Mobility is critical in the world we live in. Depending on others for any given thing is no less than imprisonment. The pangs are deeper when one lives an ‘independent’ life, has to take most decisions alone and is forced to battle through smaller and relatively large instances by themselves. It is almost criminal to not be self sufficient in most areas. Which brings me to how significant driving is.
The need felt the most desperate for the past year and half – my stint in Gurgaon. Prior to this, Pune and Kolkata didn’t pose problems as the cities are extremely well connected and public transport is affordable and comfortable. Gurgaon has been difficult because of the ‘unsafe’ tag and the other hassles which it brings. The 9 to 7 life does not help – there is an incessant need to step out, get some fresh air, see some new places or even just feel the wind on one’s face – even if it is a drive to the Manesar Mc Donalds. I have lost count of the number of good times I have had to miss out / give up on because the transport was a problem. Not to mention the amount of money I have spent on spine-shaking cycle rickshaw rides around the city – I could have bought half a car with that kind of dough.
It was around July this year that I decided it was enough and this couldn’t be rocket science – so I enrolled for driving lessons. Woke up a whole hour early in the morning and self motivated myself thinking of happy things like my own Beetle, someday and open beautiful roads. The classes concluded and I had no vehicle to practice on, taking me right back to square one.
Three weeks ago, Chops (the flatmate and partner-in-crime)’ parents gave us their second hand Santro and the silver lining began to show. I felt extremely silly but yes, enrolled for another session with her and found the entire process to be a lot easier the second time around. The classes officially ended yesterday and we took the Santro out for the first time by ourselves last night. She grunted, we tried to run the car with the handbrakes still functional, reverse gear wouldn’t cooperate and several minor hitches en route, but what a feeling it was.
Although the license is being a major pain and I might be undertaking an inter-state undercover operation to get it through but I am determined to tick this off my check-list this year. To most this might be no big deal, but I am aware that I will so much more confident if I never have to hesitantly ask people to transport me around.
Volkswagen Beetle and the Blaupunkt stereo – I can almost taste you now