I love driving!! Though not from the start, I must admit…. I first of all started driving a little later than allowed, at the age of 21, and it was quite a shaky start.
My younger sister had already learned driving, and she was indeed a verry good driver. So adding to it my own lack of confidence, my driving adventure had been quite a matter of discussion (sometimes read as mockery) at home.
First of all, there’s this rule that you cannot answer a driving test before one month of obtaining a learner’s license. And I had got the bright idea of doing a crash course in driving by learning it in 15 days, and I did so (despite the number of reprimands I got from my instructor though… hehehe). So I had to cool my heals for 15 days, and then my college started na…when would I get the time to answer a test?? (By now readers must’ve already got an idea that I was just looking for excuses 🙂 ) Basically ever since I had 2 very comically tragic incidents, my confidence with my driving had taken a total beating!
Incident no 1: This happened before I learnt to drive a car, and when I was trying my hands on a Kawasaki 4S motorcycle. (Those readers who are wondering why I was attempting a 4S, instead of a simple auto-geared bike don’t probably know my dad, whose opinion is: “Scooty..what kind of a bike is that!! The real bike is only a geared one…Only one that is worth riding!!”) So anyway, after I learnt the preliminaries of bike riding like kick-start, press clutch, slightly pull accelerator, and slowly release clutch; and took a couple of rounds in a time span of 15 days (wow…I am such a fast learner!! lol!), I told my dad to ride pillion with me, so that he could give me some real bike tips….So there we go…
I mounted the bike, kick-started it (hey mind you, I was very good at this :-), very good, only at this..:-( ), and pressed the clutch. Somehow, I pulled the accelerator a little too hard, and released the clutch a little too quick….no no…much too quick, with the accelerator still pulled tight!!
Have you ever seen a horse jumping up on his 2 hind legs and neighing ferociously??
You must be wondering why I suddenly went off at a tangent after moving in the unending circle of my adventures for such a long time…Well my state was exactly like the horse, except that the hind legs in that case were replaced by the rear tire of the bike here!!!
Cut two – A roaring noise, my dad down on the road (that’s the only part I regret about the whole incident, rest all was still amusing!!), me up in the air along with my bike, except for an arc of the rear tire, and not for long!! 😐
Then me on the ground, the bike on the ground (thankfully…a much better situation than the bike on me!!), the rearview mirror, the footstep, and the side stand in their respective coffins, and my hands scraped!!
Incident no 2: Immediately after learning driving a car, I happen to go to my Mama’s place. They know I’ve learnt to drive, so ask me to take the car out.
While taking out our car from the garage, I forget to release the handbrake!! The car starts moving very slowly in spite of me stomping on the accelerator, which is when I realize my mistake!! Well some people correct their mistakes by making more mistakes, and I did exactly that!! With my foot firmly on the accelerator, I release the handbrake!!
The car sped out of the garage, right onto the road!! (Needless to say, that gathered a lot of applause for me, with my Mama telling me, “Wow you are driving a jet airplane!!” heehee ).
Now I have to correct my mistake of speeding, so I apply brakes, and the road is uphill!! After coming to a stop, I change into the 1st gear, and start, only to go backwards!!!!! 😀
“Honk Honk”, “Beep Peep”, “Oye hello!!” , and lots of such certificates come my way from poor unassuming drivers behind me!! I seemingly haven’t learnt how to start the car on half clutch… Overwhelmed by the applause I nervously try again …
After 10 seconds of failing, I climb out from the driver’s seat, get into the passenger, and my younger sister exchanges places with me and takes the car out of the way, and eventually to our destination, safely!
And all this with my entire Khandaan watching me!! :-((
From then on, I avoided driving the car like plague!! I mean come on guys… You can imagine what wonders the incident did to my confidence and my ego!!! :-))
OK , so then, I did not drive the car or ride the bike for a loooong time….almost a whole year!!
Then I answered my final semester computer engineering examination, and had nothing to do for four full months, thanks to my beloved employers who gave me date of joining so much in far future!
And plus, I was too ashamed of myself!! My younger sister had become an expert driver by then, and poor me elder sister still depended on her or my dad to drop me to places…
So the day I answered my last paper, I re-enrolled myself in a revision session of the driving school. Well SURPRISINGLY, after taking to the wheel after such a long time and after such a huge fiasco, I was good at it (driving, not fiasco)!! Seriously!! Even my instructor, who in my first innings was so irritated with me, and never once said a kind word to me, was surprised!! This time around, everything went on smoothly, including the driving test, which had a strict examiner, and strict questions; and yet, I passed with flying colors!!! Yipppee!!!!! I myself didn’t know what got over me, or rather what had gotten over me the last time round!! 🙂
So then on, I became my family’s chauffeur! 4 months at home, I didn’t have anything else to do!! Good for me for my practice of course!!
Then on, I tried my driving skills at every opportunity!! I really got addicted to it!!
My longest continuous driving stints have been from Goa to Kankavli , and Pune to Mumbai!!! (both a little over 200 kms), and I have thankfully completed them successfully!! Then of course, driving in Pune city without any untoward incident also added to my confidence! In fact this was the lone fact that finally convinced my mom that I could drive! LOL!!
Is this too long a blog? hmmm may be! more about this, sometime later!! 🙂