04 July 2011

Driver Wanted


That’s what my husband & his friends, on drunken Saturday nights, wish for! After all, I never fail to brag that I’ve a ‘valid’ driver’s license (which they don’t). Then, why don’t I just do them a favor, take up the job & drive them around town, while they make merry & avoid being caught for drunken driving?

Because…uh…hmm… I can’t drive!!! Ouch! There it is – the ugly truth!

Sathya did attempt, very hard, to teach me. I kept insisting that I'd ALREADY learnt to drive ‘officially’ in a ‘recognized’ driving school & had a ‘valid’ DL to prove it. He'd say, “Shove it up your ass” (in Kannada it sounded funny & not in the least insulting). This was in 2005. He'd take out our Maruti 800 into Milk Colony’s open ground in Malleshwaram, force me into the driver’s seat with dhamkis & gaalis (I find all his gaalis in Kannada funny!!), ease himself into the adjacent seat & take on the role of instructor.

All I’d do was start the engine & steer left or right, as he instructed. But braking or changing gear or handling the clutch, ahaa…that was way beyond me. The wheels would screech to an abrupt halt & the body of the car would jerk for a few seconds. It was like a mini-earthquake when I applied the brakes. I just couldn’t get to brake ‘gently'. Going on a reverse …no, he never went that far. He knew teaching me that would take another lifetime!! Once, he even abused the poor instructor from the driving school saying, “show me the man who taught you to drive & got you the license” Of course, Sathya doesn’t give up easily & this whole exercise was carried out every weekend & continued for a month. Then finally one day, his friend Bidda, a regular, silent observer of our driving class, told him, “Bidu maga. (Leave it man). The car can’t take it any longer”

I never touched the steering again.

I won’t deny how I stare at women drivers. To me, they are all ACHIEVERS. Whenever I see a woman zip past in a sedan or an SUV, I go, “Wow!” I genuinely admire them all: they look so composed & confident holding the steering in their manicured hands. I am in awe of even the 40+ ‘aunties’, in their delicate saris clinging against their bulky frame, who race against the 40+ uncles in their Luna. Sathya unfailingly sniggers at me, whenever we sight a young woman/old woman/thin woman/fat woman, whatever woman riding along or across. “Can’t you do even this much? Look at her! Pickle your ‘valid’ DL” (this in Kannada). Shame on you.

Yeah shame on me, indeed! What’s it with me & the machine? We just don’t get along! Sathya, an amazing rider, says you’ve to feel the machine; you’ve to own it, you’ve to listen to it! The only thing I want to “feel” about a car is the steering. The gear, the clutch, the brakes, arrggg! Can’t I just “own” the steering wheel & keep going straight ahead, without having to manoeuvre those obscene U turns, & atrocious reverses, & switching the gear, & pressing the clutch? No, Pls don’t suggest me to go for one of those auto-gear cars. You see, I want to “feel” the machine with all its natural ruggedness. But I just don’t want it to be so hard to figure it out. I guess, it’s just not in my genetic make-up.


On the other hand, my daughter Tanvi, who is now 5, has naturally gravitated towards machines from a very early age. She stands on the kinetic & even rides it sometimes, while her father catches up on a call. Vroom she goes! She knows to start the engine, give accelerator & is now slowly learning to brake. She insists on sitting on her father’s lap & driving our Zen even though turning the steering fully to one side takes all the strength she can muster in her tender arms. She loves it! Sathya says by the time she is in 5th Std, she will do both: ride a bike & drive a car. You wait & watch.

52 comments:

  1. Ha Ha Ha Ha! Same Pinch.. I hold a 'valid' DL. And we haven't gone on driving classes yet. But, I know it is awaiting sometime. I am sure the scenario will be the same. :D :D
    Tan looks choo cute in this pic.. :)

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  2. best of luck for ur time behind the wheels Sahana

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  3. The detailing of your driving classes was the most that I liked. My dad was the man who made me do it till I succeeded behind the wheels and hey now am a super driver :) I know you're definitely jealous now.. Nicely written.

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  4. super driver ... hats off to u!!

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  5. My wife too has a 'valid' DL; but still, am her 'valid' driver!

