I drive. Everyday. Back and forth. Except for those annoying and irritating moments when fellow drivers on the road are maniacal and makes me wish for the wagon-carts, I'm a cheerful driver. It is my resolution that I don't let myself be bothered by the indiscipline of others. I follow road rules. Keep to my lanes. And am courteous to others.
Sometimes it happens that I drive at night. And most of the time, driving at night is easier than daytime. There is usually less traffic. Until last Saturday night, the latest hour I had driven was about 11 at night.
Last Saturday night, my husband went to party. In a moment of chivalry I suggested that I should take the car in case he drank and couldn't drive. And I offered to wait at my parent's place and pick him up when he called.
I myself was having a good night until my mother asked "when are you going to pick him up?"
I said "amma.. he said he'll call.."
"When is he going to call?"
" I don't know.. two or three I guess".
"WHAT??? WHAT??? WHAT?? YOU'RE GOING TO DRIVE ALONE AT THREE IN THE MORNING????" while she was shouting at me, she was calling my dad. "DID YOU HEAR WHAT SHE SAID? SHE'S SAYING SHE'S GOING TO DRIVE ALONE AT THREE. STOP HER!!!"
So while the whole house was going up in flames around me, I pointed out, with a little help from my sister, that :
a) I was not scared
b) I was a grown up
c) I was not scared
d) I drive all the time
e) I was not scared
f) there are law enforcement people all over the place in case something happens
g) I was not scared.
All of my good arguments fell on deaf ears I'm afraid. Finally I had to say " amma.. go to sleep, I'll text him and see"
"Text him now"...... "Did you text him?"................ "What did he say?"
Their arguments were that:
a) roads were filled with drunkards, psychos and molesters.
b) a girl could not trust the law enforcement authorities when she's alone
c) there were bad drivers on the road.
d) someone would ask me to step out of the car and steal the car.(My favourite)
In the end it turned out that I didn't have to drive alone at three in the morning, darling took a taxi and came.
But all this drama left me wondering, is it so dangerous for a woman to drive alone at night? Should we really be this scared? Are all these fears justified?