No No not DDLJ, its DDL . Dubai Driving License. Yes,I am a proud owner now and how? This is a story you would love
Well, You know about how I started driving in India – Necessity Left without a choice. Thanks for husband who had to fly to Dubai immediately. This time too, he is the man behind the story. Until the beginning of last Dec,I had to do only one thing – Look after both my kids – One 33 yrs and the other 2 So life was smooth until ABC driving school came up with a 50% discount.So husband pushed me (almost dragged my lazy bone) into one of the most expensive and insurmountable tasks in dubai – Owning a driving license. His confidence has to be appreciated.
And me,an average Indian driver, has no hopes of getting a license anywhere in the near future I joined for the course in winter and expected to attain this badge by the end of summer (5 months = 5 road tests). And that was considered a high expectation. Problem – People (mostly Indians) , somehow manage a license in a minimum of 3 or more tries, no matter how good a driver, they are. When you tell someone that you have joined the course, they would play low and advise you to expect 3 or more failures in the initial attempts. Demotivating, but thats how it happens here. There are even people who have gone to 10th and 12th trials.So I added 2 more to the normal tries, and prayed that I should pass atleast in the 5th attempt.
The institution was like going to school again.They would teach you from ABC – How to open bonnet, where is the indicator, which is break and so and so.
For every move there is a procedure. Here is how to change lanes – Step1:Scan your centre mirror. Step2: Put indicator Step3:Scan your rear mirrors. Step4:Check your shoulder Step5:Check centre mirror again Step6:Once you car is in the correct position, increase your speed, take the vehicle to the lane intended Step7:Switch off the indicator. And any step you miss or mess with or change order of, you would fail. Hope you have a small picture as to why people fail so often.
And then the hurdles you have to overcome before the final test – Pass parking test first, then theory test, then assessment test and then the final road test. Each test you fail, there is so much of money involved to reappear for the tests, that people sometimes cant bare the expense.
So I had a huge responsibility – Get a Dubai Driving license!!!Finally I pass all the tests.With 2 weeks for the final, people give this whacky smile. “Well, you’ll see in the final. Dont mind me saying, but keep your hopes low…” And by that time, I had a job, had to give reason,seek permission and take a day off.I also will have to report back the status.So it was not just facing friends and relatives but also the boss who invariably wants detailed explanation on every single issue,…
And the D-day arrived…After two hours of waiting, 3 of us were called in.Fortunately the female instructor was off.Blessing in disguise. When god has proposed,who the hell can dispose?So the first lady takes it from the parking lot and forgets to stop in the first stop sign. With her fate was almost decided, he calls me in and I was happy to be the 2nd because no parking (where i am week at) required.But the second lady jumps in,and takes the seat.Then very confidently comments about how stupid others drive,how slow they are,how they do not follow the rules and so and so I think somebody had advised her that confidence creates an impression on the instructor. May she dint know that arrogance does the opposite.Well,then comes my name.
I get onto the seat,try to recollect the steps on how to start the car. Adjust the mirrors,adjust the mirrors,adjust the mirrors……I couldnt bare the enormous amount of tension that had built in all the while..Well,I had gone blank.The instructor had started growling by then and i knew i had to start.With memory who had given upon me, INSTINCTS was the only friend to trust.And off we went.2 U turns,few lane changes,into the gallis,back to the driving school and to the parking lot.Parking is all I can remember now, and it was picture perfect!!He asked us to meet him in the room in 10 minutes and vanished.
Soon the other two ladies gets out.”Sorry dear.I think you loose”,says the second one.”You forgot so many rules”,says the first.”So I lost.No need to worry Zee. Better luck next time.It happens.Some days are not mine”,I tell myself.And they judged me on where I was wrong,what I could have done, that I wished the 10 mins finished fast. So we went to the room.
“First lady”,he calls,”You missed the stop signs.You fail”.
She jumps in”Pass right?”
“No.You fail.No proper U turn.Missed stop sign.Arrogant driving”.
She comes back and says”So all of us fail”…
“Third.Zeee”.I go with no enthusiasm”Congrats you pass”..He hands over the paper and walks away.Fully arabic.
I couldnt believe my ears or understand a word in the paper. I run to husband who was waiting.
“Sayf, they say I have passed”.
“WHAT???You passsed?Show the paper.S**t.Who will understand this?”So we run to the security.
“They say I have passed.Can you confirm please”.He confirms.
We still couldnt believe.So we go the counter to collect the license and confirm again”Yes congrats.She has passed”.
Husband calls his bro.”WHAT?She passed.Passed in first attempt.Dont joke give her the phone.hey congrats Zee.But you guys are not joking right?How did it happen?Good,you guys did not have to loose a lot of money”.
I smiled.It just happened.But I couldnt believe until they issued the license. And i do admit,I am not a great driver.You call me lucky,I would call me blessed.Told you right, if god proposes, who the hell can dispose? Good luck to all who are planning to appear for a license test.