There’s no place like the road

Disha Gugnani
4 min readOct 12, 2018

It was one rare Sunday morning when my father finally took me to learn how to drive a car. We went to an open and quiet place in my hometown. The class began with the basics, starting with the ABC of car driving which you all must be knowing: Accelerator, Brake, Clutch. He taught me to adjust my seat, set the mirrors, and put the keys in the ignition and here we go. But wait, as I started the car, it yanked and stopped. I couldn’t release the clutch slowly. My dad told me that it’s alright and we started once again. This time, I started the car and released the clutch slowly, and Yayy! it was moving. For a moment I believed I now know how to drive. All of a sudden my dad yelled, what’s going on with you? see where the car is going, keep the wheel straight, try to get the idea of how much of distance to be kept from other vehicles on the street. My bubble burst and I was back to reality.

I could drive the car but I couldn’t control it! There’s a major difference. It was so much for me that my legs began shuddering. My dad took me home and instructed me to learn from a driving school. In any case, I was so terrified of the entire thing that I had built up this dread that I will hurt somebody as I couldn’t take the approximations out and about. Then I overcame my fear and attempted to drive two-three times again with my brothers. Be that as it may, they both had an awful temper as well. For me, driving has turned out to be scarier than I thought it would be. I started supposing will I be ever able to drive?

Meanwhile, I came to Noida and began living here for my job. I ended up taking a gander at young women driving alone in their cars, big SUV cars. Furthermore, I discovered it so provocative. From that point forward I had this hankering to learn driving. I asked a friend of mine to teach me how to drive. What’s more, since he was not my dad or my elder brother, but rather a good friend, I made an agreement with him, whatever is the case, he is not allowed to yell at me or chastises me. Just stay calm while teaching me. He chuckled yet knew about my dread and agreed.

I was back in the driver seat, frightened but so much wanting to do this. Once again, I adjusted my seat, set the mirrors, and put the keys in the ignition. Though his one hand was constantly on the handbrake, he was ready to board and guide my ride. I started driving as he instructed and that too without yelling. Gradually, I understood how to take control of the car and began making correct approximations. I was so happy that I could drive. Okay, I know a lot of practice is needed, but I can drive man!! I was on top of the world. I drove for an hour that day and It felt so liberating.

Thus the following week, I found myself frequently putting the keys in the start, with my friend-cum-instructor beside me in the passenger seat. Each time I drove, I learned something new, acknowledging that there are so many things to take care of at the same time.

Then one day he handed me the car on a highway between heavy trucks, buses, and other vehicles. I was surprised but confident that I would pass this test. Suddenly, there comes a truck from my right, overtaking at a speed of more than 100kmph. He pulled the steering towards him instantly. I froze and disconcerted for a couple of minutes. I stopped the car on the side of the road and handed the wheel back to him. But I didn’t want another dread in my head, so I asked him to let me drive again. He agreed and assured me I shouldn’t feel the weight from other drivers to go fast, and insisted I should feel I had as much right to be there as anybody. This time more deliberately but I drove and drove beautifully.

The drive was enjoyable and memorable too. Instead of being hyper-conscious from the fact that I was operating a machine that could kill, it felt like I am sailing a ship. My love to sit behind the wheel, buckle up, and drive keeps me going! Driving turned into a stress buster and I started enjoying every part of it. The confidence you get and the freedom you experience while driving is the best feeling in the world!

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Disha Gugnani

Wherever I am, I have this nonstop inclination of trying different things, exciting things. I write to share those little however totally amazing experiences.