Emergency Nightmares

A few years ago, a friend had an incident to share. Her husband needed medical assistance in the middle of the night. Despite two cars at home but no person to drive them, she had to take her hubby in an auto-rickshaw and went through some harrowing time, as finding an auto at that ungodly hour was tough. The incident was a big life’s lesson and the friend learnt driving thereafter.

This sufficiently scared me.

So, I learnt driving for the third time. Yes, I had taken driving lessons twice earlier as well.

emergencywriting prompt 1
Picture Courtesy: Morguefile

Even after learning from a professional driving school, the third time, my driving skills before and after the course were just the same.

Since then, I have made peace with the fact that driving is not my cup of tea.

But what really haunts me still is that what if there is an emergency in the middle of the night.

What would I do then? Which neighbour’s door would I knock then?

Family and friends might take a while to reach…

The cab service or even the ambulance may not be prompt in their services…

We recently moved to a new flat. Our car parking is in the basement and taking the car out from the parking spot is a bit tedious. So would I ask the neighbour to take his car instead so that the precious time is not wasted? Will I remember all this at that precarious time?

I have no clarity of thought on this imaginary situation.
Should I let the sleeping dogs lie or take the bull by it’s horn or bury my head in the sand like an ostrich…

But the fact is that whenever I see the the Emergency of a hospital, it scares the living daylights out of me.

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42 thoughts on “Emergency Nightmares

  1. You know driving is much easier than dreading a situation like this. Try once more and do it with grit. We must be able to get around at the hour of need, at the least! Good luck!

    • I have made peace with it, Kajal… Have you read the 2 posts I linked in the posts above… they are about my driving tales… read them and may be you will not suggest me to learn driving! 😛

  2. Oh yes Shilpa I totally understand your anxiety. It is the same dread which is my motivation to learn driving here in US where not driving can be even more of a handicap than in India…

  3. We’re both pretty much in the same situation, Shilpa. I console myself saying that there are many women who don’t have cars – and how do they manage! When my husband had a fall – it turned out we couldn’t take him by car any way because of a broken bone – we used an ambulance. My deal is when the time comes, the resources will be found. No use getting worked up about it in advance.

  4. Hi Shilpa, driving is not at all difficult.When I learnt driving (in 1957)there was no traffic jams.For many years I stopped driving. After a gap of twenty years when I started driving again I managed very well in spite of the increase in the volume of traffic. So go on and make another effort. You will succeed.

  5. Hmm… this is the same thing that my mother keeps saying to me as to convince me to learn driving. But I have always convinced myself like how Corinne has mentioned, the resources will come to us when we need it the most. Lame excuse? 🙁

    • But if you have never learnt it, then you must try your hands at it, Bhavya! I tried and failed… I believe, I dont have that driving gene in me. But I believe, one should know how to drive.

  6. I can so identify with your sentiments Shilpa. Carting around two kids on a scooter’s becoming tough so learning to drive a car is on an urgent agenda. I too have learnt once and forgotten. Wish me luck. That’s my favourite fantasy BTW… Zooming around in an SUV. Ambitious, aren’t I?

    • Thanks T! You MUST learn to drive… I am sure you’ll be able to zoom past us in a swanky SUV soon… reason being, you drive a 2 wheeler already, you are not scared of the traffic. For me, times stood still at a cycle… I never ever drove a 2 wheeler and the traffic scares me like hell!
      Looking forward to read your driving tales soon! All the very best 🙂

  7. Shilpa, I am in the same boat. I too don’t know how to drive. I keep telling myself I should learn, just in case it is ever required. But I just can’t bring myself to do it. I hope you may never find yourself in such an emergency situation.

    • Aah! You too, Cynthia!! You must learn, since you have never done it before! Thanks and let’s hope that none of us face such situations, ever! Touch wood 🙂

  8. That is a strange lament. Seldom heard these days.
    When people ( women) manoeuvre spacecrafts that are not grounded, why not a four-wheeler firmly on wheels? You give up . That is the reason and not the metaphor of the cup of tea.

  9. I can drive but the thought of emergencies scare the daylights out of me ! I keep fantasizing about m being alone and my parents needing help and me not knowing what to do !

  10. I’ve been through emergency nightmares when my Dad was sick. It’s the most scariest thing. We were lucky then we had the support of family and friends. If you know driving then you don’t need to depend on anyone. It’s always a plus point.

  11. Whew, I thought I was the only one who feels driving a car is rocket science. I am happy with my gearless two wheeler, but it is hard during chilly winters or rains, or when you have to cart many people and things.

    But as Corinne says, when the time comes, solutions will be found.

  12. I can understand your fear. But this is India, and you can always scramble some help. Though I must tell you that I love the freedom that driving gives me. I’ve had two accidents too, but no nothing will stop me from driving. I feel two essential life skills are cooking and driving, and irrespective of gender everyone should know them :).

  13. I have the very same fears and I am in the same boat as you – don’t know how to drive and we don’t have a car!
    But, the Emergency is a scary place! :-/

  14. When I learnt driving (a long time ago), I was told a few golden rules:
    – Concentrate on your vehicle, not others’ vehicles. If each person takes care of his vehicle, everyone will be ok. (Tum apni gaadi sambhalo, wo apni gaadi sambhalega).
    – Always expect the unexpected. Anybody can brake, anybody can cut across, any kid or animal can come running in the way, there can be a sudden ditch or bumper on the road…so always be prepared.
    – Don’t panic. Ok, so you made a mistake, you missed an exit, or you even went into a one-way street. Whatever. Be calm. Rectify your mistake calmly. It only gets worse when you panic on the road. For yourself and for others.
    – Check things beforehand – brakes, tyre pressure, fuel. You can’t control other people’s behaviour but if you can avoid annoying things like running out of fuel or a flat tyre, why not?

    I found these very useful.

    Anyway, this is all theory, which is useful only if you choose to go on the road again. But if you don’t, that’s ok – as long as you keep other options available. In your emergency situation above, you can also check for 24/7 emergency cab service in the neighbourhood, in addition to help from neighbour. That sort of thing. Always good to have multiple options.

    Thanks for writing this. I liked reading it. Very practical and real.

    • Very useful golden rules, Mr Swaminathan. I guess, I get too panicky in traffic and is that state, I cant think straight and forget everything… 😛
      Thanks for giving such rational and logical solutions… truly appreciate that. Thank you and good to see you here! 🙂

  15. Hmmmm I need to learn driving but Like you even I am not sure whether it is ultimately my cup of tea or not!!!

    And how we will behave in Emergencies?? Hmmm!!! Depends on the situation but yes there is no harm in being prepared!!!!

    • I guess, a panic attack will not help but being level headed will certainly help in an emergency. I guess, we need to strive to have a cool head…
      You never know, until you try… I tried and I know, driving is not for me. But you must learn…

  16. Shilpa, I don’t own a car and this is a constant worry you know. I ought to enroll in driving class. The good news is we live close to hospitals that will send out an ambulance. Scary thought though!

  17. Ahh I too have learned driving but still cannot drive on roads with heavy traffic. I don’t worry too much about things that might happen in the future. If there is an emergency I believe that things will fall in place….

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