I think the key to driving and walking across the streets is the attitude. To cross the street in Mumbai, one must be bold. There are taxis, motorcycles, buses and cars. There are other pedestrians walking, so one car may stop. However, the guy behind him may want to loop around to pass. I tried to adopt the mantra "Maintain my stride and the driver will accomodate me." When I did that, I was pulled aside and told "You're gonna get hit! What are you doing?"
We have a friend who lived in the US for some time and now returned to India. She said she tried to drive conscientiously, but it was wasted effort. She said people honked at her and told her to shape up and drive. After that, she found her attitude and started driving like the rest of maniacs on the road. Her husband doesn't drive in India.
The problem in cities is that people walk in the street, not on the sidewalks. "Sidewalks are for the hawkers and parking motorcycles." So, in a way, you can get to your destination faster by walking and dodging traffic than on the sidewalks. Quotes by my friends who were driving:
"You're banking on your luck when you drive in Mumbai"
"[In Delhi], drive by instinct"
These are some pics from our roadtrip from Delhi to Agra
We're coming out of parking lot. Pick a lane to drive, buddy!
This is a morning car pool. This type of rickshaw can accomodate 6-8 people inside (including the driver). Note the guy holding the orange bag. Next to him is someone holding a water bottle that you can't see!