3 March 2020:
It is 4:35 pm – Kolkata.
It’s raining. HEAVILY! I’m in my shop. The temperature of the AC is too cold for my taste so I go out for a walk amidst nature. My lo! It is raining. HEAVILY! My friend calls me to discuss something but I can’t hear anything because the thunderstorm is so loud. The drizzling of the droplets is soothing to my left ear, playing a rhythm of their own. We discuss a bit and then I get to know even in her area it is raining heavily. We mutually agree to get on-call later.
I linger for a while on the balcony. The air is soooo refreshing- I don’t want to leave this place. This is my happy place.
People are playing billiards and I overhear a couple trying to sort out their fight! 😛
I am breathing in the freshness of March and thinking about how weather changes so suddenly! In the morning when I came from my bike to our shop, the air was so humid – so hot I felt my skin would burn but now the air is so cool, so soothing – acting as a balm to my morning’s torture.
MY BIKE! OH! I remember! I have just passed my driving test and can legally drive now!
I got approved on 27th February and it was one of the best things that has happened to me recently!
Though I had been practising biking religiously over the last six months, I was very scared if I would ever be able to drive on the main roads. But on 27th when I passed the test after so much hurdle (WHAT A TASK!), I started to trust myself. With my new found confidence in myself, I try to drive home, alone, without any help from Google Maps also 😛 AND YESSSS I DID MANAGE SAFELY TO MY HOME!
Cut to today, 5pm, – I recall that I had not informed my mum that I brought the bike to shop. I think oh, Kolkata ka barish aisi hi hai…todha der hoga raat tak bandh ho jaega, koi tension ni!
Just then my home minister calls!
“Shruti, come early. It is raining.”
“Yes, maaa, I will.”
“You have not taken the bike, have you?”
I remain silent….
I can sense the seriousness behind the other end – “Batao, le ke lagi ho na tum?”
“Yes, maa! Leke gayi hu. Koi ni I”ll come early.”
“No, you will not come early. You will come by cab.”
Me – not wanting to stretch it further agreed and hanged up.
It is 8:20 pm now. I receive a call from my head home ministry – my grandmother and she strictly warns me if I dare to come by bike she will not bake my favourite cookie. She gives me an idea –
“Leave the bike at the parking and come by cab.”
I tell her I cannot – it will be too expensive.
She suggests me another idea –
“Leave the bike at your friend’s house who stays nearby and come by cab.”
Wow – Good idea, I tell her, and I tell her I’ll come safely, need not worry and hang up. Just then my mother calls me. She too warns me, na na, threatens me, not he to drive home as it was still drizzling and the roads were slippery. I tell her okay, I’ll come jaldi and hang up.
Do my mum and grandmother not stay in the same home or what? Ek min mein dono ka call! LOL!
Anyway, I call it a day and head towards my bike. I try not to think about the roads as I know I’ll get jittery. I plan which road to take and give myself a pep talk 😛
It is 8:45 pm, I am all geared up. I ignite the bike and head west.
The roads are damn slippery but it has stopped raining now. I am confident on my path.
But I think whether I should park my bike and take the cab – na na, too late now!
The first signal crossed safely. Check! 😀
I am heading east now. I cross the second signal, riding still at 2nd gear! Slowly, carefully and with focus!
I come to a four-lane crossing. The traffic is packed. Everyone is staring at me. OBVIOUSLY. I get conscious. I give myself a pep talk (AGAIN) to not get diverted.
Suddenly my bike stops. Oh no, I hope it is not petrol. It is full I see. It is main road. People are staring at me. I can hear them advising me.
“Ladki hai…bike kaise chala ri hai!”
“Nayi nayi sikhi hogi! Dabangg ha!”
But then I get it. Okay, I got it. It is because I was so slow and not accelerated on time so it stopped. I put the gear on neutral. I press the clutch. I put it on first gear, accelerate and woooooosh!
I crossed the third, fourth and fifth signal. My heartbeat is beating at 101bpm! I am driving at a speed of 60km/hr! What!!!!!! I cannot believe it!
I crossed the most dreaded signal. I cannot believe myself! I pass by an Audi! I overtake a bus and I am laughing so hard! And since it has rained, I splash on a khadda where it was waterlogged. I am at my best! LOL!
I’m just 2km away from my home now. I feel so good! Having crossed the roads – despite drizzles and waterlog! I am driving at a speed of 30 now. I pass by a mother talking to her child, holding her tightly in the blackness of night as the sudden thunderstorm caused a disturbance and lamplights are knocked out!
I stop and wave at the little girl. She waves back at me the mother says something but I can’t hear as I have passed them. I catch her smiling at me from my rear mirror and smile back!
I pass by the vegetable market – which is bright and bustling with people as ever! It is like it is not 9 but 6!
I smile, Kolkata, you amaze me at times!
I zig-zag my way to my home. It is 9:10 now! Only 100 metres from my home. I smile. I am so proud of myself today. I cannot wait to write it all out.
The security guard bhaiya opens the gate and waves at me and greets, “Ram ram!”
I shout, “Har har MAHADEVVVVV!”
It is a joke between us! 😛
I laugh and park my bike. Ohhhhh! I need to take a picture. I tip-tap and click! 😀
Oh! Whata a day- and night!
I go home and shout – “Swagat nahi karoge humara?” and tell my story to my family! They are furious at me but mann jate hai! 😛
We dine and then I head back to write it out.
What did I learn from this short thrill? Take the plunge – when it seems the scariest and never ever, ever try to imagine what will lie ahead. Had I done that I would have succumbed to overthinking – whether the roads would have been wet or if I could drive properly? How, why etc! I would have been scared unnecessarily and then not do it at all!
I just thought I had to drive home as I have no other option and I just did it!
It was a small step, but then this bird has learned how to fly today! 😀
Hope you liked reading my experience today! Have you had any such experiences as well? Please do let me know! 😀
Logging out… 🙂