L board Lamenting

L board Lamenting

Crowds weaving their karmic dance or maybe driving to karmic tunes make you nervous while you are learning to drive. You do not know when and who will decide to spill onto the road and stand in your way. We Indians are very accommodative – we have cows, donkeys and dogs all on the road while a cab driver cuts into the footpath or whatever remaining of it to fly past you; you need to methodically size up the quality of the road as you bend, honk and sway past the next pothole. When you are waiting for the traffic signal to clear, there is someone blasting their horn from behind you; the horn is blasted in rhythm with the music being played on their radio and finally, he/she falls on the horn as it screeches to glory. It is dysentery of thoughts or something else, but do they not know that when the signal is red you can’t move?

During my 10-day learning class, noticed a few patterns. Since learning to drive was too challenging, I started observing these patterns, which came naturally and were easier as compared to keeping in mind the accelerator-clutch-break combination. On the road, there are different species – there are those nice persons, a few but definitely the best ones, who accommodate the learners (L), do not scare the pants or whatever off you, but quietly and elegantly pass you with confidence and magnanimity. Looking at them, you feel envious and want to drive like them. Then there is this lot who don’t even care whether you are dead or alive, act as if you don’t even exist and move past through you; you feel their detachment and their refusal to see or notice you in your bones; but you suppose they are fine, for you are insignificant and accept it. The skill with which you are driving, well, you have to accept!

The most interesting is the third lot, who make it a point to trip and off-balance the newcomer on the road; they honk, cut and rub the cheek of the car as they go by. You are scared and sweaty by the time they overtake you. If given a chance, they would happily shove you off the road and laugh a wicked laugh. These are the ones that make you want to hit them, hate them, scream at them, but they toughen you up and finally allow you to escape their relentless pursuit till you get the balance to hold the wheel and manage to operate the clutch and brake. Coming to think of it, these are the people who make you learn the trick of staying alert, alive and drive.

Well, in life there are those who nurture, coach, and protect you. They allow you space and time to grow and flourish and leave a compelling and impressive picture. Their purpose and clarity make them stand out. Then there are those who are engrossed in their success and life, they will never recognize your existence if you do not fit into their scheme of things; and finally, you have some who make it their KRA to ensure that they make your life miserable. They punish you arbitrarily or rip away your peace of mind.

At the end of the day, you learn to drive and also live, and you have a choice to become one of these people – you can either choose to take time to nurture the L board, or you can ignore them and pass them or go speeding closer to them and shaking their slow-built confidence and faith. The choice is yours.

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.

― Joseph Campbell


Sunitha Lal is a Human Resources professional and organizational culture expert, based out of Bangalore. She has over 25 years of experience spanning diverse industries and geographies. Because of her keen interest in understanding human behavior, she views organizational dynamics through the lens of behavioral science, psychology, and anthropology.  


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