A woman learning to drive is nothing short of a joke, especially to her husband. But what happens when you take a joke too far or ‘drive like lightening’?
It was a warm summer night and Asha’s house was illuminated with string lights. And why wouldn’t it be? It was her husband Arvind’s birthday and once again, she had set up the most creative birthday decor. The ceiling had the most colourful balloon bunches and ribbons. All this gave the whole room a festive vibe.
This time of the year was always celebrated with their friends- Amit and Rohan and their wives. While Asha served the drinks and snacks, Amit’s wife Kimi fried cutlets and Rohan’s wife Sejal replaced the dirty plates with clean ones. Meanwhile, the men had a ball outside in the living room. Once the kitchen work was done, the ladies joined the men outside.
Arvind: “Welcome ladies. We missed you all.”
Asha: “Don’t drink too much Arvind. Looks like you’re high already.”
Arvind: “Oh guys. I forgot to tell you, my beloved wife Asha has learned driving.”
Amit and Rohan burst out laughing since it was meant to be a joke but Kimi and Sejal were genuinely happy about it and praised Asha.
Amit (in a mocking tone): “Aha! I hope the wife is not driving you nuts like mine does.”
Rohan couldn’t stop laughing. Kimi interrupted,”Why do you all always have fun at our cost? Running short of jokes?”
Arvind: “You know what? Asha drives like lightening!”
Rohan and Amit were now surprised and in awe. Rohan said, “Really? Sejal you should learn too. You will then understand how it feels to listen to someone talk endlessly while driving.”
Sejal pretended as if she didn’t hear him.
Amit: “So you mean she drives really fast? That’s damn good ya. Unbelievable!”
Arvind: “I mean she hits trees”
Amit and Rohan laughed their guts out while the ladies wore faint smiles on their faces.
Amit:”Dude! You’ve got a good sense of humour. That totally cracked me up.”
Kimi couldn’t deal with the nonsensical talks. She said,”And you know why most jokes about women are one liners?”
Kimi: “So that men can understand the joke easily.”
Sejal bubbled with laughter but Asha couldn’t smile anymore. She was hurt. Given how she had just learnt driving, she just needed some motivation. Arvind carried on with the joke not noticing Asha’s expression.
Arvind:”Thank God the colour of the car is not pink.”
Amit and Rohan stomped their feet on the ground and chortled.
Amit: “Hey! We need more beers. Birthday boy, you stay. Rohan and I will go and get more beers and return in a jiffy.” And they left.
A while later, they still hadn’t returned when out of nowhere, Arvind started feeling uneasy. He was having trouble breathing and then began the chest pain, coughing and wheezing. Arvind seemed to be having a full blown asthma attack.
Sejal: “Asha. We need to take him to the hospital right now.”
Asha (nervously) “But how? Amit and Rohan are out. Let’s wait for them.”
Kimi: “I can’t get through their numbers. We should not wait. Asha get the car out.”
Asha: “Who? Me?”
Kimi: “Yes Asha..What are you thinking. Let’s go.”
Sejal: “Get moving Asha. He is getting breathless.”
Asha took the car keys and moved Arvind to the car. The four got into the car and Asha sat cold behind the steering wheel. Her arms felt shaky and her stomach knotted.
Arvind (in a weak voice) “Go Asha!”
Hearing those words from him, Asha got a sudden boost of energy. She took a deep breath and drove to the hospital.
After an hour or so, unconscious Arvind regained his senses. His condition was stable. The doctors told him that he was brought just in time. Amit and Rohan too reached.
Arvind: “I am sorry Asha. I underestimated what you are capable of doing. You have given me a new life on my birthday.”
Asha had tears in her eyes. Just a little motivation was all she needed from him.
Kimi (rolling her eyes): “Well! You should be sorry.”
Sejal: “Why is your hand bleeding Rohan?”
Amit watched the serious faces and tried to add a bit of comic relief to the situation. He said,”As soon as we got the message about what had happened, we tried to drive like lightening.”
Rohan continued: “That’s right. And we hit a tree and fell off the bike.”
Asha wiped her tears and somehow, the woman in her felt happy.
Kimi:”I hope you guys have now learnt a lesson of giving up on the old joke about women driving. The gender behind the wheels doesn’t need to be a male to take you for a spin.”
A version of this was first published here.
Picture credits: Still from movie Piku
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