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.