Everyday, I meet n number of my foreign-returned Indian friends who endlessly lament about how bad and unsafe the Indian roads are and how they have no other go but to use a car to go out on them. And here we have an American post-doc scholar at IIITB named Ryan, an MIT PhD, who cycles down everyday about 13-14 km to Electronics City from HSR Layout where he is put up. On being asked about how it is, he says very nonchalantly: 'It just takes 30-40 minutes. That's about the time I used to bike to work everyday in US. So, it's OK.'
I'm conscious that I am using the power that the white skin and names like MIT have on us Indians to drive home some points which should have been rather obvious:
- that 'we' are the reason for our bad roads,
- that cycling is good for everything -- your health, your wallet, and the environment,
- that the reason we can't dump our car is not because of bad roads, it's because of our false sense of status and/or pure laziness.