The Three Things You Need to Drive in India

Freni and Kavi, two of my favorite people in the world, are from Mumbai. They tell me this: “Jadi, you need three things to drive in India.

Good brakes,

a good horn,

and good luck.”

If the road is even there, that is. What follow are photos of a road in north central India that had – vanished.

Where'd the road go?
Where’d the road go?
Down here maybe?

Maybe the better alternative is to fly? I visited my friends two years ago, and Mumbai has the most beautiful airport I’ve ever seen. ‘Nuff said….

NOTES: Happy Trails! ©2021 Jadi Campbell. Photos © Uwe Hartmann. More of Uwe’s photography may be viewed at

My books are Broken In: A Novel in Stories, Tsunami Cowboys, Grounded, and The Trail Back Out. Books make great gifts!

Tsunami Cowboys was longlisted for the 2019 ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Award. The Trail Back Out was honored as 2021 IAN Book of the Year Award Short Story Collection Finalist for the Independent Author Network, and American Book Fest 2020 Best Book Award Finalist: Fiction Anthologies. The title story The Trail Back Out was longlisted for the 2021 ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Award. Broken In: A Novel in Stories was a semifinalist for the international 2020 Hawk Mountain Short Story Collection Award from Hidden River Arts, and named a Finalist for Greece’s international 2021 Eyelands Book of the Year Award (Short Stories).

Click here for my author page to learn more about me and purchase my books.

12 thoughts on “The Three Things You Need to Drive in India”

  1. Another exciting journey through the towns of India that leaves us a story to get to know this mystical country. The photos are the ideal complement to narrate your experience. Good post Jadi. Good week for you.

  2. We have (so far) visited India twice – a couple of weeks in Kerala and a tour of New Delhi and the Golden Triangle. For what it’s worth, my three needs are 1. a modern, air-conditioned car, 2. a competent driver who speaks your language (we managed in the north with one who had very little English; it was workable but difficult) and 3. lots and lots of patience. I’m with Gary; I don’t think I would want to take to the wheel there myself.

    1. Keith I sure agree with you, especially about the air-conditioning in the car. Some of the roads just take one’s breath away. Literally, – on one visit the driver had brought along his young son, who jumped out of the tour van every so often to make sure that the potholes in the road weren’t going to cripple the vehicle…. On the other hand, the streets in Mumbai have absolutely beautiful architecture. WALKING the roads was great.

      1. We haven’t seen Mumbai yet, but we are planning to go back to Kerala as soon as circumstances permit. Our driver in the north, a gentleman from Uttarakhand (I think). On the day we were due to go from Agra to Delhi to fly back, he was due to pick us up at our hotel at 04:30 but turned up more than an hour late. We were then blessed with incredibly dense fog or the sort that would normally cause me to stay at home, but we didn’t have that luxury. After a couple of false starts we ended up speeding along the motorway, following a bus that we could see if we stayed within about fifteen yards. When we had to stop at a toll, the bus sailed through. That was when we learned the extent of our driver’s English – “Where my bus go? Who I follow now?” He got out of the car, wiped the windscreen, sprinkled something on it and said an incantation then got back in and drove on, albeit more gingerly than when he had a bus to follow. We did make the airport on time, but only just!

        1. We have heard wonderful things about Kerala but have not been (yet!). Funny about that one hour lateness driver thing. We had the exact same experience…

          1. Do go to Kerala. You won’t regret it. I went mostly because I had worked with a number of Keralites in Dubai in the early 80s. OUr trip was a standard tourist trail one, but we plan to go back on an ecology/wildlife tour – mostly houseboats, treehouses and lodges instead of four-star hotels!

    1. Gary, I totally agree with you. We were in New Delhi and I was stunned by the crowds. No way we would have driven there. Just walking around was intense enough.

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