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  • Semesta Cruinne

Driving



Driving can get you really irritated and happy.

When I'm driving, I love the fact that I am the one driving. Not asking, requesting, hoping to be heard by another man, saying "can you please take left from here" and going all "nahi nahi nahi nahi" while he assumes he knows what he's doing or where he's going when it is after all your path and destination. Don't get me wrong, I take wrong turns and longer routes and make mistakes all the time, but I don't feel unheard, it's between me and me and we feel independent and (so) okay.

This particular way of feeling empowered has been here for a while now. It doesn't get old though. Even now when I sit in another man's car, I can feel my being in the back seat.

I don't like to be in that position, but not we're always viable to drive.

At times, my calves hurt when I drive for too long and the clutch brake clutch accelerate slope handbreakkk accelerate in traffic gets tiring. But then again, I've got music. Music which I choose based on my mood or play to create what mood I want to be in - I want it loud, no I need to hear the outside, no I REALLY don't, ok I am tired of music, audiobook? Naaah, okay I'll just listen to pop or teri diwani ke time wale songs or TS or Billie Marten or Eminem because I'm not afraid! and then I'm standing in the hall of fame but it's gone when that guy just passenger's me so strong, and arre Suraj ne jo gaana bheja tha woh check out nahi kiya abhi time hai!

I like it. Music listens to me.

And the lights! - cars and bikes and side shops and balloons and traffic lights and green red rods that traffic police people hold, the I am reversing lights, the indicating and stopping lights, the I am coming from the front with headlights so strong that they'd make you want to wear goggles in night time lights, the few white headlights that make you wonder 'which car is this?' and disorient your eyes that are settled with the yellow colored lights, the roadside light poles - working, mostly not or blinking indefinitely but making you feel thankful lights, reflector lights from jackets of people, unintended reflector lights from jackets of people, the confusing, unexpected number of lights coming towards you that make you question the size shape and type of vehicle, a lot of lights and then all these lights matching and not and forming beautiful compositions and you're like - that! and then that! And you can't click pictures because you're driving but you smile and save the lights in your head, lights.

Different from the smile-huh?-smile that comes when you see the incomplete words on shops lights or the URANT below RESTA lights - they aren't made for reading, are they?, all the puzzling lights that make you want to fill words and concepts and you go "oohhhh" "aise aise hona chahiye haaaan".

So much happens with the lights and the music! But we've got to move on (oh, while driving too) so...

People - the walking people, the driving people(very interesting and absurd behavior by the way), the cycling people, the waiting to cross, the running and hurrying, the "aap jao" "nahi, aap jao" accha, mein, arrey sorry mein bhi chal pada, "arre ab jao yaar" hand gestures, the ding ding ding ding ding ding ding - ninja hattoris of the road - by foot, riding cycles, driving autos cars bikes trucks TRUCKS buses never tractors people, they don't see anyone, they can't - you see, they go past too fast, past the seeing part, past the present, they can't drive and see and see and drive? That's just not how they do it and you know them. And you've been them. Come on? It's all right man, you can really need to pee.

People do funny things. I get funny too. People are irritated, I get irritated too. People get really angry, which I usually express by crying. I cry some in the car. It's a part of the jam. It's actually a great place to do it until your eyes get so filled you can't see clearly. Until then, awesome. For many reasons, chuck that.

But when you cry, many times you call Shaily, just to "inform" how the donkey didn't move and you had to wait because what if he got hurt and then when you stood there the light got red and you got stuck and the police got angry.. or how you just met your friend who you really wanted to meet and now you're tired and you want to go home and are happy you met them and you can't wait to meet them again and you don't want to driveee (one them being the reasons to cry)... Or when someone said hi to you in the cafe so you felt the need to run to the parking and leave but you wanted to be in the cafe but you are scared (and it's not even a man) and you've got to go but you don't want to go home but you can't sit in the parking and you don't have the energy to drive elsewhere so you don't know what to do so you're crying and so you call Shaily. Shaily sits with you when you cry.

Calls with other people go on for a few minutes until one of us realizes or says that "oh you're/I'm driving? We'll talk later.". It's cool.

Shaily mostly just sits silently till I reach home. So that's cool. Except I can't play music to match my tears.

The experiences I mentioned are perfectly reasonable fears, triggers, and curiosities but between her, me, friends, and this narrative for you - they can only be funny stories.

Hmmm...

Stories get interesting when people get involved.

The person who sits next to me - changes everything. My mood, music (they don't necessarily do that but I do for them and us), AC temperature, and destination on maps. With friends, there are elaborate (mostly futile) discussions on destinations and conversations and conversations and jokes and soon circumstances create a collective irritation and anger towards people on road and otherwise. Followed by more jokes, conversations, and "Abby yaar wo peeche reh gaya".

With family, we've got clear destinations, definitive motives for the travel, some (cautiously crafted or not) conversations and thoughtfully (because you love them) placed music, temperature, seat inclinations, and everything. You are driving with them.

People make things interesting.

Things are interesting while driving.

And of course places from where you leave, places you're going to matter.

(I'm tired of writing now)

The people you leave behind, the people that hop on, get dropped, people you're going to, people whose homes you go past and want to stop, or those you avoid (the same boy, haha)... All controlled by the routes. The routes you take (like ones without potholes), the ETAs (a very integral part of driving), many things are interesting when driving, even if and when it's not out of the city travels, to faraway places. The mundane here becomes interesting.


Journeys matter to us but when you're on them they can get you really irritated and happy.


Ps: This one was supposed to be only about lights but then...

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