November 16, 2012

Clutch evide? Brake evide?!

Before you read the post, please watch the video.

Watched? If you’re a Malayali, then you probably know this scene frame-by-frame and know the dialogues by heart. If you’re a Malayali but don’t know this scene, shame on you. Go hide under a rock or something.

For the non-Mallus, this is an epic scene from the Malayalam movie Thalayanamanthram, written by a genius named Sreenivasan. He is one of the most brilliant writers of Malayalam- nay, Indian cinema. He is one of the ugliest actors ever, and his genius lies in the fact that he makes fun of himself in his own movies at every given chance. The guy behind the wheel, trying to drive the car, is Sreenivasan.  

Let me give a quick summary of the scene, for those who couldn’t understand it. Sreenivasan is trying to learn how to drive a car, Mammukoya (the other actor)is trying to teach him. Sreenivasan doesn’t know the clutch from the brake, and keeps asking where one or the other is. “Clutch evide?! Brake evide?!” (Where is the clutch? Where is the brake?!) has become an  epic dialogue in Malayalam cinema, oft quoted by Malayalis whenever such a driving situation arises.  

Now imagine, in place of Sreenivasan, Yours Truly. Thankfully I know where the clutch and brake are. But the rest of the situation is pretty much the same. Oh, and I haven't gone and rammed into a wall. Yet. *gulps*

Am I learning driving, you ask? No no. of course not. That I learnt in 2007. Got my license too. Only, the license has been serving the purpose of an ID card more than anything else. You see, after I learnt driving in 2007 and got my license (which was a major hurdle in itself. I had to take the test twice to pass it. I got the H correct the first time, but failed the road test because I forgot to put my hand out and give the hand-signals. The two-wheeler test, I passed only on my third attempt. What can I say; 8 is just too hard a number.), I moved to Hyderabad. I had absolutely no practice at all, and lost complete touch. Acha never gave me the car whenever I came down to TVM (in his own words “You can take the car out if it is a bandh day” L ), and I wasn’t very interested in it anyways. I was happy sitting back and watching the traffic go by, while someone else drove me around. Plus, traffic- especially buses- scares the living daylights out of me.  

So why am I saying all this now? Because I have started going for driving practice classes. And I realized that I had underestimated myself. I am much MUCH worse than I had thought I was! Right from pressing both clutch and accelerator together and causing the car to do nothing much other than make racing noises, to forgetting to step on the brake while passing over a speed-breaker, it’s one big mess. The only thing I’m good at is holding on to the steering wheel for dear life.

My “Thalayanamanthram” moment was when the instructor told me to change the gear, and I asked her “What gear? Which gear?” because I had forgotten what gear I had put it on previously. L The driving-class-car already has a pretty rattled up gear-box, not to mention the CBA’s, which need to be pushed down with a bulldozer. Instead of changing it to first from second, I end up putting it in third gear. And put it in fourth when I'm told to put it in reverse. Add to this a mess of a driver like me, and there you have it- a catastrophe on wheels. Thankfully, they have an extra set of controls on the instructor’s side.

But S promised me that if I learn how to drive, we can go on many road trips. That’s the only reason I’m doing this. God save him and his Figo.

You know that bike-tyre ad with the tagline “The roads are full of idiots”? Sigh… I couldn't agree more.

One of those idiots.     


  1. ha ha :D I didn't mean to laugh but couldn't control. Good luck with the car driving. I am a mess behind the wheel but I glide on a two wheeler so I have finally made peace with the fact that I am more of a two wheeler kind of person..

  2. You're rt.. every Mallu of our generation should know that scene byheart :)
    Glad to see you're following in my footsteps - after getting my driving licence in '04, I have steadfastly used it as an ID card only for the last 7.99 years. Only recently has it started being used for its naturalpurpose and even then, it takes all my effort not to stick markings 'B' and 'A' on my legs to remember Brake and Acceleration :)
    Sigh.. people say an automatic is easier, but just which driving school is gonna be equipped with an automatic... I was lucky the ambassador I learned in had a car style gear box and not a lorry style one :)

    If ever ur driving thru Kannur, just give advance warning..I'll stay in hospital till its safe to come out again !!!

