Bangalore’s traffic apocalypse is very different from Delhi’s traffic apocalypse.
Delhi has epic jams: packed boulevards that stretch to the horizon; masses of vibrating, coughing vehicles; drivers and passengers for whom the queue in front of them dictates exactly what their fate will be for the next hour, but who will battle each other every single inch anyway.
Driving in Bangalore is different: it’s death by a thousand minor intersections. You finally free yourself after waiting at one eternal red light, you see open road ahead of you, and you think, “Maybe the next light will go in my favor.”
But it will not.
There’s only one man who could overcome Bangalore traffic. And I spotted him as soon as I started walking around.
Delirious Delhi on display in Crossroads Bookstore, Kemps Corner, Mumbai
Mumbai is much more intense than Delhi. It’s India’s Manhattan: as a peninsula, its waters prevent a Delhi-like sprawl. So Mumbai has grown up instead of out.
Imagine the population density of Old Delhi multiplied across an entire city.
That’s Mumbai. You walk in the streets because every inch of sidewalk has been claimed for business. You ignore the speeding taxis.
Somehow they don’t hit you.
Mumbai abounds with elegant old buildings that have been swallowed by the pressures of the city.