Saturday, April 22, 2017

Why I don't drive

I am one of those people who can drive but choose not to. It's rare in a city like Vadodara where you have only autos in the name of public transport and even schoolkids ride mopeds and bikes. I did drive, albeit very cautiously, when I first married and moved here. I don't enjoy driving and a car for me is just a vehicle of commute, not a way to define me or what I stand for. We had two cars sitting in our parking lot and we were deciding if we should get a small city car for me to drive around. I worked out how many litres of fuel we'd be consuming and chose not to buy one. I'd rely on carpools, taxis, autos and inter-city buses and trains for transport. Anything within the range of 2Km, I walk to, unless I am in a hurry or am sick. Initially, I had people asking me why I don't buy a two-wheeler or car. I'd say I couldn't drive. Now I say, I don't want to keep hunting for a place to park. Sometimes I tell them, "At some point of time in life, I'll have lost the function of my legs and will have to be moved on wheels. I'd rather make use of them now." They laugh it off. Over the last five years, I have become very conscious of my individual carbon footprint. I remember the pride I felt when the power company in Australia wrote us a 'thank you' mail for using one-fourth the power used by a typical two-bedroom Brisbane household. I'd walk a lot in Australia too, because I didn't want to create my large carbon footprint.

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