Like Goddess Durga on her lion – with multiple things at her disposal on all the ten hands, I set out as meticulously on small trips in my car along with my two little monsters. If there is one thing which makes me feel powerful, that has to be going on a drive. Not the super fast highway driving, but the chaotic city traffic drive which gives a nerve stimulating work out to all my senses. Adding children to these drives make it even more interesting like reaching the difficult levels of an extremely tough video game, at the end of which I feel exhilarated to come out alive triumphantly.
For those who don’t know me, let me tell you that I am an orderly person who believes in thorough planning with a motto that nothing is more comforting than being prepared to face any life challenges. These are some of the things I do before starting the car
– Buckle up the children in their respective places.
– Keep the cell phone on the Dashboard.
– Place the water bottles in the slots.
– Tie the Bib for the little one.
– Keep a small towel handy.
– Keep the house keys inside the storage compartment.
– Set the snack box at a reachable place.
– Check the glove compartment for wet tissues.
– Hand out 2 small toys to the little one while making sure we have plenty more in my bag.
Having checked if everything was in order, I switched on the engine. The music from the preset radio station filled the car and off we went. Soon enough, there was a cow crossing the road without any hurry in the front which generated the right amount of excitement for the little one. Wait.. That was not all. The cow stopped to urinate and unload in the middle of the road for which the children cheered and applauded loudly, while I honked impatiently to make the cow move. Clearly, in our country such domestic animals have the right of way and yet thankfully the cow decided to show some mercy by shifting its position slightly to let our car go thru.
After reaching the main road where I had to turn right, I started inching forward with the indicator on, as strategically as possible into the oncoming traffic. Some kind hearted driver slowed down his car just enough for me to merge completely whom I thanked with a raised arm gesture and a smile, as it felt wonderful to be let into the mainstream traffic. I learnt driving when I was abroad where the people are trained to obey traffic rules. Why can’t we be courteous to one another like the people in those countries?
My thought was interrupted by my daughter who wanted me to change the radio station as the song being played was boring. I switched to the next station which was playing some advertisement. “No. Find some good song” said my daughter. I found something acceptable after some more channel tuning. Now the little one who always got his favourite songs from YouTube demanded a latest popular song from the radio. When the demands are louder than the actual music, it is a signal for me to use my diversion method.
I pointed at a bus far away and exclaimed “Look at the horse painted on it” which was enough to make the little one forget about the song. “Mummy, Give me my horse from the bag” commanded the little one. I asked my daughter to fetch the horse from my bag which she obliged. Now her turn.. “I am hungry. I want some snacks.” I allowed her to eat snacks even though it was only 15 minutes since we started. Looking at her, the little one also wanted something to eat. I unwrapped the individually wrapped chocolate biscuit and offered it to the little one. After which I had to clean the messy hands, offer water bottle, clean the water spill – all while driving. Moms are amazingly multitasking marvels.
While admiring my own abilities, my cellphone started ringing which I answered in the speaker mode. My children decided to squabble over some petty stuff at that moment. When my gestures telling them to remain quiet didn’t work, I excused myself that I would call back after sometime. As usual, I started lecturing the importance of being silent when somebody was on a call. But who listened?? My well known temper was already on the verge of a break out, when a two wheeler guy who was trying to squeeze thru between cars, scratched my car a little. That was enough for me to let the steam out. I gave an earful to that guy, surprisingly in the local regional language too till he apologised profusely. Wow.. Am I proficient enough to roll up the sleeves and fight with a guy in the local language??
“Are we there yet?” started whining my little monsters. I ignored as I knew that given the traffic conditions, it will take a lot longer to reach our destination. We heard an approaching siren of an ambulance as it struggled to pass through the traffic. The kids were competing to see who could see the ambulance first which was an indication that there would be another tiff soon.
After an hour of driving, clearing all the major traffic bottlenecks with cranky kids, peaked stress, increased heart beats and raised pulse rates when we finally reached close to our destination, a vehicle which suddenly appeared from the wrong side made me apply sudden brakes on an impulse. At that instant, when my fierce eyes were glaring in anger, mouth wide open in disbelief, clutching the steering wheel, foot firmly pressed on the brakes – made me see the striking similarities that indeed “I am Durga”.