The Fast and the Furious: Bangalore Drift


The Fast and the Furious: Bangalore Drift

Illustration: Akshita Monga


ike millions of other ’90s kids, I grew up watching my father steer our white Maruti 800 through the narrow, crowded streets of India. He wrestled the manual steering with his strong forearms and honked with his temper. From the back seat, I channelled beams of unadulterated awe in his direction. Driving was cool, and I learnt how to drive by simply staring at my father for years. Like some Bermuda-wearing, Chiclet-chewing, automotive Eklavya.

So when I bought my first car, a grey Maruti WagonR, in my late 20s, it felt like a coming of age. As a pedestrian and a cyclist, I had been constantly bullied by car drivers. Seated comfortably in their bubble of air conditioning and art leather, car drivers treat other motorists with the same derision as non-vegetarians treat Jain lasagna. As I gingerly pulled out of the dealership’s driveway, I promised myself that I’d be a nice driver. Gentle and magnanimous, a reservoir of patience.