India – the great land of Chapris


That’s the comment I left on an Instagram post about one of those chappar/chapris doing their chapri stuff (driving over medians, driving on the wrong side, doing dangerous stunts on public roads, leaving scratches on others’ vehicles, etc). That comment received 100s of likes, and obviously, someone took offense and tried preaching me that “one shouldn’t drag the whole country”, “the country is great”, you know, all those great blah blah stuff.

I don’t normally engage in social media comments, but that day after seeing that video, I really felt like saying that. Oh, and also because, a few days earlier, a chappri two-wheel rider left some minor scratches on my new Suzuki Jimny.


In India, especially in Bengaluru, you encounter just as many chappar/chapri two-wheeler riders as you would encounter jaywalkers, and these chapris come in all different directions. If you ever felt like just two eyes are never enough, it’s here; if you plan to drive in India/Bengaluru, you need one eye on each of your shoulders, and a couple more on the back of your head. On Feb 14 (yea, you read that right), This impatient chapri rider tried to escape through a narrow gap under a railway bridge and left these scratches on my new Jimny. Yes, there are four-wheeled chapris too, but the percentage of them—at least in my city—is significantly less compared to two-wheeled chapris. But anyway, since these were very minor scratches, I decided to forget and move on.

Fast forward to March 17, and I decided to enjoy my Sunday evening with a short drive to a neighborhood that I often visit. I parked my Jimny at my usual parking place, in a quiet residential layout, ensuring that it is perfectly parallel parked on the side of the road. There was no vehicle parked either in the front or back of mine, and I left to enjoy a cup of coffee. I returned after about 45 minutes, and was horrified to discover a massive, deep scratch on the front left quarter panel. For about a minute, I was like “No no, tell me this is a bad dream, tell me this is a bad dream”.


Although I couldn’t believe it, it was, unfortunately, real. I was more horrified to discover scratches on the front left wheel too. I requested the house owner on the opposite side to help me with his security camera footage, but the response I got was “I’m busy now, I cannot help you, go give a police complaint”. But anyway, it didn’t take too long for me to figure out that this damage was caused by either a two-wheel rider or a cyclist. The scratches on the top were most likely caused by the two-wheeler’s handlebar, while the scratches on the wheel were most likely caused by the footrest or pedal. Unfortunately, the scratches are deep and have caused small dents on the quarter panel, which means simply replacing the PPF will not fix it.

But wait, this wasn’t the end of my worst day/Sunday; there was more. On the way back home, a retired singer’s event caused a massive traffic jam near my home, and on the map, it was showing more than half an hour to reach home—which was only a km away from where I was. And again, an impatient chappri two-wheel rider tried to escape through the gaps and hit my right side mirror and shamelessly ran away. Fortunately, there was no damage.

I don’t know, or, I don’t care if you still don’t agree with my comment India – the great land of Chapris, but literally two days earlier this incident, I saw two chapris on a scooter rear-ending a gentleman’s Swift and leaving scratches on the bumper. And it happens on a daily basis: some chappri somewhere in the city is leaving scratches on someone’s car right now—as we speak. You don’t believe me? Well, ask Ranjit Sundaramurthy.


This dude moved to Dubai a few years ago, because, he cannot enjoy his car collection here—for obvious reasons. However, he does visit the city often to take care of his business here. On one such recent visit, he brought along his McLaren 765LT—only to receive scratches from chapris. But fortunately, in his case, it was only the PPF that was damaged.

So the lesson is, in India, especially in Bengaluru, it doesn’t matter whether your class is middle or riches, if you’re not extra careful, your car will receive stitches. Remember, not even a perfectly parked car is safe from chapris!

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