Driving License – A Privilege. Or, is it?

Road rage is becoming a common issue nowadays. Being trained at words and actions to be used against a person on a road is a “skill” few can master! šŸ˜› Being stuck up in a jam is a nightmare. Add to it bearing with fights between vehicle users, OMG! It is another issue of major concern. I sometimes feel that driving through city traffic feels like being a soldier at war. Not like the present-day soldier who zip-zap-zooms with SM-Gs and bazookas, but like the olden-day soldier who wrestles his opponents down with nothing but a sword or a spear, albeit with a shield for extra aid. (Its more dramatic that way šŸ˜‰ )

Ever wondered about a solution for all these dramatic tales? Following lane discipline? Traffic education? Speed monitoring? Heavy fines for offenses? … Naah! Of course, all these are viable options, but are not optimum solutions. Where then has the Lord kept the key to this mystery? Can you hear him say it? No? Read the title of the post again! šŸ™‚

Yes! It is the driving license which holds the key in the making of quality drivers. That is because, it is the gate pass through the gateway to heaven (or hell! Whatever! Read : ROAD) for a driver. The pride with which a driver boards his drive is significantly enhanced when the officer in khaki attests his ability to take the traffic by its horns. How truthfully this is done is an open secret though!

Once, a highly placed police officer, in an interview to a news paper, said this – “Having a driving license in India is considered to be right, where as, it should have been a privilege!” I thought about this statement for quite a few days. I sorta analyzed the traffic situation and was reminded about my Optic Fibre Comm Prof saying that “Traffic should flow like axial rays inside an optic fibre. But, we have only traffic which goes like skew rays šŸ˜› ” How true it is, I take the liberty of leaving it to the esteemed reader’s imagination. šŸ˜‰

If only we, as citizens, could suggest strongly to the Govt, the first and the most stringent process of screening drivers should be at the licensing stage itself. It may be quite difficult to check whether a driver is following the rules properly during the test, which is usually done on a short track. But, observe his(/her) habits through a 2-3 km course through traffic, and you’ll know all the finer aspects of his driving skill.

Unfortunately, many complications are present. There are a flood of license applications everyday. The formalities to complete, like application filling etc., take an awful amount of time and confusion. We do not have enough examining officers to take interest in every person’s driving. By sheer luck if we had the number, then the officers would either be in a bad mood because of continuous tests, or on leave due to side-effects of pollution (can also be read as ‘corruption’) šŸ˜› . Lastly, it is the slack nature of the general public who want things to happen in a painless way. Ever heard someone saying “No pain, No gain” ? Well, I guess the someone is absconding šŸ˜€ .

We shall see how the coming times will be. After all, we are supposed to be the watch dogs of the Govt in a democracy. And remain only watch dogs. Never Bark!

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Responsibility

The weight of this word is growing with every passing day, especially on people like me ie., falling in the same age group and doing the same work as i am – studying. You see, we are the ones who are expected to form better citizens and ensure a “lead kindly light” sort of future to the country, right? So the gravity of the matter appears greater. However, i feel that, responsibility is to be held by everyone with relatively equal importance, according to their work. A good student should be responsible for his future, a good parent for his children, a politician for his people, an actor for his fan-following, a cop (or any public servant, for that matter) for the society, a good lover for his loved one(s) and so on. There can be none without this feeling, no matter how small it is.

I was being cornered by my father every time i was into some mischief, saying that i should grow up and be responsible. It didn’t end with that. I had to go through the same lecture many times thereafter, from my mother, teachers, uncles, aunts, older cousins, and at times, in a lighter vein, from my younger brother too! Man, it was too much. In course of time, i began wondering, what is the need of responsibility when people are doing what they have to. My father earns for the family, my mother maintains it superbly, I and my bro study well enough to save ourselves the comparison with first-class-someones (All this apart from having lovable times at dinner together, and at other occasions too!). And coming to the broader picture, everyone in this world is doing some job which will keep their loved ones and well wishers, contented and happy.

But you know something, as it happens with all things, I started growing older, and coming out from the innocence of a child and his ignorance about the actual world. And, the earlier thinking was not mature enough on my part. I realized it. But the point was that i could not really understand what responsibility actually was, even after that small ‘enlightenment’. (i guess, that enlightenment hadn’t lighted up my mind fully! šŸ˜‰ ) However, my quest for this piece of knowledge wasn’t going to end very soon.

The years of adolescence did make me hard by heart. Whatever little juvenile “tender heartedness” was present, had left me. It made me feel free, and i was going to care a damn about being irresponsible, simply because, i didn’t want to care. However, something else had been cooking up in my fortune. Instead of being a rambo that i wanted to be, i was about to become a romeo. I started to have feelings for a girl. This thing, sort of changed my angle of thinking. The state, in which you wanted to see the girl, changed into a feeling that urged you to be with her, then making you feel that you should ask her out, feel for her, feel like her and so on. Then, when i thought i was serious about this girl becoming my ‘Cupid’s gift’, a different feeling struck me for the first time. Though i felt it very weakly, i wanted to be responsible for this girl, who had come just like a lightening strike in my life. God!. That was a nice feeling. I was thinking about myself as a grown-up, as a man ready to take on the forebodings of life. So, this was responsibility, or was it?

Being taught by my little experience, the lesson of responsibility sinked into me, bit by bit. After all these experiments with myself and the things that happened to me, I found myself in a curious situation. The job placements had started in my college. After cracking the aptitude which was not that hard, I was sitting with an interviewer who was supposed to handle both Technical and HR. I was refreshing my memory regarding the questions that may be popped at me.The technicals were answerable. And LO! An unexpected question! “So Mr.Sriharsha, how would you define responsibility?” I was freaked out at this. I hadn’t prepared for this sudden synopsis of my experiment. I had to think for a while. Why were my father, mother, teacher etc., asking of responsibility from me? Did they want me to do something? Something other than what i had done all those times? And it boiled down to one thing. They were all expecting something from me and i wasn’t doing it. They, being very much elder to me, expected something of their level of maturity from me. And i had to do just that to be labeled Responsible. It seemed to be a logical answer. “Sir, Responsibility is living up to the expectations, people have on you.”

I take pride in saying that the interviewer was interested in considering my answer and finally he accepted it satisfactorily. Right after coming out of the room, i had a weird thought that i was preparing all my life for this moment, just to answer this question. After all, we are always preparing for many unforeseen situations and surprises offered to us by this responsible journey – Life. And in leading your life you should be exceeding your own expectations!