One fine evening I and my son Pakku were arguing with each other, and the topic was why one should drink milk. I forced him to finish the milk and only then could he go to play. At this time my husband was watching cricket match on TV.
Suddenly my next door neighbor, Probhir-da came and directly asked me, “Do you want to learn car driving?” I knew in the year 1986 he had purchased a second hand car. The car was a Fiat Premier Padmini 1976 model. My first reaction was ‘I can’t believe that anyone would want to teach me car driving’, and my second reaction was, “Yes! I will!” I immediately got ready to go for a car driving lesson.
In the car I, my son, Maloti and her son sat down at the back seat, and Abhijit settled next to the driver’s seat. Probir was driving the car. Few minutes later, we reached the stadium.
The stadium was a huge circular playground, and the audience area consisted of 15-16 steps. The entry and the exit gates were separate. The exit was diverged away from the entrance area by a big white wall. This was to prevent unwanted crownding near the entrance gate.
On the way, my husband asked Probir-da, “Why do you want to teach Mini car driving?” Probir-da laughed and said “This is a strategy.” Maloti didn’t hear it, and I couldn’t understand it.
So in the stadium, Maloti, her son, Pakku and Abhijit sat down on the steps. I was in the car with Probir-da. I was in the driver’s seat and Probir-da was teaching me. “Look, this is the ignition key. From this the motor will start. This is the gear shaft, horn, accelerator, breaks and clutch...” and the theory continued. I turned the key and fired up the engine. Probir-da said “Take the gear and push the accelerator, leave the clutch gently”. I did as he told me to do. The motor car was now rolling on it’s wheels. My heart started pounding faster. My Blood pressure rose up. “Now change the gear.” I did the same “Now accelerate.” I pushed my foot on the accelerator. Now the car took speed and run nicely on the stadium ground. This time Probir-da said, “Mini, now change the gear.” I tried to follow his instructions, but the car stopped. Again I started from the beginning. The car ran again. Then Probir-da said, “Now concentrate on the steering wheel.” “Yes!” I replied confidently. Confidence was beaming out of me now. With confidence I pushed the accelerator so hard that the car took the speed of 100 Km/hr. This speed scared me. Right in front of me was the white wall, that was coming towards me in full speed. My heart was beating fast. “Now what should I do???” Probir-da was shouting and giving me a lot of instructions. But inside me my fuses were already blown out. I left the steering and shut my eyes tightly. Probir-da was still shouting beside me. “Leave the accelerator and push the break.” “I... I... I’m doing so.” I said faintly. He said in same tone. “NO! You have left the steering wheel.” Now I remember, I was pushing the accelerator. I pulled back my feet with the help of my hand. The car stopped just a few feet away from the white wall.
Behind the car Abhijit and Maloti were running. Both the kids were shouting as they ran behind Maloti. Probir-da got out of the car and bust out. “Shala! Onner bou, Na hole chore fele ditaam.” (Damn! Other’s wife, otherwise I would have thrown her out.)
Maloti opened the door and Pat my shoulder and asked “Are you alright?” I came out of the car and felt relieved. Maloti said, “So I’m not learning from this man. He is the worst teacher.”
After a long time I realized the strategy of Probir-da. He simply wanted to hurt Maloti’s ego. And he succeeded. Today Maloti is an excellent car driver.