09 Jun 2015
“You shouldn’t worry about time or distances…for time there is a watch and for distances i have a car..”
When my husband first coaxed me (or should i say literally forced me!) to learn driving, i was so reluctant and resistant to the idea. It seemed so pointless to put yourself into the trouble of learning that skill when you could simply get someone to drive you around. And there was this whole coordination involved…how on earth was i supposed to use my hands to keep the steering wheel steady and change gears, push the accelerator with one foot and be ready to press the clutch with the other and all the time keep my eyes on the road ahead while negotiating space between other vehicles that zoomed past!! This Herculean task seemed way beyond my abilities.
But then they say life really begins at the end of your comfort zone…between the two of us we managed to somehow teach me driving and three decades later am so glad he pushed me into it! For those who enjoy driving…it is an empowering, a liberating activity. Something about the hum of that engine when you switch on the ignition thrills and energises you. As one wise man puts it, “No other man-made device since shields and lances of Knights quite fulfills a man’s ego like an automobile.” When you sit inside your car and drive, it’s like it actually becomes a protective shell for the assertive you.
Incidentally have you noticed how a bit of aggression is part of driving, however gentle and docile you otherwise may be. Many years back every time we went to my parents house our son loved to watch a cassette of Disney Cartoons on the old VCR, in particular Goofy’s ” Motor Mania.” For some reason he so enjoyed watching the good natured, care free and affable Mr Walker turn into this violent, mean almost maniacal Mr Wheeler the minute he got behind the wheel of his car, that we ended up watching it umpteen times. That clip probably contains one of the best lessons on how not to behave as a driver and on what we more commonly term as road rage. Also it showed how at one level all of us behind the wheel do become Mr Wheelers! So next time while driving if you start feeling that the person in front is a slow-idiot and the one who just overtook you is a rash-maniac…relax and smile you’re on your way to transforming into a Mr Wheeler!!
Meanwhile shift gear, look ahead, follow the traffic rules and be a safe courteous driver…the skill will help you stay young and mentally agile for a long long time.