Dental Precision and AutomotivePassion: My Lovely Journey with Cars

Estimated read time 6 min read

Some collect stamps, and some collect coins. Some have a craze for jewellery, whereas some have a humongous collection of watches. But I was born to a vehicle enthusiast Pappa!
Not that he was an immensely rich person. Higher chances are that he might have been bitten by an automotive bug! This auto-aficionado man bought his first lorry with all the money he had! Then the number kept increasing. I have witnessed his sleeplessness until his driver brakes at the destination. As the sleeplessness became an everyday affair, he moved to local buses, so he can call it a day by 11 pm.
Early those days, chassis were bought, and the body of the bus was built in the workshop. Our workshop stood parallel to my home so that my rev-head dad could monitor the activities. I would also fondly watch the angular bent to make the skeleton of the bus. Way back, seeing a car on the streets of Kannur itself was an amusing sight! That was the time when my Papa owned an ambassador car, and since then, he had the craze for fancy numbers.
KLC 6767 parked anywhere in Kannur or Kasargod’s side, elders would know my dad is around. Those days, we had a hefty-built driver as well. It was difficult to see the road sitting in the back seat.
I was so used to stretching or rather straining my neck to see how many vehicles he was overtaking. Maybe he played the role of a black cat as well, otherwise, why would my papa hire such a big-built driver?

The aftermath of the situation was that even today when I pose for a photograph, the photographer will say, “Doctor, don’t look so high.” He wouldn’t say “chin down”, it always used to be “head down.” Not being egoist, but I am so used to lifting my head above my driver’s head to see the happenings of the road.
In the meantime, my brother wanted a car for himself, as a two-wheeler was considered a dreaded thing at home. It was a taboo to ride a bike at least for my family. He bought a Fiat, which had a lovely number plate-KRC 5050. Woow 5050! What a cute number! If he parked his car at the beach in the morning for his jog, the BROAD-minded Kannurians would call and tell my dad, “Your son is on the beach in the early morning and it seems like he’s with a girl.” Thanks to the tinted windows which just came in as a fashion, a common man could create any story of his/ her imagination even if no one was inside the car!
Tear-filled eyes of my sister are clear in my memory when she begged for a two-wheeler while she was studying at medical college, in Bangalore. My dad made sure that she was provided with accommodation at a distance of less than 2 minute’s walk and a colourful umbrella, so she would no longer ask for a vehicle. The best part was that whenever Papa’s lorry went to Bangalore, my mom always made sure to send food and pickles for her. In the early morning, the warden would call out her name and inform her of a visitor. While the stylish girls moved in and out of the hostel in fashionable Maruthi cars and mopeds, a colourful lorry would be waiting for her. My embarrassed sissy would bark at the driver for parking the colourful lorry right in front of the ladies hostel, even though the driver had brought so many goodies for her.
The KLC 6767 black ambassador was followed by a white ambassador 1010, who drove my brother’s wife to my home as a sweet bride. Multiple gelastic situations crop up in my memory lane when it comes to cars. I was my sissy’s navigator (killi is the colloquial name for it ) when she just earned her driving licence. Dare say, Sunday mornings gear up a little late for the Kannurians, that was the best time we chose to test her driving skills. As we are the epitome of dedication to “certain things,” we decided to go ahead with the driving session. It was past 8.30, and my mom insisted on me dressing up decently (but you will catch my sissy in any kind of funky clothes, even when she is on a vacation)
Being the most compliant last born, I stepped out in my Tom and Jerry night suit. My rookie Sissy in the middle of Kannur town pushed the indicator to the left and unflinchingly moved to the right! Bravo! Hit on a scooter that had a heap of tomatoes in the basket, an impatient autorickshaw driver drove through the tomatoes in a very short time, we created La Tomatina in the heart of Kannur and I looked like a participant, clad in my Tom and Jerry outfit!
My journey with cars started with Hyundai Santro, at a time when everyone was driving a Maruti. Friends and foes alike criticised me for not going with the flow and for rebuking about the resale value. However, I stood by my decision and kept saying that I was buying a car to drive, not to sell. I drove my black beauty, which held a plate number NINE. My Leila (daughter of the night) stood elegantly in the hospital car porch amongst Tata Indica and Escort, which held fancy free numbers!
My voyage with cars progressed. I have owned a Maruti Zen, Honda City, and Hyundai Creta in the past, and now I am driving a Skoda Kodiaq. The selection of cars was purely my decision, and I don’t go by reviews or stars! I drive what I like and my car is my best friend. I confide in it when I’m under pressure or feeling down. When driving to my ancestral home, it would be one of Johnson Masters’s melodies or a Bon Jovi on my Bose speakers! Most modern freaky accessories are a craze. I would go any far to beautify her. I hate to see my cars go, so I give my keys to my driver when it has found a new owner! Believe me, I always get the best price in the market when selling my car, even though the resale value was never my concern. Any cranky mood is lifted after a long drive with melodic songs, and it’s a bonus when we are accompanied by the rain! When I moved to the Middle East, my journey started with a Santa Fe from Hyundai and an X Trail from Nissan, and the journey continued with a Volvo XC60.
If Charlie Chaplin said “ I always like walking in the rain, so no one can see me crying”, I would rephrase it by saying “ I love driving my car, so no one can read my emotions and I will be seen with a smile at the end of my journey!”

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