I am an Extroverted Lifelong Learning Tree Hugger

I took the 43 Things Personality Quiz and found out I'm an
Extroverted Lifelong Learning Tree Hugger

Monday, January 14, 2008

Ye ole’ faithful

It’s tough letting go. What’s been part of your life for as far back as you can remember, what you invest so much love and care into, and give so much of your life to, can one day simply disappear. And when it does, it leaves you standing at the edge of a precipice, grappling for some sort of balance and support.

Tad melodramatic, wasn’t that? Especially when the object of my affection is not some charming hunk, but our deal ole Maruti Van. Sorry to disappoint you, dear reader. Been with us since I was a kid, we finally decided to give it a fond farewell last month. Long past its prime, long past its originally planned date of retirement.

There’s a lot our sky-blue van was witness to. It used to be five of us then… aai, baba, Uday (my brother), rocky (our Alsatian) and me. Earlier, it would be just baba taking me and Uday on our Bajaj scooter wherever we went – Chanakya for movies, Nirula’s for our junk-food addiction initiation, trips to Palika Bazaar, Connaught Place, Karol Bagh for an assortment of children-to-adult clothing and accessories purchases, including my still-not-gone fascination for dolls. But with the van, suddenly the concept of ‘all of us’ came to life, again.

I could write pages after pages after pages about the many happenings with the van, but that would bore you guys. So, I’ll pick what is most memorable.

Like the jaunts to Gopinath Bazaar (Delhi Cantonment). The mall syndrome was not even heard of in those days, forget about it being a syndrome. Shopping at a regular market would be the norm. So, anyway there we would be, all five of us, dressed for an evening out. Of course, we wouldn’t take rocky out on the streets. And of course, he wouldn’t be dressed either. He had a meaner task. He was to be the guardian of the van and all that was inside. Was fun watching people start if he poked his head out of the window or barked at anyone coming even a little close to ‘his’ car.

Or like the cold January winter morning when baba dropped and me and my friend in the van to Janpath when I had participated in the Republic Day Parade, 1987. Gosh that seems so long ago. More than 20 years back… Was a typical car journey. Nothing untoward happened. Wonder why I remember that day so vividly? Perhaps the sheer chill in the air. We had to reach Janpath at 6 in the morning. How DID I do it in those days.

Then there was the holiday to Himachal. Was fun, the drive up, and down, treacherous slopes. Unfortunately we missed the snow. Or did aai-baba plan it that way?

Talking of holidays, ask the family and I’m sure we all will unanimously agree that the 4-day leisurely trip from Delhi to Pune was by far the best time we’ve had together. With a liberal sprinkling of fights between me and my brother, of course. Rocky was long gone by then. So luckily we had a window each.

On second thoughts, I wonder if aai-baba had as much fun. A sure-shot recipe for disaster is two adults and two wanna-be adults in the same car, for 4 full days. And there used to be no mobiles to play with, no discman either. Of course, we had our books. But our voracious appetite and rapid digestion of those at hand was only matched by our constant whine for sustenance. Of the edible kinds.

As I said before, I could go on forever, with each of us coming up with our own pet incidents. But that’s all gone now… sigh.

Today another vehicle has come to fill in the void. A Santro. Comfortable for five again. Did I tell you my brother is married now?

The best part about the Santro is that it’s my car… I bought it. Kind of compensates for the loss of the Van. Somewhat.