Driving Lessons: A Memoir 

I remember the time I’d learnt to drive. My mom had come to the conclusion that my future husband will never teach me to drive and in order to achieve the so called self sufficiency it was mandatory that I learn to drive. 

And so there it was. My dad enrolled me in a driving school and paid up all the hefty amounts for the classes and the paperwork with constant monologues that he learnt to drive all by himself. Duh. And then it began. And as usual I idled around wasting still more of my dad’s money and monologues until it was finally the week of the driving test. 

It would be an overstatement if I told you that I was not yet clear about driving. The truth was that I didn’t know a thing. My parents brought me home from hostel so that I could have extra practice at the school. And they decided to accompany me so that I wouldn’t idle around any further. And that was just the start. Within the first few days me and my entire family turned out to be an utter embarrassment and nuisance at the driving school. Every time I tried to attempt the ‘H’ I had my mother shouting from the other side of the ground on how to turn the steering wheel without knowing how to drive. Or I had my siblings fooling around with the equipments. Or I had my mother asking unnecessary questions to the teachers.

Finally after all the extra classes and missed attendance at college I cleared the test. I still remember the faces of both my parents who’d locked my siblings at home to accompany me. I remember my dad missing days at the office. I remember him carrying my vanity bag around as I did the test. And I remember my mother’s tired face as she waited for me in the sun as I drove. It’s true that they try out things in the most embarrassing of ways. But I’ll tell you what’s worse. It’s when they don’t try at all.

 

Masquerade

She looked down at her shimmering gown. It looked fine. Even pretty. Slowly, she adjusted the mask on her face. She wanted to feel like a princess from some fairytale but couldn’t. No, she wasn’t the innocent girl right out of stories. She was a freak who sold her body to earn money.

And then she looked over at him. He stood there wearing a mask but easily recognizable. Everyone knew him and women flocked around him hanging on his every word. Many would know her too. At least half the men in this room had cheated on wives and girlfriends to sleep with her. But the mask would do enough to conceal her identity. Nobody cared for her. For them, she was a faceless young body. 

She knew he had come towards her only after he touched her hands. And she knew he was planning a dance only after taking the first few steps. As she moved with him trying desperately to match his grace, she could feel the fire of all the eyes on her. Disappointed eyes, greedy eyes, lustful eyes. But all she cared for was the slight warmth of his touch on her shoulders and tiny waist. 

Oh, how she wished this would go on forever. How she wished this would be the happy ending were the two of them would live happily ever after. But it wouldn’t be. Tommorow, he would be presiding over some board meeting. And she would be back on her street trying to woo men into having sex with her. 

‘But, I shall have this dance!’

Beginnings

New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings ~ Lao Tzu

What can I say about change? Hmm… Nope, I can’t think of anything expect that I frigging hate it. Yes I do. I’m a big admirer of status quo.And trust me, I know a whole lot of my readers are too.

But as science has smartly put it, ‘change is inevitable’ (let’s avoid the physical change, chemical change bit for the time being!! 😛 ) And acceptance of change is hence inevitable. One fine morning you might find yourself in a new school, new college, new neighborhood, new relationship and what not. It might have succeeded something pretty amazing that you didn’t want to end. It might have caused you to leave behind something that meant the world to you. Or might simply not be the beginning that you envisioned. This is where Lao Tzu and his smart words come in.

 The ending that you’ve gone through was painful. I know it broke your hear to give up on something or someone that meant so much to you. And I know you despise this change. But, hang in there. You deserve something exciting every once in a while, irrespective of whether it is disguised as a painful ending. You deserve the growth that change offers. You totally deserve it.

So the next time you feel that a beginning has upturned your entire life and has resulted in sheer chaos, understand the beauty of the situation. The beauty of spontaneity. And finally, I know we can live through it. We are all one of a kind!! ❤ 

The Flaw In The Plan

Education in India had been a steamy affair after all. There had been a time when we fought for everybody’s right to be education, where women, the dalits, the lower class, the semi-lowerclass and you name it, had taken up sticks and stones in the venture.

Iam not supposed to be speaking on the flaws of this system. Every time I did it, there was a general conclusion that my literary life would be a downfall. Not that it had been any better 😁. I have an entire clan of people throughout my neighborhood, school and college living the life of fighters for achieving grades and marks. Here they are going for double or even triple tutions, changing school after school after school (the same for college) to find the best one by trial and error method. And a few of them had even left the neighborhood as a whole in the act of above mentioned ‘school/college finding’. And I’ve got a mother at home who rolls her eyes at my lazy Arts Honors. “Look at Shobha’s daughter preparing for the exam. She’ll be in II* next year. (fill the * up with a T or a M or a SC or whichever consonant that appears in your fantasy) 

How can I not speak about the flaws in the system? How can you rely on mugging up and memorizing? How does education help you if passing the exam is your only aim? And how can an ambition instilled in you by a person take over your passion?

The Flaw In The Plan.