I love the mobility that comes from being my own driver as opposed to depending on someone to drive me around. More than freedom, what I love most about being my own driver is the absence of the plethora of questions that one has to face while coordinating a drive:
- What time should I meet you?
- Are you sure you will get up that early?
- Isn’t that too late?
- Ok let it be, call me when you wake up?
- Will you pick me up from my home or should I come to the main road?
- Oh wait no, I have a huge bag (I have to transfer a dead body). You will have to come pick me up.
- Are you there already? My hair got stuck in the hair brush, give me 7 minutes.
- Do you want to take that route, there are many cows on that route.
- You might want to try the other radio station?
- Mansi, you do not have a radio in your car?!?
If God had made me a little more intelligent, I would have been able to handle this level of logistical proficiency. I feel very challenged, especially because driving, for me, is just not about going from Point A to Point B; it gives me solace, peace & liberation that can only come from walking naked in the house when no one is around.
I got my driving license at 18 and I have been driving myself around for nearly 10 years now and it has been quite a journey. I think the main reason I bought a car was the agony of not feeling the wind in my hair on a two-wheeler while wearing a helmet. Not to mention the injustice the helmet did to my hair. It’s been a roller coaster ride in my Alto – that special, maroon-colored claustrophobic beauty – right from getting the tire tube busted on the first day because my friends wanted to test how fast the car can go, to getting free boiled eggs in return for a ride, road trips in the jungle without a GPS and showing people my city in that tiny chariot.
After having moved out of Delhi, I have used public transport in Bombay & Bangalore and I enjoy that too. The good thing about taking the bus to work is that I don’t feel I’m causing the bus driver any inconvenience – there is no reason to coordinate the time, place or choice of music with him. It’s almost like going on a blind date.
I can hardly wait to start driving again in March, when I will again be “The master of my fate and the captain of my soul.”