Driving and Approximation Theory

by krishnamoorthyb


To learn to drive a car, you need to be comfortable with the concept of approximations.  Migrating from a decade of two wheeler riding to a car can be a scary experience. On a two wheeler, you are basically walking, albeit very very fast! Let me clarify: When you are walking, you have a clear 180 degree view of your world, you go where you see a gap big enough to fit you and you are tired after a long walk. Riding a two wheeler is exactly the same!

Get into the driver’s seat of a car and life is suddenly more complicated!

Fact No1:

What can be unnerving to a road hardened biker is the fact that you cannot see the tip of yout vehicle anymore! You can only approximate the boundaries of your vehicle. They say, you get comfortable with practice. True, but with practice you get good at approximations!

Fact No 2:

On a two wheeler, you stop at a signal and you put your foot down on the road. This keeps you stationary. Stop the car at a signal and shift the gear to neutral and you start moving backward! This happens when there is even a minor upward incline on the road. You are now left with no option than to use all your limbs to arrive at that magical equilibrium state where your car is stationary yet in gear and ready to move (forward!) once the signal becomes green.

Fact No 3:

On new gen cars, the accelerator adapts to the user. When we got our car, it was new and it did not have any pre conceived notions about us.  The default assumption was that I wanted to drive at 100kmph every single time. Touch the accelerator and it will decide to punce forward. It was even moving forward on a flat stretch of road when my foot was nowhere near the accelerator! After a long round of negotiations between me and my car, it has now decided to give me a break!

Other than all these minor issues, driving a car activates some parts of your feelings spectrum that seemed to be dormant till now. You get a sense of compartmentalization to life that can be liberating and binding at the same time! Paradoxical as the feeling may seem, it is true and I cannot explain it any better.  Somehow, unknown to us our vehicles become a part of our family and then  they are forced to share our quota of life!

This is a new relationship and as all relationships go, you can never get to know everything, right?

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