Driving and me are not synonyms. How i wish they were. But the truth is we are not. I can just about drive myself around in Faridabad, after a second attempt at learning driving. My first attempt was disastrous. That time we had only one car and my hubby loved his maroon Maruti 800. While still learning driving, one day i accidently barged into a herd of asses resulting in the ass partly falling on the bumper and denting it. When hubby realized what i was up to , repeated attempts to convince him failed. So rather than start a war i gave up the effort of convincing him that i would make a good driver. .
Few years later my daughters were grown up and keen on driving . So we bought a second car. Now hubby was less possessive about this car , so i decided to take driving lessons once again. Time as the car was at the disposal of we 3 women and i finally learnt the ropes, got my driving licence and could drive myself around . Mean while both my daughters too learnt driving. So now i had one professional driver and two home ones.
Once, when i was still new to driving, i met with a minor accident. A milkman and my car had a collision. I was taking a right turn and he was coming from the back. The next instant the milkman fell down. The bicycle went down with him and the milk cans opened and the milk spilled on the road. I had already stopped the car. As i got out to examine whether he was hurt badly, a small group of pedestrians gathered around us. I tried to reason with him . Fortunately for me he wasn't hurt. I thanked my stars he was not a temperamental gujar but someone with a cool temperamnet. I asked him, " chot to nahi lagi"'
'Nahi memsaab. Lekin nuksan ho gaya'
When i asked him how much i needed to replace the split milk, he simply said,'' aap hi dekh lo"
I handed him Rs 200 and that was the end of the matter. I got into the car and drove home. This incident was a lesson to me. Now, no matter if i am getting late or there is any pressing matter at home , i never ever drive fast.
Whenever i would go out with hubby and daughters i would always request them to drive, while i sat in the passenger seat. And since they are all better drivers than me they oblige happily. Then there is the other alternative. The Driver. While we have holidayed to distant cities with our driver , the dependancy factor can be a big let down. On many occassions drivers dont turn up for an important event. And there is the puinctuality factor too. At times they turn up late due to some issue or the other. And yet there is another aspect .Drivers can be rash at times, leaving you in a difficult situation. Once my driver was talking on the mobile and driving through a narrow raod. A biker came from the opposite side and nearly crashed into our car. He wasn't hurt but that wasnt enough for him. As both our car and the biker stopped , the man parked his bike alongside the car and started arguing with the driver. And then he turned to me and said, 'Madam isko manners sikhaiye. Kisi din pit jayega"!
I pacified him and asked the driver to continue. The fact that the driver was more cool headed than the bikers , saved the situation.
But at the end of it all, i am happy that driving and me are not strangers. Whenever i feel like moving out anywhere in Faridabad i don't have to ask anyone. But more than that it is a good feeling that if ever there is an emergency and a need to take someone to the hospital or some other pressing situation, i can do the needful. So i CAN drive, albeit reluctantly!