I was always challenged by people who said, " this is a boy thing and a girl should not or may not do it."
To my mind, this was wrong! I admit men in general are much superior and stronger and more capable, but why restrict a girl , only because she is a girl! Atrocious
Being independent for myself was always important to me.
In those days and especially within my conservative community, a girl driving was a beeg thing, and a bad red mark on her future marriage prospects! But, this never deterred me, I already thought I was ugly enough never to be wanted as a bride in any good house ( read here to know what I thought).
I was a born rebel and anything with a lock intrigued me, my hands itched to see what was inside. Learning to drive when I was 16 was a NO NO and that made me pursue it. Most girls were allowed to learn driving after marriage with the consent of her in laws and husband.
I used to stealthily take the car key of the Maruti 800 that we had at that time in late afternoon when everybody was sleeping and inside their houses, go down and get into the car parked on the sidewalk, switch on the ignition and reverse the gear, drive back and forth on a space of about 10 meters, practicing on the sidewalk and not venturing on the road in the beginning. In this way, I could drive backward and forward with the same ease.
For steering wheel practice, I used to handle the steering when my old driver saheb drove me to school, while he handled the gear and brakes and he took control of the steering when when I faltered or when there was traffic.
If I had gone to a driving school like most girls, I would have learned in lesser time and got a real driving license too, but maybe not as well as I drive now. Yes, I do have a driving license but it states a false date of birth, I was still underage when I started driving on the roads.
My mummy told me much later that papa used to get angry when he found this out and always threatened to hide the key, but he never did, nor did he ever show his anger to me. It was fun to learn like this and I drive very well even now. This opened the door for my sister who learned without much restrictions. My papa is only too glad that we learned it for free and when we sisters got married he made mummy learn driving and then fired the new driver for good.
Now, most girls in our community have a driving license before their marriage and it is as much prerequisite as a school degree!
Picture from here