indian roads

I turned my car slowly on to the road leading to the school. It was almost 5 pm and the elder son would be coming out of the gate any minute now. My thoughts were veering to all kinds of things; the younger son was droning on about his friend and an incident that happened at school. Coco was sitting quietly in the boot watching the world go by, very unaware of the fact that he brought ready smiles to so many faces. Another outing on the Indian roads.

Suddenly I braked sharply. There was a tiny puppy on the road who wasn’t really sure of what he was doing. He was tentative and seemed quite frightened. There was angry honking as the cars behind me stopped as well. I waited for that diminuitive, scrawny thing to reach the safety of the median before moving on concerned for the safety of that puppy. The younger son who had gone quiet suddenly squealed and pointed out to the mother of that puppy. She was looking anxiously from the other side of the road. Perhaps her little baby got left behind.

I said a silent prayer in my heart. As I got back on the other side of the same road in a couple of minutes, the mother and puppy had been reunited. How my heart sang and the kids were joyous too. The elder son was already updated about the puppy by the younger one.

My worst nightmare is to see dead dogs on the road knocked down by speeding vehicles. I can’t bear to look at the bloody carcasses. And it is much too regular for my liking. It is not the fault of the vehicles always as these dogs sometimes make a run for it suddenly without the vehicle driver even realizing what transpired. We all crib about traffic but Indian roads are more dangerous for all on feet. With hardly any zebra crossings, subways or pedestrian lights, most people jaywalk risking their lives as well as those of others.

But, it is the animals who are completely clueless. Often there is a herd of cows walking leisurely bringing all traffic to halt.

I wonder what can be done to make animals safer on our roads?

Isn’t it time to think about managing our roads for all instead of just vehicles?

Pic courtesy: Mettus on Shutterstock

21 Thoughts on “A Jungle on Indian Roads

  1. Rachna, I get your joy over seeing the pup reunited with its mom. Some people are so mean they don’t care when they speed and hit an animal – they simply continue on without a care. While animal’s instincts are sharp, they are sometimes petrified and do not know what to do.

    Hugs, and yes, I do think roads must be managed to accommodate everyone!

    • Oh yes. I know the type you are talking about. When people leave humans bleeding on the roads, what are pups to them? I wish we could do something more to protect these deer caught in the headlights. Thanks for reading, Vidya.

  2. The biggest problem on our roads is apathy towards road design. As the very first step is wrong everything after that falls like 9 pins.

    Moronically designed flyovers lead to double congestion, red lights at signal hidden behind hoardings, and total disregard for traffic rules. We have a systemic failure not just one malaise.

  3. This reminds me of something that happened last year. A friend of ours was driving to Chennai with his family when suddenly a cow came in the middle of the road, the highway and there was a collision. The cow didn’t survive and the family thankfully survived in spite of severe damage to their car. I’m not saying the animal’s life was dispensable but there was a 2 year old in the car too. So, I know what you mean. We really ought to think about managing our traffic better

    • Yes, there is such a huge chance of an accident. Most of us try to avoid the suddenly darting animal and that can end up with disastrous consequences. So very terrible.

  4. We need to get animals off the road. That’s no place for them to be. I feel sorry for the strays. They have no place to go and no clue how they’re endangering their lives as wells that of humans. On a very different note the other day a stray dog held up traffic close to where I stay because he decided to relieve himself right in the centre of the road, since the sides were slushy due to rains. A bunch of cars actually waited till he got over with the big job. Hilarious, it was.

    • hehe Now that was funny. I see that the traffic stalls a lot when a herd of cows descend on the roads. You are right. It is no place for them but then what can strays do? So many of them losing their lives is just so heartbreaking.

  5. It would be difficult to get the animals used to this traffic. I haven’t paid attention to this before, and it is really upsetting to know such accidents are common. There is much talk about traffic nowadays, it is becoming increasingly difficult to control it. I wish there was a way to set things right.

  6. I once saw a terrible site on road. A pup got hit by a speeding vehicle but it didn’t die instantly… it kept whimpering … the other drivers tried not to hit the injured pup any more… but it would have been better if he had died instantly… he was terribly injured… the cries still haunt me. I don’t know what happened as I was in a bus on the opposite lane. Thank god you stopped right on time. And even better is your kids witnessed the reunion.

  7. We need to make our roads safer for animals and humans.

  8. So kind of you to stop by and let the little pup get to Mommy. I feel Indian roads are not safe for us So, yes – a lot can be done and it begins with us.

  9. Just a few weeks ago we saw a dog being run over. I couldn’t get the image out of my head for days! Yes, I wish we had better safety standards and some form of monitoring. You’ve asked a very valid question, Rachna. Plus you’ve shown by example what each individual can do. Thank you.

    • Thanks, Kamini. I think these little dogs are an accident magnet. In order to avoid them, we may end up having an accident ourselves. It is just so sad and I wonder how we can help in some way to make the roads safer for them.

  10. Ooooooohhh, that was a disturbing piece to read dear Rachna…. hope you get where a life is more valuable than that….

  11. This is so inspiring! I love the post:)

  12. Rickie on August 17, 2016 at 7:26 am said:

    Poor thing! It’s quite a miracle that dogs are even able to cross our roads unscathed when they attempt that crazy dash.

  13. Very true Rachna. Even my heart bleeds when I see a lost pup or a dog on the road and given the dangerous condition of our roads, for any dog which is not used to it, it’s a sure shot death.

Do not leave without commenting. I love a good conversation :).

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