The husband lunged from above me to hold the handle and applied brake to the scooter. He was just in time else I would have hit another two-wheeler. There were equally angry honks from behind me. But I looked into the scooty mirror to check that my hair is in place. I smiled at the other drivers who looked menacingly at me and the husband.
It was the 23rd day of my scooty training by the husband. As someone who hates to step out of the house in the evenings after work, he had shown remarkable patience. He was trying to teach me to ride a scooty. Sounds simple, but it was far from it. I was in my late thirties, mildly over-weight (that’s what the BMI checking folks said) and never learnt to ride even a bicycle. My only tryst with driving was when I rode my tricycle with my two year old sister inside the one room kitchen apartment of my parents. And here I was trying to ride the scooty with no concept or idea of any kind of driving. In short, I was driving my husband nuts. I did not know when to accelerate, or when to slow down, when to brake or how to handle the numerous bumpers on the Indian road. To top it, I was not even riding in a straight line, I hated honking, and forgot to put the indicators. Or when my husband screamed, I would take my eyes off the road to look down at the handle bar for the switches. After the 23rd day, he finally gave up saying he has no patience anymore to teach me. Even a cow would have learnt to ride a scooty by now. It led to a big, lets say disagreement, fueling my desire to learn to ride.
The next day, the opportunity arose. I was sure of it. I put on my glares and approached the scooty. I removed it from the stand. All well till now. But, I did not know how to get it out of the parking lot. After about ten inglorious minutes spent to get the scooty out of the parking stand, I sat on the scooty and with a silent prayer to be able to ride, not to fall down and not to hit anybody, I put the key in the ignition and started it. I had to ride a short distance of about 2 minutes, but had to cross a main road. It was afternoon and there was no traffic. The engine came to life immediately and with a small twist of my right wrist, the scooty moved forward. The ride was smooth. I reached the destination and returned home successfully.
I was not into twitter or blogging then. Else, I would have told the whole world about my ride using Stories and putting many cute filters. I triumphantly declared the same to the husband in the evening. He smiled and nodded.
‘Good,’ he said, ‘now try taking it to the vegetable market.’ I beamed.
My Saturdays are for grocery shopping. I rode the scooty on the middle of the road. It was exciting and I was loving it when someone started honking from behind me. You see, I was riding at 20 kmph and blocking the fast lane. :D. I was determined to outpace him and accelerated when I realised that I have reached the vegetable market. I braked. And there in slow motion the Scooty tilted and plonked me in the middle of the road with one leg under the Scooty. A rush of people came over to help me. I was grateful for that, but there were some college kids and they started asking me, ‘Aunty, are you all right?’
Exactly, like the famous hair dye ad, the ‘Aunty’ echoed in my head. I got up, dusted myself and took over my Scooty again, I bought the vegetables and after I reached home, I realised that my leggings were torn and I had not noticed it. There was some dust on my sleeve and on one side of my outfit. Finally, the husband’s instructions made sense. And soon, I could ride the Scooty smoothly and I never fell again or hit anyone.