If you’re an Indian who’s lived in India, you already know the why this is true. Indians really do make the best motorcycle passengers.
Here’s why. There’s no such thing as a passive motorcycle passenger in India. If you’re going to hop on, you have a job to do. You can’t just sit back and enjoy the ride if you’re in a city. You’re the co-pilot.
Firstly, no one uses left or right turn signals in India on any motor vehicle. We use hand signals to indicate our intention to turn. That’s your job, as the passenger, while the biker navigates through the two, three, four wheelers and live stock.
Secondly, you have to be ready to yell at those who ignore your intent to turn and swear at them until they get out of the way. When I lived in India, I swore like a sailor. You cannot show fear or hesitation. Waving your fists about is also very effective. In addition, if the hand turn signals don’t work, there is one hand gesture that works quite effectively, especially if you’re a woman and no one is expecting it. I never look like I would swear much less make rude hand gestures so no one sees me coming.
Finally, if you’re a woman, the swearing and aggression also comes in handy with “eve teasers.” Eve teasers is a term that exists primarily in India and Pakistan and is used to describe those men who harass women because they exist and because the opportunity presented itself. On motorcycles, in schools, at the bus stop, in the world. Motorcycles can be an easy target for obvious reasons. This is where the co-pilot needs to be ready. Ready with screams and swears. Ready to fight, wave your fists about and defend our right to be in this world. It’s a matter of pride. Then we ride off into the sunset feeling a sense of accomplishment.
So the next time, you’re in need of an engaged, effusive passenger on your bike and you find yourself next to an Indian willing to help, thank your lucky stars – especially if the Indian is a woman.