Women… In The “Shotgun Seat”

Friday, August 19, 2016

“Zulfein”… I end up saying to myself, LOUD…

Each time I see strands of hair adorned long and pretty in the driver’s seat behind the head rest in the car in the front… or a calm pair of eyes adorably hidden behind a pair of opulent sunglasses in the car behind mine… or those flowing tresses in that car that pumps up this unusual adrenaline in the lane next door, speeding swifter than light…

All this… from the cockpit of my car…

——————–

The word “Zulfein”… or Tresses… evokes in me a sign of elegance… grace… refined sophistication… poise and finesse… but, words often dubiously dissociated when it comes to describing women in the driver’s seat in a car, over time and history… particularly, if you were driving in Delhi NCR…

Not that men would befit garnishing themselves with words as these to claim their self-effacing royalty of the roads… but in Mumbai, where I have been driving more permanently now for the last 7 years, it just does not matter… there is an established sense of equality… a soft touch conformance to gender universality… or more importantly, a forced choice to stick to traffic discipline…

Universally though… one thing that has a visible gender dominance in favour of the fairer sex… are the behaviours of women in the “Shotgun Seat”… the seat next to the driver’s seat… the animated gestures in the shotgun seat in the car parked next to mine at the traffic lights… and the observable impact that they have on the man driving, often take me back into time…

Not a time too long ago… but just about the time when the man may have done or said something sad… bad… good… ugly… particularly the night before just before hitting the bed… or more recently as today in the morning, at the breakfast table… just before the man and the woman got into the car…

Zulfein… I say LOUD to myself… the man laughs uncontrollably in the driver’s seat… the woman may have told a joke… but she is not laughing… worse still, has the man told a joke…? is he laughing at his own joke…? can he absolve himself of his crime…? the woman animatedly hits him with a newspaper-fold…? quite harmless this… at least the man hasn’t kept a baseball bat in his car… as I do…

Zulfein… I say LOUD to myself… I see this woman amorously running her fingertips on the cheek of her man… playfully… lovingly… pecks him on his earlobe… haven’t had enough of him last night… or is she preparing him for tonight…? the man looks lost… thoughtful… unresponsive… staring into space – hopefully a space called the road ahead… is SHE his road ahead…?

Zulfein… I say LOUD to myself… I see this woman clenched her palms on to the shotgun seat… I just saw this man parked next to mine with screeching tyres… just seen him racing through the two lanes next to mine at a breakneck speed… zigzagging through them… the woman has frozen look on her face… FEAR… the man has a bestial look in his eyes… he rules the roads… they belong to him… so does the fear in the woman’s eyes…

Zulfein… I say LOUD to myself… the woman is waxing eloquent… rambles endlessly… with hand and face gestures that signify a myriad of emotions all packed at once… eyes wide open (surprise)… fists punched in the air (rage)… shaking her head (confusion, disbelief)… looking at the man while continuing to talk… the man is expressionless… almost slipping into a slumber… perhaps this is exactly what he does when she has been rambling all these years… sleep is a better option… while he almost sleeps at the wheel, the cars start honking from the back of the lane…

——————–

Perhaps, nothing is more contrastingly obvious than the true meaning of the “Shotgun Seat” – albeit, in the perceived peace times that we live in…

The “Shotgun Seat”… so derives its name through history, when the driver of the stagecoach… much before the advent of cars… had to focus on driving with the reins of the horses in his hands… and then there was this man sitting next to him with a “Shotgun”… to ward off any heinous attacks that the driver and the other occupants of the stagecoach faced…  

——————–

Zulfein… I say LOUD to myself… the woman is yapping… in a 3 minute traffic signal, she hasn’t stopped yet… her shrill has silenced the din of the engine… all eyes in all other cars are turned towards her… the man is nodding his head… looks like he agrees to every word she says… more fortunately, looks like he is going to do what she says… finally…

——————–

Zulfein… I say LOUD to myself…

It does not matter, which city… which lane… which traffic signal… universally women fare so well in the “Shotgun Seat”…

Wait a Minute… does that mean they aren’t good in the Driver’s Seat…?

I am musing while I write this… women have proved at Rio 2016 that they do mighty well in the Driver’s Seat…

Is it time, we start using women as Sports Coaches… given their aptitude and skill to motivate men the way they do…?

Maybe the Magic Mantra for Medals… Tokyo 2020…!

Happy Weekend…

Ravi Kodukula

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One thought on “Women… In The “Shotgun Seat”

  1. How often were you hit on the head with the folded newspaper toll for this article!? 🙂 LoL! Love your observation style & the manner in which you describe the scene! Good for RJ stuff!!

    Like

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