In Rawalpindi life outside a vehicle is only slightly safer. City drivers for the most part do their best and leave the results to destiny. They drive on all lanes of the road left, right and the middle.
Often, they are seen overlapping the lanes. If they find the left side of the road occupied, they go to the right. And if that is also busy, they move to the left and keep on driving by occupying the next available gap. They just follow their instincts and go on.
Most of them don’t drive, just let their vehicles slide in the desired direction. They don’t stop at pedestrian crossings just because some fool wants to cross the road. You may do so only if you like being jolted in the back. Pedestrians cross only when traffic is moving leisurely or has come to a dead stop. But some pedestrians may try to stride across.
They don’t take blowing your horn as a symbol of protest. They think you honk to express joy. Here, you may show your resentment, frustration but it is of no effect.
When some bigwig is on the road you may keep informative books and may read them during traffic jams, while awaiting the bigwig’s motorcade, or waiting for the rainwaters to recede. Today I found it possible on the Rawal Road inundated with rainwater. Night driving on city roads can be a thrilling experience. The roads may have occasional stones.
Truck drivers are the James Bonds of the town and are certified to kill. Often you may have a chance meeting with a single dominant beam of light. This is not an extraordinary motorcycle, but a truck approaching you with a single light on; you can never judge whether it is the left one or the right one. You may judge it only after death. In the daylight, trucks are more detectable and the drivers never signal, you will observe that the cleaner who sits next to the driver, will take his hand out and wave unbelievably. Sometimes you might see what looks like a dumper with flashing coloured lights and strange noises coming from within. This is a well-lit automobile, filled with joyful whistling tunes. These go at incredible speed, seeking contact with the hereafter and often meeting with success. On the contrary, there is a positive point in housing colonies. Rash and fast driving in residential areas is prevented by ankle-high bumps which are many in number. These incidentally, cover the water and drainage pipes for that residence and are left without any signs for stress-free identification by the concerned authorities, in case they want to dig up the street again for a kind of repair.