It’s been over two-and-a-half years since I resolved to learn driving. I wrote here how I joined driving classes and had managed to attend almost every class. but well, I had to quit. Well, in my defense, the man who used to come to teach NEVER brushed his teeth! That my classes were early morning, about 6.30 – 7.00, did not help AT ALL. For all I know, he might have been coming right from bed with that stinking mouth of his. Ugh. I shudder to even think of it. I used to attend every class till he began teaching me how to reverse! Moron that he was, he just would not let me use the rear-view mirror. He said I’d to turn around and look back through the rear windshield. And, the very moment I’d look back, he’d also look back! His face then would be inches away from mine, and it’d hit me like a whiplash! The mouth odour, I mean. It was killer. That was the day I quit! Not to mention that he was sleazy and tried to use every opportunity to ‘touch and teach’. *&^$%^&*(*&^%
So well, that was a nightmare. I went back to my philosophy about how I did not need to learn driving, because I always had/have my drivers — dad, brother, brother’s friends and Suraj. At all other times, I have bus and auto drivers :D Life moved on. Till I met The Queen of Subtlety (TQS). She was dying to learn driving, and when she told me about it, I randomly commented on how I should also learn, but it has always been a jinxed effort. That was it. She convinced me to join with her, yelled at me for missing some classes and pushed me to continue even when I was fed up with the folks at the school and wanted to give up.
The two of us joined Maruti Driving School (MDS). We both signed up for evening classes (4.30 – 5.30), since the place was close to office, and we could easily reach. After my first 3-4 classes, I got into a project that had recurring meetings every day at that precise time! I missed some 7-8 classes in a row. According to their system, if per the initial schedule your classes get over on a specific date and if you cross that date for whatever reason, you need to reschedule (and write them an apology letter!). So I wrote apology letter, begged and pleaded to be given a new set of dates. The new set of dates arrived. TQS looked at the dates and timings and randomly commented “All your classes are in the evening”. I was sooo dying with work, I did not even bother to check the date and time to see if she was right. I just took her word for it :D Turned out, I had only one class in the evening. All others were in the morning! And it was not on every other day, like the previous time. So on days I could not make it in the morning, and called to say I would not be able to make it, it would turn out I had no class scheduled that day! Long story short, I missed a lot of classes again! That is when I heard from my manager (who had also been a student there once up on a time) that MDS reschedules only once, and after 2 attempts, if you are not regular, they blacklist you. I freaked out. Two years ago, I’d paid Rs 4000 to a man who did not even brush his teeth. I’d now paid MDS Rs 6000. I could not waste money on this anymore! But how was I to explain all the goof-ups?
That is when I made TQS tell the folks at MDS that I was sent out of India on official duty :D
“But why can’t she call and let us know!?”
“She’s in Singapore, you see. On official duty.”
“So? Can’t she call? If she can tell you, can’t she tell us?”
“Well, you see, she is on international roaming, and did not think it was thaaaat important to call from there.”
“Hmmmm. Ok. Tell her we will send a revised schedule.”
So well, I got another revised schedule, and this time I was a good child. I attended every single class, and finally got it over with. Or so I thought. Well, the RTO was waiting.
On Oct 20, Saturday, I went to MDS to get my paperwork done and head over to the RTO for the driving license (DL) test. But the previous day’s dinner had poisoned me, and I was real weak. So I decided to go the following week. On Oct 27, Saturday, I went to MDS to get my paperwork done and head over to the RTO for the DL test. And guess what? Since the previous day was Bakrid, RTO was closed that day. So well, left with no choice, I decided to go the next Saturday. I did not despair. I’m a staunch believer in the Malayalam saying “Onnu pizhachaal moonnu” which translates to mean that if your trial fails the first time, it will work ONLY the third time. This one is ALWAYS true in my case. See how I had to get three schedules for my classes? :D
So, on November 3, Saturday, I went to MDS to get my paperwork done and head over to the RTO for the DL test. No poisons, no holidays, no glitches. After finishing paperwork and simulator test in 15 mins, I headed over to the place I was asked to wait at, for the Inspector who would give us the test. I waited under that tree for 5 hours. Whether I pass the driving test or not, I sure passed the patience test :) I did not walk away! :D The inspector came then, took the test, finished it off in 5 minutes, and that was it! :) That evening, I called MDS, and was told I was licensed to kill ;) The weapon however, would take a month to reach me. Today, it came. A driving license bearing MY name on it.
Dear Queen of Subtlety, I’m deeply indebted to you for making me see this through till the end :) If it weren’t for your incessant yelling and prodding and motivation and encouragement, I would most likely have given up :) Thank You for bringing me some much-wanted joy! :) I owe you a big one :) And every time I’m behind the wheel, every time I open my wallet and see the “D.L. SMART CARD”, I will remember you :)