Saturday, December 29, 2007

License to Drive

Did you give a test in India ? You failed a license test in India ? You failed in driving test in India despite going via a driving school ?

These were the questions friends were asking me when they came to know i dont have a license from India. In cyprus, i made two attempts which i failed due to parallel parking mistake.

I made a fourth attempt to get a license (one in blore , two in cyprus). I applied for the license in chennai for two-wheeler and car driving. I arrived from pune in chennai for the christmas weekend and was to take my test on 24rth.

For the bike test, you have to make a 8 (ettu poduradu - driving the bike to make shape 8) without putting your foot down and bike engine should not go off. I guess the days of driving the bike and showing hand signals and then stopping to pass the test are gone in Chennai. For the car, a lap with the car during which the engine must not turn off and then do a reverse is part of the test.

I had to prepare myself for the tests to come. I drive a automatic car in cyprus. So i took driving classes in Chennai so that i get familiar with using the clutch. They went fine. For the two-wheeler driving, i practised making a 8 in Hosur. I practised making an eight between 2 rocks. The 8 used to come in different shapes - the rounds were circular or mostly elliptical.

Before the test, i wanted to check where the eight is done in chennai. So my brother and i went to the anna nagar RTO and i saw a concrete 8 there. The 8 had two perfect circular rounds (Eight) . It was difficult than the open one with elliptical rounds. I tried to do the 8 and i put my foot down 5 times. I was surely going to fail the test :-) I practised for the next hour or so and sought advise from friends who got license in Chennai. Out of the around 45+ attempts to navigate, i made around 15 8's without putting my foot down. I was not sure of repeatability of it. If i managed to start on 8 at speed of 10kmph and maintain it, i will complete the 8 properly.

Also for the car driving test, there was a ramp which was pretty steep, it scared me a little as i was not sure if i will be able to go up without engine restart. So i left back for home half sure if i will get the license next day.

The next day i woke up. My father came with me to the test. He had told the driving school guy to take care if some sort of help/intervention is needed in getting my license as i had to leave the next day to Pune and i wont be able to apply and get a license in India again in near time.

People started to arrive at the test center and they were practicing. There were utter failures and perfect smooth 8s. I tried twice and i did once right and second time it was a failure. The driving schools got the cars and climbed up the ramp (the steep one) and parked the cars inside the test track. Now there was space only to do the elliptical lap with a S. So i was saved :-)

First it was car driving test. The examiner came and asked me do the lap. I did it fine just with first gear and 90% clutch. Very slight use of acceleration. I completed the lap without issues. I was not asked to do the reverse. I completed the test :-D cool ! For sure i am going to get one license issued today.

I waited for my turn for the two-wheeler 8 test. The examiner came and called my name. I started the bike and got it onto the start of the 8. I made it almost fine. I put my foot down once and it was clearly seen and completed the rest of the 8 fine. I had flunked. I was not sure if i will get the license or not. I had to wait. The examiner did not give me another chance. Even if i was given, i was not sure of getting the 8 correct !! so i was fine. After some talking which my driving school guy did with the examiner and .........., i finally was given the license for both car and two-wheeler.

Finally i have license to drive. It feels so good !!

I flew back to Pune the next day as planned with a license. Mission accomplished. I have one last test in Cyprus on Jan 30th. Let's see if i get my driver's license there as well.


calyen said...

Congratulations :P


Skely said...

Dude, you practised 45 times for the '8'... Hats off to you...

Anyways, Congratulations on your license and wishing you a very happy New Year...

Prakash Swaminathan said...

skely, ama da .. was driving after a gap of 3.5 years and had to get the license .. thanks .. wish you the same ..