23 March 2024

End of an era: Aug 9, 2007 – Mar 23, 2024

Aug 9, 2007: The day the car came into my garage for the first time (top pic)
Mar 23, 2024: The day the car pulled out of my garage for the last time (bottom pic)

For a person who thinks of a car as a simple object to take him from point A to point B safely, I have an inexplicable emotional attachment to my cars. For some reason that is beyond logic, I refuse to give up on them even when they are way past being safe.

After I came to this country in 1993, my first car was a Honda Civic. By the time I gave up on it 14 years later in 2007, it had more pockmarks on its body from hailstorms in Dallas than two small pox afflicted felines battling themselves till the referee called it a draw. The lit up, flashing dashboard made me reminisce of Diwali everyday, the electronics to pull the windows up and down were long gone and towards the end I had to pump the brakes every 30 seconds at a red light in the rolling hills of Atlanta to prevent it from rolling. That is when Sharmila took the car decision off my hands. She called in Reddy from Dallas and Joydeep from Minneapolis to physically get rid of my car and help me buy a new one.

Atlanta is such a city that you can enjoy the roof down in a car nearly 8 to 9 months a year. So, I got this convertible as the second car of my life. It was lying in the dealer’s lot as previous year’s demo car. Believe it or not, as small as the car is, all four of us came back from the dealer to our home squeezed in that car. With the roof open, of course. We were literally spilling out of the car from all sides.

Once I got past my mom’s question of what would I do if it started raining (strangely enough, she was satisfied by my answer that I carry a big umbrella with me) and my dad’s disappointment that for so much money I got only two doors, the rest of the ride has been fairly smooth.

It lacked all the modern safety features – reverse camera, side car presence warning, lane slip warning and all that. No USB charger, no bluetooth either!!! But it could merrily play a cassette tape, if you could grab one.

After being together for 17 years and spending nearly 220,000 miles (350,000 kms) together on the road – mostly by ourselves – I finally bade adieu!!

It will take me some time to get over this.

Posted March 23, 2024 by Rajib Roy in category "My Family

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