Life brings with a plethora of experiences, each with a flavour of its own. I wish to share with all my readers these various experiences and observations that I have made during my time here on this planet. They may be funny, thought-provoking or simple reflections. I do hope you will find these enjoyable and interesting.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

My Experiments with Driving

I have always driven a two wheeler. It started with my TVS, when I was doing my M.Sc. Those days one had to wait for long periods of time to get a Luna. So the next best choice was a TVS. My dad then inherited my TVS from me, when I became a triumphant owner of a Luna. Lunas came and lunas went, whenever they started giving trouble, but i kept lunaticking. The long and the short of this story was that I had never given the idea of driving a car a thought in my life.

When I got engaged, my fiancee (Vishnu) started pestering me to learn to drive a car. I was really touched that he wanted me to be independent (these were the days before men were liberated). He used to occasionally visit me on a Sunday evening to teach me how to drive – the location was the vast, green environs of my institute. This went on for sometime – never continuously – it was on and off.

Anyway, Vishnu soon occupied the post of official husband in my life. Soon enough, he packed me off to a driving school. There were the mandatory 10-15 days of classes. After that I was herded off for a driving test, which I promptly failed.

Being of a very sensitive disposition, I decided to have nothing to do with driving. All the while, I was being actively encouraged to try again. This time around, when I went off to visit my parents for a fairly longish stint, being at a loose end, I summoned the courage to do so. Once again, I went through the 10 days of lessons and the driving test and Yippee!  I did it! I finally got the driving license.

When I got back from my parents' place, there was a fair amount of excitement all round. Vishnu and his parents were determined to get me in the driver's seat . But as everyone knows, 10 days of driving lessons and passing a test are hardly sufficient to render one fit to drive on the rough, tough and mean road of Indian cities. So a driver was roped in to give me some extra lessons to make me “D”-Perfect.

Eventually there came the day when Vishnu decided that it was time for me to try to drive on my own. I started the car gingerly and tried backing out. Before I could say “Hey, what?”, the back side of the car had rammed into the gate of the house. Both I and the car were retrieved and I was assured that no damage was done. It was perfectly OK. I should not lose confidence. Let us leave it for another time.

Next time around, I lost my nerve when I reached the gate. So I tried to take the car a bit forward. It lurched forward and in my panic I could not find the brake. I stepped onto the accelerator. The car turned and hit the wall of the house. I tried backing, only to get the rear wheels onto a patch of my ma-in-law's lawn, before the car gave up on me and came to a stop. That was episode number 2.

After a reasonable hiatus to allow me to get back my confidence, Vishnu and I once decided on a Sunday evening to go out driving into the city. I was driving, Vishnu patiently by my side, guiding me. I drove quite a distance, uneventfully. It was then, around a corner, just as I was turning off the main road to the right, when a Maruti Esteem was turning out of the same road onto the main road. For a brief moment, we decided to occupy the same position in space and time – which according to the laws of physics is a strict no-no.  Mother Nature being a stickler for her laws made sure that this erring child of hers was given a strong message which would stay with her for a life-time. The brakes had a strange aversion for me and avoided detection by my feet. I rammed into the other guy's esteemed car and left a deep mark of our meeting on the front left of the car.

My jaw dropped. My adrenalin production was at an all time high. If I were in the pharmaceutical business, I should have made a fair kitty, enough I guess to build a mansion in the Caribbean, just by selling the adrenalin. My heart was thudding loudly enough to provide accompaniment to a particularly lively rendition of the bhangda.

Vishnu stepped out. I stepped out. The guy from the esteemed car stepped out. Both parties surveyed their own cars with great concern and then came to face each other. The conversation was kept very civil, with Vishnu giving him our phone number and promising to bear the expenses for the repair of his very esteemed car. Satisfied with the promise, he went on his way and we on ours.

That was it. I would never step into a car again. I did not mind damaging Vishnu's car or my femur. But the thought of running anyone down and depriving a family of a loved one is absolutely anathema to everything I stand for. Mother-in-law was very concerned that the car being registered in dear sonny boy's name, I would land him very soon behind bars. I was concerned about that, as well as the likelihood of my photos behind bars or in handcuffs being splashed on the front page of every newspaper in the country.

Besides, I thought everything happens for the best. Tell me, which guy is really so liberated as to encourage his wife to be independent. There must have been some scheme behind all this. Oh yes! Remember, Vishnu's relative's wife had warned me against learning to drive. She had told me that this was the stepping stone to making the wife do a driver's job in addition to all her other jobs. I should have listened to her. She had been in the family for much longer than me and would definitely be knowing better. I would at least now take her advice.

So, that was my final decision. No more driving for me. There are enough taxis, auto rickshaws or my own trusted, loved Honda Activa to take me round my universe .

P.S. Reading this narrative, the bitter half commented that I had not tried hard enough and if I had, then I would have been driving today. So much for my efforts. As some very insightful souls amongst my readers might have gathered, hubby dear is still very much peeved at my decision not to drive.


  1. "this was the stepping stone to making the wife do a driver's job in addition to all her other jobs"

    ha.ah.a... that's the true motive behind that motivation. I also learnt a car (my hubby would have also had the same motive in mind! ;) ha.aha.a) and was a very good learner but fortunately my dear husband never let my hands touch our vehicle fearing that i will run into someone's car!.. ha..ha. i am saved!!!! ;)

  2. good for you mira. you have been saved from a fate worse than death. indeed.