It’s Tuesday morning and the streets of Bangalore are, as always, jammed with traffic and saturated with smog. A young tech worker and his pregnant wife navigate the dusty roads on a tiny scooter, a 125-cc Hero Honda. Srinivasan Chandra’s hands sweat onto the handlebars as he waits for the light to turn green. The journey from home to office is only 6 miles, but road conditions and rush hour have turned the four-lane highway into a cross between a parking lot and a demolition derby. Still in her first trimester, his wife sits sidesaddle on the vinyl seat and adjusts her sari so it won’t get caught in the wheel. Srinivasan eyes the Yamaha alongside him and calculates his next move. If he guns the throttle just before the light turns green, he might get a jump on the other guy and swerve around a nasty-looking pothole ahead to make the next light. But if he’s too slow off the mark, or if the Yamaha doesn’t give ground, he might bottom out on the pothole. “One mistake and we lose our baby to the road,” he says.
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