    I never got time to even think of taking my wife for driving classes myself (she already learned driving from a driving school to get a DL); that would be another tough call for me. Am really happy that your hubby did it for you :o)

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  6. I have been driving since almost 14 years and I love driving. I really think that if you apply yourself and have a patient teacher, it is not so difficult to master. Really, give it a try! I love the freedom that driving offers me. Once you learn it, it is almost as mechanical as knowing how to walk, but you need to practise in off-peak hours to get a feel of the maneuvering in the traffic. Trust me you can do it, and Maruti 800 is the best car to learn on :).

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  7. @ Prashanth: valid driver...sometimes its better that way because while the husband does his 'duty' d wife can sit peacefully & enjoy the world going by without having to worry abt other commuters/jam/brakes/petrol/police/cow/people/incoming calls etc

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  8. @Rachna: i really envy d freedom that driving gives. its like u don't have to wait on anyone.take ur keys & off u go wherever u want, anytime u want.
    but i guess i equally enjoy being a pillion rider/co-passenger coz u get to ghumao ur mundi 360 degrees & look all over d place, enjoy d scenery & not worry potholes/speedbreakers or abt who m i goin to hit or who is goin to hit me :))

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  9. I believe, we are in the same boat!
    Check out my trials and tribulations with driving here... you will feel better... :))
    1. http://shilpaagarg.blogspot.com/2010/05/driving-me-crazy.html
    2. http://shilpaagarg.blogspot.com/2010/05/driving-me-crazy_25.html

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  10. Shilpa, welcome here. & yes read ur pieces. hilarious. same pinch hehehe

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  11. I don't like driving as it stresses me out .The traffic and most of all finding out a parking spot which is a big problem in my city.
    Enjoyed my visit here Sujatha .Thanks for leading me here.Will keep in touch :):)
    Adorable Tanvi :)

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  12. hahahaha I enjoyed it so much since em a bad driver with a DL so I can relate a lot with it;p

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  13. @ Kavitha: yeah u r right driving can b quite stressful at times. n finding a parking spot is like finding a piece of heaven

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  14. @ Mishi: welcome to the club of lousy drivers with DLs. d way i see it, we r doing the roads a favour by not taking to it :)

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  15. Hi yes thats true a driver is a must when we men get together .. its a pity that the person who promises to be the driver changes there mind once they see drinks ..

    I love driving :) but not when i have to go to parties then it becomes a problem cause you cant drink he he hee

    but one should learn driving here in uk a license is actually a sort of qualification any jobs you go to they ask do you have a license ...

    First time here .. I visit a log of blog and you seem to be on many of them ..

    Bikram's

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  16. hi Bikramjit: thanks for dropping by. yeah i see u around a lot too on many of the blogs i visit. blog surfing has become my new pasttime these days. n m loving it

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  17. Sujatha, I loved the new look of your blog and posts. So, colourful! Way to go!

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  18. oh Thanks Sahana. yella nim ashirwada!:)
    i'd asked u once how to upload multiple photos. Ivaga nodi 'coloruful' antha guruvinda appreciation bantu :))

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  19. I have added one more feature in my blog now. blockquote anta.. It will be really helpful when you want to quote something and when you want that quote to be in a box..
    Looks cool.. HTML edit madbeku.. But worth the effort.. On gtalk?

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  20. Oh is it? hmm will try to chk it out
    yup rs.sujatha@gmail.com

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  21. I love driving but my husband refused to make my licence out here coz he is worried,that I would be scraped off the road as the number of accidents out here is high.Its all due to mobile and TVs on board.
    I used to be a rash driver and soemtimes I do when we are at some good picnic spot.
    Learning how to drive was a horrible experience coz all I got to hear from my dad was "NOT HERE","GO SLOW",ACCELERATE,"'BBRAAKE" And so on and so forth.Thats how I almost landed under the backside of a bus.I just told him Im not gonna learn any driving at him if all he did was blood curdling screaming in my ears.I eventually learnt from a driving school.
    And yes, your blog looks hot with all photos and color schemes.

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  22. hey Suzaan: haha welcome bak after a long hiatus!
    ya i know d screaming can be quite unnerving when we r learning to drive

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  23. Tell me about it, its a nervous wreck. I gave up long ago and my husband gave up on me :-P

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  24. @insignia: ohhh there r many more like d two of us & our respective spouses!

