Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My father's Maruti 800

My father came from a very poor family, but then again, who didn't in his generation? They would walk barefoot for hours to school. Not my father, he was just fortunate to have school near his house, and he was a good student. Today, most of his classmates have prospered well in life. He however went back to teaching at the age of 52. 


You see, my father flunked RCSC in his batch. To this he justified that there weren't many seats in government. When he flunked RCSC, he volunteered to teach and left for Trashi Yangtse. There he met with my Ama and they got married. Apa however got placed again in Kharbandhi to teach technical people the misery of Mathematics and Physics. He was the only degree holder in whole of Kharbandhi then. He used to teach certificate people, today I work with them, they get placed as supervisors. 

But when I was born, he had gotten selected for Mechanical Engineering and he did his course for three years, and in final year he quit. He quit engineering because he was so much in love with my brother, that he always treated him as an apple of his eyes. My brother and my Apa are alike. Anyways, he was punished for not completing his course and for eleven years, he wasn't given promotions, tours or training. He then got placed in Youth, where he worked for roughly 11 to 12 years. It was in Thimphu, that he bought Maruti 800. He would say I had contributed few, for at one point of my life, I used to paint banners with Nu. 25 per English letter and Nu. 30 per Dzongkha letter. There were times I earned Nu. 25000 in four days, while my father made pretty much lesser than me. I was just 16 then. 

Apa bought that car from someone who had to leave for Australia and it came under 2 lakhs. He didn't know how to drive and I was just a confused energetic teenager who wanted to drive. My friend Banka taught me on first day, second day Namgay Dorjee taught me and third day, I stole the key and went on my own wild expedition all over Thimphu. I was always on wrong direction and I am very much thankful to all those other drivers who met me then, they were all considerate. They realized I was a new driver and waited for me to drive away(what was I doing? Was I driving like a drunkard?). I got busted twice by the Traffic Police and paid hefty fines. I however passed the driving test when I was under aged chap and had to wait for a year to get my license. 

Apa didn't know how to drive and the car was always on my disposal. I went driving this car to my school, to my tuition and had my best days. During those days, it was called Kanchi Car, because most of the Mistresses were given this car. I don't know to what extend it was a truthful statement, but it was in the air. 

I had three minor accidents in this car, once I hit a bulb post, once I hit a parked bike and once in drunken state I hit a Bolero Camper. Even one of my friends hit a Hilux while he drove this car. My father himself had many minor accidents in it to the extend that most of the parts in it were changed. But he did make it very much fancy, he had put four stereo speakers that would give us Prado sound effects. However, comfort wasn't. :p 

Today, this car lies here with dents and its painting have started to fade. But I have my special attachment to this car. In this very car, I had my first kiss and I don't know how many couples we disturbed near Sanjaygang, Buddha Point and Echo Point with honking and head lights on. It was out of mischief we did. Few of my friends even puked in and around it. We bonded in this car, we became best of buddies in this car. Few of my friends still tell me, someday, when we all make enough of money, we shall keep this car in our museum. I don't know whether that day would come or not, but this has always been our family car. And in our family, everybody is fat. At times, this car can't give us much required acceleration and it got banged on speed breakers. But it wasn't that of a family car as well. Once I borrowed this car to go for party, my father had put condoms in dashboard. What can I say, he has had always kept optimistic expectations from me. However, those little rubbers were found by my uncle, my Ama's little brother, who thought it belonged to Apa and took away. I couldn't explain much then. It was simply hilarious. 

Last time when I went to meet my parents, I became so nostalgic that I lived my old memories that this old grumpy car enshrined. It was out of respect that I took it for car wash. That was the only thing I could do, for fuel price were so high :p. Too bad for Modi coming in government? :P  

Henceforth, it is out of respect to this car that I wrote this article, my father's Maruti 800. And perhaps, from now on, with tax revision, even affording this one here, would be too tough. Next year it would be ten years for this car with our heavy family. I hope it doesn't break down. And that's the story of honest people, they don't own fancy cars, they just make memories with what they have. Good night folks. 

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