When I drive for over a kilometre in Mumbai, I usually encounter a maniac who swerves into me from the left or right, a taxi parked on the side that blocks the road ahead, a smiling man who crosses a busy road without a care and of course public bus drivers who want to kill me.

I used to fume, take ‘revenge’ and even contemplated buying a run down SUV that I could then use as a bash up car.

Until I thought of applying some Zen to the situation.

I now think of driving as a Zen meditation test. I think of myself standing in front of a Zen monastery, applying to get in and this challenge being handed to me as an admission process.

The obstacles on the road are tests that are meant to trouble my mind. The people are ploys to distract me from being ‘sane’. My approach is to smile when someone cuts into me & smirk when the taxi up in front suddenly decides to take a U -Turn. Make every irritation a giggle event. I truly believe that if you train yourself to overcome road rage and make it a spiritual quest, there will be a remarkable up-liftment of your state of mind.

Be like ‘cloud – water’ – float and flow and let nothing perturb you. Specially a road journey that you forget in minutes after it is over.

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Originally posted on July 30, 2009 on rodinhood.com

 

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Driving in Mumbai can make you go mad. I do it for 3 hrs a day atleast. My usual trick to handle those idiots is to have some fun with them. Slow down in front of a car swerving all across the road, speed up and brake very close to the guy gingerly crossing the road....and smile at them. 

Of course, I do abuse a lot when they get too many in a day.

Try driving in Pune, its a mad house. The bus on your left at the signal WILL turn right, right in front of you when the signal goes green....same for the bike.

Alok, I'm a long way off from what you are suggesting. But, I am going try this starting today. 

'Smile and make every irritation a giggle event' - made my day. Thank you. 

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