My new office location, to put it in one word, is far, so far that we have given christened it ''Kalapani", which was a colonial era prison on the Andaman and Nicobar islands. The fastest we reach there through any combination of means of transport (one is not enough) is 1 hours and 15 minutes, but then we live in a world where traffic could get stuck under a flyover long enough for you to complete your grocery purchases and return to your car without the need to park even park it. Sometimes, I wonder if a passerby would look at it as a road, or a parking lot!
Since we are sincere employees and we love our work, we put up with all the hurdles that the travelling poses in our path and tirelessly keep looking for new alternatives to reach our final destination. Today, we tried a car, no actually a jeep, Maddy's jeep. And if you think we only drove to work, think again. I bet you could not have made your first drive to work so memorable as this. Continue reading to know why.
- We took 25 minutes and as many stops to climb a slope around 500 meters long in bumper-to-bumper traffic. In that, we gave all the drivers who drove behind us, besides a cause for delay, a heartattack. We teasingly drifted back, sometimes with the car engines off. Don't they understand what "KEEP SAFE DISTANCE" means. IT WAS NOT AS FUNNY AS IT APPEARS NOW.
- We drove through a one way but soon realised we were driving in the wrong direction and decided to reverse our direction, only to almost throw two bikers out of their seat. Our pilot and co-pilot were under immense performance pressure thanks to us. NEVER COMMENT WHEN YOUR FRIEND WHO IS A NEW DRIVER IS DRIVING.
- We hit a cyclist, though only with the car mirror. (Stop. I know you are thinking we are such brats, but frankly as newbies we didn't do so bad. And it was completely an accident) Actually, I can't even call it hit, scraped is the right word. We were driving at 20 km/hr. It was just that he and we both decided to go in the same direction at the same time and he thought he could outride us. ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND THAT YOUR CAR IS BIGGER THAN YOU ARE.
- My friend lost a cell phone while sitting in the car. Yes, you might think it's unbelievable, but it happened. Today was the day that anything could happen while we were in THE car. And you know what, he didn't even know he had lost it until we had reached office. It took us half an hour to reach the conclusion that it was lost, another half an hour, to take the corrective action. IF YOU THINK THAT YOU CAN ONLY LOSE A PHONE WHILE USING PUBLIC TRANSPORT, THINK AGAIN. (Deeper investigations showed that it slipped out of his pocket while he was seated in the car and it fell off the car while he went over to help the cyclist back on his seat. Now we know why he was not as furious as he should have been.)
After a very exciting journey, we reached office. That's only half the fun. We had a return journey too which was as interesting.
- We took a one-way street once again, pretty much at the start of the journey. This time we drove through the street and decided not to turn back. In our defence, there was no sign-board. The only sign we got was from the faces of the drivers who glared in anger or shock. But it was too late till we realised. So we thought we might as well drive through than turn back creating a few more problems for everyone. READ THE FACES OF THE DRIVERS WHO ARE ON THE ROAD WITH YOU. EVERY FACE TELLS A STORY.
- We broke a rickshaw's front indicator. The problem with these rickshaw drivers is the drive with their nose in your car's booty. They can be a little more considerate with newbies. He knew it was his fault so he didn't get off to quarrel with us. THE CLOSER YOU ARE TO DANGER DOESN'T MEAN THE FARTHER YOU ARE FROM HARM.
- A rickshaw driver broke his headlamp. He drove into us. We were playing bumper car/rickshaws/jeeps today. Again, we plead our innocence. THERE IS A PEDAL/HANDLE CALLED BREAKS ON ALL VEHICLES WHICH IS MEANT TO BE USED.
- We scraped a man's cell phone while he was using it on the road with the car mirror.Mind you, only a scratch on his phone, not even a dent. That's a delicate art considering you are driving a one-tonne vehicle at 30 km/hr. SCRATCHING WITH YOUR CAR IS A TALENT FOUND IN A VERY FEW.
- Practice makes perfect. Whoever said that what so true. My favourite office colleague also managed to rub shoulders with middle-class Maharashtrian termagants. Not exactly his shoulders, but the cars. Again, look at his skill, he didn't hurt even one of them. KEEP IN MIND THAT YOUR LEFT MIRROR EXTENDS BEYOND YOUR CAR. (THE RIGHT MIRROR IN CASE OF LEFT HAND DRIVES.)
The great news is I am living to write this and so are the rest of the people who we met in our way. For Maddy, you are the safest driver I have known from a passenger's point of view. Never have I had so much fun on a drive. I owe it to you. Next time, I hit, scrape, take the pressure, and yeah, drive!