The shining, gleaming car has landed me into big trouble.
Two days back, this innocent looking guy in the super market asked me a rather innocent question. " Which car do you drive?" Since then my life has been miserable.
"How could you insult my car like that?"
"But he asked me so suddenly. And all I could remember at that time was Maruti Esteem and Ford Ikon. Since I knew it was not an Esteem, I did the next best thing and I said we drove a Ford Ikon."
"I have never driven a Ford Ikon"
" But what's wrong with it? It is a car right? I forgot the name of the car you drive"
"How could you forget?"
"Oh for heaven's sake...you are acting as if I forgot the name of one of the girls"
"It's worse. An Ikon? How could you call my car names?"
I learned to drive when I was still in college. At the risk of sounding immodest, I drove rather well. There was a time I could actually drive better than him, but that was before he turned into an ogre and refused to let me sit behind the wheels.
" You jumped a signal for heaven's sake. Didn't you see the big red light?"
" Of course I did. I didn't see any hawaldar. So I jumped."
" What if he was hiding behind a tree?"
" Then I would have said' I am sorry officer' and batted my eye-lashes at him."
And that was the end of my driving days.
I had also been accused of being blind as a bat. All because I was trying to get into the wrong car.
"You almost got into the wrong car with the wrong man. Again."
" But it looked so similar."
" How can you say that? It was a different model. And moreover it was golden and not silver."
" The model was different? Really? It looked the same. And gold, silver, bronze...the metals are almost the same, right?"
"So in that case why don't you exchange all your precious gold jewellery with some silver ones?"
That kind of shut me up. For a little while.
"You let the kids eat pop-corn and Pepsi sitting there? Now look what happened to the leather."
" Stop being so fussy. It kept them quiet. Other wise we would have heard 'we are bored' every 5 minutes''
'' Eating and drinking here are a strict no-no. They have to learn that"
''OK Mr fuss pot. The girls will try to remember the next time. Now can we drive?"
So that shut him up. For all the way.
I love long drives. I enjoy the feeling of power every time I get behind the steering wheel. I love cars for the freedom that they bring. But I do not get emotionally involved with them. My husband on the contrary probably has a name for his precious car. He also probably kisses it 'Good morning' and 'Good night' every day.
" This is just a set of wheels with a tin body."
" Are you mad? This is more than a set of wheels with a tin body. Look inside the engine to learn about the car"
" Don't tell me you judge women by looking inside their minds"
"Are you accusing me of being shallow now? Of course I look into their minds. I did not marry you for your tin body."
The arguments continue.
Over these seventeen years of marriage, there have been quite a number of cars, starting with a second hand Fiat. There have been words exchanged over all of them. But this time was apparently a blunder. My husband feels I have severely insulted his pride and joy by calling it an Ikon. He feels I have hurt the car's feelings and he is threatening me with dire consequences if I do not apologize to his car.
Over my dead body.
Oh, before you people fill up my comment box in support of my husband, let me tell you another thing. He once seriously considered buying a Merc over a flat in Bombay. Now who is the crazy one in the relationship?