To be behind the wheels for the last 15 years, I am well-stacked in the department of driving and absolutely familiar with the perks of being a lady one, especially in a country where we, lady drivers, are believed to turn heads. I have had the opportunity to live in various cities of the country and have been a resident of Jaipur for the last 10 years.
Where in many cities, like Delhi, with its inevitable and exhausting traffic jams, lethargic traffic authorities and the phobia of travelling alone in the night haunting your back, driving in Jaipur has been a smooth ride; annoying, confusing, crazy, yes but still, with its less traffic and well-maintained roads, far better than the rest.
With the traffic police always high on alert, showcasing an excellent vigilance; the citizens of this heritage hub however bring down the morale of the traffic by failing to use common sense. Understanding roundabouts escapes people, resulting in being stuck around a circle for no reason at all. Zebra crossings, like the rest of the country, here as well do the work of useless decorations on the road. The interpretation of the meaning of the traffic lights, where red light means yellow, yellow means green and green obviously means green, seems to be a bit faulty.
When you are a lady driver, you are expected to drive slow, not check the rear view mirrors, forget to honk and basically close your eyes while driving. Because even if we don’t do all this, this is how the others view us. Ignoring the fact, that the percentage of ladies involved in accident are much lesser than those of men; god forbid if we do something wrong, eyes are rolled, snorts are given and within a second the transformation from brunette to blonde takes place.
Maybe the late appearance of women drivers on roads encouraged the men to have a certain authority on road. I mean who expects a caretaker to uproot herself from the household and get their wheels rolling on the road to drive others crazy. The past is marked with women fighting for what they deserve and even though Jaipur has been fairly kind in accepting me as a driver; but on behalf of the whole women community, this time is no different than the rest.
This driving dairy has been narrated by Dr. Shweta Singh to JaipurCityPost as part of our series To Be A Lady Driver in Jaipur.