Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Indian BRO Code!

So, you really thought that the Bro Code was the brainchild of the evil genius that is Barney Stinson?


If you haven’t been zipping (read slowly and carefully driving) across those narrow, but awesomely laid out Indian border roads, then not only have you been missing out on some breathtaking scenery, but you’ve also haven’t had the extreme pleasure of being privy to the uber-funny, completely authentic, Indian BRO Code!

BRO, my dear sisters and their cousins (why cousins? you ask. Well that’s because the Bro Code says: If a girl falls into the following criteria, she is off limits forever until the end of time: A. Was an ex-girlfriend; B. Your friend specifically told you he wanted her; C. Is your buddy’s sister (However, if it’s your buddy’s cousin, well she’s up for grabs, and you’re welcome to rub it in his face for years to come) and I choose option C! Hee hee), in the Indian context, is short for Border Roads Organization. These are the people who, along with other organizations such as Himank in Ladakh and Setuk in the North East, build roads where mere mortals otherwise fear to tread.

And altitude obviously does a lot of good for the funny bone, because other than the usual tragi-comedy that our bureaucracy makes us live through every day, the Indian BROs rely on their, and our, sense of humour to save lives (oh yes, the whole “Speed thrills but kills” type of one-liners are soooo blah!) So, if you’re driving through the towering Himalayas, the chilling breeze blowing through your hair, nature’s finest offering laid out all around you, it’s very easy to miss out on those boring, good-for-you signages that tell you to temper your speed or keep your eyes on the road. But when that sexy, curvy, sensuous road tells you to be gentle... you sit up and notice! After all, which man can be impervious to a plea that says: I AM CURVACEOUS, PLEASE BE GENTLE. Or the sensuous whisper of that yellow slab of stone from across the road softly and sans serif-ly saying: BE SOFT ON MY CURVES. And if that didn’t have enough oomph, maybe you’d comply to this request: Be gentle on my curves. You prefer some soft music to set the mood? Big BRO knows—CURVES ARE BLIND AND SHARP, DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE LIKE PLAYING THE HARP. Doesn’t that get your...ummm....mind(?)...singing? :-P And for a long-lasting performance, it’s always good to: On my curves, check your nerves.

Heck, sometimes it takes a while to get on the same bed...oops... page as them, after all, if someone tells you: DARLING, I LIKE YOU, BUT NOT SO FAST, you’re hardly ever likely to believe ‘em! But then, Peep peep, don’t sleep, is pretty sound advice no matter where you are or who you’re with, correct? But it’s not all about the men. Female drivers might appreciate signs such as: Clean and tall, liked by all and Himank—Mighty One, Eighty One.

And not to worry, if you think this code from the Land of the Kamasutra is only about raunchiness, you couldn’t be more wrong. These BROs have a spiritual angle to things as well—Love thy neighbour, but not while driving—is a fair representative of the Ten Commandments methinks, and even the fallen angel’s territory has proper representation too: Drive like hell, and you will be there. Won’t Yamraj love such publicity!

Modern-day problems don’t escape the notice of these brilliant brothers of mine. So, with divorce rates going up with every passing day, the Indian BRO Code does its bit to add to the numbers with this piece of advice: If married, divorce speed. But if you’re a family man, the next line is definitely for you: Alert driving on the road, fetches you tea at home.

In fact, the BROs know my clinomaniac generation really well. Why else would they say: If you sleep, your family will weep? My parents wholly sympathized with this particular road sign! Sigh! I, on the other hand, was rather kicked by their version of a haiku:

A spill,

a slip,

a hospital trip.

Pretty neat, don’t ya think? (This next one goes: TRAFFIC JAM. YELLOW TAPE. PARENT CRYING. Profound!)

So, well, here I was the year before last, all kicked and excited about this “new” discovery, when I was speaking to this guy about my experiences in Ladakh, and how “I had found” all these funny road signs and was thinking of compiling them and doing a story on them. The guy I was speaking to, as he whipped out his card to inform me, was Ajay Jain of Kunzum.com! For those who don’t know him, click on the link, and for those who do, well, you now know why the encounter made it to No. 13 of my list of “Million-dollar moments of my life”.

But then, I wanted to write about it all the same, and I did... two years later! And that’s what you kind souls have been reading. But that’s not enough...you need to see these beauts for yourself. So, Don’t be a gama, in the land of lamas, and get out there and appreciate the funnier aspects of those beautiful, long drives. I’ll see you on the road. It’s going to be legen...wait for it...dary!

For the moment, here are some more gems to keep you entertained:

-- Don’t gossip, let him drive. (yes, yes, they’re a tad bit sexist too! Hmph!)

-- I am sharp as a knife. It’s a cute life.

-- Life is short, don’t make it shorter.

-- Speed is like a knife, it cuts through life.

-- Daydreaming is good, but not while driving.

-- Ladakh gives a lot of pleasure, but only if enjoyed at leisure.

-- Gadi chalaane ka showk farmaaiiye, shoke nahin.

-- Know AIDS, no AIDS.

-- Lower your gear, curve is near.

-- This is a highway, not a runway.

-- Mountains are a lot of pleasure, but only if you drive at leisure.

-- After whisky, driving is risky.

-- Be Mr Late, not Late Mr.

-- Drink and drive, you won’t survive.

-- Alert today, alive tomorrow.

-- Drive on horse power, not rum power.

And last, but not the least: BRO: We can make roads anywhere but the sky.

I hear ya Brother!!!


  1. This was good, but would appreciate if you didn't mess with the legen-wait for it -dary bro, ok?

  2. Let us discuss BRO again.. it was fun :D

  3. Hey Shruti,

    I am Shruti too ;) I work with the very same Ajay Jain too ;)

    Check out his book that you're referring to - http://peeppeepdontsleep.com/

    The reason I'm dropping a word actually is to see if you'd be interested in blogging with us - we'd help you create a blog with kunzum and you'd run it on your own, as you wish. You can read more about this here -- http://kunzum.com/blog-with-kunzum/

    If this interests you then drop me a line at shruti@kunzum.com

  4. @Zeph Keyes: :-P
    @Alex: we already did! :-P
    @Shruti: Will drop you a mail soon.
    @Aditya: Thank you!

  5. Hahahaha!! Shruti, this is insanely funny!! Nice photography too. Now I need you to plan my trip to Leh with special stops to check out the BRO signs! ;)