Driven

Describe a significant experience in your life.


It was an exhilarating moment that set my heart aflutter. I had in my head an image of James Bond, speeding down a foreign highway in pursuit of justice, a dazzling femme-fatale steering the car ahead of him. As soon as the car stuttered to a start, however, the image in my mind was quickly shattered. I realized that like so many things, driving looked a lot easier in the movies.

My decision to learn how to drive came about after a conversation with one of my friends from America who had excitedly informed me of her new possession: a car. I asked my father to sign me up for driving lessons. At only 100 rupees a day (approximately $2), the lessons were at least financially plausible.

It was on my third day of driving lessons that I first saw him: a scrawny-looking boy with unkempt hair and a dirty white shirt who sat quietly in the back of the car. My instructor explained to me that he had just finished his driving lesson. I glanced at him through the rear-view mirror and smiled politely when his eyes made contact with mine.

Back at the instructor's office we began talking, and I soon learned that the boy was as old as I was. He explained to me that he was learning how to drive so that he could apply for a license. He would...

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