By Elina Sen
Today’s morning was as usual, mundane. Waking up early, getting ready. Gobbling few bites with a quick slurp of tea. Zooming to the car, BAM! Slamming the door, and zapping through the morning traffic. While driving, a middle aged man was moronically crossing the road, without giving a look what was coming in his way. I with my moral obligation gave him a stern flying comment : "don’t you have any brakes on your feet?" He stared hard and so did I with more intensity. Then blabbering to myself, this morons are polluting the class of jay walkers. They lack the basic acrobatic skills. Few more morons I faced during rest of my drive. I was punctual as usual but only got it by whisker, as usual. I passed the key to our home caretaker and told him to drive the car back home safely. This is the picture, in a regular entrainment happens over and over in my life , like all other things that happen daily.
About almost two hours later, mother called. Tensed. She told me the car hadn't arrived back. So many possibilities passed my mind, in a flash. Zoom! Each of them was worst than previous.Possibilities are astronomically enormous. Ranging from bone tickling funny to sordid gruesome.Good, it happened in salt lake. If the stage was to be set on the vastness of main city kolkata…rest you can imagine! I hung up, telling her not to worry, because I am here to make things all right.
Easier it was said than done. I was clueless. I fumbled to the girl I was talking to, made vague excuses and zapped out from there. On the street, a fear of uncertainty grappled within me. Told you, possibilities are enormous. I rushed to the rickshaw stand. Hailed the standing one in queue and told him precisely what I’m going to look for in the by roads of salt lake, within the possibilities of trajectories from that place to the way back home. And the search begun. I asked the rickshaw-wala if any road accident happened. Answer was negative but at the same time load inside me was getting heavy.
Tension dissolved. Ma called me back telling me the exact location of the place where the car had broken down. Achinto da has lost his mobile few moths back. And this lost baggage has given him a big relief by providing an excuse of not being available to the people he works for. So while he pushed the car to a more safer place with most tactile maneuver possible, we were being frenzied. Anyway, all’s well that goes well. I got there ASAP.
Immense , yes that’s the word. Immense relief prevailed when I got a glance of my car. I called dad over phone . He was as usual cool and a pillar support whenever things go wrong with me. And better he restrained himself from bragging me about the car he drives himself, always reminding me how good are this new cars with all those features. As if with all new things he gets, the old becomes someone elses! But fact is , I am touchy about my good old car. I love it. I have so many memories with it, and with all of it’s predecessors. Don’t find it funny, I treat cars of any make with reverence. It’s a fetish I nurture. Like my fetishes with shoes, watches, and bags !
The mechanic asked me if we can somehow manage to move at home with the car, as he can’t come right now. With all the symptoms at hand, dad told me: might be like last time it’s the distributor system’s problem. So we have to drive it in a steady way. When it stops, where ever it stops, we have to wait to allow the engine to become cool and then have to move ahead. Daunting. We started. The car got stopped at some crossing next time. It was an ideal hit by bus and run for your life place. Both me and Achinto da had to get out of the car to give it a push. Achinto da steered and pushed from the front while I was pushing from the back. It was a treat for the passerby! To see a well dressed girl to push a car, not everyone sees on their way. But they only laughed. I giggled back.
Getting into the safe alley nearer home. I took a break and took a snap of Achinto pushing the car. Wish someone could be there to take my snap of pushing and getting reduced to perspiration. It’ld have provided me a helluva of inspiration later on. So the credo was push, push and push. I kept thinking if it’s a toy car, I could have pulled it. Mechanically more apt. Crazy thoughts. Never go away. This way and that way, finally we reached home. And the world got saved.
P.S : The car came back from the garage. She is okay. Only there was a minor problem. She’s gonna stay with me for better and for the best. I am happy with a smile on my face.