I couldn’t breathe normally every time we were on the road in India. Back here, I curse a lot when I drive. In India, I was always at the backseat but I cursed even more. My Tita Mitchu kept reprimanding me for disturbing the driver, Tarachand. He has chocolate brown skin, stylish white hair, a pleasant smile and a smooth husky voice. He looked like a movie star. “It’s alright, Madame. Just please trust me. I’ve been driving all India for twenty years. You sleep, please sleep. I will wake you when already we are on mustard fields.”We were going out of Delhi and heading to Rajasthan, the biggest state in India. That was the second leg of our private tour of North India. We ought to be in Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital city, in five hours. It was 7 am when we left Delhi. Rush-hour had just begun.
A typical transport vehicle in India is the elephantEverything that can move was on the road. And I mean everything— trucks, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, tuktuks, carts, rickshaw, tractors, cows, horses, elephants, monkeys, and peacocks! Almost all land motor vehicles in India have the same brand: Tata Motors. The owner, Tata Bata, is the wealthiest man in India. As I had expected, there were more motorcycles than cars. They appeared from everywhere. Most cars were small so they moved sleek and fast. To Indian drivers there is no such thing as too little space. Every gap on the road had to be filled.