Monday, December 20, 2010

Cars and Driving

Familiar to those brought up on a Cartoon Network diet, I would go gaga over all things in a car just like Dee Dee in Dexter's Laboratory. "Oooh what does this button do?"

All those nice memories, being small enough to lie down completely in the back seat and look in wonder at all the branches that hover past you. It's quite mind-boggling, almost gives a feeling of being upside down. 

Apart from that, more importantly, I was and am CRAZY about driving cars. I'm not as interested in makes and all that but rather am really fascinated by such a complete package. It's sort of the same adrenaline that flows when I solve a physics problem or code some program. I bet nobody paid as much attention to Basic Civil and Mechanical as much as I did when they took IC engines.

One of my most fundamental doubts was, alright you tell me that this is a four stroke engine - suction, compression, power and exhaust and energy is "produced" during power stroke alone, how can it possibly sustain itself with such a tiny battery? Also, I was told the battery was only for ignition. They took us to the lab and then I got it, thanks to the poignant description of the lab assistant. After the first cycle, the moment of inertia of the flywheel would keep the system running as long there was fuel even though the flywheel itself consumes a small amount of the electrical power from the battery.

I had a very simple doubt. It required so much of understanding. The people who engineered this feat truly are to be applauded to come up with such an elegant solution.

And oh yes, I did make a complete fool of myself in the lab jumping around like Hermione, "Oooh that's a spark plug".

On another line, my driving 'lessons' have become utter comedy. I haven't even started.

Here's the deal. My dad wants to be at my first ever lesson. I need to attend a driving class.

Ok, I have had the worst luck in the world, rain and vacationing instructors but I really thought this weekend was THE weekend.


Calling the class. Teacher is on leave. Dad has the odd and extremely rare Saturday meeting. Dad assures he'll at least teach me the basics when he's back. Mom chides my feet will not reach the pedals.

Dad takes out car at 4 in evening. Says we'll go repair the watches and start. Go to P.Orr and sons with him. Got my watch, the one I wore to my board exams, repaired. More on that later. Argument at shop. Delayed. Mom calls, asks Dad to get something from Saravana Bhavan.  We order parcel and tomato soup. Finish soup and talk and talk and talk. Little over an hour later, finally get parcel. Credit card #1 rejected. #2 rejected. Dad investigates. Finally accepted. Reach home at 8:30. Everyone's hungry. Dad says we'll see tomorrow. It's hard to be disappointed over paneer butter masala.

Next day, Sunday.

Dad wakes up late, tired from all that driving. Says he needs haircut and then returns. Says he's hungry. I make soup. We have lunch. He has his afternoon nap. He gets up and freshens up. I wait for him.

It rains the rest of day.

I'm optimistic. Maybe this weekend?


  1. Wow, you know how excatly a car runs? That's awesome. I'm sure you are too much into mechanics. I know how to drive the car but I hardly know about how a car works. I should surgically implant that knowledge from you I guess. It is easier that way.

    This blog entry reminds about my car driving lessons. I hated to take up driving classes. But my dad forced me to join a driving school. So I learnt driving only for the sake of it. But once when I had learnt how to drive, I was so happy as though I had learnt how to drive a spaceship. I was happier when I got my driving license in the very first attempt. And since then, I have been the proud driver of my vintage car.

    I'm sure your optimism will fetch you a driving license within the next two or three weeks. Trust me, that's the approximate minimum time it takes to learn how to drive the car. Good luck girl, happy driving!

  2. OMG!!! sowmi u still dint forget d g8t BCM :P :P n obvious u dint forget to mention abt ur pgm coding n d grt HERMOINE !!! :P :P n seriously ur weekends was funny !!! still u dint start ur driving classes grt semma comedy :D :D though u were crazy about driving cars :D :D :D :P good going sowmi :P :P

  3. @unicorn Hey am not too mechanical, am a comp sci engineering student but thoroughly enjoy mechanics and physics when I have the time. And thanks for the wishes! Will update soon hopefully about having successfully learning driving.

    @saran thanks di:-)

  4. "thoroughly enjoy physics" is such an understatement :P
    leave these ' superbly coincidental things' ma. they always seem to happen 2 people like us :)
    neway,i'm pretty sure u'll complete ur drivin lesson b4 end of college:)

  5. @Story Teller: Oh, you are a computer science student uh? Well, you must be studying in SSN College then! Am I right?

  6. Ok you're deductive reasoning is waaaaay weird :-)

  7. Dear Story Teller,

    You are a Genius. Period.

    With awe,
    Your classmate.