A story of love, loss and second chances by Nikita Singh, releasing this Valentine’s Day.
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A woman goes on her first drive after becoming a licensed driver. Here’s an account of the eventful drive.
Today I am going to share my first driving experience as a licensed driver. On a Wednesday morning, I collected my driving license from the office and posted at least ten to fifteen pictures on Facebook, holding the license in my hand.
I was super happy and decided to visit my parents home, which is not so far from my current residence, the following weekend, by driving on my own. I asked my husband to take an off on Saturday and we were to be back by Monday. He agreed.
Next day morning, I cleaned up the car, changed the car fragrance and checked the fuel and tires. I made a list of things required for the journey, like water bottles, some snacks, pen drive full of my favourite songs. It was just an 85 kms drive. It takes less than two hours for my husband to drive us there. So, I calculated that, if I drive at 30 to 40 km per hour, then it will take little more than 3 hours. That meant we needed to start early to reach home before dark, though, I don’t have any problem to drive at night.
On the particular day we started our journey. I was nervous at first, as it was going to be my first drive, without that “L” sign stuck at the front. I needed to be careful as I was traveling with a baby on board. Should I stick a note like -‘baby on board’? So many thoughts went across my mind. I reminded myself one important thing- when ever I am going to change the gear or using breaks, I need to pressure the clutch first. At the same time I need to be cautious about acceleration. I need to keep an eye on the mirror and also my surroundings.
Initially, it seemed easy but, as we got on the highway, things changed drastically. Lots of high speed vehicles approached in great speed and blew horns like trains. I needed to maintain my speed. I did not want to break the traffic rules. People don’t bother to put on the seat belts, but we do. Sometimes, I increased the speed and at times I decreased it, as per the need of the hour.
Driving is empowering, thrilling and fun filled. I was reminded of youthful days and I felt the rush of adrenaline in my blood. It was like falling in love once again. I imagined, how my mother would be filled with joy after seeing me drive. Suddenly, my husband’s mobile rang up. I hate any distraction while driving so I had switched off my cell phone. My husband informed me that my elder brother was calling. So, I parked my car on the road side and took the call. I didn’t inform them that I was driving- Let it be a surprise! I hung up the call and had some refreshments, got down from the car and stretched my legs. That was a much needed break. Again we were off to continue the journey.
After an hour I noticed, my husband had fallen asleep. I stopped my car and decided to wake him up. Sleeping beside a driver makes the drive sleepy as well. If he wanted to sleep, then he could go to the back seat and take a nap with our little one. He apologized and we started our journey. His phone rang again and before I stopped the car, he let me understand by his gesture as to not stop the car and keep moving. It was a call from my brother who wanted to know how long will it take.
This time my husband gave an insensitive reply. He put the phone on speaker mode and said “We are moving in 20 km per hour speed, sometimes it drops to less than 15 km per hour with a little traffic and she is taking frequent breaks, as we are driving from last 3 hours and we have only completed half the distance so it’s really hard to predict how long will it take.” After a pause my brother said “Sister you must be tired why don’t you let him drive?”.
Without a single word, I demanded to speak to my mother by the time I parked the car on the road side. My mother is a lovely lady who had inspired me to drive. She said “Don’t listen to your brother, drive safely. We will be waiting for you.” So, we were on the road again. By this time my husband was trying to convince me to let him drive as our little one needed to get his dinner on time. The phone rang again. My brother again requested me to let him drive. This time I asked him angrily “Are you my brother or his brother? You should take my side”. My insensible husband sarcastically replied ” We may stay the night in some road side hotel and expect that we’ll reach by Saturday morning.” But, we didn’t have to stay in a hotel and we reached our destination before 9 pm.
We spend a lovely weekend at home. Early morning, on Monday we needed to start, as my husband had to reach office on time and this time I let him drive. Truly speaking, I was a bit upset as I could not drive again. Our little one slept on the back seat. After an hour, suddenly we were stopped by a police constable. He gave us a angry look and asked us to get out of the car. At first we did not understand why the constable was giving us an angry look. We did nothing wrong then why he was angry? As my husband got down from the car, the police constable said to his officer ” This boy is traveling with his girlfriend, what to do?”. The officer asked so many questions in a single breath like “From where are you coming? What do your parents do? ”
Here I want to tell you something I often skip to wear marital signs like sindur, bangles, mangalsutra. And that day as well, I was in shorts and a t- shirt. I looked at the side mirror and asked myself “My, my.Do I still look young enough that people think I am his ‘girlfriend’? Oh! thank you for such a compliments” My husband explained them we were not only married for years but we had a son. By that time our son was awake. The police officer looked so confused and after checking the papers and driving license they let us go with a disappointing face . We were late by 30 minutes due to this episode but sometimes, few nasty comments make your day. Needless to say I don’t feel bad anymore.
Image Source: Unsplash
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