Category Archives: cars

Pet Peeve #37

My alarm rings precisely at 4:45 am every weekday morning.

That gives me enough time for unhurriedly doing everything I need to do before hitting the road. The program includes performing 12 surya namaskars (when my motivation level is high; I wish I could say that that was every day), three full glasses of water to ingest, a tall cup of coffee to wake me up and a quick check of fb and my email – mostly the stuff that has arrived overnight from India or  from my around-the-clock hard working CFO, right here in the US.

Once I’m ready for the office, I get in my car for the 25 minute drive to the office around 6:15, never later than 6:30 am. It’s all part of my strategy to beat the crazy rush hour traffic (not crazy as in India – never that crazy), but crazy as in most large metros in the US.

Being a morning person definitely helps this strategy going.


Most of the roads traveled from home to office have 6 lanes, at some points widening to 8 lanes, with posted speed limits ranging from 55 to 65 mph on that highway.

I can attest to being a safe driver. Over all these years, I have had one fender bender and one speeding ticket to my credit. Or  just ask any passengers who have ridden with me.

I can also attest to being a fast driver. To make the 25 minute drive, my speed on that highway ranges from 74 to 82 mph. Okay, 84.

The fact that I have only ever received one speeding ticket either makes me extra alert or very lucky. Or a bit of both.

So, what is my pet peeve #37?  Hah, it’s more like my pet peeve #3!

Slow drivers in the fast lane.  

There he or she is, chugging along in the left lane at 55 mph or even 65 mph, blocking all the drivers behind, when there’s a mile of empty road ahead of them.

Why, why, WHY?

They may think they’re driving safely but actually they are causing safety issues for the rest of us.  Not to mention slowing down all the traffic behind them. 

Clogged_Arteries_in_AtlantaWhat is it with American drivers? If you’ve been on the roads in Europe, particularly Germany, you will see that the left lane is NEVER used, unless it’s for passing. They’ve got it down to an art.

Here, not so much. Here, they don’t even appear to teach that good practice in driving school. Even if it’s not used for passing, at least drivers should know that that’s the FAST lane!

For someone with my normally calm and cool temperament (really!), I just lose it at this point.

A different personality takes over. I get aggressive, my blood start boiling, I start talking to myself loudly and then I tailgate those slow pokes, sometimes even flashing my lights. I know that most folks who know me well wouldn’t even recognize me by then. 😦

I do feel bad about it later but never right at that moment. Never.

Many times, I force the slow poke blockers to move to the right lane with my antics. Sometimes they speed up (wake up!). But sometimes they just keep chugging along, probably well aware and quite pleased that they are blocking my path and making me visibly upset.  It’s crazy. Why do they do this?

If you are one of those slow drivers in the left lane, you certainly don’t have to admit it to me. But realize that on these multi-lane roads, it doesn’t matter whether you are going at the posted speed limit or not, if there’s someone behind you who is driving faster, they need that fast lane that you are occupying.  Please, move to the right! 

I’d really, really love to forget how to tailgate!

Yes, this happened again, yesterday and no, I’m not living in a fool’s paradise thinking I’m going to save a nation of bad drivers. Sigh.




Photo credits: 

By Brett Weinstein from Scarsdale, NY, Atlanta, GA, London, UK (Clogged Arteries) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Atlantacitizen at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (, from Wikimedia Commons

Mom And Her Surprise

My graceful and elegant Mom is so full of surprises. 🙂

I was on the phone with her the other day, me in the US and she in India, where she has lived on her own since my dad passed away a decade ago.

She seemed to be in a good mood, may be because I would be seeing her on a short and sweet visit very soon?

But that was apparently not the reason. She says to me, I have a surprise for you. But you know how I can’t hold anything back, so I have to spill it now. Since she seemed pumped, I smiled and said, what?

She said, I bought a new car. Whoa!  Just like that?

I know she loves shopping but this is a car we’re talking about! You don’t just go to the market and pick one up. I wouldn’t call that a minor decision, exactly. Especially for her.

To get the right perspective, you have to understand the journey she took the last time she bought a car for herself,  a few years ago. She had to first decide that it was worth trading in her current vehicle. For that, she had consulted my brother and myself. Then, the whole question of which car to buy took another couple of months. She consulted a cousin who had in depth knowledge about all the cars on the road (he writes car reviews). Diesel or petrol? Which model? How big? Then, she waded through all the choices to shortlist two final car models recommended by my cousin before deciding on make, model, color. The last step was (once again!) running this decision by her two children, getting our “approval” before ultimately purchasing it.

I actually recall having many discussions with her before she finally settled on whether to buy, and then which car to buy. The entire process took three months, maybe more.

This time? Wham! She had simply decided that this what she wanted to do, consulted just one person, figured out what car she wanted, what color (very important!), checked it out, sold her current car to a friend and bought a new one before she said a word to my brother or myself. 

I love it! 

We joyfully celebrated a milestone birthday of hers just over a year ago. It’s also not a biased opinion that she doesn’t look anywhere close to her age (but then you can also say, who does these days?).  What’s great is that she apparently doesn’t feel anything like it either.

More power to her. Her independent streak continues to unfold even now. And that’s what I really, really love. Love!

Is there any age where we stop learning, growing, evolving, getting more independent?  Apparently not. It’s a choice that you can decide to make.

I couldn’t resist asking her, so what did bro say??! She laughed. My loving brother can be a son to be feared – in a very good way, except that is, when someone he loves has put on the pounds – then he can be downright scary.  I know all about that. Obviously. 🙂

She chuckled again and told me that he had had just one question. He asked her, did you buy a Hyundai?  Hehe, poor guy is getting hard of hearing. 🙂

She told him, no and repeated that she had bought a Honda.

This horse was out of the barn by then, but I guess he still felt he needed to give his stamp of approval so he said, well, that’s okay then. 🙂

amma's new car




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