Pages from My Nonsense Diary

Pradip Roy Chowdhury

Crazy Driving

Car Driving is not so easy as it appears to be. I have realised it of late after a few misadventures with my car. To achieve excellence in any activity, you always need active support, if not compliments. However, the back seat or front seat support from my wife sometimes goes too far whenever I am driving with a running commentary as sampled below:
“You should have seen that road bumper much before and controlled the car well in advance. Now take care, where are you going? See that open gutter on the left side of the road and yet you are driving to your left! Why are you speeding unnecessarily? We don’t have to catch Geetanjali Express. Look forward – you will knock off the old gentle man who is trying to cross the road!“
Fortunately, the car was well in control. I tried to calm her down –“Don’t you worry, nothing will happen. The old person is used to walking on the road for the last seventy years while I have been driving for not less than five years. We make a wonderful pair “. She gave me a icy look saying “you and your old joke .Not so funny “!
Our car by that time was halting before a traffic signal. Wife was back in action in no time. “Please switch off the engine. At this rate, you will run out of petrol in no time. After crossing the signal, don’t bump into those cows. I do not trust your driving skill!” To my dismay, when the traffic signal was cleared, the car engine did not start. At the same time there was also steering jam, I did not know why. The cars behind started honking and the driver of a passing bus made some nasty comments. This was enough to add fuel to fire and you can well imagine the scene charged with tension. Luckily god had a small mercy on me. The steering jam on its own got unlocked and the car started rolling!
While trying to pacify my wife, I said “you really do not enjoy driving on Mumbai roads with so many pot holes and shabby road conditions. “
“The problem lies with your driving. I always get a back ache after you drive “–she said. Now I could not maintain my cool any longer. I replied “I always get a head ache when you sit in the car. If you are such an expert at driving, why don’t you drive the car yourself instead of driving me mad?”
Wife seemed to have a ready answer: “See a good manager always delegates . It is your duty to drive the car. Please do so properly. Why should I have to drive “?
I wanted to tell her that a good manager also leads by example. But who will listen?

Car Parking

My wife has solved my car parking problem. Let me narrate how:
The other day, we had parked our car near a shop in Santacruz to buy some grocery items. It was a Sunday afternoon with a pleasant late monsoon drizzle around us. Little did we realise that we would be in for a rude shock. On reaching the spot where it was parked we found the car had disappeared without a trace. Who could have taken it away? Where could it have gone?---were the natural questions hovering our mind. Seeing our hopeless condition, a nearby Panwala said he saw the car being towed away by the ever alert Traffic police van. It seems they did their job by encircling the spot with a chalk mentioning the car number and details of nearest police station which however got washed away by the passing shower. The experienced Panwala advised us to proceed to the nearest police station where the car was towed away.
So, we took an auto-rickshaw and went to the traffic police station which was already giving a look of a second hand car showroom. I confronted the inspector who asked for my driving licence. “what was my fault when so many other cars were also parked on the same side of the road?” The inspector gave a nasty look and said “Wrong parking. That place is a reserved parking stand for auto-rickshaws and taxis only. Now pay Rs 200 if you want your car to be released.“ Wife who was a passive spectator all this time, now needed fuel to the fire, said “How could you miss out on that? It is all your fault. Now pay the fine and move out of this place. We are getting late for our invitation to evening tea at friend’s place at Khar.“ So my pocket was lighter for no fault of mine as we proceeded to our friend’s house.
On reaching there, a signboard near the gate invited attention in bold letters.” VISITORS’ CARS ARE NOT ALLOWED INSIDE SOCIETY’S COMPOUND. PLEASE PARK YOUR CARS OUTSIDE.“ Wife after reading it warned me not to make any mistake this time while parking the car outside. So car was parked properly on the edge of the road. We then went inside the house and settled down in the warm company of friends forgetting our recent misadventure.
As we stepped out, there was a again a bolt from the blue. The car had once again vanished. The chalk mark bearing our car number confirmed that the blessed car had again been picked up by the traffic police. “ oh my god, not again this time!” , wife exclaimed. I was absolutely dumb struck. The same inspector grinned from ear to ear when he saw us for the second time. With a voice of authority he asked “What should be the fine this time? You parked your car violating traffic police instructions as parking is permitted on that side of the road between 6 am to 6 pm and not beyond. How can you be so negligent?
Before I could defend myself, wife said, “ Inspector, very simple. Please impound his driving licence. He does not deserve to drive.“ I could hardly believe my ears. “Look you are my wife. You are supposed to be on my side, hell or heaven.” I gasped for words, “Certainly, I am on your side at the heaven. But right now, the world will be a better place to live without you at the driver’s seat.“ - She said.
So, here I am, with my driving licence temporarily impounded by the traffic police. My parking problem is also resolved to the relief of everyone concerned.

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