Driving diary – Part 1

05 Feb

Started this with a part 1 as I know I will have many parts to follow.

The first time I sat in that dreaded seat behind the steering wheel was when I turned 18. My Annu (dad) wanted me to get a driving license. He took me in his car early morning one day to a barren land and asked me to try my hand. I still remember my first attempt at trying to do a U-turn, which went on to become an O turn as I didn’t even know that the steering had to beΒ maneuvered back to straighten the wheels after the U is complete! I hated shifting gears to the core. The car would behave like a living being with it’s own mood swings as it would stop oddly out of the blue. My dad got me enrolled in a driving class to teach me how to tame the strong-willed monster. I finished my course and somehow got the license, don’t ask me how. I never drove again!

Marriage happened, kids happened, moving cities happened and we bought our first car Bulu in Bangalore when I was 25, which was 7 years after I had received my DL and had stopped driving. Abbas went to a driving school, learned to drive and got his DL. He encouraged me to go too and I obeyed. Again I went for a few classes and discontinued on the pretext that I wouldn’t be able to drive with such young kids in tow. (But actually I chickened out, I thought it was not my cup of tea). I would tell Abbas that if I would learn to drive, he would not be left with any responsibilities that he can’t easily shove on me.

Cut to life in Sydney. I was super happy to know that most cars here are Automatic. My biggest pet peeve with driving was shifting gears and the car shutting down while I did so. That fear was eliminated now. Abbas took his lessons and got his DL here at his 4th attempt. That did discourage me as I really admired his driving skills back in India. The fact that a skilled driver like him flunked his first three attempts was reason enough for me back out yet again. But Abbas encouraged me saying that it would be easier for me than him. Because he had to unlearn a lot of habits of flouting rules in India and then learn to follow them, while I would be learning from the scratch and he thought I was good at grasping and following instructions.

I went ahead and booked my Driver’s Knowledge Test (DKT) and passed it at first attempt. That was such a morale booster. Abbas encouraged me to quickly book some classes and get going. I must also mention Harvy and VJ who motivated, pushed, threatened and checked on me to grab the bull by its horns, errr steering wheel! I booked a class with the guy who had taught Abbas. He was an old man with a weird sarcastic sense of humor (or the lack of it). I really couldn’t follow what he tried to tell me. Every sentence of him was heavily loaded with oodles of sarcasm that I wouldn’t know if the rule he told me was for real or if he said it ironically. He was a bit chauvinist too in his thought process and I detested him to the core. I went for two classes and told Abbas that I would never go with him again.

Then came a gap as I had forgotten about driving again. Slowly when my 30th birthday was approaching, I told myself that I must get my DL at least before I turn 30. With a sudden burst of determination running through nerves, I enrolled yet again to another driving class. This time the instructor was a very patient guy who was very methodic in his way of teaching. I enjoyed the classes and went regularly. After a few classes, he told me “You are driving well. You know all the rules but you just need to practice more before going for the test. You have a car and your husband has a license. Why don’t you regularly practice with him? I have taught you everything but you just need to practice to get a steady hand and more confidence.” I really appreciated his honesty, unlike some other driving schools that try to discourage people and in turn make them book more classes. Happily, I thought I would practice with Abbas and book a test soon.

The practice never happened for some reason or the other. Maybe we didn’t give it so much importance. Once when we went out for dinner, I told Abbas that I would drive. He sat in the non-driver-seat in the front for the first time in many many years. He started yelling that I was going to hit all the parked cars on the left. His voice affected me and I just couldn’t drive as smoothly as I did with my instructor. I gave it back to him and thought we must try during day time in an empty area first. That never happened at all!! Because we became busy with planning our India trip. My 30th birthday flew past without any mention of my weak goal….

To be continued…

PS: If you are hoping that this series will end with me talking about how I finally got the DL, then I’m hoping the same as you. I haven’t yet booked my driving test. Started this series to document the journey and to receive some inspiration and encouragement to give the driving test.


