Learning to Drive A Car – Day 2

It’s day 2 of Learning to Drive a Car. Same Swift, same time. The car was parked onto the sidewalks of the road. Sat on the seat and was asked to adjust the seat and the mirrors. After successful completion of the assigned tasks, was handed over the key. Put the key in, he started teaching about hand break. “Release hand break by pushing silver button”, plus ” now neutral, this is first gear, second gear, third gear, forth gear, and reverse”. “Put in first and start” I did as told and vehicle started moving.

More confident driving than yesterday. Honking, driving, left, right, straight. You know the dogs that cross the road are a menace. They just stand on the middle of the road and wait till the vehicle is just 1 mm away from them before they decide to move. This gives such a fear in mind that my mind gets filled with guilt of whether I killed a dog or not.

Went in circles and circles even though I couldn’t understand the routes well. There was a playground which we crossed thrice. I was concentrating on my long turn right which I was not too good at yesterday. This I had revised with a colleague at office to understand the technical details of how a car works scientifically.

The driver gets some calls in between when he attends them and the gaadi moves so slow that even a snail could have overtaken the gaadi. And then he decides to turn on music on his mobile. Wah reh Wah. I was smiling. In between I peeped at my watch to see the time. 1 hour goes away so fast, it was hardly some 4-5 kms.

It was time to get down. Parked towards a corner and then was told to put the hand break again. This time no need to push the silver button. Then he asked for Guru Dakshina 🙂 I was like how much is this Guru Dakshina? He said RS 500. I smiled and handed over the money, anyway who wants the curse of a Guru 🙂

So that was all from day 2.

Learning to Drive A Car – Day 1

First thing first, it’s totally confusing to learn to drive a Car. No, not because there is this accelerator, brake, clutch, gear and stuffs. What I feel is the most complicated stuff is finding the right learning institute. You know it’s such a Herculean task. You have to call them, check their time availability, car availability and finally the cost. Some might say we provide Simulations, tests, evaluations and real time experience in a virtual reality; hence charges might be more. You end the call with a sentence, ‘will let you know in 2 days time’. And then you start evaluating with your friends or relatives whether is it actually required to shell out so much money and then you drop it. From the next day you will start getting continuous calls from the driving schools to whom you have promised to let them know in 2 days.

Anyway, I avoided the Simulation stuff and joined a driving class which had opened up next to my home. No opinions or guidance from friends and relatives on selecting the school, only personal instinct. So I went in, spoke in English, had the greatest difficulty in conversing, they spoke Hindi, Telugu – languages of which I have no idea, made the initial payment and was told about 10 days 1 hour each class. Was given an ‘attendance card’ with phone numbers to be brought everyday. And so from tomorrow I begin my studies between 8 to 9 am.

I was called a little before 8 to know about my current location. The car came, at sharp 8 am, a grey Swift car. Got into the driving seat. The person doesn’t speak English so wow, awesome. The conversations t below is what I perceive was being told to me 🙂 “So this is the steering, right side you rotate for your left indicator and right indicator. Left side of steering, you have wiper, high speed and low speed. Today only steering balance, no clutch, brake, accelerator, gear. Start the car”. With difficulty put the key and started the car, held tightly onto the steering and started inching forward, mm by mm. One hour we got to drive. And for the next 1 hour, the only words that I heard was “gaadi steady”, “full left, 1 and half rotation”, “full right, 1 and half rotation”, “right – long turn”, “left – short turn” and repeat.

We went through some highly inhabited, muddy roads and narrow streets chasing dogs and occasional vehicles. Taking rights, lefts, straights and 1 reverse. Had an occasional chat on where I was from, but due to communication gap, we kept it to left, right and straight only. For doing a reverse, I blocked traffic for 5 minutes, doing full right then full left and on and on and finally when it was done, people around were applauding 🙂 At sharp 9, we got back to where we started from and entry was made on my ‘attendance card’.

I think I did pretty well for a first day of steering balance 🙂