9004. I thought those were pretty cool last four digits to my car’s number plate.
But then again, it was my first car, so everything was cool about it.
And like all new things, it got not so new and after a while it gave me reasons to douse it with kerosene, light a match and walk away.
This is what happens when you don’t listen to your dad. And you know what’s worse than not listening to your dad? Admitting that you should have listened to him.
He wanted me to buy a car which didn’t look as ‘cool’ but was sturdy as a tank. I, on the other hand, wanted a tin can with deflated wheels.
So, here are a list of things that happened to me after 2 years with my batmobile :
: One fine day, it decided not to start. Just like that. I almost had to sell a kidney and buy a new engine because the problem was so severe. What caused it? God.
: It didn’t start. Again. The mechanic had fleeced me, of course. I remember shrieking at him in many languages and then proceeded to give him the car and all my savings. Because I am genius like that.
: The Bombay rains came and attacked my car. The same chor mechanic I had almost skinned earlier, obviously wasn’t afraid of me because he had taken my brand new wipers and replaced them with a pair which did the work of a blanket. No, seriously, I couldn’t see the bonnet. I don’t think they were wiping the water away, I think they were trained to smudge my windshield with black tar.
: Once I remember driving to my parents’ house and my car randomly stopped on the highway (fascinating). I tried and tried, but it just wouldn’t start. Sadashiv (superhero) was sent from home to rescue the car. “baby ki gaadi phir se kharaab ho gayi hai, jaake le ao.” Baby. Baby is 31. Baby had jumped into a cab and gone home because she knew Sadashiv had a set of spares & he was used to this. Lovely.
: Manish & I were shooting for Bollywood Nonsensex last year and after one of those shoots wrapped, I decided not to peel off my makeup in the studio. Figured I’d get home and do it. It was around 5:30 pm, in Marol Naka (for all you non Bombay-ites, that’s the real name of Hell) and AGAIN it stopped. No one could save me. No one. My hair was in curls and I had an inch of pink & glitter on my face. AND everyone was staring at me because I was the only car in the Marol universe not moving. I don’t want to talk about this story anymore.
I’m writing about this because 9004 has got a leak and I have been driving around with a mini splash pool in the passenger side for the past 3 days. So I’ve just dropped her off at the mechanics. And as much as I have wanted to wring this car’s neck many many times, I think I’m going to love it the most. Regardless of which car (or teleportation device) I have in the future…. because it was my first. And I remember looking at it with such glee when I first laid eyes on it. I remember feeling all grown up because I had bought a car, a tin can nonetheless, and that feeling was going to be mine forever.
So here’s to you, 9004.
Feel better soon.
Or I will drive you into the sea.