Driving certificate

A case for the driving license

I asked my doctor for an appointment for a medical certificate for an international driving permit, and he didn’t even blink, although people my age hardly drive in India, or elsewhere.

In fact, people of all ages try not to drive in India because it’s even more exciting than being in a Mad Max movie scene and it ends up hurting your long term health, and you tend to become hypersensitive and have a mini heart. – attacks with all the sudden lane changes and the driver behind you honking your horn to get you out of the way.

In a very short time, your brand new car that you drove in a showroom starts to look like it did in the exciting game of Derby Crash.

Your car will look like a wreck just days after you pose in front of the car, with your wife and brats, and with a 1960s pop song blaring loudly over the public speaker system in the showroom, which looks like this:

When I tell everyone that you’re in love with me

I want the world to know that I’m as happy as can be

The song was sung by Cliff Richard (now Sir Cliff) and was the UK entry in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1968.

I squirmed in embarrassment, but my wife appreciated the attention, except when the salesman handed me the key, when she had paid for the car, having obtained a loan from the school where she teaches.

The car now has a dent in the rear (the driver says it’s always been there) and a scrape on the side that looks like it was scratched by a giant dragon with dagger-like fingernails.

Even more menacing look

My wife disagrees with my idea of ​​painting a dramatic, realistic fire on the sides of the doors, as I thought it would add an even more menacing look and nobody would bother us on the roads.

In pre-pandemic times, nobody in our community drove their own car: they parked it in the underground park and took an Ola or an Uber, because nobody was brave enough to face traffic.

(The car was only taken out when the dog was due out for the weekly outing to the nearby dog ​​park which recently opened, and which gave neighborhood pooches a chance to mingle and gossip about their humans) .

But I digress, the doctor pulled out a book that had dotted numbers in different colored dot patterns. I believe this is called the Ishihara test. I don’t think any Indian driver has ever passed this test, because you always see drivers racing through red lights.

The doctor did not advise me against driving as road accidents increase around the world and motorists kill or run over more and more pedestrians, but he gave me good news.

Is the pandemic over?

“I haven’t had a single patient test positive since last week,” he said happily, when I asked him if the pandemic was over.

It was the same doctor who suddenly disappeared and became a virtual human who wore a face shield and gave medical advice to patients scared of death over Zoom.

Back to driving, and the certificate would allow me to drive in Canada during the summer holidays, but the biggest test was getting the international license itself.

First I had to fill in the details, like I was colorblind and wouldn’t crash on the steering wheel while driving on a highway at 160 km/h, but the hard part was printing the request that you filled out online, then print it out and bring it to the licensing department and wait in line.

This may be the reason why some motorists in Bangaluru drive without a driver’s license. it’s cheaper and less frustrating to just pay the fine if you get caught by the cops.

Mahmood Saberi is a storyteller and blogger based in Bengaluru, India. Twitter: @mahmood_saberi