Living in Mumbai has its own perquisites, and one of them was living in a place which boasted of the then "modernistic" amenity of a Go-Karting circuit.
This incident is a decade old and at that time a lot of people were readily tempted to try out "Go-Karting." I was in school then and quite a few of my friends who had already tasted the experience used to brag on how they were successful in driving without actually learning how to drive.
I am by nature an inquisitive and curious person always ready for any new challenge. The words of my friends immediately set my characteristic nature into full throttle and the place started attracting me to it like a fly to a fly trap.
After several days of wrenching with my poor, haggard self-control, I managed to cajole and convince my aunt to accompany me to the kart racing circuit.
Reaching there and after getting our tickets [mine to be precise], the person in charge casually mentioned that I wasn't dressed in an appropriate way to sit in the kart and made me wear this huge, bulky overall stuff over my apparel.
That stuffy thing made me so conscious that when I was sitting in the kart allotted to me and was supposed to be listening to the driving instructions, almost all my thoughts were zeroed down on how monstrous I looked in that outfit.
It became a near impossible task for me to come back to the man who was explaining what I needed to do for those four rounds of racing.
And yet, I achieved it and soon found myself driving. It would have been the most wonderful experience in my life at that time, had I concentrated more on my crash training lesson rather than my dress style.
To be honest, I was crashing the kart more than I was driving and I remember correctly, I even damaged the kart I was driving as well. Thank God for the act of mercy by the manager who didn't ask me to reimburse.
The final straw, however came when I crashed my replacement kart onto the alignment of tyres acting as a buffer and broke my spectacles. They were a brand new pair made just a couple of days ago and their condition was beyond any repair.
Without my specs, I was unfit to see and thus as a consequence, unfit to drive.
The manager was glad to see the last of me and I wouldn't have been surprised if he would have called "good riddance" behind my back.
As to me and my spectacles, my father had to get me another pair, and he wasn't exactly pleased with my abysmal sense of propriety and driving. He still refuses to allow me to get a driving license!
Go-Karting, post a decade, is a taboo subject in my family, but when my friends tease me about it, I can't help but grin red-faced and ruefully at the memory of my "race car driving" debut.