  3. Oh... and seeing that video reminded me : had to share ( shameless promote !!! ) this - including another iconic moment of Malayalam cinema - 'How many kms from Washingtion DC to Miami beach?' :D

  4. haha! Don't worry, you'll get used to it all before you know it. All the best, D.

    And thanks for putting up that clip. That's one we'd never get tired of. Classic humour, indeed Gone are those days of Malayalam cinema.

  5. Lol.. This has been faced by me as well. In the starting days, the instructor used to scare me by shouting "Left Turn.. Turn! Turn! Turn!". And I used to make a turn right away whatever and wherever we are. And I many times turned into a dump :)

  6. hehehehe........ just love Srinivasan - and now his son too :-) ...

    And I can imgine your plight. When I started, my FIL (yup! Father in law taught me how to drive - G refused to be anywhere within a radius of 50 meters from a vehicle where I had the steering wheel) screamed, "Gear badlo!" And I promptly looked down to examine the gear in which it was running (in a running car)- much to FIL's shock. And what about the indicator ??? *Evil laugh*

  7. Ha.. Ha.. that was fun.. No mallu can forget the scene and the dialogues. I keep hearing it from my husband every now and then.
    I got my driving licence in the first test (I still don't know how). That was in 2008 and till today I have not touched the steering. And I don't intend to. I am pretty confident I can't drive and so don't want to be "One of those idiots" :) Best of luck with your driving classes!!

  8. awww pavam... it's okay da... m sure you'll get back to it soon and then we'll see a Hamilton on wheels ;) :D

  9. Hehe! Your story's mine too - got a license, haven't bothered driving a car after that, mostly serves the purpose of an ID card! :D
    But yes, I have no problems with a scooter *touchwood*
    I also think I should learn to actually drive a car. But guess it's gonna be scary, now that you've written about your debacle. But hang in there, you'll get the knack of it (and soon, I hope)!

  10. You are dead on right about the Mallu thing - it should be mandatory for Mallus to know about Sreenivasan black comedies from the 80s and 90s.
    I had a similar time during my driving classes when my teacher occasionally resorted to kicking my bare feet with his giant chappals :-( And one other time when I put on the fifth gear instead of the third and got blasted :-( Anyway I learnt my lessons and later used to drive in peak hour traffic on the roads of Bangalore even at night. Ahem :D

  11. This sounds like my story. Got the license in 2009 and yes, it sits in the cupboard, comes out only when some ID proof has to be submitted. I really hope you glearn to drive. So that you can go on those lovely road trips. :) And tell me one thing, do you like to be chauffeured around instead of being the one behind the wheel? If yes, we could be suffering from the same problem. All the best!

  12. The entire post is simply hilarious. I'm in stitches imagining the scenes you described. When I got my license my trio very clearly stated, "Mummy's driving, we don't want to get in the car." And I too had the @Nirvana moment when I recently learned how to use a manual (I'm used to an Automatic) car, I always look at the gear when I have to shift gears. :D

  13. Firstly, trust me I tried to look for a rock to hide but we don't have rocks in the bedroom and The Bhartav is sitting in the living room :P :P

    And secondly... a WOMAN is your instructor...*slowly clapping* and also passing a *evil grin* much for all the morons who think women can't drive...bbbuuhahahahahahahahahah

    totally hilarious post :D :D :D

  14. OMG! I have seen this comedy bit before. Hilarious. You must try to do this with S. He will be more convinced to chauffeur you around :)

    I have never learnt to drive, and now kind of regret it. Only lightly.

  15. Finally and thankfully, the blogger is back!!! Don't leave us in the dark so frequently...:P

  16. By now, I guess the marriage is over so Congrats and wishing you a happy married life :)

  17. Epic! Epic! n sooper Epic!!! Srinivasan is God \m/

    Damn, I'm so much in ur shoes... I dont know driving n now my wifey, her folks n my folks hv been givin me nt so subtle hints :D


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