Getting Goldie back home

Getting Goldie back home

Not only was her colour golden, her engine, too, had a heart of gold. It never let us down during the 10 years she was with us. Photo for representation only. File photo

MR Anand

I saw our Goldie at a garage in Kanchipuram,’ exclaimed my wife when she returned from a visit to the temple town. ‘Really? How is she?’ I asked eagerly and anxiously. ‘Not good. She appeared to have met with an accident. There is a big dent on the driver’s door. I don’t think the fellow we sold her to, took proper care of her,’ my wife added with a sad face which looked like that of a mother who returned from a visit to her newly-married daughter who was ill-treated by her in-laws. Five years have passed since our beloved Goldie — Maruti 800 — left us. Not only was her colour golden, her engine, too, had a heart of gold. It never let us down during the 10 years she was with us.

Before the devastating rains of December 2015 which submerged Chennai, I would not have thought of selling her even for the price of a new car. When she was driven away by her buyer, her headlights poignantly held ounces of water from the heavy rain that ruined her. For me, even inanimate objects are persons. As a boy, I wouldn’t even kick an empty tin or a loose stone like most other kids while walking in the streets.

The second-hand car dealer from whom I purchased Goldie had other Maruti 800s with air-conditioners but I fell for the charm of non-AC Goldie. She had an aura which other cars lacked. While I was planning to take her to Vrindavan, a deluge submerged Chennai. Our Goldie stood in waist-deep water for three days. The flood water almost destroyed her electrical system. Then I took the decision to sell her. How I wished I could find a home for aged cars like Goldie!

The day she was driven away, my wife lamented, ‘It’s like our daughter leaving us for her in-laws’ house.’ To console us, we had only the pictures we took with her during our visits to various temples in the state. The empty space under our neem tree where she used to be parked tormented us for days. I don’t know how in the West people heartlessly sell cars that toiled for them to be crushed and reduced to cubic scrap of nuts and bolts.

Now, the news of Goldie’s sorry state rendered us miserable. When we sat together and discussed the issue, my son told me suddenly, ‘Why don’t we buy and bring her back? Don’t hesitate; don’t bother about what people may think about us. We will do what we want to do. Tomorrow, we will meet the guy who purchased it from us, return the money and bring her back home.’

‘Yes, you are right. Goldie will be bought back and brought back,’ my wife and I exclaimed in unison and went to sleep, thinking of a recently matured LIC policy.

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