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October 2018, vol 14 no 3

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Gautam Nadkarni

Steering Clear of Trouble

It was not so long ago that I was bitten by the driving bug. Yes, I wanted to learn driving. What if I ever became a multimillionaire with a fleet of limousines and sports cars? Pretty silly I would look if I couldn’t drive. A Maserati is not a Maserati unless you handle the baby yourself. That’s what I had heard. So there I was straining at the leash and panting for a car. Bro, ever the practical man about town, suggested I join a driving school. You have to hand it to him. It would never have occurred to me. So I wore my best jeans and tees and joined the nearest school.

The driving instructor turned out a taciturn bloke who spoke to me in a sign language all his own. But I got the drift. One was supposed to press the brake with one foot and the accelerator with the other. Or something along those lines. And off we went.

However, when the car got moving and vehicles all around started hooting their horns I panicked. I forgot the pep talk I had received of grit and determination and all the rest and could think of only one course of action – abandoning the whole operation and running home to mama. And that was precisely what I did do.

Days later when I had gotten over the panic symptoms with nobody the wiser I dismissed the whole sorry episode with a grunt. I told my brother that it was below the dignity of a future multimillionaire to drive his own car.

Whoever heard of Richard Branson flying his own jets?

main street –
the nonconformist drives
on the wrong side