And so the D day arrived. A friend kindly agreed to take care of R and R2 in the evening while I went for the exam. RD asked me to pick him up from his office and we would go to the test centre together. I needed him in case I failed, he would have to drive me back.
Anyways, in the morning of the test, it was raining. I felt as if even the clouds were crying that they would have to see my give my driving test. Meantime, my mom and MIL had spoken to me the previous day telling me not to worry and how life was not only about driving tests and all that 🙂
So my friend picked up R from school and came home to pick up R2 who waved a cheery goodbye to me. R and my friend’s three kids gave me big thumbs up signs telling me that I would definitely clear the test. R said
Amma, please Amma, be confident and remember I have been praying hard. I cannot take the evening sessions any more 🙂
Anyways, so I picked up RD. The best part was that the weather had cleared up. Which was good for me. Because in order to differentiate between right and left turns, I had a plan. In my right hand, I put two gold bangles of my grandmother which my mom had given me. On the left hand, I put the steel bangle from Tarapith which my mama had given me. This way I could be very confident which was right and which was left, since my hands would always be on the steering wheel. And the weather clearing up meant I could wear a short sleeved sweater! Oh of course, the weather clearing up also meant I could drive without the wiper on 🙂
We went to the test center and the guy at the office looked at my dilapidated Indian licence and said, Errr…so till when is it valid? I do not have a smart card Indian licence. Mine was issued from Baroda when R was born and I had gone to change my name in the licence. Anyways, he agreed to accept the licence and told me the wait near the car. And then came this gentleman with a sweet smile.
He introduced himself and checked the lights of the car. Thankfully, I remembered brakes, headlights and all that. He asked me where the handbrake was. I showed him. Oh well, just incase I have to save ourselves from a crash he said. I gulped!
So then as soon as he asked me to move the car, I fell my feet slip!!! I realised that the rubber mat below my leg was moving. I had two choices. Continue to suffer the rubber mat so that I dont seem like a fool in front of the examiner, or stop the car and get it properly done. I decided on the later only because it seemed to be a safer thing to do. And the exam is definitely about safety. So I told the examiner and he was very positive about it. He said, get it done so that you are comfortable driving.
Then I started and we went around the city. He made me go through steep slopes and asked me to take a 3 point turn. While I was doing it, he shouted oh wait you are too close to the car behind. I was sure I wasnt. May be it was just his way to testing my confidence and funnily I was confident. I just stopped the car, moved from reverse to front gear and just continued driving as if nothing had happened.
He made me do a reverse parallel parking. And my readers, I am so proud to tell him that he actually told me it was an excellent reverse parallel park and I was very good at it. I could do a small jig then!! Thanks to my friend G who had taken me through all the streets of our side of town and made me practice it a million times! and thanks to RD who made me practice it a zillion times!
And then I got super confidence. We went through the highway and narrow roads and all that. I was at ease and completely confident.
We returned to the test center. RD was pacing around the parking like a tiger inside a cage. Is that your husband, the examiner asked me.
E: So, he is worried, is he?
RM: errr….yes, I guess so!
E: You can park now. Just ensure you dont run over him..or do you want to?
So I parked. RD peered in. I pretended not to see him. The examiner was doing some ticks and stuff.
And he looked at me and smiled. And I was like errr…He was like so, you PASSED
Trust me folks, very few times in my life, I have found words like this so sweet. ..I looked him and was just short of giving him a hug..so I gave him a high five…ayyayayayayayay I went..he laughed..
RD: passed passed passed?
RM: yes yes yes
E: oh yes, you are a very careful driver, but that is good…
RM: so its done..I get a licence?
RD: She passed, she passed, she passed
I was wondering why on earth was he asking the same thing again and again and I realised he was telling that to my friend who was taking care of the girls, on the phone!
E: your husband seems relieved
RM: You dont know sir, how relieved he is! He does not have to take me practice driving anymore..
E: hahahhaha! congrats you are a good driver
RM: Sticks tongue out at RD
RD doesnt care. He is just saying, she passed she passed she passed in a loop, hardly believing it. The examiner shook hands with RD and went off..
RD entered the car and was like ‘Chal abhi side mein jaa, mujhe chalane de, shaanti mein, without worrying about telling you the rules!’
That, I tell you folks, was the second best thing I had heard in a long time!
PS – Special thanks to Smita for being the rock and encouraging me to go ahead and give the test. I have pakoed her so much in the 10 days of practice!!! She boosted my confidence so much everytime I would get worried!