8:47am. 15kms in 13 minutes. I hurriedly get my gear on, turning on the ignition of my bike while simultaneously tugging at my helmet strap to check for tautness. With a screeching lurch of my bike tyres, I’m off, weaving through traffic, passing vehicles by mere inches.
At the traffic signal, I find myself vehicle-locked behind an Alto, and a truck and divider on either side, I attempt to coerce the colors into changing. I rev my bike as the signal turns, through no ability of mine of course, but find myself immobile. The Alto seemingly, has difficulties moving, as it starts and stops with annoying lurches. The indecisiveness of the probable trajectory and speed, instils the deduction that there might be a flustered woman behind the wheel.
I am not a sexist, on the contrary, as a woman I make it a point to take offense and provoke an even greater degree of outrage when I’m told, amidst masculine sneers, that women make bad drivers. Look at me, I can put a poser on a pulsar to shame. It’s a topic for discussion for another day, that I believe the aforementioned.
Powering on my ‘Ghost Rider’ mode on, I lean and bend my bike till I find a tiny path through which I can squeeze through. As I pass the Alto, I save the dirtiest of looks for the culprit, only to find a woman preoccupied with something on the seat beside her, reaffirming my latest deduction. I mutter some incoherent profanity as I rip ahead, frustrated with this woman, and whatever she was focusing on instead of driving.
What was she focusing on that was more important than the peak traffic? I find myself peeking in the rear view mirror to cast one last sour look, to find a bawling baby fighting off his mother’s fumbling attempts to fasten his seat belt. The sight threw me off to such an extent that, I’d powered down comparably to a ‘TVS Champ’ mode.
Smothering bouts of shame, I ride on. The image had unsettled me. Suddenly, I see a seamless slideshow of images of women, craftily manifested by my fantastic mind, to probably deepen my guilt. Images of women in different varied roles; mother to sister to grandmother to suddenly my third grade teacher to my boss to some obscure film director to a CEO of a multibillion dollar
Contrary to personal opinion, women making bad drivers may be a myth, but they make the best drivers in all facets of life, maxim.
The very thought of juggling a highly competent work life and discharging self-assumed domestic responsibilities is a very exhausting one. From tending to kids, to cooking for the family, to driving hurriedly to work (I’m not saying anything!), to managing an efficient work culture, getting back home to raucous kids and demanding husbands is no mean itinerary for a day. Now think of doing that every day for the next couple decades. WHOA.
Women continuously drive themselves and others around them. My 3rd grade teacher was a formidable woman, but if not for her, I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog, not with the right punctuation anyway (Please feel free to leave your feedbacks claiming otherwise, if any). Need I look any further than my mother? If not for her, I probably wouldn’t have cut my lice-inflicted hair, or
tended to a scorching fever, if not for my mother, I probably wouldn’t have been a decent human being.
9:02am. On time for work. In line with pre-conceived notions.
This article is contributed by Deepti Kasbekar of The Mesh