What it takes to commit to Solo-Drives

If you have been solo-driving, I think you will see my point. Well, the theory is not mine. I have just fitted the phenomenon of solo-driving to an existing framework.

Driver's life cycle (c) margieparikh

Driver’s life cycle (c) margieparikh

Phase-1: Learner

Rookie state. One takes lessons. If in India, one can take lessons from anyone. Rules, conventions and driving guides are to be expressly ignored.

This phase is critical, because you *need* *someone* to start driving. You can start solo, too; but I must mention a couple of people who turned the ignition on and rammed straight into the garage wall or the pole at the back when they decided to give maiden solo ride a go. Now that prevents future access to the vehicle. So, expert advice is recommended.

Crisis-1: But soon, the advice turns into constant nagging, depending on where you are looking at it from. Nevertheless, the driver becomes desperate to find freedom and self-expression (may include lots of honking, gear shifts and abrupt turning and braking if in India), and shut out nagging, which launches them into the next phase.

Phase-2: Desperate

Indiscriminate state. One takes, welcomes, even hunts for anyone and everyone who cares to hop on. Those sought-after people eat, drink, and heap junk in the car, are dangerous to one’s psychological well-being, and compel the driver to approach any and every destination: religious ceremonies, social gatherings and trips to parlors at one’s own expense (of food, fuel and mental exhaustion, not to mention the constant bargaining between company versus tolerability of the same company).

Crisis-2: But soon, in this phase, too; there dawns a day when the driver realizes that they had been carrying worthless jerks – nay, jerks carrying negative worth – just for satisfying their own compulsive, morbid need for company. On the other hand, they have come only this far in the driving life. So, there is a struggle between one’s need for social company and the need for sanity. Effort to balance the two propels one to the next phase.

Phase-3: Selective

Here, one begins to assert for ‘quality’ of company. Benchmarks begin to appear. One refuses to go to unpreferred locations. One stops the car and asks the jerks to get off and catch a rickshaw. Moreover, one begins to recognize who the ‘good company’ would be. Incidentally, those are the people who appreciate the same or similar things as you do, and you can actually have a good, meaningful dialogue with them, even through silence.

Crisis-3: However, good company is rare. And scheduling issues are involved. So, one doesn’t want jerks on board, but they are plentiful; and one wants good company, but they are not available when you want them. That struggle pushes one towards a new awakening, which awaits in the next phase.

Phase-4: Solo

Realization dawns somewhat like a song without any of its bitterness or moping sadness, “You came alone in this world, and you will be departing alone: without a fellow traveler, without a company…” It is actually quite philosophical, but rather than sedating you, it pumps the adrenaline because there is something adventurous about it. You need to know your vehicle, its basic repairs, and need all the emergency contacts plus the driving behavior that would mostly render all those contacts useless.

You have company of yourself plus all that you have internalized including the voices in the head. You can do some cleansing there, while driving. The vision unfolds ahead. The music walks with you, and your destination is open-ended. You can change it, not change it, and just…. BE. It is so meditative that you want nothing less. And you want to do more, and more, and more of solo driving. Yet, if need be, you will do the previous phases, too – sometimes at the request of the experts and jerks, sometimes by the need of the hour, and sometimes for the joy of good company.

Until, of course, the old age hits and you cannot drive by night, feel body ache or feel the sheer loss of guts.

So unless you find a higher orbit, just drive solo!

Realize that:

  1. Solo-driving is an advance phase of life cycle involving one’s driving competency.
  2. There are pitfalls at every phase. But so are the escapes to the next ‘higher’ plane of being.
  3. In fact, the more one has various crises in phases 1, 2 and 3, the more propelled does one become towards self-realization, which is the harbinger of phase-4.
  4. That one has advanced to the ‘higher’ phase does not mean that one doesn’t engage in the bits of past phases. For example, Solo drivers can become desperate for company and take jerks on as co-riders. Or they may still perform social duties and take nagging riders and self-proclaimed ‘experts’ for constant ‘music’ that is not music at all.
  5. At the same time, there is a danger of ‘getting stuck’ to a phase and not being able to advance irrespective of the number of cars you change, years you drive for, and opportunities you pass by. Therapeutic help may be needed!
  6. You need to write back to me about what has been your experience, especially, if you have discovered the contents of the ‘?????” phase.

2 thoughts on “What it takes to commit to Solo-Drives

  1. Urmi says:

    You express your thoughts, inner analysis and objectivity well. It shows your alertness as well as a certain detachment which enables you to do this. Most of us cannot do it.
    Keep it up, margie.


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