Today, I failed my first road test. Damn.
I got up in the morning, nervous as hell about two things: (1) Getting a cab at 8:30AM and (2) Hoping to conquer the Dubai RTA Ultimate Road Test. Adding to the nervousness, I cut myself while shaving. “It’s not a sign Anish, chill.” I devoured my banana, drank my milk, packed my bag and went down to catch a cab. Nervous Issue (1) was no problem at all – I got a cab in about 3 minutes, brilliant. Now that’s a sign, definitely very much 100% so, right? Wrong, “I don’t believe in signs” – maybe I should.
It was Nervous Issue (2)’s turn. But what was haunting me, were the "signs". I met this long lost friend who I used to play football with 8 years at the Emirates Driving Centre Road Test Centre. It was his second test and it turned out to be second time lucky for he, or he was plainly just a good driver. He told me they make you drive for literally two minutes; one left turn, one right turn, a couple of lane changes, parking and you are done. “Do that properly, and you’re through.” He buoyed me up with hope, hope that was previously, mysteriously dim. What these driving instructors do is that they scare the living pants off you, and say that the “Shoorteh” will fail you at the smallest possible error. Doing this is good to an extent, but seriously, everyone is crapping in their pants during their driving test due to this injection of paranoia, and that makes it tougher to pass than it should. One activity at a time is seriously enough. Crap time is later.
Anyway, I made my way into the EDC Test Car with my “Shoorteh” and my three other fellow compatriots. They had been waiting for me; apparently I had not heard my name the first time. “Anis KisHOre Malbani” on a not-so-clear mike can be slightly confounding. So I was late - That’s Bad Sign #2. There was this Chinese (or Japanese, definitely NOT Filipino] guy, this South Indian guy and the Paksitani guy, in the car along with me. The Chinese guy was first and he drove well. But I thought, “Hah! I can do better than that!” Semi-over-confidence = Bad Sign #3. He did well, and he did eventually pass. Next on the wheel –
The South Indian was an okay driver, but a little confused in the head. The Pakistani guy was pathetic. His car stopped in the middle of the road, and the poor bugger let his nervousness get the better of him. So fate or some other shit made one Chinese/Japanese guy euphoric, and three Sub-Continental guys miserable today. I called mum and told her the bad news and she laughed, not out of ridicule, but out of the sheer feeling that I was teasing her. She was like, “How can you fail Anish? Don’t kid me.” I am like I just did fail Maa! That didn’t help, but then that’s motherly love.Dad called a few minutes later. I recited the story, and he was like you deserved it. Thanks Dad – like a true father. =) And then he dropped the bomb: “Anish I just met someone who could have helped you getting your license, like 5 minutes ago.” No bloody way. “Fate,” right? I guess but “I don’t believe in fate” – maybe I should. Ahh life! What's really annoying is that even though the UAE has such an intense driving program, where passing the Road Test is quite a task for people, there are still such rash drivers on the road, and the number of road accidents taking place in Dubai is nothing to be proud of either.
Anyway, on a more positive note, I don’t really need the license. I am leaving the country for good in 9 days. I might as well get my driving license in the US of A. But failure is in general pissing off, especially when the past two and a half months have gone in learning how to drive. So what was it exactly? I had 3 Bad Signs, and 2 Good Signs. Oh, so the Bad prevailed over the Good? Right.
P.S. Don’t get thrown away by the “perfection beyond my years” bit. I am not that great a driver, only average. The “perfection beyond my years” was to instill a little drama which is greatly inspired by JK Rowling’s writing style.