Delhi Traffic Madness!

Indeed, time flies! It has already been 2 weeks since I arrived. Some parts of Delhi (just my house and the workplace) now feel familiar and safe. I am starting to get used to the extreme heat. The food is an absolute delight. I have eaten paneer, my favorite food, 5 times in 2 weeks,as compared to once in a month in the US.

My internship is also going well. LEAP Skills is currently developing a platform for job seekers looking for career growth opportunities. I am very inspired by the dedication and passion of the people in the office. Everyone is so committed to work very hard and make a meaningful impact.

On another note, one thing that really stuck in my mind since I came here is traffic. I had heard about it, and I have now experienced it. It still amazes me every time I am on the road. I don’t understand how people do it. It’s astounding that anyone ever gets to their destination in one piece.  Honking is the norm here; it is how you communicate to another driver, regardless of what you want to say. Lanes are physically there on the road, but I have come to the conclusion that people just ignore them. 

Every morning, Ria, my co-intern, and I have to cross the road at some point on our way to work. That itself feels like an extreme adventurous sport. I always think to myself that I am going to get run over by a car or some motorcycle. But, somehow, we are able to cross the road and reach the office alive, without a scratch. Here are a few things that I have learned from my experiences and observations: #1 Align yourself with whoever is crossing the road. #2 Cars and motorcycles won’t stop for me. Instead, they slow down just enough to not hit me, and I just have to use my best judgement. #3 It is okay to stand in the middle of the road for some 5-10 seconds. 

I have come across drivers from both extremes: one driver didn’t use the car horn a single time during the whole ride back home while another driver would honk at every single vehicle around him. I have seen my driver drive in reverse on the highway because he missed an exit. It’s funny how cars can go through a red light as though the traffic lights don’t exist. 

It is just amazing to see people operate on the road. It is another level of creativity and innovation. This controlled chaos somehow works for everyone. The idea is that if you see an inch of space on the road, you just have to take it otherwise someone else will. My mom used to tell me that if you can drive in India, you can drive anywhere else in the world. I can’t agree more with her. 

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About Tashweena Heeramun

Hi! My name is Tashweena Heeramun. I am a rising junior from Mauritius. I am currently studying systems science and engineering and I am pursuing minors in computer science and math at Penn. This summer, I will be interning at LEAP Skills Academy in New Delhi. I am very excited to explore new foods and meet new people!