Posted by on February 5, 2017 in Uncategorized


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22 responses to “Driving diary – Part 1

  1. Manasa

    February 5, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Here’s me rooting for u!!! Go go go…


    • Seema

      February 15, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      Thank you Manu. Will try to make your rooting worth it πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Manasa

        February 18, 2017 at 3:06 am

        You will! Can’t wait! All the very best!


        • Seema

          April 24, 2017 at 1:22 pm

          See, it worked. Thank you my love. Mmmuah


  2. Maya

    February 5, 2017 at 11:43 am

    I hear you sistah. Been there done all of that. One big giant hug to you!

    Like I said in the comment in my post, if I can do it, anyone can. Just go ahead and book an appointment for the road test yaa. I’ll tell you how I looked at it. I kept asking myself what’s the worst that can happen. I might have had to take the test one more time. But, the upside was I would’ve known what mistakes I make which could make me prepared the next time around. If I by luck I passed it the first go, then even more great. Go ahead and give it a try, Seema. You can do it!

    Eagerly awaiting your success story! πŸ™‚


    • Seema

      February 15, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      Thank you so much Maya for the encouragement. Yay, I mustered the courage to book the test finally. I am going with the same attitude as your suggested. If I don’t pass, I will book my next test the same day πŸ™‚ Thanks again my dear


  3. anisnest

    February 6, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Wishing you good luck to get your DL..As the instructor said practice is all we need when it comes to driving.. Getting DL is one thing but practice is what will make you more confident and take the car out with ease.. so practice as much as you can dear..


    • Seema

      February 7, 2017 at 9:01 am

      Thanks Ani. Yes I’m slowing feeling confident. Earlier I would make pretexts even when Abbas would ask me if I would like to drive. These days Im asking him to let me drive. Will get there slowly and steadily, hopefully πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  4. shaktii

    February 6, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Tagged you dear…pls visit my space…

    Btw, i too have started my driving classes here in sg but they are very expensive and they dont allow to practice by yourselves with your family as the space is very limited here and its a fine country ha ha

    I am petrified every time i sit behind the wheel…wish i could get a DL from India…Bharat mahan…


    • Seema

      February 7, 2017 at 8:59 am

      Thanks for the tag Shaktii 😊 Wish you all the best with the drivin test. Let’s do it together girl πŸ‘πŸ»

      Liked by 1 person

      • shaktii

        February 7, 2017 at 10:53 am

        oh sure…All the best πŸ™‚


  5. Roopa Mahale

    February 8, 2017 at 3:05 am

    Wishing you luck with your DL Seema. I , like you, too had taken driving lessons in India and had Indian DL. I did not drive much there at all. When in NJ, my husband forced me to get my DL. Thankfully, at that time in NJ if one had Indian license, one had to just pass written test and no driving test was required.Even after I got my license here, I dreaded driving on highways for sometime. After I started working I had no option but to drive. Now I can say its so much easier driving here than in India.
    Dont worry, you too will get the hang of it.I guess its kind of ‘rite of passage’ to get adjusted to new country…lol.


    • Seema

      February 15, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      Haha, I think you are right. I travel to work by train and that’s why taking it easy as I’m not compelled to drive yet. But it is very much a necessity and a must have skill here. Thanks for the inspiration Roopa. I have booked a test next month. Will keep at it πŸ™‚


      • Roopa Mahale

        February 16, 2017 at 1:59 am

        All the best seema. Some dog name suggestions: Roscoe, Raisin, Ray.


        • Seema

          April 24, 2017 at 1:22 pm

          Thanks a lot Roopa. They are nice names.


  6. lifeslittletwists

    February 8, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Practice and more practice and DO NOT GIVE UP! See me? I feel pathetic and scared and every time I drive I feel like I have achieved something – do not let that happen to you, really! Get that DL NOW GIRL! I know you, you can do it!


    • Seema

      February 15, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks RS. So sweet of you to have that kind of confidence on me πŸ™‚ Love you babe. I booked the test next month. By the way, when is the next post coming up huh? Tell me Tell me


  7. shaktii

    February 12, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Any tips for iELTS test?


    • Seema

      February 15, 2017 at 11:34 am

      Hi Shaktii, I had bought a book which was very helpful. It’s called ‘IELTS and TOEFL made easy’ by George John. Try it out if you like.



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