i think the way is RFID number plates and NIC. You split the lane, *beep*, 1000 rs fined drawn, you brake a signal or cross the road wrongly *beep*, wahi phat jaye. That’s the only way and in Dubai, its Pakistanis and in fact, PakWheels members who have implemented and worked on the RFID system in UAE.

  3. ZZ says

    hmmm very well related… i hope chaudhries (HIDs waly) now behave bit better,

  4. guest says

    you nailed it bro!

  5. guest says

    +1, the lane introduers, tail gaters and HID chaudry ( i’ll include corolla as well) should behave better and the traffic situation will improve.

  6. Mubeen Chohan says

    enjoyed it while reading.. 🙂
    and “lane jumping” is v. annoying.. seriously..

  7. Abdul Akbar says

    great !! peace almost covered everything goes wrong on roads , we are frustrated nation, always in rush but always reach late(including me),90% people are untrained drivers they dont know the meaning of lanes, the failed process of issueing license, driving training and learning about traffic rules…

  8. Ahmad Saeed says

    HAHHAHAHHAHA….Khurram one word….Amazing! ….aik jo sab se akheer hai k app indicator doo lane change ka and peeche wale ko foran yaad aye ga aur woh taizi se gari aagay le kar aa jaye ga k aap aa na sakoo….waise woh pichle 20 min se ussi speed pe ja raha hoon jaise

  9. Fahad Ullah says

    Breaking axles will never be the same.

  10. Ali Mehdi says

    EPIC……………….Simply EPIC.The way you wrote this article. great work!!!

  11. Nabeel Farooqui says

    Bikers changing 4 lanes at a time with looking over their shoulder or turning on the indicator.

  12. Kamran Malik says

    Lolzzzzz.Dude simply awsome,while sitting in Africa getting bored in my office and then start reading your article….Couldn’t hold my laugh…..Khurram YOU ARE KEEPING ALIVE THE SPIRIT OF PAKISTANI CANDOR IN BEST WAY hahhaha..Really looking forward to have more articles from your side and do share your blog etc so we can read it from there..Cheers

  13. Shuja Ur Rehman says

    Motorbikes – wish it was legal to hit them
    HIDs – wish i could break their lights
    High Beams – wish i could buy all of them glasses so they would not need high beams
    Tail riders – wish i could suddenly brake infront of them and nothing would happen to me or my car
    Slow drivers in the fast lanes
    Prius drivers – cuz they always drive slow. Auh bhai 40 ki speed per khota bhee bhaag leta ho ga. khota gari lai lo cost kum ho jayay gi

  14. alfa_whsky says

    Those aunties crossing the roads, specially in Lahore. Some are so confused they will confuse everyone and some will get straight in the middle of the road and wont mind to look to their left or right.

  15. Haida Kay says

    Dude, are y0u drunk ? haha Awwwwwwwwwwwsum !!!

  16. Kashif says

    Problems highlighted are very much genuine and well described but example quoted at the start to describe “chaudhary” was not looks like coming from a sober mind, must not make jokes of anyone’s sentiment

  17. Khurram Altaf says

    Amen to the ‘beep’ system!

  18. Khurram Altaf says

    Amen to that too!

  19. Muhammad Younus says

    Awesome…I hate HID lights from front. They almost blind you and for few seconds there is darkness everywhere.

  20. Khurram Altaf says

    I second that. Also when you’re indicate to make a u-turn, the oncoming cars suddenly speed up to pass before you’ve taken the turn. Many a times, especially in model town, they end up flying over speedbreakers they’d normally pass diagonally had you not been there indicating to take a u-turn.

  21. Khurram Altaf says

    or “your axles need grinding”

  22. Khurram Altaf says

    I’m glad you liked it..its always good bringing smile to someone’s face. Thank you for the appreciation 🙂

  23. wasted youth says

    “Choudhry” is used as metaphor and the story is all fake just to show those mindless idiots who use HIDs and show off to disturb others on the road. The story is an awesome slap on their bullshit faces. The perfect quotes for this crap nation:1. “Over dressed and under educated”. 2. People are being westernized without proper training”. Now these two are hard facts and shameful realities of this so called nation whereas there is no nation here just bunch of lunatic losers.

  24. wasted youth says

    Hats off mate. Great slap on the faces, if they understand it. Outstanding story related to those losers.

  25. Umar says

    That Torch… lol
    BTW that sarcasm is the highest form of wit. Enjoyed reading it.

  26. Sheharyar Ali says

    Sir very good point you have got there. This happens everyday with me. After that if you manage to squeeze in the lane before them, they will honk you and stare at you with absolute disgust

  27. Bilal Ahmad says

    Splendid write up!

  28. aaksays says

    Haha, what an article, when some one bimmers me from back 10 times in a short span of 5 seconds on the motorway, i just hit my brakes and they are not going away with it. Punishment mate

  29. Khurram Altaf says

    Bikes on traffic signals – they make way through cars on a scratch there a dent here and stop at the very front as if they have the biggest urgency.
    But as soon as the light turns green, they stall their motorcycle because they had forgotten to shift it down from the fourth. Phir kickain maartay rehtay hain blocking traffic honking behind them and move just before the signal turns red again leaving everyone waiting.

