I too have had a dream.. a dream which I have held close to heart... a dream of someday being able to own a car and drive it on my own.. Now for those of you who think that this dream probably sounds a bit too absurd.. allow me to justify. This dream of mine comes very much from my childhood days. I grew up hearing my mother whine about how she always wanted to visit her brother's home after marriage in a car.. for she was married to a very successful bank employee.. but this has never happened, because my dad happened to be a bit too emotional and cares a lot about his siblings. All his life, he spent his time, money and energy in ensuring that his siblings were all taken care of, settled and had a decent life, and somewhere in this noble war that he has waded all his entire life, he forgot that his wife had a dream too. They say that what a father cannot manage to get done, the responsibility of getting it done falls on the shoulders of his children and I have somehow managed to believe in this "so called" philosophy from a very young age.. and so as a typical "bollywood/tollywood/kollywood" hero, I grew up with this burning desire.. that someday when I am all grown up, I will buy a car, take my mother in that car, and then go to my uncle's place and let her dream become a reality...
But time never lets us play our cards as per our expectations.. Life took me through some difficult paths owing to which I lost the belief in myself that I could ever drive a car. I went on with this mind block for about 13 years.. with that desire to fulfill my dream, still burning.. and the thought still stuck to my mind.. Finally this year, I decided to get over this and give it a shot. I went and joined a driving school. After almost a month battle with the car, trying hard to remember that I had to do a couple of things together almost always and at the same time, I felt I had finally figured out how to drive a car.
But the human mind apes a monkey is what they say.. I was no different and definitely not an exception.. The desire to now own a car started and before I realized what I was getting into, I had gone the entire nine miles and chose to buy a second hand car.. Buying a second hand car was a conscious decision I made, mostly for obvious reasons. I am still learning driving and just as any other regular guy who loves his automobile and mobile phone more than his parents or his wife (lol.. I know I exaggerated that part a little bit..), I couldn't bear to see dents/scratches on the new car. Add to the fact that I am prone to make mistakes while driving and I drive in a metro city wherein there are more kamikazes (In case you are wondering what the heck is a kamikaze.. here's what it means 'A pilot trained and willing to cause a suicidal crash'. Now I call the bike riders as kamikazes because they throw caution to the winds and drive as if they are in-fact on a suicide mission) on the road than there were during World War II perhaps !
I timed the purchase such that it coincides with my birthday and it was my way of gifting myself a special gift on my birthday. So the car was home, and I had begun taking it out for small rides in the streets just to get myself familiar with driving. I even named the car as "Hakuna Matata" which in-fact means "No Worries"..
So after two weeks of getting the car I managed to get my driving license. I was so thrilled at finally having been blessed by the RTO as "Licensed to kill" (lol, yeah technically any driver on the roads may/may not at some point kill someone).. So on a Wednesday (my mum believes that Wednesdays are always auspicious and all good things should be done on Wednesdays), I decided to take my car to work. I was very nervous and to beat the morning rush I decided to leave for work at 8.30 AM.. ! I navigated precariously through the streets and just before I was about to enter into the main road, it happened !! I had to take a left to enter the main road.. and I was so focused on ensuring that I don't knock anyone I was only looking at my right side trying to avoid incoming traffic, I forgot to pay attention to the left side of the car.. Net result.. I heard a big screeching sound and when I turned.. much to my horror I had brushed badly against a wall, creating my very first huge dent !! I was shattered.. but decided not to get down and examine the damage for I knew very well, if I looked at it, I wouldn't be able to move my car.. So I continued to work and only after I came to work and parked the car.. did I see it.. It was ugly and I had no one else to blame but my own self.. I kept telling myself.. well this is why you chose to buy a second hand car.. so why worry about it.. it happens..
My bigger woes were yet to come.. This past weekend, I had my friend drive my car and he suggested that I should get my car serviced since he felt that the car clutch was a bit too tight and he had difficulties in switching gears.. So I found an authorized service and walked in, little knowing what was to come.. They began examining the car and in 20 minutes flat, they gave me an estimate for a whooping 22,000 INR.. I was shocked !! They said that the car was due for a major servicing and much to my bad luck, I ended up being the guinea pig.. I was heart broken and depressed.. In a month I had already incurred such a huge expense..! It reminded me of my friend's wise words.. A car is never an asset, it is and will always be a liability.
Today morning I went back to the service center and paid the complete bill (it came to the tune of 28,000 INR) and drove the car to work.. the little consolation was, the car felt new, so smooth and so very nice to drive..
I have already been mocked at by a few of my friends at my folly of buying a used car without doing the due diligence it required.. I feel bad.. and feel depressed too.. lessons learnt.. my car still has its insurance renewal due in a couple of days (am looking at 10,000 for that) and still doesn't have an audio system in it (another 12,000 for that is what I am guessing is gonna cost)..
As I sit and type this epic reality of a beautiful dream I had.. I can't help but ponder.. was naming the car as "Hakuna Matata" a perfect example for an "oxy-moron" ??
Its only the beginning is what my near and dear ones tell me.. and am already terrified.. at the way in which a dream has now started morphing into a morbid nightmare !!