Day 19 of #myIndia #IndiaIsSafe (07 October, 2018)
This is Day 19 of #myIndia #IndiaIsSafe initiative. I had left early morning from Fort Kochi, to reach Poovar in time. Then I had to meet Girish too – one friend I had made on my trip. One beautiful thing about travelling is that you have ample opportunity to make friends. People whom we would have never even known otherwise, and you meet and be friends. One such kind person is Girish and such warmth in his family. I was reminded of home away from home.
I reached there home well in time for breakfast. The kids were also awake and this time I didn’t forget to carry chocolates for them – the Schmitten chocolates I had bought from factory outlet of Schmitten, on my way to Mumbai. These chocolates also found its way to various people who loved them. I am only left with two now 🙂
While driving today, I was thinking about the time when I had initially started driving. Well, before that, let me give you a brief background about myself. I have been born and brought up in Delhi only, by parents who were born and partially brought up in Haryana. My roots are in Haryana only. My parents are the first generation of professionals in the entire family – my father being the eldest of them. But then there was nothing as such dictated to us.
There is one thing that I always kept in mind since childhood – self discipline. I didn’t realise it till today, when I was driving and thinking about the first time I took out the car. It was in graduation first year (2002). The day I took the car out, it got hit by a truck. I was scared that if I called up at home, they would not ever allow me to take the vehicle again. Still thinking about what to do, I decided to confront the truck driver who had hit my car. Eventually, I somehow did manage to convince him to pay for the damages. I completed my daily schedule as planned and got the car repaired too. It was only after getting back home, that I told my parents about the day. They got a little worried, but particularly happy because I could manage it on my own. In fact, my father did tell me to call him up whenever the need arises, especially in such situations. But that one incident gave me confidence. I do drive responsibly and knowing the road and traffic sense of people, and have always managed to keep myself out of any trouble (Accidents). Then there are incidents when the cars breakdown too. On such incidents also, I have always managed to handle the situation well.
Today, while thinking about that day, I really that actually my parents have never ever objected against my car driving. In fact, the distance also hasn’t even been much of an issue. The only thing is the first time acceptance for road trips, when I tell them about it. They still get apprehensive – less because of security issues and more because of the tiredness or stress I might have. Their response in certain situations actually surprises me too. No-one in my entire family has driven such long distances – forget about any female from the family doing it. My brother, who’s a doctor is passionate about travelling and goes on long drives, as and when time permits. So, it was difficult for my family also to accept it initially. I somehow convinced them too.
Now I understand why I could do that. The reason is to know your responsibility. By responsibility, I mean that you do not drive mindlessly. It is essential for us to behave responsibly while on road. Thats the reason why my parents never objected to give me vehicle. They knew that I can take care of myself and my vehicle. No matter what, I will be able to handle the situation. And in case situation arises, I will take them into confidence too. This confidence of family could come through my behaving responsibly. Like I know not to drink and drive. And I do not drink while on road trips. Drinking anyway isn’t good for long drives. Eat healthy and stay healthy – that is what I follow on self – driven road trips.
With this thought, I have thought of starting another series – “50 essential elements for solo travelling/driving“. And this is the first essential element – Behave responsibly. Avoid mindless activities. Actions should be well – thought and not done in hasty manner or trying to prove a point to someone. In a country like India, each place follows a different pattern or set of ways you conduct yourself. It is important, as a tourist, to keep these in mind and do not step on anything that is sensitive. While travelling, my focus is to travel. I know that one way of solving is to respect the residents’ sensitivities. So my effort will be to not step in sensitive zones, and to act appropriately as per situation and place.
#IndiaIsSafe is an initiative for claiming India to be as safe as any other country for travelling. Every country has got its list of Do’s and Dont’s, so does India. And we can have bad experiences anywhere – even in our home city/town/country. But that isn’t reason enough to keep us away from travelling. We need to claim our spaces in the world outside our own homes and travel. If this resonates with you and you are travelling in India, do use ‘#indiaissafe’. And if it is not, then do mark those places, so that the authorities can take an extra effort for the same.