Our car has been asking for voluntary retirement since two years but my Father is adamant on sticking on to Her. Now She has started showing obvious signs of reluctance to work. Yesterday we were going to the temple. About four kilometers from home She just stopped. She sometimes stops at the traffic signal, sometimes on the highway and shows us her level of obstinacy and her prowess in embarrassing us.
This is what happened yesterday. But no sooner we got out to push her to a spot that’s away from the traffic than four or five auto rickshaw wallahs came to the rescue. There is something that connects all men- irrespective of birth, origin, occupation, standing, class or psyche in the same way it connects women. Why do I say this?
Consider this- a broken down car, five men trying to start her up. The way they were examining her, opening up her bonnet, observing, deducing, concluding, rejecting various hypothesis to come up with other ones, you’d think that they were lab partners who’d known each other since ages!!
A broken down car attracts men that are complete strangers in the same way as a haggle drama between the grocer and a woman attracts other female counterparts. A woman always tells the distance between places in terms of time and men in terms of kilometers. Have you noticed? Moving forward, following is the brief rendition of the mini saga that took place yesterday when Her Highness decided to not budge from her place.
5:30 pm: Car Breaks Down.
5:32 pm: A man with a T Shirt that says, “Math Illiteracy affects 7 out of every 5 people”; one with a hornets nest on his head and a youth with ball defining jeans come to the site of the calamity. They are auto rickshaw drivers. Yeah, Ive mentioned it before.
5:45 pm. The car has been pushed and pulled and pushed and pulled again till she is resting at a spot the four men are comfortable with. Mother tensed about the fact that we shall miss the Mandir Aarti and I, bored enough to eat hair, look on.
5:50 pm: Math illiterate comes with a very small bottle cap and fits it on a valve. (I am deeply sorry. I understand, its blasphemous to allude to a car’s contours in such a manner. However, I beseech you to cut me some slack over here. They didn’t teach us car parts in school!!). Mr. Tight jeans nods encouragingly to Dad. He revs her up. She starts hiccoughing. The noise rises from deep within her ahhhemm bowels is it? somewhere along its way up, it looses momentum and when it escapes out, transforms itself into an amalgam of a hiccough ending in a sigh that had initially aspired to be a guffaw. Then she goes…… phatt
Trial 1: Failed.
Trial 2 Failed
Trial 3: In progress when I suggest that we get a mechanic from the nearby locality. ‘We’ve got it under control!” comes the brusque and a trifle overconfident reply.
5:55 pm: Math illiterate and his buddies are joined by two more of their comrades. Two of the recent joiners have nothing remarkable about their looks or demeanor to warrant a name for them. Lets just stick to Guy 1 and Guy 2. Guy 2 comes with a full 1.5 litre bottle and pours it down the place where you are supposed to pour down water in a car.
Trial 4: Failed
Trail 5: Failed.
6:10 pm: The Aarti has surely begun, Mom says. I begin staring at the traffic on the road and start giving mental ticks every time a Santro passes by. But Lo! Behold! Something has happened for the Car has started. A sense of quite jubilation rests on the faces of the six men present. With "Hum Ho gaye kamayab" grins resting on their faces, they start to bid adieu.
We quickly get in. Go on for twenty yards when She stops again. Dad can barely hold back a curse. “Hello! Hello!” he shouts to beckon the army of five back again.
6:15 pm: A discussion ensues forth. I can swear on everything near, dear and precious in life that I heard something about air and petrol together and petrol not running because of air present and a particular petrol pump injecting air along with petrol. Between the gibberish I could make out, “4 pixels, carburetor, tow it, Tatas, Maruti Suzuki Swift etc.
Meanwhile, Dad calls up his mechanic.
Finally! I close my eyes in happiness. But the joy is short lived for my father does nothing save from showering an avalanche of curses (with emphatically sympathetic looks from the army) at the man before hanging up the phone with a “Ill do it myself” threat.
We are doomed.
I know so.
Seriously I can never understand why is there such a “I’ll do it myself! I don’t want help!” obsessive quality in men.
Have you got lost on the way to a party and got irritated by the fact that the man at the drivers/riders seat wont ask for directions saying, "We’ll figure it out. I know the way….its just around the corner.... Come on! Be adventurous!"
Have you lost precious time, when you asked your Boyfriend as to why the internet isnt getting connected and He begins to set things in motion to set things right and after an hour cannot, oh sorry, does not set them right and gets irritated and mumbles something about changing the PC while you are itching to call the service representatives??
Have you the seen the look of utter unrestrained bliss when you gift a guy a tool kit?
Note: If you are female, dont drive and cannot identify a fuel pump or a carburetor in a cars body, it is best you keep as silent as possible, rather make yourself inconspicuous and cultivate patience.
Tip: To make the most of such a situation:-
Ask intelligent questions in the most guile manner possible. Displaying ignorance is a must. Men love to explain. The feeling of, ‘Oh Dumb Female! Come hither! Let me shower the power of knowledge on your light and ignorant brain!’ assuages their egos I suppose.
Start off with “What’s wrong?” and punctuate periodically with “Oh!Really!”, I am sorry I didn’t understand.” Or “Oh! No! Now what do we do? Time will pass off pleasantly.
Meddlesome, argumentative, task taking questions shall be snubbed or shrugged off.
6:45 pm : Beginning to get dark….
Trial *** Failed.
I am so bored and frustrated, I could listen and appreciate lectures on Pantheism or count my hair follicles.
6:55 pm: The car has started. Math illiterate goes on a test run.
7:05 pm. No sign of Math illiterate.
“We are robbed! We are doomed!!”, a voice inside me cries.
Dad and Tight Jeans leave to find Mathy.
7:10 pm Hornets nest and Guy 1 leave to find Dad and Tight Jeans. Guy 2 smiles awkwardly. Mom and I are left standing with a faint piss smell surrounding us.
Uncertain upto absurdity, we call Dad. He asks us to cross the road. In my life of twenty something years, this is the first time I am witness to such a phenomenon. Dad is at the steering, Mathy is pushing and running along side. We get in and Mathy and Hornets Nest start pushing the car harder.
Tight Jeans and Guy 1 sit in the auto and start it. Tight jeans places his left foot on the car. The car is moving. She is going forth steadily. Tight Jeans is driving our car to motion??? Incredulous!
With the help of his naked brown foot?? Unbelievable.
I begin to chant, “Jai Gurudev!”.
In a surreal span of 25 minutes we reach the temple, attend the aarti, take the prasad, give it to the army of 5 minus 1 and are heading back home.
Through hand gestures, Dad and Tight Jeans communicate. Between signal stoppages, Guy 1 runs to the car and back carrying vital pieces of information regarding right maneuvering, right direction and right force.
Between nerve racking seconds, Tight Jeans sometimes lets go of the car and motor cyclists, scooters and cyclists escape from the gap.
I am still chanting, “Hare Ram Hare Ram, Ram Ram Hare Hare, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare, Hare.”
Tight Jeans and Guy 1 are discussing Priyanka Chopra and Vidya Balan. Thirty something yards away form home, Her Highness hiccoughs again and lo presto! Starts up and shimmies into the driveway. The three men get down and shake hands. Happy, tired, bemused, amused.
Geez! No wonder I think our Cars a female. So much natak and nautanki is truly befitting the fairer sex.
Goodness still exists?
Men will be men?
Start saving for your next car?
Your car likes getting pampered?
Gibberish comes out of a brain that has been drugged with sleep while at work?
Who the hell cares or knows…. I’m bored remember?