And … for Driving !!

Driving my car here on Bangalore roads is a dream come true for me!

I’ve been driving my car for the past 2-3 weeks and I am so much more confident now. I am still accompanied by the driving instructor and am yet to drive on my own, but I feel I can now handle the notoriously famous Bangalore traffic!!  I still feel nervous… but not overwhelmed, and am sure that in time I’ll do fine. Yayy !!!

I had first come to Bangalore in the year 2000. At that time, I had no clue that I would one day be a permenent resident of Bangalore. Driving to some areas that I had lived in earlier and on familiar roads, during my weekend practice, I think back to that time and wonder if I knew in some teeny weeny corner of my heart, that I would be driving on these very roads.. in my own car!! It all seems so strange and as if from another era altogether..

Just some time before coming to Bangalore, I had met with an accident while riding my bike in Mysore. I was not hurt badly; only a sprained arm which resulted in unease in moving the elbow, though the bike had suffered some real damage. Somehow, post that incident I became extra cautious and in fact lost my confidence to a great extent. Moving to Bangalore meant stopping the use of a bike and I kind of lost touch over a period of time.

Then came the arthritis, the painful wrist made me almost incapable of handling a bike. And I had to stop riding the bike for good. I felt very sad about this. But the fact that arthritis made me dependent on others for every little thing was a greater concern at that time and riding was not on mind, totally out of question in fact. I’d just given up on that.

After years of trying .. of getting into and out of different types of treatments and medication.. thankfully I got cured of arthritis. However, I did not dare to try riding the bike again thanks to Bangalore traffic!! And my family members were not at all supportive of me riding a bike here. They feared that I was not physically fit enough to ride a bike and handle it effectively. In fact I was also not confident at all as I still could not get a good grip as my palms hurt. So that was that and I managed by commuting by bus mostly, or auto or by being driven around by the BILs.

I would have continued that way.. but I was inching closer to the start of the 5th decade of my life and It made me think about driving again. I felt that now is the time or it would never happen! I had always cherished the sense of freedom.. of independence that riding gives. I wanted that again!! My family had always encouraged me to learn driving and so it was that I joined a formal driving class.. learnt the ABC of driving and obtained a driving license too.. way back in 2012!

I used to practice driving when I found time during weekends.. but that did not help much as I could not practice enough and sometimes after long gaps I used to find myself at square one! That is when I decided that having my own car would be one sure way of getting me to drive seriously. Well.. clearly I was wrong.

I bought the car in Jan 2013 and I was not anywhere near to driving on my own even in Jan 2014!! I made a resolution to learn driving independently within the first quarter of this year and spoke a lot about this with family and friends.. though I was clueless as to how to make it happen. Then, as if by magic things fell into place.

I wrote about my fears in a couple of my earlier posts. Acknowledging them somehow liberated me ! I could feel that something within me shifted!! At around the same time, I started commuting to office with a colleague who had started driving recently. She took the interior roads that were easier to navigate, from a traffic perspective. This inspired me to take up driving on my own. Maybe try on these roads, if not the main roads that are so full of vehicles and people which overwhelmed and scared me a lot. And, as luck would have it, the instructor who was too tied up a few months back.. got back saying he’s available at a time that is convenient to me!! And, I literally jumped at the thought that my dream would finally come true!!

The fantastic thing is that my instructor preferred we drive on the main roads! So yeah… I am face to face with what had terrified me for so long. And, I’m slowly but surely inching towards freedom from my fears. Its a truly special special kind of feeling… and when my family looks at me proudly.. I am totally on top of the world! Dad is so very proud that I’m finally doing it, sisters and BILs egg me on, friends have been encouraging and supportive. And, the kids are the most excited… as only kids can be. They are eagerly awaiting the time when I’ll drive them around 🙂 I am waiting for that too!

Wish me luck people. I do need all the wishes and positive vibes to keep this going 🙂

Linking this to ABC Wednesday.

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