Driving a Car

How tough is it for someone who has driven a 2 wheeler for over 15yrs now? And someone who loves the speed and the power and freedom of driving one?

Let me admit-tough!

Years ago-maybe 7yrs now (much before my marriage) Dad sent brother and me to a driving school and insisted that we learn how to drive a car and also have a valid license.” You never know when you might need it” he said. So we did – both of us, took driving lessons and even took Dad on a round one day before we gave the driving exam and got the DLs. But, we did not buy a car right then.

Soon after, I got married and there was already a car here. My FIL drove, my husband drove-so there was never a requirement for me to drive or a necessity. Every weekend when I wanted to go out the husband would come with me. Now and then I would crib to my mother that I am not able to drive and she would pacify me saying “Dont bother, why do you want to become independent when your husband is willing to drive you around everywhere. Look at your Dad, he knows I can drive the 2-wheeler and never comes with me anywhere-you get time with your husband this way”. And I left it at that and never bothered again-It did make sense then.

What a big blunder that was-I realise now. An year ago when the husband was working late hours I began to take the office bus and get home and even then though, I did mention that I should practise driving, I never did. Now, again, the husband has begun to say that he will be late for some project and my worry is Chutku is not a small baby anymore. He throws terrible tantrums and cannot sit in one place for long, so it gets embarassing for me to take him back home in the office bus where people would grumble about the noise. I take him back home either by the volvo bus or sometimes call for a taxi or auto (both of which are expensive). I guess its time I start practising and driving again.

But Im afraid. Yes, Im scared now. I dont have that youthful confidence I had initially that its no big deal. I can never get when the clutch needs to be pressed, when the gear needs to be changed. Everytime I sit in the driving seat, even before I start, the husband’s instructions would’ve started – change gear now, leave a little clutch and press accelerator, you have to control the car with the clutch and accelerator only – dont use too much break to slow down – and I get confused and cant remember any of these instructions. Now that we have a bigger car, Im afraid I will not be able to see the left end of the car and might get into some ditch or the husband again saying “Look into the rear-view mirrors and then suddenly he screams look front” Huh?!! How can I look both places at once? By the end of 5 mins, I would be close to a nervous breakdown and the husband would have red eyes indicating his increase in BP levels. I just pull over and stop. Add to this, Chutku’s constant screams of “Amma driving beda!!” if I try to practice on the way home. Whew! Im close to giving up.

But, my ego isnt allowing me to accept defeat! I WANT to learn to drive! I KNOW I can do it! And no-I dont blame the husband either-knowing him, he’s trying to sincerely teach me so I stop cribbing about not being mobile enough and having to depend on him or public transport. ( Wait a min! On second thoughts-is he? Coz he knows once I learn, I will want to car every weekend and he will have to make his own arrangements to go play cricket?! Huh? 😉 Hubby-if you’re reading this-I am going to question you today! ) But something is stopping me from taking that last step in insisting I begin to drive. A Co-sister recently bought an i10 and she’s loving it. She’s even willing to give me the car so I can practice and tells me that gear and clutch is not a problem at all as its automatic. But it would be wrong to borrow her car-what if I bang it somewhere!!

Sigh! How do I get rid of this mental block and start driving? All my friends have been very encouraging. They insist they have more confidence in me that I can do it and they all know how tough it gets for me to take Chuktu home alone-so driving would be a boon to me. As well as going out over the weekends to do my own stuff-now that the little fellow is also quite grown up-I can strap him to the car seat and take him around. Im dreaming about all the independence I can get and all the places I can go…I just need that one big shove from the back – someone willing to give me one?


23 thoughts on “Driving a Car

  1. all that driving needs practice and the more you practice the more confidence you will gain.. try this, every weekend fix a time to practice it and stick on to it say one hour on each day (sat & sun). treat that one hour as some crucial appointment that you cannot skip at all. one month down the line you have already had 8 hour sessions which will definitely boast your confidence.
    I would say don’t try the automatic cars unless you plan to buy one. that will only make you loose the interest with the manual gear ones.. somehow I love the manual gear ones and drove during my last vacation in spite of everyone scaring me that I lost touch for 3 yrs. At US, the husband drives the most but I do make it a point to drive whenever I get a chance just not to loose that sense of driving..
    I totally agree to the freedom and independence feel that the driving gives.. I love driving alone with my stereo on.. oh how I miss my driving.. 😦

    go for it RS and get those extra wings to fly as you wish 🙂 all the very best.

