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Saturday, 7 January 2012

Chapter 2 - Mumbai – 16th year and my first tryst with Herby

Until we reached Mumbai from Jaipur , I was never behind the steering wheel , though me sitting in the passenger seat would notice every move of my dad driving Herby . My dad did give me Herby to drive in Jaipur at the age of 15 , I still couldn’t get my clutch and first gear right and ended up breaking the clutch plate. After which the next time I dared to sit in the steering wheel was in Mumbai. We lived in a gated community in Mumbai and I had more access to Herby than ever before. And with teenage adrenalin running in my blood and seeing kids drive cars, I too fell for the desires and wanted to drive . Alas my first big problem, the parking spot which was allocated to us was way in front and with the lane narrow the only way out to the road was to reverse all the way back. Thus began my biggest dilemma, if I needed to get my hands on Herby, unlike all others who would go forward my journey began backward.

Unlike Jaipur I did drive the car forward in the 1st and 2nd gears; this was about using the reverse gear  I still remember the first day of me trying to get Herby out . I go out with all my enthusiasm to get Herby driven and my first few attempts were horrible , I would put the vehicle in reverse and as soon I realise the clutch ,katak jerk dum Herby would stop. Which is completely my mistake because I am not releasing the clutch properly ,and accelerating on time. After 15 maniac attempts of endless starting and stalling in the wee hours of afternoon , the grandmother from the next door house came out and asked , son what exactly are you trying to do. I lied stating that dad wanted me to take the car out to clean. Eventually after 3 days if endless starting and stalling I did move backwards and finally onto the road .Eureka and the first joy of driving all alone in the afternoon hours in the colony, flipping the gears 1,2,3 and when your adrenalin rushes . You hear your angel remind you about dad saying 4th gear only in 40kmph, the evil mind saying go for it Shyam , hit the 4th gear . Of course to achieve this I have to drive in my colony at 40kmph and with no idea of what is herby’s braking power and whether I would actually stop. 2 PM one hot afternoon , I stopped Herby facing the longest straight section of our colony , a distance of maybe 500 metres. The feeling in me was ecstatic , until then I have always gone in speeds of 40kmph or more  in Need for Speed , my much loved game on my pc and boy was I good at it, today I am at the wheel of a real car, a open road..

I would feel my palms sweat , but yea 1,2 , 3 and on the corss of 40 I hit the 4th only to find Herby going silent much to my amazement., well matter achieved and then uh oh ! The road turning brake brake brake , I guess that’s what I was not prepared for , simultaneous movement of brake and steering and changing gears. To much to ask for , I put the car in neutral and shut the engine and slammed the brake. Hoooorayy my first driving at 40th plus my first impression of rubber on the road. 

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