The heartbroken me came out of the exam centre and RD looked at me and said ‘its okay..you can take this test as many times as you want…you will pass next time’ and I was like ‘yaa, easy for you to say so..you passed in one go!’
Anyways, so I just let it be…Meantime, a good friend of mine kindly offered to give me driving lessons. RD was shocked…
RD: G, did you just tell RM that you will give her driving lessons?
G: Yes sure, I can
RD: Do you have any life insurance?
Anyways, she took time out for me specially and with R2 buckled in the car seat, when her son and R were in school, she took me around driving..she never once lost her temper, she was cool and she told me the rules of the land..
G: Do you want to drive to the city?
G: oh come on you can do it…
RM: okay…so do I take the second cutting from here?
RM: the road, the second cutting na?
G: What on earth is cutting?
RM: Arey, cutting cutting..G..cutting..
G: I dont even know what you are talking about?
RM: See, that road, it cuts to another road na..that is cutting…you dont know cutting
G: Errr..RM, I dont even think that is an English word..at least it is not Aussie..
Anyways, with many more conversational mishaps like this, G continued to give me driving lessons…
Then the time to our trip was approaching…RD kept pestering me to give the exam, while I kept finding new ways not to give it…My main problem was lack of confidence…Whenever, I took R and R2 around, I was very confident..but as soon as a third person got it, I would get all hyper and worried and go haywire…
So then, one fine Friday, RD was like, RM I have taken the day off..go give the online test..
RM: oohh but….
RD: listen, I dont want to hear any but or anything..just do it re…I mean what will happen at the worst..you will fail again
See, I told you this guy just does wonders to my confidence levels!
So, since RD had taken the day off, I decided to meander back into the examination centre…
Hello, you are back is it? said the friendly lady. And I gave the exam. I was confident of all the answers, except one…So I spent 10 minutes thinking and thinking, till I thought my brain would burst and I was muttering to myself..
The 17 year old next to me, who had come to get the Learner licence, gave the test and went away and another 17 year old was sitting there…He looked at me weirdly..I smiled a half smile..
Dont think too much..just click finish he said and started his test..
I was like okay okay..and clicked finish…and it said ‘YOU HAVE PASSED’
I was like yayayayyayay! the guy next to me smiled a lovely smile and I ran back to the lady..
I passed, I passed…
She was like yes, I can see..
RM: I passed I passed
She: Errr..yay, congrats..now you will have to give the driving test
RM: oohh yes 😦
She: You have 3 months to give the actual driving test..Just come back to us with your Indian licence
But anyways, one hurdle done..
I walked back home and gave the family the good news…RD was like great great, now just practice driving.
But me being me, was like oh 3 months is a long time..I can do it aaramse…
Until it was time for the great road trip which RD had planned to the mainland..He kept insisting that I needed to get my licence before the road trip since I needed to drive on the mainland..I was like but I can drive on my Indian licence..
RD was just so frustrated…he was like whatever!
Then, we got the news that we had got the Permanent Residency which we had applied for…which meant that I had only 3 months to drive on my Indian licence before it became invalid..I had to get a Tasmanian licence..
I finally had to face reality. So RD booked my driving session with the same lady who had taken sessions with him. And she came one Saturday.
And then began the life of utter failure. I was so nervous so nervous..that I did everything wrong. I could not even do the basic stuff. She was pretty straightforward in her comments and that hurt me more..I know I could do it..but somehow, got very very nervous!
When I came back home, RD looked at my face and realised something was wrong..I politely told the lady I will get back to her for other lessons..she told RD very clearly that I was not ready for the test at all.
After she left, I cried..and cried…RD laughed and he was like oh my God, RM, its okay…you can drive well..its only the lack of confidence…
I refused to go back to that lady…
So RD was like just book the test, if you fail, you can always give it again..and I went ahead and booked the test…This meant, I had 10 days time to give the actual test..
Then began the days of craziness…
Every evening, I kid not, Every EVENING after dinner (thanks to day light savings, it was light till 9.30 PM), we would go to the test circuit for practice…RD would scream, shout, cajole, show love, be polite, get bugged….I used to get super nervous..
R was so bugged that she would even rattle off the rules to me..Amma, dotted lines means you can cross, do a three point turn na..
The most difficult was the reverse parallel park. No matter, what I did, I could not get to to RD’s level of perfection. The guy does it like a ballet dancer, without hitting the kerb even once…Me…well..mine was more like an elephant trying to squeeze inside a 10 cm scale, with 2 cms to spare on each side..The car would rock and roll and go in the front and back, to and fro, till R2 started saying ‘Amma, do reverse parallel park, amma, do reverse parallel park’
No matter what I did, I would always make mistakes..
RD: Take the next right turn
RM: drives straight
RD: RM, I told take the next turn
RD: Acha chod de, take the next left turn
RM: Turns right
RD: RM, I said left re..left
RM:Darn, I got confused between right and left
RD: okay, when it is safe, find a good parking spot
RM: Brakes and tries to squeeze into a parking which even an ant cant move into
RD: Groans..RM..you dont have to do it immediately..take your time and find a safe spot!
RM: okay okay..you tell me that na…
RD: Gosh, girl..cant you understand simple instructions
RD: Okay, now do a 3 point turn
RM: turns and backs and turns and backs and turns and backs and turns and backs turns and back
RD: Darling, I said THREE POINT not TEN POINT turn!
RM: Errr..but the road is too narrow
RD: RM, this is the broadest road in Tasmania!
So, you get the drift…
The girls would dread dinner time, because it meant that they had to go practising with me..
One day when it was really cold and raining I took her to school by car..
R: Amma, we are early, lets see you practice some reverse parallel parking near my school
RM: Are you crazy?
R: Amma, just do it na
So I do a decent one
R: See Amma, you can do it..its just a matter of confidence
So spoke my 8 year old!!!!!!
R: You know Amma, I am praying so hard that you pass the test
RM: Awww..thanks da kutty..how sweet and kind you are!
R: No no, its not for you..I am praying for myself and R2…We are so sick and tired of sitting in the back seat every day after dinner hearing you and Appa scream instructions at each other..if you pass, we can just stay at home after dinner and read in peace!
To be continued…..