BBC lists tailgating and using a mobile phone while driving as the biggest threats on UK roads. That would be a threat on any road, anywhere; much more in Karachi than elsewhere as all forms of wheeled transport vie for just that half a foot of space to get ahead.
I have been back for five months now and yet to test my driving skills on the roads here. Which is a shame considering how perilously close to bankruptcy my quest for a driving license had driven me just till last year. But that was another city. Back home, I actually have to unlearn and relearn driving that my family can trust a vehicle to me. On the other hand I canít think of sitting in the car with my brothers. Trying to instill in them the idea of maintaining a safe distance is akin to coaxing a mule to eat a stuffed pomfret. Not that I have ever tried the latter. I even tried handing them out my driverís learning manual; vain attempts. They have learnt driving on the roads. What do you say to someone who started off driving by reversing the car into a neighborís boundary wall? And looks at you challenging every time he flouts a traffic rule? I imitate a goldfish. Five months and I am still undecided on how to proceed. And I thought I drove recklessly and thus failed my driving test five embarrassing times!
I think I will have to sign up for driving classes. Again. And learn not to bother with those distracting rear and side view mirrors. I should yank them out and make it into installation art or something. I should pull out the seat belts and donate them to the dhobi. He can find better use for it harnessing stacks of washed and unwashed clothing. I should get a pair of blinkers to put on each time I get the car out. I should give out my cell number to all and sundry and advise them to call me while I am on the road, snaking my way through vehicular mayhem to head home. I should wipe out all the rules of signals, roundabout, lane changing, parking, reversing, braking, hill training, turning, starting, overtaking, safe distance and all that fancy shmancy stuff. Or I should just give up the idea of driving on Karachi roads and wait for my father to return. He drives according to the very rules that have rendered me incapable of driving. But I simply canít sit with my brothers anymore, even if it is to go to a drivers’ insitutute. I donít have any nails left.