  2. Come on you can do it. If you had already done, i know now and then the traffic is too different altogether, but i still feel you can do it. If you feel guilty to use other’s car, you can take a couple of classes just to gain confidence and then buy yourself one. I10/alto are good one s in the small car area.

  3. Anytime you start driving this fear dominates, I am sure we all would have gone through it sometime or other time. Just step in , rest all will fall in place. Sometime necessity makes you do things 🙂

  4. RS, I am sailing in the same boat as you. I too drive a 2 wheeler decently well, have a 4 wheeler license and am aware of the basics. But I too feel so nervous when Abbas shoots 3-4 contradictory instructions at the same time. Look here, do this, don’t look at the gear… To add to it Mantam leave no stone unturned in distracting my attempts to concentrate.

    After blog marathon, perhaps we must take up this challenge too together. What say?

    1. Seeemaaaa! Yes Yes Yes! Lets do it together! Im all for it 😀 Lets do it! 😀 February or March? We will make it a month of driving practice – After reading all the comments I think I better get a professional to teach me again. Let me know what you think 🙂
      And SnS – Ofcourse-lets do it 🙂

  5. Ok listen. Preferably do not have a cranky kid in the car when you are practising driving. It is easy to get distracted while driving, even for an experienced driver. So for someone who is still practising like you are, it is of utmost importance that you drive in peace and concentration until you gain that confidence. After that it’s ok. It should be just you and the instructor (be it whoever) for the initial time.

    And yes driving is all about practice. The more you practice, the better you get. Stick to relatively empty roads in the beginning, and choose timings like early mornings. After that, gradually ease yourself into traffic. There is no solution but to get yourself acclimatized to terrible drivers, haphazard pedestrians, traffic jams. The more you do, the better you get, and your confidence will soar.

    You will do fine. Just don’t give up. Start slow. And you can slowly pick up the pace.

    1. Ashwathy – your comment makes such perfect sense – not to have a cranky kid in the car… grrr…. I hate it when he starts his mantra of “Amma driving beda”…And the best thing would be to hire a driver who would teach me – am going to do that.

  6. Sailing in same same boat RS.. I know 2 wheeler and ride it confidently for around 8 years now.. But never got the confidence to drive a car… :(Crib crib about it, Appi says, u hv to take the car to the road to gain confidence, somehow the weekends fly by and never get a chanvce to practice on road..

    Blr crazy traffic freaks me out at times… Not sure when will I finally learn n be confident.. Every time I see a female driver I feel sad… 😥

  7. As most everyone has said above driving is truly all about practice makes perfect. I say since you have the basics down get up early in the morning when the roads are mostly empty and drive by yourself. Yes all alone.
    The constant giving instructions, even when they mean well, was a bit too much for me so I drove alone for a few days. Made my mistakes and learned from them and build my confidence. Might work for you. Try it out. 🙂

  8. Ok so, I wasn’t a natural driver, but even I learnt eventually though I still won’t say I’m great at it. You need to get a professional driver to teach you. Learning from relatives won’t work. My mum – she had ulterior motives in insisting I learn – got this ancient man who specialising in teaching the ladeez. He even taught me to parallel park. So you need some sort of refresher course with a professional.

    Also, though I’m glad I learnt on a gears, in most places in the world, automatics are the norm. So if you want to skip the gear stage, just learn on an automatic car. I think automatic cars are more common in India now too and some of the driving schools might even have them.

    1. Bride, yes there are automatic cars here but the issue is it guzzles a lot of fuel. And I think I will hire a professional driver to teach me the car all over again so I can start driving. Do you drive when you come here? Im assuming you dont drive in Hongkong…

  9. Pingback: Pain in Abbas’ neck « Anecdotes of Two-riffic Twins

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