Everybody has some obsessive compulsive disorders. I have about 83 tonnes of them in everything I do in life, but I am of course not going to list all of them because it can get quite depressing for you – it might make you want to jump off a cliff or send the mental police behind me. But what I can share are the few OCDs I have while doing one of the most important things in my life – driving. Okay, you may think ‘He’s just obsessed about keeping his car clean.’ You are right, keeping the car – especially the insides fresh – is very, very important, but I cannot call it an OCD. Because keeping it unclean is an OCD! And I know many who have that problem. Brrr. Anyway, here are a few of mine...
The first is parking. Now, unless I am sure to get a good parking spot at my destination, I don’t even take the car out. Yeah, I know it’s pretty bad, but I do agonise for hours on end even before I leave home. And when I do park, it has to be P-E-R-F-E-C-T. The wheels have to be properly aligned, the whole car has to fit cleanly into a slot, it should have equal space on both sides, it can’t be at an angle... you get it.
Also I put on the airconditioning after covering about 500 metres and the music on the stereo comes on only after I have covered about a kilometre or sometimes even more. No idea why, but I need to S-E-T-T-L-E in. And I can’t shut off the car in the middle of a song. If I know I am coming to a stop, I turn off the stereo as soon as the song gets over and drive in silence – it’s much better than cutting music mid-way.
And I hate causing D-I-S-T-R-E-S-S to other road users. I don’t execute a U-turn till it’s really clean – in other words, I really wait it out. I wait for cyclists or pedestrians to pass before I enter a building. I don’t cut other drivers, and in case I do, I apologise (they look at me weirdly). When somebody lets me pass, I say thank you (they look at me weirdly).
And after getting out of the car and having centrally locked it, I have to check if the car’s L-O-C-K-E-D. Essentially, I yank the door handle even if I have heard the remote locking reassuringly bleep earlier. Yeah so what, right? Everybody does it, right? But the problem is when some test cars come with keyless entry. Here essentially you have the key on your person and the car unlocks itself when it senses you. So what happens many times with me – and this can be pretty embarrassing to admit – is that after I have locked the car, I check if it’s locked by yanking at the door handle. But keyless entry means it unlocks. So the process of locking/unlocking goes on till either my watchman looks at me weirdly and starts picking up the phone or I try to shift to my mind to my next OCD like using a sanitiser for my hands.