Sunday, October 01, 2006


This would've been more effective if I had continuted posting messages for every lesson I had but ... I've been too pre-occupied! Just the effort of waking up in time every morning, in order to get my day together before arriving at the 'tute has been enough to keep my energy fully engaged. Most days the classes have been from 10 a.m. to 11 or 12 depending on whether they've been "practicals" (inside a car) or "theory" (inside a classroom). The simulator (what one friend unconsciously malapropped as "stimulator classes") sessions are for only half-hours at a go -- a great shame, coz they're certainly more fun than being out on the road!

Which is where I went today.

Between my last post and this one, I've had a total of seven practicals, five simulations and three theory classes. The instructors have ranged between good and very good -- thorough, patient and good-humoured. The seven "practicals" prior to the Real Life Session have taken place within the Institute's track, which isn't all that long (around 700 m, I was told) but does include such features as a steep rise and various dodgy curves and bends plus a choice of parking options.

Of course it's easy enough to putter about on a course where the only other moving vehicles are being driven by other students, with their instructors beside them. Theory classes are endearingly earnest -- yes, of course (we're told), 90% of other drivers won't understand your hand-signals but we've STILL gotta teach them to you! They emphasize defensive driving, try and inculcate safe-driving practises and have drilled us at length with the "MSM" and "PSL" methods -- Mirror/Signal/Manouevre and Position/Speed/Look for those of you who have haven't been to an institute.

So ... how was it out on the Open Road? Keeping in mind that I've already BTDT (been-there-done-that) with the Seven Star Acad., I'd say today's was an entirely more grown-up experience. To begin with, it was in the middle of the day, on the Ring Road, (going towards ISBT, then onto the road alongside Prag. Maidan -- the one that links up with Mathura Rd) and even though it was a Sunday, there were buses, trucks and other lumbering entities zooming around. Not to mention assorted three- and two- bugs meandering about heedless of learner drivers sweating behind their steering wheels.

The car seemed to be more under my control than the instructor's and we didn't pretend to drive while he(in today's case, she) held the steering wheel. What was VERY interesting was that it really did feel a lot like the simulator! Except that there were no irritating messages appearing in my field of vision every time I crossed lanes, to remind me to turn on my indicator. Of course this COULD be coz I did turn on my indicator every time and I didn't forget to signal when I wanted to u-turn and I didn't get flustered or even mildly depressed by the amount honking and parping that went on around me.

We got back to the Institute without mishap and I felt quite encouraged. It will be months before I'll want to be out there on my own of course ... but that is another story. One step at a time.

Two more practicals to go, then a final theory class and then two exams, one practical, one theory. But no license -- for that I'll need to go to the RTO again. For today, PHEW! And three rousing huzzahs for the IDTR.


Amrobilia said...

Really now, Margin! To think it took me precisely 5 mts. to learn to drive...when I was thirteen! My dad told me to sit at the wheel, got in the BACK, and told me to go - and, lo and beheld, that was it. Of course, it was Chandigarh, that too in 1963, but still!

Really, really, REALLY now!

Marginalien said...

Oh, I know, I know ... incompetence, thy middle initial is MP. *sigh* It's a question of timing: there are particular ages at which different types of learning can take place and at those ages, it's effortless. Bicycling and swimming, f'rinstance are best learned while one is a pre-teen, pre-TEN, actually. But I've done lots of things in retard -- swimming and cycling both appeared in my life only around 35 and I still haven't read Winnie the Pooh.

I might expect to learn to cook by the time I'm 90, but I suspect I'll have forgotten how to breathe by then!

Marginalien said...

ALSO: I am including this message in comments coz it's too early yet to displace the main posting, but I thought it sounded like an interesting and worthwhile film. If I lived in B/bay, I'd probably make an effort to go! Which is saying something, coming from me.

Dear Friends,
7 Islands and a Metro will be theatrically released in Mumbai at INOX, Fame Adlab (Malad) and Fun Republic on 6th October. For the show timing please call us after 3rd, Tuesday on 56017723. Please catch up with it if you are in Mumbai and also help us in reaching this information to as many people as possible. Let us make it a positive precedent.



Seven Islands and a Metro

Non-fiction feature film

100 minutes

A film by Madhusree Dutta

Duration 100 mnts, Format DVcam / DG Beta,

Language: English, Hindi, Urdu, Marathi & Bombayia

A frayed rug round his shoulders,

My father came down the Sahyadris

And stood at your doorstep,

With only his labour in his hands.

From “Mumbai” by Narayan Surve

The multilingual Bombay, the Bombay of intolerance, the Bombay of closed mills, of popular culture, sprawling slums and real estate onslaughts, the metropolis of numerous ghettos, the El Dorado. This film is a tale of the cities of Bom Bahia / Bombay / Mumbai, through a tapestry of fiction, cinema vérité , art objects, found footage, sound installation and literary texts.

The non-fiction feature film is structured around imaginary debates between Ismat Chugtai and Sadat Hasan Manto, the two legendary writers who lived in this metropolis, over the art of chronicling these multi-layered overlapping cities.

Shot mainly during the monsoon the film portrays some extremely beautiful yet ruthlessly violent features of Bombay which, generally, are not part of the popular narratives.

Actors Harish Khanna / Vibha Chibbar

Camera Avijit Mukul Kishore Editing Reena Mohan / Shyamal Karmakar

Dialogue Sara Rai Sound Design Boby John Music Arjun Sen