A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

The drive to succeed..

Posted by Pepper on July 27, 2013

Dear Papa,

I have an endless list of things to thank you for. But today, I want to thank you for that one skill I would have been lost without. Driving on Indian roads. It is frustrating, taxing, exasperating and plain scary at times. It requires restrain and caution. I do realise, I would never have been able to master this skill had it not been for you. You pushed me in my earlier years. I can’t thank you enough.

I have a vivid memory of what you told me on my 18th birthday. “It is sad, but most women in India do not drive. Surprisingly, a lot of them even have a license. But they only use it as an ID. They hardly go behind the wheel because they say they are scared and can’t handle the chaotic traffic. I don’t want you to be like them. I want you to be independent, and I give you no choice but to learn how to drive’

At that time, it was only your constant encouragement that got me through. I do realise I wasn’t an easy student in my initial days. I would adamently refuse to touch the wheel in peak hours. I would tell you I will drive when the road is empty. I would stop in a corner and almost cry each time I saw a bus or a truck driving around our car erratically. But you would just not have any of that. You told me I will never learn if I drove only on empty roads. I had to learn to manuavuer my way through heavy, disobedient traffic.

You put in a lot of effort, taking me for practice regularly, teaching me the techniques and building my confidence.  I see the result today and I feel grateful to you. I think I unlearnt how to drive on Indian roads after living and driving in foreign lands. If there was one reason I could get back to driving in India, it is only because of my past history.

Today, I feel like an equal because Mint and I are able to take on equal responsibility in many ways only because I drive. Just like him. I drive everywhere, run errands, drop and pick people up from the airport, drive back when Mint has a drink, we divide our time at the wheel when we go on trips. I am glad the onus doesn’t solely lie on Mint. Driving gives me this sense of freedom. This feeling of not depending on anybody to transport me is incredible.

Now you have entrusted me with the responsibility to get the sister to drive. She, like me, is not an easy student. She prefers you as her teacher. Perhaps because you are so much more patient than me. Either way, I do not intend giving up on her. And hopefully, we will get to our destination soon. Thank you for laying such a strong foundation in us.

Lots of love,

— Pepper


16 Responses to “The drive to succeed..”

  1. Pepper, I have a confession: It’s a shame but don’t laugh, okie. Im in my early 30s but don’t know how to drive coz I am an expert in freakology::( I’m shit scared of being on wheel and the only thing I can drive is the scooter. You are such an inspiration:)

  2. Sunil said

    So sweet…Hats off for driving on chaotic Indian roads..

  3. Richa said

    Same pinch. Even I learnt how to drive from my papa. He’d wouldn’t just give up and would encourage me to drive when I was a newbie. Though I’d drive only when we’d return home from our family outings which was around 11 pm or later and the roads would be empty.

    Post marriage I dont get many chances to be behind the wheel as I don’t have a license here. When we’d go to India I feel to be lacking that confidence to drive. 😦

  4. Ashwathy said

    Good luck! 🙂 You will need loads of patience… and quite some control on the road rage. It’s a different ball game when you are in the teacher’s shoes.

    • Pepper said

      I do remember Mint complaining to you about my road rage. Lol. But honestly, that’s not what I’d call it. Abusing other drivers from the confines of my car is very different from road rage, if you ask me. Yes, being in the teacher’s shoes is a different ball game, I’ve realised that.

  5. R's Mom said

    Your dad is awesome :):) am sure your sis will learn to drive fast fast 🙂

  6. Yay and I have a similar tale too,I used to drive in India and I always had an better edge when we traveled outside India. It also boost your confidence and your perspective towards life.

  7. Even me and my sister learnt from dad, and Dads are the best teachers. Though we get a lot more scolding as compared to any trainer from a driving school but we learn better too.

    Best of luck with the sister’s driving sessions. How is it going?

  8. aarya said

    Nice write up. proud daughter of a proud dad 🙂
    it was ‘ulta’ for me…Learning to drive with Papa was very difficult. He encouraged me but He would keep saying -‘Arre, slow down’ or ‘Watch out for that pole’ or ‘Change the gear NOW’. He wasn’t harsh, he never has raised his voice on us, but may be too worried. I would be totally stressed out in ten minutes. So, I switched to a ‘bhaiya’ to teach me how to drive.

    • Pepper said

      As long as you have that one person to teach you. I end up being over anxious when the sis is at the wheel too. Perhaps why she isn’t too comfortable with me..

  9. Varsha said

    Driving is very much needed now a days. I am practicing these days but I get very scared of ppl who drive rash. Happy to know that u drive so well in Mumbai!! Happy n a safe driving to u!!!

  10. Mandira said

    My dad taught me to drive too. But in the last 6-7 years there has been no need to drive so my skills are getting a bit rusty. Your post makes me want to polish them up!

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