Sunday, December 13, 2009

957 : Little (strange) joys of my life !!

I was driving the car after a break of 10 days. The disc brakes squeal and squirm (as the rust is wearing off) and the sound kicks you up.

Everytime I drive after a break of more than 3 days, I somehow always feel for the first few minutes as if my reflexes are failing me, and I am in those moments, overtly conscious of what I am doing as a driver. Within a few minutes, I am back to my element..thoroughly enjoying myself behind the wheel.

Yes, you heard me right….I still enjoy riding the car thoroughly. Like today I was driving it through a crowded  bumper to bumper traffic in a Mumbai suburb, and guess what, it made me feel alive.

Driving invariably gets me all kicking again. I play my music loud, usually DMB or Dylan or Floyd or one of my other favorites.

I get very involved in driving, it hardly a mechanical reflex action for me. I still calculate when to shift up or down, and like to make my car feel treated like a pretty baby, always respected and light on its machinery….never stretch it to the limit, unless it is for a short sprint. (I sincerely believe, you treat machinery well, and it will befriend you…never once to fail me….my old car failed me only once, and that was the only time I stretched her too far).

I am still very aware of the precise point of braking (and clutching), the eye constantly on the rpm meter. I somehow feel like a learner every time I sit on the car, and every time I drive a little more, I feel I have become a little better.

My sister thinks of me as the atypical Iyer, who kills the joy of living with his deconstruction….actually in this case (if only this case), I think this passionate involvement behind the wheel makes me truly happy every time I spin the wheels, even if it is in Mumbai traffic.

I can’t help childishly marvel at my own driving skills, as I keep pace with the rest on a busy intersection (its almost narcisstic!!)

I still know the most efficient lanes to take on roads I regularly drive, I kind of playing these tiny racing games with other drivers, where in my aim is to beat their faster driving with my more-easy-on-the-machinery style of driving. Its a constant endeavor, which sometimes I verbalize, and spousey at those points, gets the joke.

I know this post is sounding intensely narcisstic, I just wanted to end saying, that for me driving is almost like a “search for the truth” – the elusive perfect drive – almost spiritual.

I hope it stays this way forever.

(I have been driving for 15 years now, and done some 1,25,000 kms on various vehicles – 5 bikes and 2 cars. I love driving other’s cars as well, as long as they trust me with their machines and usually if they know me well, they do. I usually end up befriending their babies a little too much….. just a little out of marital action :-))

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