How to Drive a Car – Part I

I finally got myself to drive to the nearest Driving School (in a two-wheeler, of course) and join the Car Driving class that I have been meaning to join for quite sometime now. Being the lazy bum that I am, I always do things years after the correct age to have done it. Be it getting a passport, getting a job or getting a girl friend (well, I haven’t managed that yet!). So this delay in wanting to learn how to drive a car comes as no surprise whatsoever. On the contrary, what is surprising is that I didn’t put it off further. Instead, I got up all charged up this morning and enthusiastically sang ‘Aaja Meri Gaadi Mein Baith Jaa’ while taking my bath and went straight to that Driving School.

There I was given an option of 3 cars to choose from – a Maruti 800, a Maruti Alto and a Hyundai Santro. The costs for these (including costs for LL, DL, 10 hours of classes and something called a smart card) were 2700, 2800 and 3000 respectively. I went for the Santro by instinct, but the guy said that it was booked for at least 2 weeks. I did not want to wait for that long. I might change my mind. So I went for the Alto instead.

So it was time for my first class. I introduced myself to the instructor, a young chap called Prakash. (He said he was from Davangere and was staying alone in a room near to the driving school. Poor guy gets to go home just once a year even though it’s just an overnight journey from Bangalore to Davangere. Felt sorry for him.) He took the seat next to the driver’s (which I usually take in my Dad’s car) and I, for the very first time, sat on the driver’s seat. It felt good. He then asked me to wear my seat belt and then started explaining the essential things needed to be understood before starting the car – the Accelerator, Brake and Clutch (or the ABC as he called them), the hand brake, the indicators etc. He then said I would just concentrate on the acceleration and the steering today. He then asked me to start the car. I did so and pushed the peddle of the accelerator. All the other intricacies of starting a car were taken care by him for now.

It is an amazing feeling when you start a car and push the peddle for the very first time which can only be experienced to be understood. We drove around the whole of my locality for the next 45 minutes. Turns out that I have good steering control and he told me I would be able to learn driving fully in 5 classes or so (he probably encourages all his other students in the same way, so you never know how true this might be). I t was great fun driving around the near empty roads of my locality. I especially liked it when he asked me to take a turn because it is difficult initially to judge how much to steer to take those turns. But looked like I managed it more than fine.

So far so good. My next class is tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll pick up things just as well as I did today.

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