I started my driving class here in Ranipet from a friend of friend, who is a licensed driving instructor. He was bemused with my idea of just learning driving in 10 days with no applying of license here in India. My plan was to learn driving as much as possible over here, so that when I get back to London and start taking classes there, I could save at least 20 hours there and the money……But now, when I think of it, I laugh at myself…..
The first day I started my class here, the instructor just explained me about the gear, clutch, brake, accelerator, indicator and that’s it….i started driving right away in a busy highway in Maruti Omni – for those of you who don’t know this vehicle, when you sit in the drivers street, just after the steering wheel, it’s the road….there is no bonnet or engine in the front and that’s why most of the driving instructors choose this vehicle, as one can clearly and easily see the road…And, funnily, I am learning the old generation vehicle, with clutch and I think its good in one way, as it will be easy when I get back learning in London on automatic vehicles….
My first driving experience was funny….i had no problems with starting the vehicle, gettin on with first gear and then second, third, etc., But couldn’t get a hang of my vehicles alignment on the road, that my instructor was steering the vehicle and me, pissed off with him steering, held on to the steering wheel that he literally requested me to hold the steering wheel loose, so that he could guide me to handle it…….i was nervous too, you see and had nothing else other than the steering wheel to hold on to….
Learning here is so easy, as there are no lessons on looking for road signs, nothing on road safety and rules yet…..its all about driving, driving and driving without getting your vehicle hit by other vehicle….First 2 days were horrible, with my instructor steering the vehicle for almost 70% of the drive. Today was much better, I somehow got a hang of it and he just helped me some 20% of steering the wheel, with just verbal guidance to go left and right….i feel proud, that some how I managed to get it to certain extent, though I got a long way to go now.
My request with the instructor was to concentrate his usual 30 day training into 10 days, so that I could learn fully. Unfortunately, he have all his slots so full that, he just filling me into gaps here and there, 10 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes in the evening and so on. He have promised me that he will spend couple of hours with me alone on coming Saturday and Sunday as a special case…..hope he fulfils it and I get to make most of it, as the funniest part is, in his one hour slot, he got 5-6 students and each one get to drive 3 kilometres, taking turns, for 25 days. So far I got 2 turns every day and hopefully this weekend get more individual attention and teaching…….Hope this works out as I planned and am keeping my fingers crossed!!!!!