Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fast and Furious!

What happens when a person who has just learnt to move hands and legs in water is taken to Deep ocean for a Swim?
I Know how it is!!

I had learnt driving in Dombivli, India from a driving school. after 7 months I went for a license exam, and got the Drivers license , International Driving Permit , et al. I also enrolled fro practice sessions with my driving school. I could take only 5 classes of half an hour each.
I have reached US 2 weeks ago. And I see that as I was informed, you are handicapped if you cant drive. But since driving is easier here, I felt I could manage.
So I got a rental car at company expenses. My friend, Hemendra asked me to drive on his colony road, and found that I know very little so he dint let me drive later in the day when we went to get Lisa, our American Friend and went on to dinner at another friend's place. The whole Stretch includes two Interstate highways, 2 Intrastate highways and the roads in the City of Hamden, Milford, East Haven.
As we went to the place Hemendra was driving all the way, as he had seen my driving.. We had a great dinner , it was Mexican without spices and Spanish. About the Dinner later some time. This story starts after the Dinner and the movie..

So After the Dinner and Movie, Lisa insisted that I drive back to her place, Hamden. and she navigates me to drive. Hemendra warned her against it.. But she was quite confident of me. And it took only minutes before she was sorry..

I was instructed .. "When I say right , you turn it on my side , when I say left turn to the left, when I say fast you have to step on the gas , when i say stop apply the brakes and slowly" So I was first to get the car out of Parking lot. in a reverse gear. Now hence onwards I dont speak.. Its Lisa or Hemendra .. "Right , RIGHT , You will hit the Car" "Slow Slow, brake brake " and I stepped on the Gas !!
Just missed the car on left. Now On the roads. In US of A you have STOP signs at intersections, where ther is no need of Traffic lights. AT each STOP sign you have to stop the wheels completely and then move forward. So as I encountered each STOP sign or signal.. "Stop Stop STOP" "Brake brake APARNA BRAKE!!!" and then when it was a turn .. "Right right RIGHT" , "left Left LEFT! APARNA LEFT" "Now stop doing that girl"
Thank god the roads were empty.. Slowly and bumpingly we reached the highway or the freeway that is an Interstate freeway.. Now the rules for Interstate freeways is that you have to maintain your laneand not to drive under 40 miles per hour. All the vehicles hence speed at 80-90 miles per hour.. and me was hardly reaching 20 miles mark.
As we entered the Highway , I was in full panic-I was at the wheel, three other people in the car. Some other vehicle hits in full speed and dunno what next.
Now anything after this is something I have heard from all these 3 people, I hardly remember the way.. The speed shot up to 55-60 and the wheel was shaky.. I was continuously drifting to the left and I had to drive on the right side of the road. I was drifting to a higher speed lane without any intention to drive faster, and without any indicator. atleast 3 cars whizzed past too closely and everytime Lisa pulled the steering to her side.. It must have been an hour or probably half , I really dont know and we reached Lisa's Town.. and slowed down.. Again a slow and bumping ride till her apartment came.. and when I stopped finally and parked and pulled out the keys, everyone came out.. And Fati, Hemendra's wife found her voice, after 5 minutes of coming out of the car. Me too regained a little of myself.
Because all the time I was driving
1. I was confusing between the Brakes and Accelerator(Gas Pedal)
2. Left turn was a fulllll left and a Fast one
3. Right was equally a full turn and fast one.
4. "BRAKE" word made me hit the gas pedal
5. "RACE" word made me hit the brakes.
6. Hitting any of the pedals with leg was quick, hard and fullpressure everytime, so a Brake wud be bringing the people on backseat to front and speed increased by 5-10 miles.

From Lisa's place to Hemendra's home ,Hemendra took over.. He had to :-)
This started my driving training all over again in US 0f A.. Story of this week long training some other time.


Anandham said...

That was hilarious. Lisa is trying to teach u a lesson or two :) Driving is not that difficult. Only thing u need is to concentrate on the road & clear in the basics of Accelerator, Brake & Clutch. Lucky u there in US there is not clutch I guess. Otherwise u would have gotten into more trouble :) Enjoy ur stay!!!

Abhijit said...


But practice will make u perfect ;)

M.Ananth.Pai said...

well good that u got to complete till lisa's home :D safe n sound without getting a ticket or banging into someone.
So all the best for ur future days of driving, i'm sure u'll do it much better than this :).

Well Wisher said...

I seen your blog ..its really very good one. great effort..