Driving Lesson 101: Never drive with your husband in the passenger seat!

Nibedita Rajguru

My face has turned red like a cherry tomato, not because of the scorching summer heat but of the simmering anger that bubbles within me; this happens whenever I am in the driving seat, driving the car.
My husband sits beside me, guiding me through the lanes and streets of the city. I am still in the learning phase, trying courageously to conquer the fear that grips me; at the sight of rushing vehicles that whizzes beside me, sometimes they barge through the opposite sides, honking, signaling, and gliding with speed. God knows what power they possess! I see them  seated with their collars up, nostrils inflated, and munching chewing gum; the vanity they carry along is a sight to behold. 

Bade log, Badi gaadi!

Amidst the chaos of honking vehicles, cyclists, walkers, and everything that clutters the roads, I try to focus on the road that bifurcates, steering through the rough patches.

My mister teasingly begins, “you have forgotten to give the indicator, right or left. You are so slow at the u-turns; your foot should not be on the break, always.” I grit my teeth and give him an angry look. 

“Eyes on the road”, he adds smilingly.

“Environmental scanning, how often do you forget? 
Constantly looking into the mirrors aids your driving; it helps you maintain a safe distance from the vehicle that is right behind you”, he says in his singsong voice.

I mumble a simple ‘hmm’ to the sermon.

“See, the 75-year-old aunty in the other car is more confident, driving on a busy road. The cyclist is far faster than our car. It is all about courage, rest you know so well.” He stifles a peal of laughter within his orbs, thinking I am not noticing it.

Now, I feel like clenching my fist, but I cannot since I am driving;

“Should I turn on the music for you;
Your leg should swiftly move between the accelerator and the break.
Ease out, darling, and smile a little. It is not a monster but a car that is under your control,”

My otherwise reticent husband gives me all the ‘gyaan’ in his signature style. It infuriates me; my reddened face signals him to stop, which he never does.

Burning with anger, I return home sans a word.

“Arre! what are you angry about; I was making things lighter, dear.”

I slam the door behind me only to hear his faint voice on the other side that echoes familiar lyrics;

Meri Pyaari Bindu,
Meri Bholi ri Bindu,
Meri Sindoori Bindu,
Meri Bindoori Bindu,

Meri prem ki naiya,
Beech bhanwar mein,
Gud gud gote khaye,
Jhatpat paar laga le,
Jhatpat paar laga le,

Meri Jeevan ji Asha,
Padh le mere naino ki bhasha

Bindu re;

He stabs my anger with such sweet songs,
I melt into his embrace, all the way smiling, laughing, and regaling the music that pierces through my ears.

* Fiction

PC: Shutterstock

Lyrics from the movie ‘Padosan’

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