A Driving School called Dad

Keep one foot on the brake, release the clutch softly, and step on the accelerator-Hard.

The gears would screech in protest and the car would jump and jerk to a halt as I would take both feet off: How can someone operate three pedals at the same time?

Well go and ride a cycle then!

That was my Dad teaching me to drive.

Well learning from him sure was tough-but then it was learning for life.

Yes I can still hear him strategizing while teaching me to overtake trucks on a National Highway:

Look at the number plate-for Maharashtra and Gujarat numbers, overtake from the right, for Haryana numbers, go left.

For others-Flash the high beam, beep and watch the way it shifts. Slow down to make space, pull into the third and take over just as it is losing momentum

He taught me never to assume that anyone else knows the traffic rules or has heard of road etiquette. On the road we have to save our own ******

He also taught me never to get bullied by size (that menacing bus cannot move as fast as you can) or get awed by opulence either (that rude merc or chevvy or whatever is more scared of a scratch then you are.)

A hallmark of the best teachers is that they teach you how to learn on your own.

Thanks to Dad, I also learnt to drive through the deceptive desert sands, through sticky bogs, through gridlocks and subzi mandees and traffic so crazy that it makes me look at the regular Bangalore traffic as a chance to de-stress (and blog).

It was a long time ago, when my father urged me on as I (plonked against a pillow to reach the controls of our fiat) struggled to juggle between three pedals with two feet.

Yet, the day I was stuck in the worst ever rush hour jam, with wheel-deep water, miles of stationary buses and cars, cyclonic rain and darkness all around, I felt Dad’s words coming back to me, guiding me home.

As I was inching ahead, scribbling on my notebook and munching chocolate, I saw an astounded look on another driver’s face. I guess she didn’t know about Bernard Shaw’s insight into what makes a “Real Soldier (or Driver).” My father did.


  1. It sure looks like tough situation to drive in. I did take driving classes this year, I manged wuite well in the morning on empty roads. I really don't know how well I will fare in traffic. :(

    You are lucky to have such a nice and patient teacher. :)

  2. Oh Yes. I had a great teacher. But nice and patient? No way! But then that is why I learnt quickly :)


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