The Terrible Truth About Driving Schools (Fiction, In Progress)
There is a story here. Much as the ergonomic alphabet-distribution of my keyboard chooses to defy the presence of anything remotely fictional, I insist that there is a story to be told, and that it began at a time when I forgot what a ‘blur’ really meant.
What constitutes a blur, exactly?
Can you choose this word to define a moment, or an incident that’s just hard to remember? Or is it something you find easy to forget? There is a difference, you know. Back when this story began, I was able to draw that distinction with minimal effort. Back then, I also believed that the only story that mattered was my own – a fallacy that I have since then learnt to let go of, as my newbie quirks were torn down during the better part of a ravishing decade.
My name is Siddhant Roy. If you belong to that rare circle of people who have had the misfortune of stumbling upon the ramblings of my younger self (this includes my friends, some of whom I have systematically named in those misadventures, because there just wasn’t a better way to do it, a few interesting people whom I’ve met briefly, albeit deep enough to plagiarize from their interesting lives, apparently, and people who… well, are readers I will forever be indebted to, because they chose to give my writing a shot), you might already know that my life has been a perpetual window of self-indulgent wonders, comprising events that only seemed interesting to me, chronicling struggles that should never have been mentioned in ink, and a few mishaps that could have been completely avoided in hindsight.
But there is another subset within this above-mentioned group, a breed of people whom I can definitely count off my fingers, that has never failed to remind me that while it may be stupid to share these stories, it would be criminal not to. On a completelly unrelated note, these people have also had the pleasure of carrying out some very deep, insightful critique of my personal choices (with a reasonable amount of accuracy), and they have never, ever agreed to teach me how to drive. I think that decision may have something to do with the fact that I’m still alive and well right now, and in reasonably healthy form to make these sequential keystrokes with minimal effort.
The year was 2012. I think that’s where we left off the most recent inquisition into my story. I was working as a voice process specialist for a commercial tech support organization at the time, pretending very distastefully to be a part of the “IT/Services” industry, my only proof of concept being limited to a half-decent paycheck. Dropping out of college, although a seemingly exciting prospect in 2010, had not exactly played out the way I would’ve wanted it to. A few things that gave me some solace at the time was that I was no longer shacked up in a PG. The unique satisfaction of renting out one’s first apartment in Bangalore had found me at a time when I could only afford to stay in rooms that were old, damaged, or forever damned by way of mean-spirited humor. My annual visits to Bhilai had just been re-initiated after a brief hiatus, all thanks to my father who was instrumental in keeping my mother calm and helping her digest the news of my departure from formal education. And in those trips, one thing I recall with unintended precision, were discreet smoking sessions with dad where I would just rant on and on about my weird living arrangement with five other fully grown men in a 2 BHK apartment. But pops always chose to look at the bright side (or maybe he just had exceptionally pimped up foresight), and told me to milk it till it lasted.
My fears at the time, as I recall now, were more on the lines of how long this ‘milking’ would last.
It was November, and we were out of cigarettes. Hitesh-da, the sole mouth-fagging inhabitant of a nicotine-dependent circuit, was busy explaining to me why exactly it should be me, and not him, to go down and buy some more.
To be continued.