Situational Civility

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These two seemingly ordinary words completely define the frame of mind of the modern desi drivers that occupy our roads today.

Let me define desi first. The “formal” definition of desi is a person who belongs to the subcontinent and is an immigrant in another country. That definition is flawed however; the real definition of a desi is a person with a split personality, which changes according to his geographic location. Enough with the psychological gibber jabber, let us dive into the mind this monster that I speak of.

This Roadzilla’s mind works in two different ways. Situation A: This Roadzilla melts like a marshmallow when he is located in Amreeka or Walayt (That is USA or UK for our non desi readers). Situation B: This is when this Roadzilla is in its home turf of Pakistan where he gains the ability to breathe fire essentially making him a dragon.

Confused? Of course you are, but don’t worry I am here to guide you about the traits of this complex yet mystifying beast. Take a deep breathe, fasten your three point harnesses and here we go.

Roundabouts:

Situation A: Marshmallow sees a roundabout and notices the yield sign. He knows the traffic on the roundabout has the right of way. He comes, slows down, comes to a complete stop when he sees a car and happily lets it pass by before proceeding safely.

Situation B: Dragon is angry at the high gas prices. He just got off from work, he wants to get home to have a cup of tea as soon as possible, and the world might end without it. He approaches a roundabout at good clip, he gives the car even more, and throws in a few swear words to the traffic at the roundabout completely ignoring the huge yield sign which is written in two languages. On another day he comes to a roundabout only to see a non-dragon like him yielding to traffic, he immediately honks his retrofitted truck horn at the imbecile who is being courteous.

Pulled Over by the Cops:

Situation A: The gelatin free marshmallow is unfortunately pulled over by a cop. When the cop lit him up, he immediately pulled over. He sits there calmly with his hands on the steering wheels while waiting for the officer to approach. He greets the officer with a smile, hands him over his license and proof of insurance. He waits another five to ten minutes while the officer checks all his information. Even after receiving the speeding ticket the marshmallow says thank you to the officer before slowly going back on the road.

Situation B: It’s summer time; the air conditioner is all messed up. Our dragon friend can’t find a can of soda anywhere. He is pulled over for swerving through the traffic like an anaconda. As soon as he is stopped, he jumps out of the car leaving the engine running, takes out his cell phone, calls a friend of his that knows someone and hands over the phone to the officer. When the officer does not budge he takes out Mr.Quad-e-Azam in all his triple digit glory and hands it over to the cop masking it as money for “Chai Pani” (Tea and Refreshments), receives a salute from the officer and nonchalantly goes about his business.

Involved in an Accident:

Situation A: Our polite friend is involved in an accident; he hit a car from the rear. He slowly approaches the other driver involved in the accident and inquires if he is okay. They both exchange their insurances and calmly wait for the cops to arrive on the scene to photograph evidence and clear the traffic.

Situation B: Since he is in his home turf, our dragon friend after hitting a car decides to give the other driver a piece of his mind. When he sees that the other driver is young he proceeds to throw a couple of slaps on the poor guy while passing out the mandatory curse words. He demands a huge sum of money from the kid. Only after half the day has passed and the parents of the kid have arrived and paid the amount he wants, does he quit the banter and return with his wallet filled up and his heart all warm and fuzzy.

This is just a snippet of the acts just one desi driver does depending on where he is located. The main reason that this happens is firstly there is no rule of law in our country anymore, the cops are expected to accept bribes, they are expected to give preferential treatment and the cops do indeed fulfill all these expectation wholeheartedly. There is sadly no fear from the law because there is zero and honest implementation of it. The second reason and the major one is the lack of any sort or driver education. Typically as soon as children hit their teens they start driving, they all learn their driving on public roads endangering other motorists and trying to replicate scenes from the fast and furious because they think they will look cool. You can get a driver’s license sitting in your home.

It is a sad state of affairs that need to be changed for our roads to be safer, not everyone on the road has the ability to avoid these roadzillas. The same person reacts completely differently when he knows that he will be held accountable if he is to do any of the shenanigans in developed countries that he does ever so freely in his home turf.

Change the situation and civility will come automatically.

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