I felt so thrilled , so confidant, so grown up when I held tightly to the steering wheel and the Premier Padmini zoomed ahead. I was sitting on the lap of my favorite uncle, thinking that holding on to the steering wheel was all I needed to learn about driving. I used to wait eagerly for these driving lessons as a child...Brimming with energy and innocence …firmly believing that I have mastered the art of driving. The only hindrance that forbade me from practicing my skills was the lack of a car.
It took the child in me some time in accepting that I had more to learn in order to drive and that I needed to wait till I was eighteen to be issued a driving license. When I was finally eighteen I signed up along with a few friends at a driving school next to our colony. On my first day of driving lesson, Bashir Sir honked in front of our house on a tempo trax. He had collected all his students on his way and thus began my journey of enlightenment on Indian roads. Each day was an experience on the road ….. Our master had his clutch accelerator and break under perfect control on his side of the vehicle that we hardly learnt to drive. The only thing each of us learnt with out fail was the regular route he asked us to take during our driving sessions. Our Bashir Sir had three wives. One legitimate wife and the other two his well known secrets. Each day he would visit his wives and the road that connected his various houses was to be our driving route. His fourth stopover was a toddy shop. And once he was satisfied with the final stop we would head to our respective homes and our Basheer Sir knew not to open his mouth.
Our Basheer Sir was a man of many connections… Though a puny little man he knew what to do when and how…He knew how to satisfy the staff in the regional transportation office and get things done… Thus without learning much to drive and without facing any dire situation I was issued a driver's license.
to be continued................