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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Drive me crazy

Apparently, it is time for me to learn driving. My husband has decided I must be empowered, which sweet though it may be, it is certainly not welcome.

I still remember my last brush with driving alongside my father whose idea of education was to shake me awake at six, jam me into the driver's seat, lurch around as I experimented with clutches, and hide his tears as I scratched against trees lining an empty road to save myself from a truck a kilometer away on the horizon. It was exhilarating bravado in the face of peril, it was amazing father-daughter bonding, it was even proof that I was my mother's daughter, but driving it was not.

After an entire summer vacation of trials and errors, we all heaved a sigh of relief when I professed to be a hippy in favour of resource saving and public transport, and gave up the wheel on moral grounds. It is one of those few decisions I do not regret.

[Eventually, my sister broke away from our maternal genetic spell and volunteered to learn driving, following it up with a license and agile dodging across Delhi's roads and potholes. Today, she cruises across the USA and will be happy to break your mythical beliefs about women drivers, or failing that, your nose.]

I have never understood why people love driving. Sure, there's the spiel about independence. And then there's the whole breed of car lovers who feel a stirring when they see a Maserati, smile at the roar of the engine, get a power surge when they touch the wheel and probably engage in unspeakable acts with the shift stick.

But honestly, how can staring down unending black roads and searching for road signs have more to offer than staring at lush greens beyond the window shield? How can it even begin to compare with the freedom of turning your head for outstanding samples of the human species?

Central Delhi's broad roads and drooping trees and jamun sellers dotting the passage of every two minutes... Hong Kong's heaving hills playing peek-a-boo with the sea... New Zealand's sheep that embark on a stampede the moment you enter their radius of sound... I would have seen none of these had I been trying to block the B%^&*&& trying to overtake me.

Driving isn't empowering; it's blinding.

6 comments:

Nitin said...

aah.. therein lies the rub.... since you don't know how it feels to be behind the wheel (or handlebars, for that matter), how would you know?...

:-)

Vipul said...

I have a feeling that I should rather have insisted that she not learn driving...that way she actually might have agreed to :)....the husband.

themidnightspecial said...

Vipz... you remember its a Beamer, right???

Or did the last B cheque take care of that?

Anu... am glad you wrote that!!!

Quicksilver! said...

The only thing I drive...is people up the wall! ;) It's embarrasing but, I've learnt driving thrice *cringes with mortification* but still cant drive *cringes still more*
Don't think I ever will either.

Anonymous said...

Vipul...i have a feeling reverse psychology will not work on Anu in this case!

IR said...

driving is all about freedom ,although on delhi roads these days it is anything but freedom !