Mumbai Ignores the Road Rules

Mumbai Ignores the Road Rules

By Kell Andersen

As with most cities, Mumbai is an endlessly complex place. These are a few of the things I’ve seen and heard in the short time I’ve been here; things that struck me as ‘quintessentially Mumbai’.


Mumbai ignores the road rules.

Mumbai runs down the highway in the pouring rain with only a shower cap to protect it.

Mumbai honks its horn just to let you know it’s there.

Mumbai sweats and shivers.

Mumbai causes traffic jams within traffic jams.

Mumbai lives in an unfinished 24 story derelict concrete apartment block.

Mumbai ignores the road rules.

Mumbai begs for food outside a four and a half star hotel.

Mumbai plays a symphony of car sirens.

Mumbai makes steam rise from the pavement.

Mumbai lets a stranger use its phone to call a taxi.

Mumbai stops the taxi mid-trip, steps out, and takes a phone call.

Mumbai ignores the road rules.

Mumbai rains and then it doesn’t and then it rains and then it doesn’t.

Mumbai heaves and bellows with a gasoline smog.

Mumbai doesn’t wear a seatbelt because Mumbai doesn’t have a seatbelt.

Mumbai stretches lazily over mountains and rivers.

Mumbai smiles when you take a photo.

Mumbai ignores the road rules.


Mumbai doesn’t have any road rules.

Kell Andersen

Kell Andersen is a journalist and student with the University of Queensland. He is currently enrolled in a double degree of journalism and arts, majoring in philosophy. His interests range from gaming journalism, through to journalism which deals with marginalised people.