Not that this was my first experience. I have been there before and done that for my two-wheeler license.
Andheri, R.T.O. 12:00 noon.
I was a little spaced out because I had travelled from Pune to Mumbai at night and hadn’t slept. At the same time I was a little tensed too because I had not practised driving for ten odd days and I did not know what to expect. We found our ‘Nirala driving school’ guy.
It was a small barren ground with 7-8 policemen sitting beneath a canopy in a corner. There were a couple of Maruti 800s and Santros making purposeless rounds on the ground. Meanwhile the policemen seemed to be engrossed in a conversation centring on the best brand of tobacco in the market. Then, at random someone would approach any one of the police guys and put forward a bunch of papers, it would promptly get signed in utterly illegible handwriting.
And before long it was my turn to strut my stuff on an ancient Maruti 800. I sat at the wheel…my heart was beating fast…I put my left foot on the clutch and as I was just about to put the car in gear…the man sitting beside me in the car (who was apparently from the driving school) muttered to me, “The car is in gear.” Wwwwwwhhhhhaaaat?! What happened after this was magical! I just pushed the accelerator and presto! The car was in motion! I just made a semicircle…without putting the car in gear…and I passed the test. Yes. THAT was my driving test and I want to say nothing more.