  30. Muhammad Asad says

    Hid part is hilarious…
    But the best is ‘ two minute guy

  31. Usman Haider Sheikh says

    dayam HILARIOUS, nailed it right where it hurts. 😀

  32. Adnan Khan says

    Sir, your Articles are amazing.

  33. umar5150 says

    khurram sab what about those drivers with only 1 head light..???
    and those AXELS who consider it their born right to drive with high beams?
    and not all gaddii waly drivers are civilized like you they think that bikers(ghareeb lok)have no right to come on road.and then sarkari gariyan aur sab logon ki famlies….ufff

  34. Kamil Mahmood says

    “By easing our minds, relaxing our nerves we can turn our everyday journeys into a cherished affair. By being a little more calm and considerate, we can savor the technological marvels we drive; we can experience the 21st century equivalence of horsebacks – all at the cost of 20 minutes.”

    I tried this technique. Sticking to the middle lane most of the time, driving easy and slow, and giving way. It is certainly more relaxing. I wouldn’t call it a ‘cherished affair’ though. I think all of us need to try this shit for at least 3 days and feel the difference.

  35. OJ says

    From my experience even when you are driving slow, driving is very stressful, there used to be a time when I would look forward to going out but now it’s too stressful for me. Even if you are driving carefully you will come across these bike riders passing you from every direction, with utter disregard for safety of themselves, other commuters or their very precious cars. For a car enthusiast you are all the time under pressure, as you not only have to look out for those in front but also those for those behind you. Even your car is stationary at a traffic signal, you will find these bike riders trying to dissect the limited space there is to get in front of the traffic, and in the process they can very easily scratch your precious vehicle. Then comes the driving at night, I may not overstating when I say almost 90% of the bikes on the roads do not have fully functioning lights. Almost every bike has a faulty back light, which can be very dangerous for commuters at night especially on dark 2 way roads.

  36. Optimus Prime says

    Thumbs Up Man! Perfectly written..loved the HID part.

  37. rashid says

    its really annoying now you can find them even on bikes now. I wonder what these idiots think when installing and using such a thing. we dont have street lights in most of the areas of pakistan, well if you dont live in lahore, khi, isl street lights are a rarity specially in residential areas, so when driving in a dark area you get these idiots coming from onwards blinking their HIDs and honking, you really wonder if theres anything sense left in this society.

    PS: Please, corolla owners keep your beams low in urban areas, high beams don’t help, might turn some driver blind for an instant and he may run into you, please don’t do that.

  38. Usman Awan says

    Exactly every thing is true…specially corolla drivers do the high beaming thing..i don’t get y..that’s insane..well I think u missed 1 point here..the motorcyclists who run their bikes on high lane or even the middle lane, in faisalabad, lahore this thing is common. I litterly had to install a pressure horn specially for them, I don’t know if people there have a listening problem or what…but THEY DON’T EVEN LISTEN TO PRESSURE HORNS..

  39. Moonbaby says

    Thanks for writing this stuff man. I learned to drive from an old car mechanic. He taught me how cars behave on the road and I learned to drive the right way. But then he urged be to take risks, change lanes on demand. He really liked the, “Go if you see empty space” rule. Yeh America nahi hai, yahan pay asay drive kerna paray ga.

    Flashers really annoy me btw. Makes me want to drive just a bit faster.

  40. Moonbaby says

    Thats why I got training from a Punjabi Mechanic. Most people on the road didn’t learn about traffic rules. I thought I should learn their mindset or I’ll run into surprises. It wasn’t all that enjoyable to learn from him though.

  41. Moonbaby says

    Thats funny

  42. Moonbaby says

    Some just keep walking on busy roads and expect the cars to stop and wait for them.

  43. Moonbaby says

    Dude thats harsh. Although I agree that sometimes I facepalm, but its not that bad. The fact that PakWheels exists is reassuring.

  44. Mobeen Riaz says

    Hahahaha writer u r just awesome. Enjoyed every part of it. The old days, the h.i.d chaudry n his sister, the lane breakers, bikers, public transport, the driver in the mid of the lane. End was also very good, the way you concluded for enjoying the drive. Good job.

  45. Sohrab says

    Grt job man…I wish high beam corolla driver shoild read their HID part….:-)

  46. Hamza says

    Lekin seriously, what is up with corolla drivers and their high beams!!?

  47. Syed Hussein El-Edroos says

    Exactly my sentiments. Thank you for putting it across so well

  48. Ijlal Mujtaba says

    but boy fuck decency, you need to blend in.

  49. Danish Malik says

    Loved every word! Just perfect.
    Why is HID allowed? It literally blinds the other person!

  50. Sarbland Malik says

    I think these stupid things are only acceptable when you have a patient in your car and you need to rush to hospital immediately…. Sorry guys, no other excuse.

  51. Ahmad Jabbar says

    Whatever is written in this Article is so true, but this happens in a lot of other countries as well. Thing is the system of fines & offence recording should be automated with the use of camera’s etc and hawala rishwat should be eliminated. Traffic fines should be increased to an extend where it hurts people so they think twice before committing traffic offences. But we expect our Government to fix so many other things.

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