After 11 hours of driving classes in three months, a session by my friend and failing the licence test miserably once, I’m at the wheels now.
Yes, I got the licence to drive through Bangalore’s sometimes bumpy, sometimes smooth, sometimes grumpy and always crowded roads. I don’t know how many Gods’ sleep was disturbed today morning by the screaming prayers from my over-beating heart.
Driving a car was my dream since childhood. I never had the courage to try my hands on a two-wheeler which can turn upside down in no time. I was confident that it would be difficult to do that with a car, which is firm on the land on four wheels, finding logic for my wish to master the vehicle!
But my first lessons at the driving school turned not my vehicle, but my dream upside down. With the instructor resembling a cruel school teacher with a cane who also pokes fun on his pupil, I made my mind: ‘I never want to drive a car. After all, keeping away from it will only add to my safety.’
Then came the thought of the amount I paid to the driving school to teach me and to get me a licence. Losing the money I could not afford to think, especially in this recession time.
Every time I called home, amma and my brother gave me confidence to complete the lessons . They asked me not to worry as I can practise later.
It was not that easy. Anybody can advise.
Forgetting to hold the clutch when I reach for the gear, steering on to footpath at times, forgetting to apply brake and a confused look no my face asking my instructor what to do when I find no space to wade through the traffic (with my leg still on accelerator!), never letting the car miss any potholes on the way (especially when my instructor warns one is ahead!), flying over bumps totally out of control..., and all ending up in wild yelling from the instructor who had scant respect for me — I thought licence test was the greatest ever test I was going to face.
First time I went to take the test some three weeks ago. The vehicle inspector with a single ear-ring, catty eyes and coloured hair came and sat near me. As my hands were trembling on the steering, he asked me to take a reverse, which I did. But all my efforts could not take the vehicle forward after that. The inspector said, “NEXT...” as I walked out embarrassed.
This time I was prepared for a failure, first time I was not. At least my ego was not. And, everything on the cute old yellow car went on smooth - reverse forward, turn, everything. When I came to know the result by evening, my joy knew no bounds that I thought of sharing it with you all.
Thanks for listening :)