MD 18 : The Early Warning Signals


I am NOT a reckless driver. I am not a person who would jump lanes, rush past speeding trucks and buses, maneouver my way through the small space between two vehicles. Or completely miss a speed breaker, and almost have the car flying in air for few seconds. I also use the left and right indicators when I need to switch lanes or make a turn.

All the above statements are true.. hmm.. well mostly.

Let me put it this way – I am just a normal INDIAN driver who sometimes, yes, just sometimes, driven my primal instincts, tends to do some of the above things which well – to the orderly civilized world would be termed as “slightly rash” driving.

The real fun starts when I “need” to drive with my wife…..

Probably, it is the environment in the car, or she has had some car accident in her previous life- or whatever else I do not know – she transforms into this hyper-sensitive freaked out human being who is convinced that I was born to ram cars into lamp posts, or skid and jump over speed breakers. Overcome by a sense of worry (or so I presume), she continuously exudes early warning signals (read shrieks, yells, gestures) throughout the drive.

Here’s how our conversations usually go –

 WIFE: There’s a speed breaker ahead…

ME: I can see that…

WIFE: Slow down then, would ya?

ME: (gives wifey the “There you go again” look which usually involves rolling my eyes and making a crooked face)

WIFE: Don’t roll your eyes.. Concentrate on the road.

ME: (Looks ahead, and braces for the tough times ahead)

<Driving…. Some song from the radio humming…>

WIFE: Ari, Ari, Ari – there is a bus on the left.

ME: So, what do I do?

WIFE: Its coming closer…

ME: Trust the driver, lady. He can see we are driving on the right lane.

WIFE: Oh God.. Its right next to me. (almost falls over on me, trying to avoid the imaginary collision with the bus)

ME: (Shoving her away…) hey, let me drive, will ya?

WIFE: (Gives me the I hate you look)

<More driving…>

WIFE: Watch it!! There is a car turning from the left…

ME: (Scoffs)Should I turn as well?

WIFE: I am just alerting you…

ME: I have eyes… I can see.. And by the way, just shut up and relax OK… I have things under control, and I am driving absolutely fine. ABSOLUTELY FINE… Do you hear me?

WIFE: Ok, let’s see how it goes.

I hate such statements. Its like putting me under observation and waiting for me to screw up. Worst part is, mostly – I screw up!!

I somehow feel that the Almighty conspires against me in these situations.. Just when I seem to have everything under control, driving smoothly, following the signals, using the left/right indicators – I will miss the “stupid” bump on the road.

<Insert noise of car jumping past the bumper at reasonably high speed, followed by wife’s screams>

WIFE: I told you, told you to look out for the bump…

ME: That was for another bump.. 15 minutes ago…

WIFE: (Gives me the “What do I do with you” look and looks away) 

Someday, some way, I will figure out how wifey can have some confidence on my driving skills! And, I can only hope that I will be able to live up to her confidence as well.

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