Travels & Other Escapades

Onwards to New Adventures

January 22, 2022

I grew up on a steady stream of Nancy Drews. I was an obsessed reader – steadily going through the entire collection in my school library. And then moving on to the local library. I would sometimes read an entire novel in a single day! I wanted to be a detective when I grew up, complete with the red hair and the red convertible. I didn’t become a detective and my hair has never been red (although it’s been a lovely shade of fuchsia). Perhaps the closest I’ve come to being like my childhood idol is my red car (although I’ve never had a convertible).

I bought my first car after a brief stint in the UK with Infosys. I was feeling very much like a woman of the world and pictured myself in my own car, cruising across the city doing very important things. I wanted something with character and an old world charm and I looked everywhere for a red Maruti 800, and found to my disappointment that they were no longer in production. So I bought the car closest to the red 800, a firebrick red Alto LXI. My Alto added a zing to an otherwise dull corporate life – my friends and I rode to work in style, not having to worry about catching the company bus on time. We no longer depended on Meru cabs to ferry us to social commitments, we had the trusted Alto. The Alto saw me driving to job interviews and eventually to a new workplace. It saw me quitting my job to follow my passion – and it metaphorically drove me to it.

I recently watched a poignant episode of ‘Modern Love’ centred around a car, and when I recently sold my Alto, I realised that our vehicles give us freedom and independence. They teach us responsibility and confidence. From tentative trips to the grocery store (always nervous about the parking), to negotiating the hairpin bends en route Coonoor. From driving myself to yoga classes, to driving across the city for teaching gigs. My Alto took me to Vipassana twice, parked in the dusty parking lot for all 10 days, both times. In 2011, I took it to SVYASA to complete my month long YIC, and in 2019, I drove it back to SVYASA to register for the MSc.

I’d started using it a lot less recently because of the lockdown. The radio didn’t work as well anymore, and the tyres have been changed several times. Yet it still that feel of a giant blazing fireplace on a cold winter’s day. We drove the Alto to Coles Road to register our wedding – it was small enough to fit into tiny parking spaces on teeming Indian roads.

Life has changed a bit now. I no longer have to drive everywhere to attend or take class. I ended up marrying a very tall man who ends up using the car more than me – and a tiny Alto is too small for him. I reluctantly decided to change my car and get a larger one, and ironically, this car also happens to be red. I guess subconsciously I’m still Nancy Drew. And just like Nancy Drew, I’m excited about future adventures in this spanking new red car.

Lakshmi and I bringing the Alto back to Pride Apartments.

Animesh and I very happy with our purchase.

Oct 24, 2010

Jan 21, 2022

Onwards to new adventures.

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