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  25. Well I could say this post has given me a confidence boost. I 've planned to go for the test soon and it seems like I needn't worry much .

    Good post:)
    Cheers!

    http://vj-menon.blogspot.com/

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  26. @ Vijay: this is d 1st time someone has said this post has given them a confidence boost. M glad!! thanx

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  27. Hahaha....

    You know....this relates to me too... And guess many girls can relate themselves with this...I too have a 'valid DL' but cannot drive in traffic!

    Nice post :)

    And how about tanvi..?Hope she recovered completely from the accident she had last month or so..?

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  28. blog's new look is very pretty!

    loved it :)

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  29. @ Gowthami: multiple thanx - for
    1. for enquirin after Tanvi (she is fine n goin to school now),
    2. appreciating my blog's new look & this post
    3. being BAK in action. u hadnt posted any'g on ur blog for a really long time. was wonderin whatevr happnd - such a long gap

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  30. I sooo know what you are talking about Sujatha! I too have had a valid DL for years and yet don't know to drive yet! I tried a lot but it simply seems like an impossible task :-(
    One of my friends was saying that she tried driving an automatic and it was relatively easier. So am planning to give that a shot!

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  31. @Anne: good luck with the automatic one!

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  32. Enjoyed reading this post! I attended four driving classes and thats the end. I too envy the women who drive and you are right its a great achievement.

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  33. @SV: four driving classes heheh thts a lot. u & i are really not made for the mean machines :)

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  34. Don't know how I missed reading this post. Thank god you sent me the link.
    Yes yes, Just when I started driving, I used to admire the Women Drivers, the same way you probably did.I guess, that gave me the much needed motivation to handling the steering well. And My dad allows me to take his ford, in the area where I live, with thousand and one instructions of course, but still I managed to let the driver in me, shine. And I got my license as well last week :)

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  35. @Ashwini: A Ford & a 1001 instructions... but naturally!! haha...its great that he actually lets u take his dear Ford out,Ashwini

    and congrats for the license, for the driving and happy driving days ahead. :)

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  36. this post was some consolation for me sujatha..:) I hate the clutch too..damn it! how i wish i could move on to an automatic car!!!

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  37. @feistypad: haha yeah damn the clutch! :)

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  38. damn i forgot bout that reverse gear while writing my post, now i remember that dreadful thing.

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  39. @Deb: isn't that reverse gear such a dicey thing? :D
    and now you know why i could relate to your own post :)

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  40. I cannot agree more with you sujatha.. I too have a "Valid DL" and also has learnt driving from a reputed driving school.. initially hesitated to drive our New Punto, but later on it just became a reason... I so much wanna drive, been pleading hubby to guide me.. BUt now either I dont hv time nor the patience...:'( sob sob..
    Whenever I see a lady driver zoom by I will be all happy to see them and sad that I am still not driving... :'(

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  41. That can happen! We have had our own experiences, I and my wife, and its not been very different from what you described. Only, I didn't need a friend to tell me 'Bidu maga'! You must be proud of Tanvi. And why am I still smiling?

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    Replies
    1. hahaha ... most husbands seemed to have tried making drivers out of their wives and failed :D

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  42. When I translated "Shove it up your ass" to Kannada in my mind I literally fell down laughing! :D:D Took me a while to recover and continue reading the post. :P

    I am glad to know Tanvi has inherited her Father's genes in that regard, I am sure she'll beat her mum in the driving department soon. :))

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    Replies
    1. hehehe.... you should hear him abusing ...

      yeah luckily Tan goes after him in this regard :)

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    2. Now I am curious!!So how do you say it in Kannada?

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    3. Haha!saved in brain chip for future use :D:D

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    4. oh god! what am i teaching!!!!!!

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  43. Mera bhi valid DL purse mein padaa padaa invalid ho gaya :/
    I dared to take my entire khaandaan on a drive from Juhu through insanely crowded lanes of Jogeshwari(Mumbai suburb)fresh after driving school.All went well till my husband,the side seat driver on tenterhooks,decided to yell brake!!and all I did was BRAKE with the same intensity !I don't know why he turned red after that.In case you are still wondering,I too am an envious non-driver.Hmph!

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    Replies
    1. LOL .... poor khaandaan .... we are a huge majority - the envious on-drivers

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