1. Windscreen patrol. Of course you can wipe my spotless windscreen with your rag and wiper. That is exactly what I meant by my frantic hand movements and violent nodding of the head in the east-west direction as you walked towards my car.
2. Biker rights. Oh look, it’s green for me but a motorcyclist JUST decided to cross. Biker boy is changing lanes for the umpteenth time and it is my moral duty to let him do it. And the best is when the wife; the half-dozen children, the monthly grocery and the motorcyclist daddy cling onto every bare surface of the motorcycle, making me feel like a home-wrecker every time I honk.
3. Lane crimes. Oh rickshaw man, why would you drive in the right lane — taking up space enough to prevent anyone from squeezing between you and the next car but also leaving a gap large enough to tease the over-taker in me? And let’s not forget: Hello my name is Ginganti-normous Bus and I randomly feel like keeping to the right lane today! You will listen to me because I can crush you in a jiffy.
4. The number of bumps on the roads of Karachi that can put Fergie’s humps to shame.
5. Peer pressure. Once the countdown at your signal hits “9” expect honking from a few dozen cars as a polite indicator to put your gears in place. By the time it shows “4” you better have revved up that engine a few times to prove you share the mob mentality of unbounded-eagerness. And lastly, you must be halfway down the signal by the time it says “1” or else prepare to face the wrath of the mighty honkers.
6. The squeeze. Driving in Karachi will — by necessity- make your shy car participate in frequent bumper-fests and scooch its way through the tinniest of gullies. Just when you begin to think it is not physically possible for you to make the “squeeze,” bystanders around your car will prove you wrong by exclaiming “buhat jaga hai, buhat jaga hai, nikal jayegi!”
7. Distracting billboards. Is that an actual dairy milk stuck to a pole with actual men eating it? Eyes on the road, eyes on the road.
8. The age-old-caveman prejudice against female drivers. Might this driver be of the fairer sex? Must catch up to check. Must roll down window for a clearer view.
Affirmative. Must overtake.
9. The case of the chronic over-taker. He will first start by using the infamous “dipper,” casting a blinding reflection in your rear view mirror. This will be followed by a rhythmic honk coupled with a systematic increase in speed. The last touch will be zooming past you to show his rage (from the left, mind you), just when you decide to give him way — making your car wobble like jelly.
10. Saddar. Enough said.
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, July 3rd, 2011.