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Indian Transport Games

Indian Transport Games

February 13, 2012

Let's put some joy into the daily grind of Indian traffic and transport.

Whether it's the constant horns, the breakneck bus speeds or the unwanted attention of others on trains, everyone has their frustrations with Indian transport. Many in carpark-esque traffic jams turn to social media to vent their anger (often using the Twitter hashtag #traffucked), while others simply sit/stand in an increasingly vegetative state until they lose the power of speech for the rest of the day. Perhaps you're one of the millions who experience red-eyed anger or a blank-faced stupor while getting to and from your destination every day on India's transport network. Below, I have prepared a list of games with which to while away the hours at various stages of traffuck. Although it has previously seemed impossible, let's nevertheless attempt it: make Indian transport FUN!



See how far you can go without touching anything, except for your two feet on the ground. Bonus points if only one foot on the ground. Game over if you are male and get stabbed by a good lady's tightly grasped pin in the process.

Make up a backstory in your head about two people sitting side by side in a seat (preferably strangers). Start your backstory about them in the most colourful shop you see along the roadside as you travel. For example: 'Sunil and Lalita caught each other's eye while browsing for duct tape one lavender-scented morn in ATTINGAL MODERN HARDWARES'...



Count the number of young couples quietly holding hands in your carriage.

Post on Facebook about how filthy and crowded the Local is, then count the number of Likes and 'I know!!!' comments you get.


Count the number of informal citizens' moral police looking angrily for young couple quietly holding hands in your carriage.

Post on Facebook about how clean and perfect the Metro is, then count the number of Likes and 'I know!!!' comments you get.


Count the pairs of men and women making extremely subtle eye contact and offering each other barely perceptible smiles in your carriage.

Post on Facebook about being able to get service for only one minute out of every thirty on these bleddy rural lines. Notice the complete absence of Likes and 'I know!!!' comments you get.

Count the number of men without moustaches in your carriage. If more than five, report the matter to the authorities immediately.


Count how many times the driver uses his horn; if zero, pay him double the meter upon arrival.

With the loud putter of your auto as the percussion/bassline, use your mental powers to filter traffic sounds into a piece of experimental music inside your head. (WARNING: Do not attempt to share your piece with others. You will look and sound really stupid. Trust me.)


See how many kilometres you can go without thinking of what a tough, unforgiving, poorly paid job the cycle-rickshaw wallah has.

Count the number of revolutions the back wheels on the cycle-rickshaw go through over the course of your journey. Pay the cycle-rickshaw wallah one rupee per revolution.


Draw interesting shapes and patterns with your motorcycle as you weave through stuck traffic. Suggestions: animals of the South African veld; famous figures of India's history; career trajectories of Bollywood stars.

Compete with other motorcyclists to see how can wear the most outrageous outfit on the road. Everyone in cars, autos and buses will be looking at you weaving in and out of traffic anyway, so you might as well give them a show.


If you have a foreigner or foreign-returned in your car, count the number of times they complain about the traffic and/or compare it to foreign cities.

Use a mobile video device to watch the latest Indian car advertisement. Spot the differences with the colourful, smile-filled 'traffic jam' on screen with the real, grey, smoky, horn-filled traffuck in front of you.

If video fails to load, call your mobile provider's help centre to try and rectify the problem (or any of the multitude of other connection problems from which you inevitably suffer). See if you can finish the call before you reach your destination. If your complaint actually gets resolved in that time, please come here and tell all of us immediately so we can switch to this magical provider.

(DISCLAIMER: Games tailored for those afflicted with obsessive compulsive disorder. Games not guaranteed to cause fun. Individually tailored plans sold separately.) Photo credit: Ville Miettinen 


  • desi Traveler
    desi Traveler
    24.02.13 01:50 AM
    Like they say " Oh Darling ... yeh hai India " you have very good observation power. But we are like that only jeee :)
  • Sudhagee
    13.02.12 07:32 PM
    Brilliant post, Barnaby. Maybe you could consider adding one more category of travel in metro cities--that of travel by AC buses and counting the number of people using i-pads/tablets :-)
  • Writerzblock
    13.02.12 03:48 PM
    Ha ha ha, brilliant post. Daily commute will never be the same again!!!
  • Rajpriya
    13.02.12 11:03 AM

    Ya! Good question. Which, Where and What - Meter?
  • Jayanth Tadinada
    Jayanth Tadinada
    13.02.12 10:58 AM
    One more fun thing you can do is eavesdrop on the loud people talking on the phone and keep guessing what the other person must be saying on the phone.
  • Jayanth Tadinada
    Jayanth Tadinada
    13.02.12 10:56 AM
    Count how many times the driver uses his horn; if zero, pay him double the meter upon arrival.

    The meter? I do not know what technology you talk about!
  • Vivek Iyer
    Vivek Iyer
    13.02.12 10:32 AM
    Oh, and has anyone noticed the "angle" at which the Auto wallah sits? Especially in TN?

    Inclined and occupies about the first 20% of the seat!
  • Vivek Iyer
    Vivek Iyer
    13.02.12 10:28 AM

    Vaat aey artigle :P

    The Kerala got my tummy aching. I've noticed those subtle smiles too. It happens as if a broader smile thats lasts more than a second would ignite a bomb.

    I think you should also add - in Kerala - the way your co-passenger would want to know all your personal history, family background - up to what your dad's cousin's uncle does - in the span of your travel. It gets me on my nerves! lol
  • Rajpriya
    13.02.12 10:26 AM

    “Traffucks” of India described and neatly written.

    "Count how many times the driver uses his horn; if zero, pay him double the meter upon arrival”.

    May be I would pay double for the number of times he does horn. The reason for my observation: no one follows “A keep to your lane system” anywhere in India. With all Auto-Rickshaws, Motor Cycles, Bicycles, Cars and Buses all wanting to be in start to finish pole positions you would never get to your destination with out hitting some one.

    Horning is a Warning to keep everyone including undisciplined pedestrians out one’s way.
  • Red Handed
    Red Handed
    13.02.12 09:56 AM
    Hahahahahaha about Kerala Bus transport. Looool! I used to do the Moustache thing. Epic! One of your biggest fans.
  • Satish Mutatkar
    Satish Mutatkar
    13.02.12 09:30 AM
    Very observant! Excellent post...

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