A look at the various ways in which Delhiites play fast and loose with the laws

Capital crimes. This expression strikes one’s mind ever so often on the roads in Delhi. Or for that matter anywhere in the city; be it a railway crossing where an approaching train seldom dissuades men from running across the tracks to save some imaginary seconds of their precious life, or running across the road even when the traffic signal turns green for vehicular movement. If you hang around for a minute or two at major traffic intersections in the Capital you will be amazed at the agility of our men, never mind if many are pot-bellied and on the wrong side of 40. We may never have done well in athletics at any Olympics, but, if one were to be held for running across the road, Delhiites will win it hands down. For some, the road is just an improvised race course, for others, it is their stage and, boy, do they perform! Some swing over road dividers, others squeeze themselves through a missing iron rod or two on a grill. Still others shuffle across barricades.

They all tempt fate, they all live, run and live dangerously. Never mind that there are subways, there are overhead bridges; for pedestrians in the city, they are landmarks to be used for small shopping, not for the express purpose of crossing the road.

Then there is the not-so-small matter of cops riding without a helmet, the commoners riding three on a bike or a dozen kids packed into an autorickshaw. Everywhere you see you will find traffic violations. The only ones not watching as alertly probably are the cops. More is the pity.