Am afraid of wheels , Wheel-O-Phobia , Driving-Phobia, or in simple words ; I cannot drive 😦
It was not part of my school curriculum [Thank goodness , one less subject to pass !] . Over the last 3 years when circumstances forced me to learn 2 wheeler , I bought Suzuki Swish , A non geared red color 65 kilo scooter ,starts by press of a button. Next I memorized the road from my home to office and back and my life was set.
So I thought!
Until very recently , on a bad day when my Suzuki wont button start , a gentleman from my apartment , after “kick start” , commented “ Hey ! You have been driving for long now , learn to use choke and kick-start “ .Hmm , what the hell ! keys on ignition , sit , press the start button , accelerate and drive , This thing called choke or kick-start never ever figured in this routine in past 3 years!
Anyways, there are many who are genuinely surprised by my disability and tries to reason “ This will make you independent “ ,” You are a quick learner , how hard could it be “ and I smile and think of all the people alive today coz of my lack of skill ! What I can say to my well wishers “of-course they are surprised to see such talented girl like me , who excelled in everything she does , touches or even glance does not know to drive .. 😉 “
Who am I kidding 🙂
My husband knows me best “Listen , Don’t call me from the middle of road to pull your car out of some ditch.”
Or knowing best and worst of my navigation skill “Hey ! I don’t want to guess where the hell is that particular Joshi wadewala among thousands of wadewala in Pune city where my wife is lost and cannot find her way back to me .“
Hmm ;On second thought with evil laugh, “Muwahaha .. I should let her drive and be lost. ”
On third thought , “She will be lost with my car 😮 Can’t live without car.“
On fourth thought: Same as first “Don’t drive.”
At this point , am thinking that you are thinking that my husband is bad ; “Bloody hell ! He should encourage his wife to learn to drive” , Hold on , before you go too far, listen – He is a very practical guy ,does encourage me, encourages me to stay out of jail for not killing pedestrian who just happened to be in vicinity of my car ! I wanna stay outside bars with a clean record ! Plsssss !
I did start like a normal kid in love with cars and bikes ,but I have a history to tell as to why I am where I am today!
Our family’s first set of wheels was my father’s Bajaj scooter. It’s more or less like my current vehicle but lot less of style and lot less CC . When I was a big girl [at least that’s how my brain remembers me -Big] , I was in awe of other “bigger” girls driving stylishly on a scooter / Sunny /Kinetic Honda. Most of the time in smart bright red color helmet, sometimes [when they are not in love with their head] , wind blowing hair off their face . I liked the way they would casually control that mean machine on their fingertip by press of a button, or stand balancing it chitchatting ! Gosh – I wanna be that girl !
So one fine day , I asked my father for a driving lesson and got into his Bajaj scooter . Pa said , “Don’t be nervous , It’s only conscious driving at first and then driving becomes the unconscious effort..”
We started and yeah I got it … Didn’t I tell you I was quick learner? I was prepared and I was actually driving ! Yay!
After 2 minutes :
What is this rush of air in and out of my helmet , creating that whistling sound ! Aahhha noise ! why can’t I keep my eyes open , Why does every person passing by is coming straight towards my scooter! How the hell the girls make it look effortless ? Whatever happened to romantic picture of wind blowing my hair! Where the hell is my inner consciousness which should kick in NOW ! Why the hell is it so heavy .. how can I balance this beast ! How the hell I kick-start it !
After 10 minutes:
After approx 10 minutes and 10 “WTH” ,”HTH” thoughts ,I knew my destiny !
The rest as they say is history – beginning of my decade long struggle in auto , bus , friend’s car , friends’ bike ,
begging boyfriend to take me,nope strike that , boyfriend at “boyfriend” state are always ready for duty call , begging husband (trust me ,they change after marriage ) to take me to ….
As time passed
Time is a great healer, not sure if “time” knows it or not , But it did heal my memories from first attempt, My heart started the nudge “ Look at that girl .. smart na?” .. but my head would yell “Shutup!” You don’t know a thing ! What thing ?
Am not a leader !
Heart : “What do you mean ? you don’t have to be a leader to drive ….”
Head : “Sweet Heart !” Have you seen the people on road and the way they drive or walk or pedal or race or maneuver?? Everyone on our road is a leader , follows his or her own heart! No one can say Indians don’t follow their heart – Look at us on road .. Screw the traffic rule , we don’t follow rules, we lead , we follow our heart !
So there is always possibility of someone following his heart to squeeze his big body on a tiny winny small scooter and will appear suddenly between your scooter and that car wala in adjacent lane. Or that bus driver who leads example of “How helpful I am “ by stopping that big bus in the middle of nowhere to help that poor chap who wants to get down in the middle of nowhere !
My heart has no voice on road , It just freezes !
At-least I can air drive , what can go wrong in living room ?
Time -The healer kicked in again . It does pretty good job in healing 😉
One fine day I asked my husband to at-least show me how it’s done , not in a real car , not in some video game or simulator but in our living room , We could air-drive just like the time I play air-guitar! So we sat in our living room , sofa’s next to each other. [My head was sleeping , So my heart took a chance!]
He showed me to how to start – put your leg on break and hands on wheels , Aha al rite this is easy peasy sit straight , accelerate, keep ears open , adjust the mirror , adjust seat, hand break .. WHAO , WHAO , WHAO !!!!!!!! Instructions kept pouring in , more than I could decipher.
Eyes on the road always , check rear view mirror , indicator , wipers ..leg and hand together ! OMG , OMG , OMG ! he is asking me to use all my human body parts and all my senses, everything together !
Focus , Husband is sending his 100th instruction but my hand and leg are still trying to work out together on instruction no 10. He yelled “Hands on the wheel ALWAYS”.
Geez ! He forgot we are air-driving !
So ” hhuh..legs – tell me again where should it be ? break or race? ” , “Yes ! Yes ! Am sitting straight , am not resting“. Alert butt , eyes , ears and all grey matter in my head – Puff ! Never ever have all my resources come together to do any task ! And all this WHILE my nose is busy filling my lungs with air , heart pumping oxygen and stomach making that grrrr sound again!
All these instructions and I have not even hit the road in actual. I was just air driving!
At this point I wished my head would wake up and help me ! Wake up hero !
And then he started with story about how one needs to judge if your cars fits in , take instant decisions and about parking , driving in ghats ! “Head ..Help! ” Wake me up this is a nightmare..!
And then he went on and on about crossing or driving in traffic , Here amidst all heart thumping , I jumped to mention proudly ; something that I know about driving on real road – “Am on one way , This should be straight ride“. Husband put me back at my place ” You are on Indian road sweetie , there is no one way here , one way , 2 ways , bloody hell , any way is my way !”
So after what seemed like eternity , I air-parked my car and realized what my heart won’t accept.
Moral of the story:
My territory is set, 5 kilo meter radius around my apartment on my 2 wheels which should button start every time. Kick-start will come in phase 2 of project wheel-o-no-phobia whenever that happens!
PS : These day I hear a voice in my head , Look at the lady behind wheels “Smart isn’t it ? ” and my head kicks my butt !
PPS : My husband does allow me to drive , but want’s me to learn from driving school professionally , less I give his precious car a dent. Don’t be mad at him <3.