Before i begin this post which concerns driving a vehicle, let me seek the divine grace and blessings of his holiness swami boneywasawarriorananda, the omniscient when it comes matters of driving vehicles of 2,3,4....n wheels. My mistake of mentioning the relative motion b/w clutch and accel. in the prev post led to a lot of chiding from his holiness. My sincerest apologies swamiji... ;)
YenPeeEss once said:
"You see there are two kinds of drivers. The perfect ones and the imperfect ones. The former need the latter to really feel they are on the roads. The latter need the former to say to others 'hey at least we make someone proud'. Well they are indispensable to each other, they balance each other, like ying-yang .....(and a Honda activa made an imperfect collision with him)
I was formally inducted to latter's hall of fame last month when i suffered a minor accident. It went like this. I was on my activa traveling somewhere around the speed of 45-46kmph. There were 3 indicas ahead of me in the same straight line. The leader of the pack didn't feel the need at all, to show any sign/signal that he intended to take right turn at the next junction and the stops out of the blue for that purpose. The rest (including me) faithfully crashed in to each like some long last buddies[pile up is the word technically speaking].....
Getting over the excruciating pain of betadine and mercurochrome and the sweet-sour chidings of amma and appa, i did some introspection of the happenings. Non-maintenance of sufficient distance from the car and over speeding( the repair bill of the activa def. hinted at that) were the conclusions.
And all this happened when i had return some documents to the car driving school, for my learner's license. You see i had joined for lessons in car-driving for many reasons. Primary ones emergency situation, the sheer pleasure of it, DL is a great address proof......
In a marriage interview:
Would Be Maava: "what else can the boy do?"
Appa:"well he can drive a car...."
WBM:" very good very good (lord almighty; driver can be fired..... 2 coconuts to you), may we decide on the wedding date?"
Sudarshan, my instructor, was a scraggy, kumkum-in-the-mid-forehead-putting, i-dont-know-when-i-will-explode-kinda and this guy. This was unnerving at first because you except him to flip at any slight mistake while you drive... but as the classes wore on i got adjusted to him. He changed the routes for every class, depending on what i was supposed to learn for the day, so you can imagine his dedication.
'legs on Clutchu-brake while in descent and while encountering obstructions' and 'release the clutch and accelerate simultaneously while changing gears' were among the two things that he used cry himself hoarse with. And the VTU dudess had said that car learning is baaye haath ka khel or something. Well it is so if it is Automatic transmission, otherwise its daaye haath ka khel for the right hander which is very difficult indeed :P. This took a lot of time for my feet to understand, slow learners that they are. They just refused to act as he said, as if they had a mind of their own, so either it would be a sudden release of clutch which would make the car to do a Dhadak-rev act and would invite a "you will ruin this clutch lining by the time this is done" remark from him or a vroooom from the car which would make him say"go easy, dammit". It took a lot of time and i have yet to master it with the gentle Santro Xing of ours. :(
5 classes had passed when dad decided to check out what i had learnt at school. Despite repeated attempts at convincing him otherwise he stuck to his guns. Vokay i said and we went on a short drive. A few hiccups happened initially with the clutch and gears (for i was learning with an old santro which had controls on the other side, which does change clutch length and other crap like that) and i felt this wont turn out be good. But appa was patient as he his with his patients and we continued. And a mishap occured which certainly made the imperfect drivers committee to add a gold frame to my photo in their gallery and a plaque beneath to commemorate my achievements. But in this court of Web 2.0, i will try to justify myself; my honored netizens.
This is the scene of accident, honoured netizens.(pain max to reproduce from MS paint; but i have done my best, do click on the image so as to get a clear picture of it ;) )
index: light blue fat thing -Our xing which is taking the turn.
dark blue lean thing- a to-be-delivered skoda
dark green lean thing- dilapidated scooter
red short fat thing- some stupid car
We were proceeding on the main road honoured netizens when appa told me to take the turn indicated by the lean green arrow. Now since i am at the left most side of the road, it was inevitable that i had to take a wide-ish turn which would result in me being at the center of that road. Now skoda was approaching in his proper lane and before i could avoid him and come to my proper left lane a kirrrk scratch happened to the skoda. I proceeded further to avoid the damn parked scooter and the stupid car and i ended up nudging the scooter.
