Sunday, June 19, 2011

A lost friend

The memory of our first meeting is still so fresh. You looked like a warrior in the prime of his youth. And just like a warrior's homecoming, you were welcomed into our family with a vermilion marked forehead and a garlanded frontage. Your metallic black body oozed with elegance, the parts with chrome finish shone like swords and the wheels looked ready for some friction. The coconut celebrated the moment by splitting into two in its very first contact with the floor and the gentle breeze joined us accentuating the fragrance of the incense sticks. Pleasure met pride as our family was handed the keys to our first car and you became a part of us. .
Finally, another medium class family of a shining India had upgraded itself to the category of 'Car Owners'. Yes...and while you, like a part of the current generation, may find it tough to believe, it was considered an important milestone in a family's life a few years back in this country. Especially for a family which for many years in the 80s and 90s had been the family of four occupants on a scooter  - 'Dad riding, Mom sitting sideways, the elder kid standing in front and the younger one on his mother's lap'.
Soon I was to make my debut on the Driver's seat as you and me were entrusted to each other. You were a companion that shared many joys, sorrows, ups and downs of our lives. Your's were the wheels that sped us to our successes and carried us along with the weight of our failures. And what a special relationship did we share! We loved each other's company and we both seemed to infuse some extra speed into each other. My visits to home from college were always marked by a family welcome of which you were an integral part and some of the most memorable and exciting journeys of my life took place on your very driving seat.
Your service to my dad was no less noteworthy. Almost 120 kms a day for years together and you never betrayed his trust. And no wonder therefore, my dad loved you like a son.Cars do not 'live' and they are not supposed to have 'feelings'. But something tells me that you lived and you felt. Even if not in the literal sense but in ways that justify the words - life and feelings.
On 23rd March 2011, you traveled your last mile. Those engines roared for the last time and the roads kissed a premature farewell to those wheels. But you did not die a diseased death in a garage or see the abandoned life of a retired soldier. You died fighting - a death that the warrior you looked on your first day deserved. You saved 5 lives while every piece of metal in your body was being crushed. You absorbed all the pain and all the injury that was hurled at me. You were the one who took a stand between death and me and won!
Dear 9753, you shall always remain close to my heart and every time these hands hold a steering and press an accelerator, they shall think of you! Dear friend, Rest in Peace.

On 23rd of March, 2011, the following is what my car had to go through and yet it made sure that I, in spite of being on the driver's seat came out virtually unharmed.

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