Sunday, January 16, 2011

Recluse Driving

I don’t know if there are people like me around but I don’t like to drive. The thing is I do not enjoy any sort of multitasking.

I think I’m just not capable of driving. It involves just too many things all at once - looking at the road, flipping radio stations (which, by the way, Chandigarh has aplenty – TWO, that play only the latest Punjabi music of Harbhajan Mann, Babbu Mann, Gurdas Mann, Whatte Mann – surprising, no?), or honking at who are inevitably women drivers (for reasons which involve both lacking common sense and merely asking the good-lookin, wats-cookin?).

At times I’m left wondering about profound vehicular/motoring issues (in which century would a Bond movie need to be made for the Maruti-800 to be considered Bond-car material or was the designer thinking of a box or a garbage bin when drawing up the Wagon-R?) or trying to remember what my father, uncle, cousin, driver, teacher#1 and teacher#2 hollered into my head about the A-B-Cs of driving (A-B-C Accelerator-Brake-Clutch, right to left; no, left to right; no, right to left?).

If none of these, then I’m constantly reminding myself that it is not okay to run over cows that refuse to budge (what are these stupid creatures looking for on the roads – greener grass on the other side of the human-cow divide and why don’t they ever move? Observe the bastards, they never ever move. I could give you bovine facilitated directions to my house – drive past the Sector 33 signal, turn left at the fourth black buffalo, yank the tail of the third brown calf and run over the holy white cow blocking my house’s gate. People, we need to eat more steak in this country!)

So I don’t think I can multitask and, apparently, a ‘sure-shot’ way to tell if you are a good ‘multitasker’ is to see if you can rub your belly with one hand and pat your head with the other – at the same time. I’m not so sure about multitasking, but you’ll most certainly look like a bloody idiot if you did that.

So I was saying – yes, driving. I hate it and avoid it.

But there is the slight problem of roads. They stand between me and work, me and good food, me and my beer – which is a problem. Which is why I have someone to bridge the gap – Jasbir, my driver.

Jasbir, as it turns out, is mental.

His singular focus, objective, motto and aim in life is – ‘To reach fifth gear’. Period. Jasbir, slow down - there’s traffic ahead. I don’t care, fifth gear. Jasbir, there’s a guy dead on the road, right ahead. Like I care, oops… speed bump, fifth gear. Whoa, look at the fog Jasbir. Don’t drive above forty. Screw the fog. Look at me you fool. Look at my face. Do I look like someone who is bothered about some fucking fog coming between me and my fifth fucking gear? Fog it seems.

Jasbir, as it turns out, is tone deaf.

His taste in music (exhaustively) includes ‘Unheard of Bhangra Folk Music’ and ‘Unmelodic high-pitch rapid howling sounds’. He is clearly responsible for feeding over a hundred endangered rural artists in Punjab’s hinterland for he is the sole buyer of their music.

The only civilized song I’ve ever heard him play is a recent Bollywood pseudo-Punjabi number ‘Challa’. The problem is, as mentioned in a previous post, my understanding of Punjabi is akin to my understanding of what happens inside a woman’s mind, abysmal. However, the other day when the song and its seven different remixed versions were played in loop over and over again, I realized that it’s a song about living the Punjabi dream –


Punjabi boy wanted to be white collar
Said, ‘Fuck it! Let me just earn my dollar’
In Amrika I will drive taxi
Sleep with stripper girl Maxi
Blimey! If I am ever gonna call her!

Jasbir, as it turns out, has a brother.

His brother doubles up as the back-up driver and tags along with Jasbir when I need to travel for work to a remote nondescript town or village in the middle of Punjab’s nowhere (How very exciting! Don’t I just love my job). Problem is the both of them don’t get along very much and spend most of the time abusing one another. Their colorful insults include carnal intentions with one another’s slutty sister and forced fornication with the other’s mother. What they never seem to realize is that they share the same mother and the aforementioned lecherous sister; and acts that they ascribed to one another would most certainly amount to incest in most countries. (Before you get Dr. Skeptic on me, I’ve checked – they aren’t cousins. They are indeed brothas from the same motha!)

I have had a fair share of being driven around by loons but darling Jasbir is in a whole different league. Have you ever had a hangover two days after the binge? Not ‘FOR two days’ after the binge; binge – sleep – wakeupinthemorning – normalday – sleep –wakeupinthemorning – hangover! Have you ever run over a wild boar in a tribal area, made friends with the tribals and then gone on to cook it with them? Are you capable of driving a car looking just out of the passenger window?

Well, as it turns out, you’re no Jasbir.

P.S. (Bad date? Who better to help you with 'repairing' a bad date or petting a loved one than your local Maruti mechanic.)

15 comments:

Raj said...

Nice read. Both Jasbir and the human-cow divide.

Jasbir's description somehow reminded me of Kushwant singh's narrative style. I like

I hope you are aware of Automatic transmission? It's a Lakh more than your base version and you have to only focus on the B in A-B-C and the roads :)

vira said...

did u just finally admit that ure a bad driver??? :-O :-O

and I love the limerick. super.

Shruthi said...

No wonder you have so much to bitch and moan about! Your life is reeking of an authentic, never-read-before, demystified peek into the life of small-town India

notgogol said...

@Raj: Khushwant Singh? No way man. Singh is so very intense.

And I'm not as bad a driver as I make myself out to be. Just reversing problems now and then :)

@vira: Nice no? :)

@Shruthi: Demystified what? Are you being sarcastic? If not, thanksandall :)

Basically Blah said...

Might I suggest a Segway? It will allow a a greater degree maneuverability around prone cows, veering women drivers etc - all this while looking amazingly dignified.

The only drawback is that the nipping cold can cause one to grit one's teeth and appear something of a flying yeti. But I'm sure you can carry that off with typical aplomb.

Spunkysaturnine said...

OMG Jasbir!!! :D
Hilarious, I loved this post :)

The Mad Fat Girl said...

Quite a character Jasbir turned out to be! Great post.

notgogol said...

@Blah-dy Lady: Most certainly. Will don a tuxedo as well.

Is aplomb your favorite word btw?

@Spunkysaturnine: That's precisely what I say every single day - OMG Jasbir :O

Btw why are you just an adjective - nomenclature wise?

@The Mad Fat Girl: He most certainly is.

kamna said...

is jasbir ur way of refuting all chandigrh waali "female chauffeur" spotting allegations????... coz im nt buying it :P

Spunkysaturnine said...

No see I had a girl's name earlier but now I got this eerie someone-is-stalking me feelinkk so now you can't see me :P

smartassbride said...

Thanks to you, I have now realized that I can't multitask.

I'm also very disappointed that you are not an adrenaline junkie.If you had been one, this might have been a post on your "yes oh yes oh yes oh yes" to Jasbir. Imagine.

Next time, try not to ruin it for us, okay? We like our entertainment, especially when it comes at your expense.

notgogol said...

@kamu: Bhayankar type ki skeptic ho gayi hai. Hoti to bata deta na.

@Spunkysaturnine: Really? I have a stalker as well. Only difference, she keeps announcing that she's my stalker. Come to think of it, she's been MIA for a while now.

@smartassbride: Adrenaline junkie? Piggy-backing to death with mental driver is not on the same page as bungeeing no?

kamna said...

deny all u waana... S saw what she saw

anoushka said...

Kamu is right. What was seen was seen. You cannot unsee it.

By the way, this guy seems to be a whole lotta fun. Don't let him go.

notgogol said...

Et tu anus?