Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Maximum penalty

I was just thinking about how much I love driving and I thought it might be interesting to share my struggles and how I learnt to drive. The first time I got into a car was in Delhi and my father was my first teacher. He would get annoyed with me for making mistakes but I wasn't doing too badly driving around cars, rickshaws and cows of Noida. But one day he yelled at me and I threw my hands up in the air, didn't talk to my Dad all the way home and declared to my mother,"That's it! I'm not learning anymore!"

So I joined a driving school in Delhi. I wasn't particularly good at it but I got a license anyway because the test was a farce as my instructor was sitting beside me the whole time even guiding the steering wheel every time I was about to mess up. I got married, moved to Bombay and even there I tried learning to drive but gave up after two classes.

Next came Dubai and yet again I decided I should learn driving. I enrolled in a school and my education began. I went through instructor after instructor. I failed my driving test. I took more classes. I failed again. I took more classes. I failed again. When I failed my test for the tenth time, I called Anshuman and cried,"I don't want to do it anymore! I'm never going to get my license." He replied,"You have to! Go back and register for more classes." I cried and said,"No." again and again. Each time he wasn't hearing any of it. He said," You have to." So I did more classes and got my license on my eleventh attempt. Joy oh joy!

But the story doesn't end here. I was still very afraid to drive alone. We had a Jeep Cherokee at the time. She was a good girl and Anshuman called her Misty. In the beginning I only drove with Anshuman by my side. I was still a bit fearful of going out on the road alone. Almost a year went by and I hadn't taken the car out. Anshuman got a car from the office and the Jeep was standing in the parking just waiting for me all pristine white with black, badass fenders. I wouldn't dare.

Then one day this woman who used to come home and wax my limbs was slathering the hot, gooey stuff on my arm and I started talking to her about how I was still afraid to drive on my own. She had got her license in the second attempt and she said to me," Even if you take out the car so what? Maximum you'll die. You could die anytime anyway. Just go!" Somehow that hit home. I knew that if I told Anshuman that I was going to take the car out alone he would be a little hesitant and wary so I decided not to call him. I got into the car and drove it to my office located on the Sheikh Zayed highway. Of course I took a wrong turn. I got honked at when I changed lanes like an idiot but I reached my office safe and sound. I sat in the car, congratulated myself and celebrated with a smoke.

When I got home I called Anshuman excitedly about what I'd achieved. He was so happy. I've been driving for a while now. I still make mistakes mostly while I'm parking and ram into a car, a pillar and once a huge metal dustbin but I'm a very safe driver on the road. So, my point is quite obvious, don't give up on yourself. Maximum penalty for trying is failure, but the minimum penalty for not trying is definite failure.

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