​Zip, zap, zoom – A to Z Challenge

It took me four tries to learn how to drive. No, no. Not four mere classes or sessions at the wheel, but four different instructors.

With my brother’s wonderfully wide car left in our ‘able’ hands and with dad’s increasing knee and hip problems, it was time I stepped up to learn how to handle the silver Swift.

I was first enrolled in the local driving school that was oddly called ‘International’. It was no way close to one. Getting up earlier and trudging down for these classes not only made me cranky, but quite ineffective with my motor skills. The instructor had a set of pedals on his side, and the left side view mirror was always adjusted to his view. Not that I blame him, but it tended to impair me. The first day started with behind the wheel. And boy, the kind of power that’s running through your hand is no joke. It was scary. Changing the gears were a problem, I kept looking at them, and I never really understood the clutch. I couldn’t complete my lot of evening classes thanks to my crazy work schedule, but over all, ‘International’ was done with me and I was able to at least earn the title of a ‘driver’.

But I was still scared. I feared even backing the car from the parking lot. Our society is like an overcrowded rectangle, with families having at least two cars each. It took enough trouble to stay in a straight line down the empty road, but to wind my way through the society and out on to the street was one big task. I once took off a person’s headlight, but he saw I was a learner and clearly he had parked wrong. So thankfully, not one word was exchanged but this petrified me even more.

Then my uncle came along, who is an expert in this field. Some people don’t realise they can be a very good driver, but the art of instruction is very different. My cousin sister O tagged along. She’s few months younger to me, so my uncle tried to instruct her as well in this whole exercise. O would often dose off in the backseat, a scene clearly visible in the rear view mirror. He got me speeding quite easily on the large roads and highways, and after I was done, he’d ask O to oblige. But this never quite cured me of overcoming my fear.

My father then enrolled me in another driving school that worked on international standards, offering lecture classes, simulation and then, a comprehensive session at the real deal. This was the time, when I finally understood the working of the clutch and how to exactly work it. They were better than the other driving school, but towards the end, instructors would always go batty.

It was time I got some daily practice, so dad enlisted the help of the car wash guy. Every day, he would sit beside me with dad in tow, and I would drive through office rush to the metro station a little farther from home. With his quiet and calm demeanor, and subtle lessons in managing speed in heavy traffic, I slowly got the hang of it. Other instructors think that being able to drive at high speed on empty roads early in the morning is the key to it all. They’re wrong. The essential part lies in controlling the speed, steering, over taking, finding your space in the huge clunk of traffic.

It’s been an arduous journey, and I’m still scared. I certainly avoid getting stuck on an inclined plane. Somewhere, in the great scheme of things, I had thought it would be my brother teaching me how to drive. It was his responsibility and duty to pass on certain life skills to me, but sadly I didn’t get that honour. And yet, every time I’m behind the wheel of his beloved car, I whisper a small prayer to him to guide me safely back home.

This post is part of the seventh annual A to Z Challenge that takes place in the month of April. The theme for this month is ‘Every Day Musings’. It’s my first attempt at this. Feedback is most welcome, constructive criticism, even more. Share your experiences and let’s enjoy this month of fabulous blogging. If you want to know more about this challenge, click here.

12 thoughts on “​Zip, zap, zoom – A to Z Challenge

  1. My father tried to teach me to drive but that never worked just like learning maths from him in class 8th . I took a crash course exactly like you did from a Raja Hindustani kind of trainer of the world famous Delhi Motor Training school or some such jazz.. but I think when I finally got my hands on the hand me down from my father and the well disciplined roads of Chandigarh where I stayed for over a year that I finally learnt how to drive.
    Ramya — you have a memoir waiting to be published in these AtoZ posts .. why are you not epublishing your book?


  2. Your post makes me wonder what skills people possess that make them think they are good drivers? In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who thinks anyone ELSE is a good driver. The skills I consider good definitely are not the same skills my husband values, for example. And vice versa! Obviously paying attention, driving within the law, being courteous would be on my list. His are more tactical like not letting people get ahead of you and so forth LOL.


  3. Well done on not giving up! Teaching a learner to speed doesn’t sound like a great lesson, but it’s more realistic


  4. Wow! I still have six months to go before I can get my licence. But I don’t think I’ll be able to drive pretty well. I don’t even know how to ride a cycle! :D
    Congratulations on completing the challenge! There are quite a few posts I have missed out on reading, but the ones I have read are mind-blowing! Cheers 🍻😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah dear girl, I am sure your brother is watching over you every time you get behind the wheel. Learning driving is arduous for many people, the key is practice and more practice. What a great month this has been! Loved your brilliant posts that made me smile, sad, thoughtful and introspective at times!
    Congrats for doing it so well!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I enjoyed the account of you learning to drive, then you had to make me say ‘Aww,’ at the end! Lovely piece. Congratulations on finishing the A-Z. Don’t know about you but I’m knackered!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s