Car bumps are inevitable at some stage in a driver’s life. Everyone makes mistakes and that is what insurance is for. It’s a bit of a different ball game in Bangalore. Recent accidents have resulted in ‘foreigners’ (for want of a better word) passing by being attacked, stripped and beaten whilst the police look on and do nothing. It’s a scary thought and one you don’t ever want to encounter.
So when our driver turns the car left into the back end of another car in a traffic jam there is an inevitable bump. I sighed, I knew the man in front was going to be justifiably angry that we just went into the back of him. He got out of the car and remonstrated with our driver. Now I don’t speak Hindi/Kannada/Telegu but I understood enough to know that he wanted us to pull over to check the vehicles. That’s fair enough I thought and exactly what would have happened in the UK. The driver got back in his car and pulled over at a convenient lay-by. Our driver drove on straight past him.
My jaw dropped and I quickly looked around out of the back window. My gut feeling was he was going to chase us. I got my phone out ready to take pictures if necessary. He did chase us and he soon caught up in Bangalore traffic. Both cars still being driven, albeit slowly, and both drivers shouting and jesticulating to each other. I discreetly get my phone out and video. I’ve never seen our driver get so mad and frankly I didn’t understand why – it was our fault, we drove into the back of the other car. Much more shouting and jesticulating and the other car now drives around us to the other side. I’m genuinely scared now and even more determined to keep videoing in case it gets worse. This is escalating out of control and now I don’t want to stop for fear of what might happen. Cars behind us are being held up and there is a lot of car horn usage (although to be fair that’s not unusual in Bangalore).
Thankfully we reach a junction and we go one way and the other car and driver go the other. I stop videoing. I’m physically shaking now and my stomach is doing flips. Our driver starts talking in English trying to justify his actions by saying there’s nothing wrong with the other car. Hardly the point. I stare at him, angry and scared but don’t say a word. The journey continues in silence until we reach home.
I immediately log on to the wifi and send the video to Rez at work. HR translated the exchange. Lots of expletives and violent expressions and an immediate disciplinary hearing this evening for our driver.
I’m drinking a G&T trying to calm my nerves.
It’s going to be a fun few days ahead with a driver who has had a disciplinary that’s for sure. (And that’s British sarcasm for those of you who don’t recognise it!).