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
“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?
My wife has solved my car parking problem. Let me narrate
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.