If you have somehow read how my first driving lesson went, you must have probably figured out my brilliant driving instincts. I finished my driving lessons quite some time back. Now it was time to get my permanent driving license and for that I had to visit the local RTO. It was two days back. I had company, my friend Swap who had actually managed to borrow a Scooter so that we can complete the journey unruffled despite the season of Kawariyas..!!
Distance: 30Kms (15 up..15 down..)
Vehicle: LML Vespa | 4 Gears | (God knows how old)
Senario: Half of the route had traffic diverged into one lane because of the kawariyas..!! It was the first time I was driving a Scooter, that too on a heavily populated road.
It went on somewhat like this:
10:40 A.M-The start was good. I managed to start the scooter after 7-8 tries. Though a few meters down, I had to repeat the drill but as we thrive on team work, Swap elegantly came off the scooter and kick started it so that I don’t have to come off myself. You can imagine the sight of two grownups teaming up to start a vintage scooter…
Me: Kick Swap Kick…harder harder..!!
Swap: It will help if you twist a little..the accelerator that is..!!
10:45 A.M-The highway was heavily crowded. There was a detour at my discretion but I preferred being in middle of the action. So, I was straightaway on the GT Road and was driving on the edge of my seat, consciously and hesitant as if I had a chihuahua under my butt. The traffic was converged to single lane as the other lane was crowded by walking Kawariyas. There it was then , the first Traffic Light on the route of Chaos. It looked as if all the vehicles had somehow got sucked into a whirl hole as all of them seemed to converge into one point. I also remember the Police barricades placed strategically allowing only just about one two-wheeler to pass through, which was actually beyond the understanding of an average human ..because at an average 2.7 vehicles were jostling to pass by those creeks of redemption. I managed to get that 0.7 of the space and almost hit a person who was out on noon walk in middle of the Grand Trunk road at such times of traffic catastrophe. He somehow managed to moon walk past the path of destruction though.
10:50 A.M-I had gone through the creeks of redemption but only to get right in the most challenging part of the journey. I was flowing with the traffic…automatte !! I had my moments of glory, moving faster than the average traffic, overtaking others most of the times…much to the delight of my driver alter ego, also known as Valentino Rossi. I also learned how irritating can Swap be with his commentary. I crossed the Hindon river and upfront was the awkward Meerut turn which marked the end of shared lane driving. Next I was driving like a Prison break criminal, as there would be no tomorrow.
10:55 A.M-I learned two important lessons:
1. Joy is momentary…even on the road.
At that moment I resorted on Gandhigiri…especially the “bura mat suno” part.
11:15 A.M-We reached the RTO, safe and sound impervious to the fact that we were missing the helmets on our heads, Insurance papers for the vehicle and I don’t remember any pollution check sticker either. It was only then that we realized…we were missing the RC of the vehicle as well. Bravo…!
11:20 A.M-We double checked our documents and got ourselves the Form no. 4. And yet again a moment of realization..we didn’t know the registration no. of the scooter as well..(So many realizations that day I think I am done for the week.).
12:01 P.M-Done with the procedure which I would rather keep under the wraps. We were heading out of the office and just then we were reminded to get our learner’s licensed copied so that we don’t go back..unlicensed..!! Yes we needed a reminder..!! We headed back to the scooter, did our routine team start-up and off we were on the route back.
12:05 P.M-We were back on the road. Swap was feeling a little sleepy. The thumb on my left hand was hurting a little and that’s when I saw the most horrendous little blister that I have ever got in my life (I was not used to shifting gears in a scooter).
This little realization was by the way enough for Swap to give up his sleeping plans.
12:40 P.M-We were back. The journey was over….I am a better driver now.
By the way, I managed to drop that imaginary chihuahua somewhere on the route. I hope he died well. R.I.P…(I used to call him Nish).