As I read the trending news about Saudi Arabia lifting the ban on women driving, I’m firstly shocked that I didn’t know they were the only country in the world with a ban on women driving and secondly sad, that I have taken for granted this vehicular freedom that has come after many a struggle to lakhs of women, a few borders away.
I still remember the first time my dad took me for a driving lesson at the neighbouring Kalindi Kunj grounds. Holding the steering wheel of the powerful Contessa, felt like the weight of the entire universe was one me. The sense of power that came from being in the driving seat, till date I think compares to none other. And as I revved the engine and took off at 25 kms/hour,( which he said was too fast!) my dad said, remember everyone drives, very few enjoy the journey.
As I numbly drive around the city today, I remember papa’s words not only in the context of driving, but equate it to how we live our life. Enjoy the journey of life, whatever form it maybe in, for you – freedom of speech, the un-interfering mother in law, power to choose your mode of contraception, choice of lifestyle/ partner or occupation.
Thanks to the smile on the faces of the Saudi Arabian women, today I am going to sing along the radio and relive the joy of my first car drive.