Peter Havholm May 22nd, 2008
Our driver during the Haridwar visit was extraordinarily skilled, and the clips below show why we came to trust him. The road back down the mountain from Devprayag seemed to us extremely challenging.
Driving in India, like driving anywhere, involves a complex language of negotiation. In passing, one sounds one’s horn and, if the other vehicle makes a tiny move to the left, one passes quickly on the right, sometimes using the horn to remind the passee of one’s presence. There is a fine gesture in the driving vocabulary here: the arm is extended, hand up, in the direction of another driver, almost in supplication, with an expression of deep disappointment. It seems to say, “Ah! That you could do a thing like that.” I like this much better than typical American gestures in such situations.
There are two clips below covering the same near-death experience, one short (30 sec) and one long (1:20). The longer one includes glimpses of the extensive terracing farmers use in the mountains.