Wednesday, 4 March 2009

You missed that one!

I am not a good driver. I don't think I am a particularly unsafe driver, but I am not good. I admit it. I am not particularly fond of driving. I occasionally like the fact that I am in control of the vehicle (as opposed to a smelly driver or a rapidly degenerating to unspeakable Tamizh curses road rage filled husband), and I like to be in control definitely of the Bollywood crap I blare from the radio, but I don't like it all too much.

The trend was set early. As soon as we turned sixteen, my best friend in school (March born) and I (April born) set off one fine day to the RTO. Sat around sweatily and got our learners permits. Then did the stipulated wait of whatever it was (six months? Not very sure anymore) and went back to get the actual license. This was for a bike of course. "Gearless Two Wheeler" they called it. A TVS Champ belonging to my sis was my poison, and a TVS 50 (I think it was called that) belonging to her father was hers. We had a fair bit more leeway with the Champ, because quickly, within a year of acquiring it, my sister lost interest in riding it, and was happy enough to sit behind and pass comments and give detailed feed-back.

So, this is where the trend comes in. I was ECSTATIC that she would allow me to ride her precious bike, and also a fair bit proud. But then, when she sat behind me, she noticed a definite tendency I have when I ride or drive. And that can be described as "an undeniable attraction to pot-holes." I still remember her one day, thoroughly irritated with this habit of mine, tell me when we reached home as I was (proudly) parking the thing, "You missed that one out there", sarcastic like no one's business. Airspy used to occasionally allow me her Champ in college. But I never rode it outside the campus so my deplorable habits were probably not obvious to her. The campus roads being real nice and all.

Everyone knows of course that the key to avoiding things like the seven year itch etc. are to learn your driving from a school. The most avoidable situation in a marriage is when the husband teaches the wife to drive. The opposite may work out okay, not sure, have my doubts, but this one is an absolute no-no. So I went to a school, several in fact. One in India where I drove a Maruti 800 pretty well. I was young. 21 years old. Unmarried. Then I had an old guy teach me in the US. He was nice. I was sucking it up a fair bit though, I got quite spooked with driving in the US though the determination to overcome it was strong.

And I still had to drive several times with the husband 'for practice.' That was horrid. He was a major pain. His style of driving and mine don't match. At all. He is aggressive. I am the opposite. People that would like to pass in front of me on the road are ALL welcome. He will move heaven and earth to ensure that you 'fuckers' don't mess with him. If you are walking and want to walk in front of my car, again, you are welcome. I will wait. (This he does too, especially if its women, even if ugly). I am never in a tearing hurry. He is always in a major big hurry to beat all hurries. If there is a chance to weave through a gap in the traffic, zip, zap, zoom, etc., I will ignore it. I don't need to. He will grab the opportunity with both hands. The way I argue it is, all that zipping and zapping might save me about three minutes of driving time, which is nice, but it will chip three days at least off my life span, which is sort not too desirable. I am not sure on his thoughts on life spans etc. I have also retained the tendency with pot-holes. Like my sister, he hates them and therefore avoids them through clever maneuvres.

A conversation with him, of late, in my new and improved, no temper tantrums state may go like this:
Him: Do you drive this route everyday?
Me: Yessss
Him: Then you KNOW that there is this giant big pot-hole here?
Me: Yes of course, I go into it everyday. One day it hurt my neck a bit.
Me: See, in order to avoid it, I have to move into the right lane. But then I have to make a left turn, and nobody will allow me back into the left lane after that, so, I catch hold of the left lane well before the pot-hole place and just stick there.
Me: Yes, just 200 meters. And so many trucks. And if a BEST bus honks, I totally flip out.
Him: Watch me pop a vein in my forehead. Chicks suck. Chicks make the WORST drivers ever.
Me: You should not generalise like that. I am special, you know it.

& so on. Ends in a fight. Gets ugly. I see his point sometimes, even my mum laughs because SO MANY people cut into my lane from all directions. But then I am cool. Crazy Kiya Re is on Mirchi so I am not too bothered, have to anyway wait for the song to finish. At any rate I have a 3 km radius within which I drive usually not more. The furthest is 10 km from home. And one trip to the airport in seven years in Mumbai.

Oh yeah, I have pathetic direction sense, am becoming fairly absent-minded befitting profession, can't see well when driving at night, and cannot for the life of me parallel park. All told, it is kind of a bummer that my driver, for all his faults, decided to go off to his village this week for good.


Perakath said...

Here's the thing: do you think it has anything to do with your gender, this indifference to driving?

WV: Boefack.

Anonymous said...

So do yu let your dh drive instead of always having fights?

We have the rule, whoever drives gets to pick the choice of music.And the other person cannot switch songs...if it's miserable Jagit Singh gazal.

What is it with men and "fuckers getting in the way".

I have no problems with anyone cutting in unless of course you are too near to my van, but otherwise you are welcome to cut in my lane. To NK, its like an insult on him if someone cut in, I constantly remind him, we have a minivan,its okay if a little minicooper cut us off.

choxbox said...

oh i LOVE driving. in london of course. still haven't done it here. two-wheelers i can manage on indian roads so i guess i should be able to handle a car too... hmm.

one should bow to airspy who drove to mysore with kids and w/o husband.

and oh i also rode airspy's tvs one time and promptly crashed it, following it up with a trip to hospi :)

kbpm said...

Perakath - of course not. though the alpha male in the house is convinced it is. Boefack back to you with knobs on. :)

asaaan - yes. he barely fits in my car though and cribs incessantly. And yes, its a personal affront to him even if a beamer gets in front of my zen!! Minivan oh boy too tough for me.

chox - yeah. tell this boy Perakath. airspy is remarkable, used to navigate the tnagar bridge with older one hanging on to the steering wheel almost. driving in India is generally avoidable imho.

Airspy said...

Ha, kbpm, you disappoint with that comment to cb. Indian roads are a joy. Undeniably. The traffic builds character (of what kind, of course depends on person/gender and stuff, as has been mentioned in this post). These days I get travel sickness if i sit in the back seat.

I put forth precisely the same logic that you use when questioned about avoiding potholes or getting stuck behind huge trucks etc.

And Hon.CB, how did you manage to do that to my tvs? Need to jog my memory.

csm said...

kenny - are we on some metaphorical trip?

choxbox said...

oh kenny pls tell the boy this too then - i can parallel park very well. once got applauded by some folks too. living in london, that is one critical skill one develops.

SrgntPepper said...

pls give my regards to the husband. i wish we could have rpg launchers to get those effers.

choxbox said...

airspy, it happened one afternoon after workshop (smithy i think?). just outside the main door of the hostel (old one, which used to be under the balcony of kenny's new room), by the big tree. in other words right behind the libe (of yore). i just had a cut, no broken bones. no damage to vandi - mebbe thats why you dont remember?!

rings any bell?

kbpm said...

csm - yes well was on a trip. what you means?

airspy - you crazy girl!

srgntpepper - well there you go. you guys.