The rookies guide to driving in water-logged streets!

Living in a city like Kolkata and having to drive in the monsoons has taught me enough about driving in water-logged streets to write a “how-to”.. Now “why” I decide to take the car out (in water-logged streets) is a different question and behind the scope of this post!

But I have come to learn the following:

  • As far as possible try to drive towards the middle of the road… The middle-most lane might be the longest (and the slowest!).. but the sides will be “lower”.. so the chances of the water-entering your car are higher if your on the sides.
  • Keeping your windows rolled up will create moisture even on the inside of the windscreen.. (Yes!… Even if the AC is on!.. I don’t know how.. I don’t know why.. but I know it happens!).. So make sure you have a piece of cloth to keep wiping the windscreen from the inside.
  • When in doubt about whether to take a road with MORE cars or to take a slightly less-crowded lane, take the former.. coz if a road / lane / by-lane has less cars what it basically means is that it is a lower-lying road and the water-level will be higher.. So the road with more traffic would be slower, but at least at least you’ll get there without drowning! (unless your car can float!)
  • If you’re driving on empty water-logged streets, put your head lights, tail lights, fog lights on.
  • Also, if the water-level is high and you realize that stepping on the gas isn’t helping, don’t stop the car. NO! .. Even if you’re moving at 2 kmph, keep moving at that pace.. the car is basically using the extra effort to push against the water.
  • If the water-level is above waist height, and (as in the point above), your car is moving very slowly despite being on full throttle, continue moving at 2nd Gear (and pressing the accelerator FULL).
  • Pray!

The way Kolkata’s “showpiece” IT Sector is treated in terms of infrastructure beats me! .. Basically I’ve been forced to conclude that the most water-logged parts of Kolkata include Sector V .. where all the IT companies have set-up shop!.. I wonder why no measures are taken to improve the roads and the drainage…. but that, again, is beyond the scope of this post!

20 thoughts on “The rookies guide to driving in water-logged streets!

  1. Stay indoors? Call it a Rainy Day and enjoy a siesta? That would be the true Calcuttan attitude? Or has Kolkata lead to a change in the way people think of heavy rains? I hope not 😉

    Actually, very nice. You are at least doing something useful as a blogger.

  2. @ Kpower..

    I guess Calcutta is in the beginning of the beginning of the “transition”… so we don’t know what to do if its a rainy day.. shrug it off as a “holiday” since its raining… or sound more “professional”.. and get to work by hook or by crook!!… :-)..

    @ keshuvko ..

    Good riddance as far as the trouble it brings along..!

  3. I agree about the IT sector bit. I know many who work there and literally have to battle the waters to reach office. The situation is similar in many places. The saddest thing is my driveway at home is slanting. So, there is a pool even if it rains continuously for a couple of hours! So, the tip: Roll the mattresses, oops, roll up your jeans! And pray! 😉

  4. @ puresunshine..

    You’re a journalist… Write somehting, DO something!

    @ Keshuvko..

    I like it coz it makes the weather nice and cool.. (and coz its good for the farmers!).. Otherwise its a bit of a hassle to get around in the rains!.. Ha!

    @ coollikeme..

    I guess no one escapes the forces of nature… man hasnt been able to concure nature yet, has it? 🙂

  5. bhayanak… baba more than bhayanak hai yeh to…

    kya research maraa hai kolkata ke water logged streets se drive karne pe

    too good

    btw.. 1 tip from my side. Never try to start a drowned car.

  6. @ Dushyant…

    Dhanyawaad…. .. Shall remember not to start a car while it is under-water!

    @ Pointblank

    Thanks for dropping by.. 🙂

    @ puresunshine

    I know.. but somehow I feel it is worth being in The Wall Street Journal and attract Global concern… Maybe then the local agencies will “do something” about it! 😛

  7. Driving here in Ludhiana isn’t much of a pleasure either. Just because even when the roads are logged, people don’t wait for anybody. I wonder what the hurry is all about.

    Btw, your take the more crowded road tip is very handy. I once took the less traveled one and ended up with a screwed up scooter engine, wet books and a blown up mobile phone screen. 😀

  8. @ Dream Catcher..

    Glad u liked it! .. If you can ever put it to some good use.. I’ll consider this post a success!… haha! 😀

    @ ish..

    Yeah completely agree with you.. people wont EVER wait for anybody…. Thats a phenomenon common to us Indians I guess.. The I-First syndrome! :)..

    Heheh.. Thankfully divine wisdom dawned upon me.. Actually it was just by chance that I happened to take the MORE crowded road.. After reaching office I realized that the “less” crowded road had waist-high water.. So was thanking my lucky stars I didnt go there..!

  9. Err..didn’t know that you’re from Kolkata too. Ruhi is from Cal too…where do you stay? Are you related to the Haralalka Brothers by any chance? The ones that have clothes shops?

  10. @ Ruhi..

    Yes.. Pretty much been in Cal except for my 4 years at Engineering College.. The Haralalka community is a pretty small one … in the sense I belong to Generation #7.. No.. I don’t know know them personally..

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