Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fighting the ghosts in my mind

We all have these monsters in our head that keeps giving us the wrong messages time and again. The funny part is we would listen to those voices and believe them so much that we defy common sense and fall prey to their words - such is the power of these monsters.

Recently, after a 12 year long light with those unknown ghosts in my mind, I finally overcame them and got back to my senses.

Truly a moment of great achievement in life and how can I not share it with you all?

I first went for my driving classes after much persuasion from J, enrolled into a popular  institute in chennai and didn’t complete the course. The driver was a rude fellow, with absolutely no respect for other human beings and at the slightest mistake would be screaming at me. With great difficulty I put up with him for around 9 days or so. One day in the middle of the road, I stopped the car, yeah in the middle of the road, somewhere near T.Nagar, in moderate traffic (thankfully) and told to him to mind his words and also remember telling him, experts would never come to learn from him, and I have come because I don’t know how to drive. I don’t think anyone has spoken to him that way, I still remember the shell shocked expression on his face and also remember he didn’t speak a word for the rest of the class. But I stopped going for the class.

Didn’t think of driving for another 7 years, and again after some goading from J, enrolled into yet, another driving institute, luckily this time, I had a very good instructor and I cleared my driving tests, in the first attempt itself. Didn’t feel too good about getting the license though, because I still was too unsure of myself when it came to driving.

I attempted to drive a couple of times with the help of some drivers later and sometimes with J, but didn’t get into full fledged driving. In 2011, I remember telling J that I want to drive and I need him to come with me so on a Sunday afternoon took the car and drove for around 9 to 10 kms. J was impressed, and said I was driving smoothly. And then it happened. I was taking a small road and had to take a left turn and instead of applying the brake, stepped on the accelerator, thankfully in first gear, and banged on a stationary wall and gate and damaged the front bonnet of our car. I also broke a small portion of the gate too. ( nothing to be feel proud of, just keeping you all posted !)

J got out of the car with a smiling face, and said, why don’t you get down, I will drive. And didn’t say anything else. I wished he said something angrily to me which he didn’t till date. My fear increased multi fold after that incident and didn’t feel like driving again.

Two years went past and the longing to drive returned, but I did nothing about it. It was during this time, I was given an intro about a driving instructor who specializes in making sure women who have licenses can drive. I told myself this is my last chance and went ahead and called this person and he agreed to tutor me. I am planning to write down my experiences with Mohan master in separate blog post and so we will look at it later. I went with him for around 12 classes and after a while I felt I was making no progress at all. Mohan master is a deeply religious person and during the month of March he undertook a pilgrimage to the Himalayas, ( look what I am capable of – I made my instructor take a trip to the Himalayas all the way from chennai – that’s how good I am in driving) and my sessions had to break inbetween. A good friend offered to come with me, to and fro from the office, for few days until I am confident about driving. Poor soul. I developed dependency on him and felt if he is around I would drive. It so happened one of the days, last Friday to be precise, he had to work from another office and called up in the morning to tell me that. I made up my mind to take my usual rick, and was telling that to J, when he said, nothing doing, please take the car. Worse come worse you will bang somewhere, but for the speed with which you are going, you will not harm anyone Vincy.

Armed with confidence from my dear hubby, I drove alone. Voila!!!Yes I DROVE on my own. Without any incident. And I drove back home too that evening.

Folks I have been driving on my own now this last week. I also took a complete detour from my office yesterday – had to finalise a venue for our team meeting and have a look at it, so I drove to the hotel, parked the car and finished my work and came back home on a completely new route that I had not driven before.

If you ask me if I am feeling good, yes I am. Mighty thrilled that I can drive. Especially when I drove on cathedral road, the road that I am so familiar with ( My college where I did my UG is there), felt so damn good. but am I enjoying the drive, not yet. I am a bit tensed, worried and instead of driving pleasure I sure do go through Driving Pressure. But I am certain I will get over it.

The most important thing is I am able to drive and that is all that matters right now.


  1. YAYAYAY. Congratulations Vincy - it is a big achievement . Every body goes through this when they start to drive and its really tough. Indians on the road are so inconsiderate to a newbie that they make it almost impossible for anybody to be confident until he or she has logged 10,000 kms or so. So fully to your credit, you persevered and despite all the tension, made it.

    Each of us have our own unique fears and overcoming them is a great victory. Celebrate hard Vincy.

    By the way please tell J that he is absolutely unique in the world. Men have lots of strengths (ahem) but tolerating a woman driver is not one of them !! For J to encourage you like this is simply out of the world. He is a star too.

  2. Hi Vincy, Believe it or not I have also done the same thing, I mean I tried learning to drive, abandoned it after a scary episode and now had been toying with the idea of starting again and its been two months I have been postponing it, I am so scared of driving, you have seen the Delhi traffic and I feel it shall be like conquering the Himalayan top for me if I really get to do it, but I must say I am really inspired by you. Ramesh is right here, all credit goes to your Hubby who encouraged you and stood by you but hey the bigger credit goes to you who took the plunge and came out with flying colurs. take care and hugs to you...

    1. From my expereince Rekha, being able to drive is more of the mind than of the skill. It is important to have the skill, but more than that it is a state of mind. Chennai traffic is equally bad Rekha and if i can drive you can drive too. I have now driven for more than a week to office alone, but still not very comfortable. We just need to get over the fear in our minds rather than anything else. I wish you will be able to drive too Rekha and trust me it is POSSIBLE. tune your mind to it.
      Thanks for your encouraging words. hugs to you too..

  3. Thank you so much Ramesh. Every word, every bit of encouragement counts. I never thought i will persevere yet i made it. I am continuing to drive and it is definitely getting easier on me. and Yes, I know J is definitely a big asset to me and he is such a wonderful driver, that to even tolerate me take the car should be a great thing. I realised it even more after i started to drive.Oh, I recently heard my entire street talking about his driving / parking prowess. but this, I will definitely tell him :-) :-)

  4. Ya--way to go girl! Really a gr8 achievement and keep driving.

    1. Thanks so much Seema - truly a big one for me and yes i continue to drive these days

  5. Congratulation Vincy..........U did it yaaayyyyyyy. I keep telling my friends that we are never too old to learn or relearn anything. The confidence must come from within thats all and if there is somebody to give moral support nothing like it. Just continue driving everyday if possible.....soon u'll be cruising the busy lanes of Chennai like a pro:-)).

  6. Thank you Nancy. yes I did it finally. i dont think anyone in the world would have taken so much time to start driving. And yeah i am driving everyday to work and still have some more jitters left.
    Yes, you rightly said, about the confidence part and i am pretty thankful to J and a bunch of friends at office, who motivated me to go ahead with it.

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