Parents in Cars Getting Cocky: When Will Indian Parents Stop Backseat Driving?

Modern Family

Parents in Cars Getting Cocky: When Will Indian Parents Stop Backseat Driving?

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

“I

f you learn to drive in Mumbai then you’ll be prepared to drive anywhere in the world,” said my mum, as she left me with Mukesh, the driving instructor.

This might have seemed like gentle encouragement at the time, but I didn’t realise that this was actually a threat. It was my 18th birthday, and I wanted to celebrate my newly acquired adulthood by learning to drive. I was enrolled into a driving school and left in the dubious hands of the worst driving instructor in the city — maybe the whole world. This Mukesh might have borne some resemblance to the Mukesh who runs this country, but he had zero control over anything, including the car and the way he taught me. Thanks to Mukesh, the first car I drove was a godawful rust bucket Maruti 800 with no side-view mirrors, seat belts, or functioning brakes. He charged 250 bucks an hour so you could listen to him whine about how miserably single he was at 40 — and sometimes, between his ramblings, you’d even learn to drive.

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