I am not usually superstitious but then she was may first car and I was not about to take any chances.
It being Friday, I decided to drive her home on Saturday. So I had the car
delivered to my office
car park and took the bus home as usual. She was not much of a car to be proud of, just a simple
second hand Nissan Sunny costing a little more than twenty thousand. But one thing made me proud
- she was mine, all mine.
Next day, I told my wife and two children that I wanted to take them to meet a friend. My children
jumped for joy but not so my wife. She had to be persuaded and persuaded and finally I had to
spoil the surprise and tell her the truth. Well, she was
curious now and agreed to go to my office.
I could not wait to go by bus and so hailed a taxi. I could see the look of
excitement in my wife's
As usual the taxi journey was fast and we were at my office by 9:00 am. I took them all to my Sunny
and introduced them to her. I told them that she was the new family member. My children gave loud
whoops of joy and almost immediately tried to open the door, though I had the key. This was
followed by a fight as to who was to have the honor of sitting in front. My wife
settled the argument
by getting into the front seat herself. I got into the driver's seat and started the car. I felt a thrill run
right through me as she sprang to life. Slowly, I backed her out of the lot and turned her and drove
out of the car park.
As I turned into the main road, I became nervous. I had never driven without my driving instructor
before. I decided to be careful and kept to the left all the way. The day was hot and I turned on
the air-conditioner. Then I fiddled around with the switches to see which was which. Suddenly the
wiper came on. I could not remember which switched turned that on and started to fiddle around
again. It is difficult to fiddle around while you are driving and I could not see very well. The reason,
I could not concentrate on the switches - I had to concentrate on the road too. Behold me then,
inexperienced driver driving along on the extreme left of a busy road, fiddling around trying to turn
off the wiper while both eyes had to be concentrating on where I was going. I must have touched
something right, because the wipers began to move faster.
There was only one thing left to do, I signaled and stopped at the side of the road. Everyone in the
car, and on the road, stared at me curiously. There was no reason to stop where I did. There were
no shops, or houses or anything. They must also have wondered why I was driving with the wipers
on when it was not raining. I took a deep breath and calmed myself. Then I looked around at the
various switches in front of me. Finally, I found the switch which worked the wiper and turned if off.
Everyone in the car breathed a sigh of relief.
I smiled sheepishly and then signaled to the right and drove out again. Without any further mishap,
I managed to drive to the temple. The car needed to be blessed. The priest was happy to perform
the blessing ritual for eleven dollars. He went around and applied vermilion on parts of the car and
then chanted prayers. I understood that the essence of the prayers was to ensure that the car was safe for those traveling in it and for those on the road. I was happy that I was going to have some
After that we went home. In spite of the assured assistance of divinity, I decided on one thing: I would
never drive with anyone in my car again until I was thoroughly familiar with the car and all those
switches. The next day being Sunday, I would spend the whole day on that. I believed that I could
learn everything about the car in one day. I did.
Soon the car became a routine part of our lives. We grew to love her and my daughter even gave
her a name - a female name of course. To Indians, a car or any vehicle is female.