Your honour, firstly father should not have asked for me to turn in that sharp hair pin turn which was pretty narrow; when he knew that the car is at the helm of a rookie. Secondly, he should have told me earlier about this so that i would have a shifted myself to the right on the main road which would have facilitated a proper entry to the left side of the hair pin. The stupid scooter owner should also know well not to park it on that silly lean road, where there isn't enough place for two large cars to go side by side. It was a split second order by father honouerd netizens and you must understand my predicament. I rest my case. i also propose making that road a one way for for causing no further inconvenience for my fellow rookie drivers. Thank you.....
He took over the car for the journey back home and i felt my confidence melting away in handling a car. Well a few more classes and a comforting advice from sudarshan made me feel a bit better. Slowly but surely i learnt how to handle tough combat situations on roads(which involves freak drivers, fresk pedestrians, freak roads and freak animals) and made myself license worthy.
RTO-West under whose jurisdiction lies RTO rajajinagar had a brain wave one fine day and built a testing track in peenya near the NH-4. Now this is the first and only RTO to have a track as such to test its DL holder wannabes and unlike other RTO tests which involves going round the shopping complex or having the instructor sit beside you controlling the car(Jayanagar dudes are surely lucky), this is really tough. I present to you the famed track.
Note: As you proceed for the bottom to top there is an elevation in the field of 30deg. (say). the inspecting officers are seated at the bottom edge of the pic.
On the 26th of July some 20 members from our driving school collectively left for the track to get our DL. After driving through horrendous traffic on the NH for some 15kms we reached the track at around 10am. Had to wait painfully 2 hours until the other schools finished their turn.
The audience (which included the nail biting drivers and driving school staff) regaled themselves when the others made mistakes while track. "paapa, no license for him", " hey you saw that? dont know why these people come to take test" and remarks to that effect ebbed and flowed.
My turn finally came at a time when the one prev. to me drove up the median and failed the test. Sat down in the car gingerly not knowing whether to touch the speedometer or the steering wheel first and then to the prayer for some prayer thingie. touched both unable to bear the dilemma. Sudarshan was sitting behind me, so no controls from him. This time i was on my own. "one last time nakul, do it well he said". i looked back at him and his eyes said COME ON. That gave me a huge peg of confidence and i started the maruthi 800.
If you enlarge the pic for a clearer view, i started from the bottom left (follow the white arrows) and proceeded anticlockwise, first entering the right most lane and making the big round. As i neared the starting point, i took a left and climbed up the snake turns and went round the circular patch. Then we had to stop where the red thing is and take a reverse into the other part of the V and then moved ahead to join the topmost lane. Then i returned to the starting point and parked the car in the earlier position. No hiccups where the others had in the track, i passed the test smoothly. Good said sudarshan. I walked away...
Then i brought in my two wheeler for i wanted a license for that too. Here the first part of the test is the same i.e the big round anticlockwise. Then we had enter a small [ 1 vehicle at a time] snake track, go around the 8 and come back in the same way we had entered (follow the blue arrows) to finish the test. The main challenge was not to let your feet to touch the ground at any time during the snake track drive or else it was "hehee, no license for that pille".The objective was to test your balance perhaps in tight corners maybe. That too went flawlessly. Later i ran out of the track to call up my mom to break the good news. She was happy.
I finally got my DL for both which i felt was a culmination of the efforts that went in, for learning the car (and also the activa after the accident ;)). With the smart card in hand i look forward to roof topless drives by the beaches in the highways DCH style (and to save maava of his drivers' fee)... ;)