Today my mom started with her first driving class – a new adventure. Relearning driving almost after 15yrs with our Renault Duster at the age of 60! It was such a maternal experience for me to watch my mom take her baby steps towards learning and overcoming her inhibitions.
My mother has been with me through all my milestones in life, including my first driving class to enjoying long distance drives to Ratnagiri with her by my side. She’s my mum and my partner in crime. So this experience of her going back to driving was a surreal experience for me.
My driving teacher and now mum’s teacher Mr.Avnish Ji, has been driving in Mumbai over a decade. He’s Oogway, the wise turtle from Kung Fu Panda when it comes to driving. The perfect driving coach one can have. Makes you take twists and turns and tests you when you least expect it. His candour and strong command over “shuddha” Hindi makes me feel the need to go back to elementary school and relearn Hindi. Mastery over regional languages is key for success in India!
My mother had been contemplating (far too long) to getting back to driving because she was scared whether can she do it now? is it too late? everybody at home knows driving, why do I need to know?
Relearning driving at the age of 60 years is undoubtedly daunting yet exciting! Simply because Indian mothers spend their entire lives looking after their kids.. it’s time they do something for themselves. Given todays day and age, driving is now a survival skill. Everyone needs to know it.
This evening began on a interesting note… AvnishJi came home and we were about to leave for mom’s first driving class but we couldn’t find her driving license! Yes, she has an updated valid driving license, but it when missing on the day she takes the plunge to go driving. Alas, we went ahead with her driving class anyway and found her license in her handbag eventually (her bag has the universe filled in it and weighs a ton! out of which only two things can be used). We the started driving around Ballard Estate. She was revising her gears, functions of the car, seat adjustment etc. Just getting comfortable with the car.
She slowly started the car and said “Sonu, I’m scared”. I immediately comforted her and said “Mom, you can definitely do this!” “Jai Banjrang Bali!” And she started! She started driving. Slow and stead with AvnishJi occasionally adjusting her steering wheel and giving her directions to keep left.
At first she was driving slowly in circles and would get paranoid of cars continuously honking or pedestrians crossing the road out of no where. But AvnishJi said “Madam, woh toh horn bajate rahenge. Aap bohot badhiya gadi chala rahi hain… koi dikkat nahi hai. Hum hain na aapke saath.” Thats when she took the plunge, picked up her speed and started driving like a pro! I was so proud! AvnishJi even said that she’s doing much better than me on my 1st day of class! Haha! She’s my mom, of course she will. In between her driving class I also got off the car to get some sukha bhel as I was getting hungry looking at the amazing cafes and street food at Ballard Estate (I never noticed these places before when I had my driving classes here).
Her eagerness to learn and take a plunge without any qualms made me feel so proud of her. She almost drove for two hours straight. Humming songs and bhajans like Gaadi Bula Rahi Hai Siti Baja Rahi Hai…Shreeman Narayan Narayan Hari Hari…
She wants to be able to drive long distances, go wherever she wants, be a free bird and never feel dependant on anyone or feel like there’s something she doesn’t know. And quite frankly, my mother can master anything. She has this ability to master everything. And right now she’s working towards achieving her dream. Give it time and you might actually spot her driving
through the roads of Mumbai across the world.
Renault Duster is a fabulous car. We’ve had this car over 8 years or so. It’s time we get a new car, but it’s so hard to big adieu to a car so great! We’ve had so many milestones with this car and perhaps it is one of the best vehicles we’ve ever had. It is a manual diesel car. Our car has driven 1,16,058 kms as on today. A very well loved and appreciated car. I would highly recommend it for the ladies out there or people who are looking for a comfortable, spacious, secure and robust family car. No complaints what-so-ever. The smoothness of this car is unmatchable in many ways.
This is a special car for us. The fact that I’m writing this article while experiencing my mom drive after 15years is unbelievable. I had to pen this moment because I want to remember it as the day my mother taught me its never too late for anything. I feel like a proud daughter and a friend today.
Go Mom! You are my idol!
*Images used for representative purpose, contact for credits.*