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2009-08-08

Conquer your Fears

As a little girl,driving a red convertible was only what I could imagine Nancy Drew to do...Never seen a convertible in Bombay, let alone sit in it and even more...drive it.

It was almost unbelievable when I drove my “own” car for the first time. My dream of having a convertible was on wheels. Never a great driver from my Bombay days itself, I really found it hard to muster the spunk to drive on the roads of USA… the ones that are infamously known as freeways, where one is not free to drive in one’s own way (like we do in India) Driving in India was so different and so easy:)No lanes, no signals, no cops …no Rules at all:)

With trembling hands, and fists tight around the wheel, I remember driving for the first few days on the roads of Boston. I would be so cowed, that after my drive there would be marks in my palms where my nails were dug into due to fear.
And then slowly with prep, patience and practice, I “mastered” ( in my own way ) the art of driving in the States and gradually realized how easy it was.
It was not long when I became over confident about my driving, would drive with one hand and would speed beyond marked limits. Infact, as a sign of a good and confident driver, I earned my speeding ticket also. (Yes, contrary to the belief that speeding tickets are signs of rash and irresponsible driving, I truly believe that only the confident ones can actually earn them)

All my confidence was shattered after my snow-mobile accident. Inspite of having no experience of driving a snow-mobile ( not that - it is required) , I wanted to speed across the snow tracks and drive it like a pro and Bammm!!! The odometer hitting 40mph was the last thing I remember and then was the noise. I lost complete control of the gigantic vehicle and along with it flew off the track. Going down the small slope, blocked by a tree and landed with the herculean mobile on me. 40mph and the noise of my helmet hitting the tree is all I remember. It was pretty bad…but fortunately wasn’t as bad as Natasha Richardson’s accident ( which co-incidentally took place on the same day ) Well all I can say is - HELMETS DO SAVE LIVES.I As a souvenir from my accident (which was 6 months back) , I still have an injured finger which refuses to heal.

Now imagine, the confident girl speeding on the Mass-pike involved in such an accident. obviously all confidence gone down the drain. I could not drive at all for almost 3 weeks ( pain and fear combined… ). After coming back on the roads after a not very long hiatus, I thought it was my first day of driving again. I couldn’t drive beyond 50mph on highways with limits of 65mph. Irate drivers would go past me giving get-off-the-road-u-old-lady looks. Changing lanes was a “feat” that I thought I could never achieve again. And the moment I would speed and see a slope and instant fear would engulf me, a fear of the road ending into infinity. These were all baseless but justified fears. My snow-mobile incident had left a deep dark scar in my mind.

And then I realized, I could not go on like this. I couldn’t wake up 30 min earlier than I usually do, to reach my office in time, I couldn’t bear driving in the 3rd lane (slow lane) always. I couldn’t bear people speculating that the driver in the red car is definitely a girl.
So slowly and steadily, with determination at heart, I laid my foot on the gas and started to get back to the pace that I define. I realized I wanted people behind me and on the next lanes to think of me as a reckless driver rather than some bloody first-timer. I realized the only way I can enjoy this again is by beating my fear at this game.

So, with miles and miles driven and a strong mind to get back on the tracks, I conquered this fear (yes... for the second time) …and I am so proud of myself:)

TOUCHWOOD!!!

27 comments:

  1. LET FEAR FEAR ITSELF, remember?it seems you really followed this . to overcome one's fears is a great achievment. But then you are a woman of determination and who else knows it better than me?
    congrats for your victory. U do have a winner's attitude.

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  2. Nice script But slow drive are always safe

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  3. indeed touchwoood!!! congrats :)! whats the next quest that yu are planning to conquer? fly? nothin is impossible rite! :) tak care!

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  4. Oh thats lovely...this is what confidence n determination can do, n your conquering your fear has proved it.
    Lol..so when r planning to open a driving school :)

    take care!!

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  5. Hi Ms Gandhi,

    As a motorcyclist in love with the road, and having had my fair share of mishaps, I think I know a thing or two about being overconfident, losing it in a fraction of an instant, gaining it back inch by inch, and then being responsibly confident.

    Way to go, miss!.

    By the way, I seem to be unable to follow your blog. Any suggestions?

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  6. drive slow and be safe neha :)

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  7. Congrats! It is indeed a big achievement to conquer ones fear. Good post, Neha:)

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  8. Patience is a virtue and one has to learn it. Only time and situations can teach you the true lessons of life. As for fear, I am sure that your fears are all gone just as mine when I first started off driving in US

    - Ashu Bhaiya
    http://ooglersgooglers.blogspot.com

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  9. Hi Neha

    ""Driving in India was so different and so easy:)No lanes, no signals, no cops …no Rules at all:)""

    Wrong....there are INDIAN RULES in INDIAN ROADS.....haha

    Cheers and a great post too.

    republicofdream.blogspot.com

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  10. Thanks for visiting my blog :)
    it's gr8 post..
    congrats!.. now u have learnt how to throw out your fear, gr8 experience indeed!!....

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  11. good post
    congrats for having your own car.its good you wrote your accident experience this will help new drivers what can happen.

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  12. woah!! naice!! I like the narration :)

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  13. I have been wanting to learn driving from a long long time. But still I lack that confidence, may be out of fear. My family has also announced that I simply cannot. I really feel very bad about this. I have to learn and overcome my fears. Its just a matter of time.

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  14. hey thanks for visiting my blog!!
    and INDIAN RULES are meant and APPLICABLE to INDIAN ROADS

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  15. thank you for visiting my blog, cos of which I could read this splendid post of yours..very few can conquer their fear..dame good ya..

    "I am a woman above everything else."

    loved it :)

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  16. hey Neha, I can so well relate to your love for driving...2 months back, I got my own car and have been enjoying driving it everyday to work....
    Such small learning ( accidents) happen, be careful lady!
    Enjoy driving!

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  17. I think it is very brave of you to conquer your fears and get on that snowmobile once again. Kudos!!!

    BTW, I came here via Aparna's blog.

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  18. Wow, quite some stories you've got there--and it all started with Nancy Drew! I'm glad you're okay, and that you have your confidence back.

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  19. Conquering your fear is everything, the rest is easy.
    Though I wish you all the best driving on American roads, I also hope you will exercise caution. Speed thrills but it also damages.

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  20. Your visit gives me this opportunity to relish this nice post of yours. So much so that I am inspired to write on driving myself.
    In my opinion the important thing while pressing the accelerator is to press till the time we think the car is controllable. It absolutely makes no difference what others think.
    In fact it is quite difficult to drive on the Indian roads. This time while in Kolkata, I did not even touch the wheel.
    Happy driving

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  21. Well done Neha :) That accident did sound rather scary. I am glad you decided not to let it stop you from driving again, and driving with confidence too. And no doubt helmets save life!

    But I am not sure if speeding tickets can be treated like medals ;)

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  22. "You have nothing to fear but the fear itself". Hope I got the quote right!

    Congratulations on conquering the fear. Enjoy the roads before the winter. Does it snow it Boston?

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  23. so very proud of u!!! i might get my license soon!!!

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  24. Awesome narration. I am proud of you too :D .

    I am still 'learning' how to drive a car , so your post will help me curtail my fears and also not be over confident :).

    Cheers!

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  25. there is a science behind the speed limits - one reaches faster following them than not.

    in the US, on the way to Laredo - (TX) there are miles and miles where you can choose to speed - and no cars for miles and no gas stations either.

    i didn't know that indian roads had no rules. i thought everybody chose not to follow them :)

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  26. Which red convertible do you drive? I have one too :)

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