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I'm A Woman. I Drive. Get Used To It

03/08/2015 8:27 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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I'm a woman. I drive.

Why is this so hard for some men drivers to take?

While driving, my eyes are focused not just on the road, but also on a mother on a scooter with her kid.

... On an old man trying to cross the road.

... On the vendor trying to hard-sell his feather dusters, running erratically between cars at a signal.

... On the hooligans on bikes who zoom 100 km/hr hooting & screaming, trying to race each other playfully.

And the morons driving cars like they're on racetracks and above all traffic rules.

After years of driving with a baby on board, I still drive very carefully. I never speed, always go easy on speed breakers & potholes and wait at signals when it's red, even when other cars don't care what colour it is, as long as they can squeeze through. (Much to the disgust of the baby, who has grown up quite a bit)

I've been driving on the roads of Chennai for the past 14 years. And every day, there's at least one angry male driver who is either intent on overtaking me or somehow bully me off the road.

The other day, a maniac honked away behind me and was livid that I did not let him pass. After about 5-8 minutes of blaring his horn at my car and baring his fangs at me, he got his chance. I had to stop at a signal. He changed lanes to zoomed away triumphantly, way above any speed limit.

Instead of feeling defeated, I could only laugh.

What's your hurry? I wanted to ask him.

Why is it so important to overtake a woman driving? Is it an insult to your masculinity if you don't? Unlike you, my dear Stone Age man, I drive to serve a purpose, not to feel powerful.

I drive my kid to school, to various after-school classes, for medical checks, I drive my relatives to the temple, my driving-challenged friends to shopping and the movies, I drive myself to the grocery store, so on and so forth.

And while I'm doing that, my focus is to get there in one piece. More than myself, I feel responsible towards those travelling with me and want to make sure I get them safely home.

So I'm not interested in power struggles on the road with men like you.

I don't care if I win or lose these imaginary races you have with me.

If you're so intent on proving your masculinity with your wild and dangerous driving, remember this.

You only come across as a boorish bully, who's a threat to those on the road.

I'm a woman. I drive.

Get used to it.

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