|I love this speed. It gives me much better control of the car and life:)|
Dearest non- driving moms,
Don’t fret over not knowing how to drive. Don’t let it hit your self -esteem and when the other mom asks you – “do you drive?”, don’t get sheepish and wrinkle up your nose with a malcontented smile. IT IS OKAY. DRIVING IS NOT THE KEY TO A HAPPY LIFE or a TESTAMENT TO ONE. I wonder if it even figures in the list. He!He!He!Guess, to some it may. To some, it may not -SO, NO JUDGMENTS.
I know driving. It's just that I prefer 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Special . Below that, it doesn't suit my taste. Yeah! it is 26.4 million $ and hence I have not been driving. You have no idea how misery strikes in life? Ha!Ha!Ha!
Jokes being said, back in Chicago, when I tried to merge onto a freeway, I had my first nervous breakdown and after that I swore to myself that I will drive into anyone’s home but not on a freeway.
Amongst the biggest fears of life, driving figures somewhere on the third place after cockroaches and messing up the Math’s question paper. The first fear I get to face once or twice a week STILL, the second fear has been buried well. It came true every time I confronted the Math’s exams until I crushed it under my love for humanities, changed my stream and cremated it with all the hatred nurtured since childhood. Yaay! The third one I faced when I landed here in the US and after few months dictated to my hubby with pride and prejudice- ‘I need to drive around.”
“Did you drive in India?” He raised his eyebrows quizzically, creasing his forehead with in trepidation as if I am going to bust my extramarital affair scandal. (I wish ;))
“Yes and No. Without dissecting this answer, can we please start the process?” I tried to avoid the prying eyes of my hubby.
Three months down the line and I was driving on the streets of Chicago, dropping the kid, picking up the kid, dropping the kid again and picking him up as I wondered whatever happened to the freeways, road trips, nirvana drives etc. Right then the freeway fiasco happened.
A cardiac arrest followed few months later when I stepped on the accelerator when I needed to use the brake. The third was the final icing and it sealed my antics behind the wheels completely. In a smart move to change lanes, I screwed up the blind spot trick so thoroughly, I was amazed at my own expertise of screwing up. I haven’t touched the driver’s seat of the car after that. Phewwww! It’s been a year and I am feeling fine. But, I need to do something about my fear.
On the spectrum of success, driving should rank at the upper end. Indian girls are not raised to be ‘DRIVERS’- either cars or their own life. Please note when we talk of India, we do not only consider the liberated, evolved metropolitan cities. India has tier 1, tier 2, tier 3 cities in abundance which constitutes a major part of its population and it will take time to Amazone, Applefy, Facebook and Googlefy them. Also, we didn't grow up playing video games, or obsessing over trucks and Hot Wheels. The sensation of having hands on a steering wheel is a foreign notion to many of us.
I was an urbanite but wasn’t raised ‘to drive’ either. My older brother though learnt the scooter by 16 and car by 22 and I was ferried like a princess everywhere I went. Aah!
My hubby didn’t bother to bring this up during our courtship. Men back in India don’t find this a deal breaker. Hahahah! I guess they should ;)
Driving came to me out of necessity. It was tough to learn. Learning to drive from your hubby is equivalent to printing a divorce paper. Yes! Driving lessons can disrupt the happiest of marriages. Numerous successful and unsuccessful lessons, I was on the verge of divorcing my instructor, when I finally learnt it. It's true..in many ways it was liberating and let me tell you why?
Driving boosts confidence. It did for me.I cannot say more on this. Getting a license in your hand is like a big tequila shot, the hangover of which continues for days(unlike tequila) and then settles nicely making you feel wonderful from within. It brings an added dose of swag and elan in your dealings with your husband. You see what I mean.” Hey sweety, it’s okay , I will pick you up, no big deal!” I exclaimed to my hubby, picking up the car keys and walking out in style leaving the front door ajar and a gaping husband behind. Pheww! Panache apart, maneuvering the steering wheel on the road, reverse parking, merging lanes is a SKILL. No wonder, it pumps up your self-esteem big time.
And the SENSE OF INDEPENDENCE that comes is phenomenal. You can get almost anywhere by yourself and not wait for ‘him’ to come and ferry the Cindrella in you. The flexibility it offers is immense in terms of moving around, networking with people, picking and dropping , doing household errands, occasional shopping sprees( if you have money ), meeting friends and a lot more.
During CRISIS/EMERGENCY situations in your life, you will be better quipped to respond and take care. One day in times of need, you will thank me and I might not be available…you see, I would be driving too.
You may choose to say – I am a stay- at-home -mum. We do groceries on weekend and I have a big circle of friends within my apt community. You may also feel that public transport is working out well for you, why drive?Sure! suit yourself. No judgements here. But, if you feel the necessity and are procrastinating due to fear of any kind, take the first step. They are the hardest but required to move. The next steps are much easier.
You may also chip in- What do I drive? We have one car which the breadwinner drives to go and buy the bread. AGREED! Suit yourself. No rulings here. The financial burden of buying and running a car for sure is an impediment. Don’t run to buy a second car just because you WANT TO DRIVE. That’s foolish. Drive when your husband is back from work. Drive him to work. Drive for fun.
And while you learn driving, engage in the process of thinking and reading, interacting with friends about buying, owning, and maintaining a car. It can teach you invaluable lessons about money management. Learn how to change a flat tire. If not call your auto-insurance for help.
At the end, you deserve the right to choose whether you want to drive or not. Make your own choice stemming from your own life realities. DRIVING DOESN’T DEFINE YOUR WORTH or YOUR CAPABILITY. And if somebody tries to be the umpire in your life and label you 'hit wicket', look back at him/her and say 'wide ball'. :)
You see, in life ...“स्वाग से करेगें सबका स्वागत - with license or without license.”
Signing off for now. I got to study all over for the driving written test. Time to renew my license and myself too, I guess.