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Letter from India

Winston Fletcher describes driving to the Taj Mahal on an Indian dual carriageway

By Winston Fletcher   October 1996

In most parts of the world motorists share simple human characteristics: aggression, self-righteousness, bad temper and malevolence-characteristics determined by natural selection to be essential for highway survival. Indian drivers, however, are special. They make Italian drivers seem cautious dullards. And in India, the reputation of the Delhi-Agra road is even more special. Agra being the home of the Taj Mahal, this road is constantly crowded with tourist and commercial traffic.

Leaving Delhi, the road starts as a dual carriageway or “double-road” as the locals charmingly call it. One begins to relax. Dual carriageways, one believes, are comparatively safe: they obviate…

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