During the trip home, the first major roadblock was to convince Mom that I still knew how to drive a car. coz she was saying…
”Chekku vendaa...you haven’t driven a car for 1.5 years, you must have forgotten it...”
This comes from someone whose driving test went like…
License Inspector: “OK...Do you know ‘H’?”
Mom: “Uh…I am an English teacher… Do you know what a “past participle” is?
License inspector: “Err...madam…we have to ask this...like we ask “8” for two wheelers”
Mom: “Well there again…you bribed into this job haven’t you…Do you know what a CLUTCHUU is!!”
Mom (over to me pointing at the gear): “Edaa….you call this CLUTCHUU alle… ”
License inspector (looking at me in pity): “OK…License issued madam!!!!”
And armed with a license she set foot on the pedal in pursuit of long drives. Of the 25000 kms our car has done she has contributed a generous 12 meters…And those 12 meters...My dear Henry Ford!!!!
Remember scenes from the movie SPEED, a couple of Prem Nazir car chases and little miss sunshine all rolled in one. That would explain how it felt!! Not bad considering the learning experience at the Sarathy driving school which taught her the finer points about driving. The niche “ladies-only school” where the alumnus was more enthusiastic in discussing global prices fluctuations (to say precisely at Palayam market) and product supply management (no milk at home…could you spare a packet for me).
Unknown to general public is the fact that most damaged leaky buildings or otherwise known as heritage monuments in and around Trivandrum aren’t the handiwork of natural disasters as many think but the ladies who passed out from this driving school!! Historians have noted that as a consequence only a part of the legendary east fort still exists and rumors say that even chandresekharan nair stadium (which is like Kerala’s Colosseum) once used to be complete. Well, I concluded the only way mom could drive is when they invent a voice activated car which would take her where she wants when you say “MOVE”!!
Well getting back to my interest in driving I managed after some convincing to take the car out for a drive…It was difficult in the beginning to keep tab of the complex traffic laws in our system...i.e…you shouldn’t follow it when you are driving in India…
Once, while waiting for the lights to change at an intersection, I was stared down by drivers behind me with an ”Are you crazy look”. And I pointed them towards the lights which were still red….Now my friend accompanying me was giving the same looks…and I said...”Daa...they are Red”
“Whaat...They are just an ad campaign for bulbs…we have them everywhere…they are special disco bulbs which Philips is aggressively marketing…they become yellow and green sometime…quite retro!!”
Schmuck…I was losing my good civic sense!!...
After a few kilometers , I slowed near a zebra crossing which seemed to have last got a coat of paint during the second world war...Here I was met with an old gentleman who was crossing the road..…The surprised look, like of a child who just discovered something said…
“OMG!!...“I never knew it all these years….car’s STOP at the zebra crossing!!!!”
Soon I got hang of the things and inspite of being severely criticized for not honking every 2 minutes which is the average frequency for most vehicles back home, I was driving fine. Besides the driving rules one critical part of the experience are the roads. In my city roads serve dual purposes and hence administered together by the surface transport (during summer) and water transport ministry (during monsoons).
Talking of other road matters I have news for folks who say there is no employee satisfaction in government jobs …Numismatics Club (specializing in 500 Gandhi notes) is popular among most employees and even a very vibrant archaeology club exists at PWD .In passionate pursuit they have dug up most roads in the state uncovering rare rusted sewage pipes, plastic bags, old tires and other such valuable artifacts... Though as a minor side effect I couldn’t find a road to drive my car.
Sometimes their antics resulted in inter-department conflicts too…like with the flyover under construction at bakery junction in my city…Archaeological survey of India has now locked horns with PWD who attempting to finish the flyover work which was started decades ago…As ASI argues that partly constructed piles do now have an heritage value of national importance which must be protected at all costs!!
Amidst all the tussles I am in NH-47 at cruise mode. A stretch of road which is still virgin from the handiworks of digging club…Listening to Hotel California, enjoying the breeze from Arabian Sea and tapping my fingers on the steering wheel to the rhythm , I am driving at a relaxed pace. Bro says I am looking like a stoned Mr. Beans…
But wait, Do I see a KSRTC bus behind!!
And he said "JIM CARREY!!"
Wishing you all a Happy Republic Day. The essence of this day couldnt have been put better than what is written here.
Once upon a time…….. - *kadalinakkare ponore, kaana ponninu ponorekadalinakkare ponore, kaana ponninu ponore* *poy varumbol enthu kondu varum -- kai niraye* *poy varumbol enthu k...
7 years ago