I learnt to drive a car when I was 14, the car was owned by my aunt (my mother’s youngest sister) who was a doctor and that was the only car amongst the near relatives our middle middle class family. One day a couple of months after my mother’s death my aunt had come with some relatives and I as usual took off for a joy ride on returning one of the relatives remarked “Beta apane abba ke haisiyat ke shoak rakho ge to accha ho ga” literally translated it means “Son it would be better if have interests/habits as per the status of your dad” I was 15 then, looking back I feel, may be, it was well intentioned but at that moment it stung worse than a slap in public and I swore that the next car I will touch would be my own.
A couple of years from then I purchased *my* own mobike, yes I was under age but things could be managed in the good old days It was a Black Hero Honda from the first lot to hit Indian roads, well worth my savings from N number of years. The freedom/thrill of a mobike decreased the covetousness of a car. I toured the four corners of the country on that bike…
When I got married, Swati had a car from her office. It served us well and it was more convenient for me to sit while she drove, besides she was scared of me driving – her quote till date is “You drive as if you are in a video game!!” but to my credit I drove her around during her pregnancy and when the day came I took her to the hospital as well.
Cut to last year – we got a Wagon R for Swati which I did not drive either.
However of late I realised that it is too much work for her to drive around doing all the things and all I currently had was a bicycle which limited my range considerably. So to balance the things a bit, yesterday I went to RTO to get my two wheeler license renewed (you have to do that when you are 40) and while I was at it I also appeared for and passed the driving test for a car!
So now I am officially licensed to drive a car on Indian roads and while I can pretty much afford any car in the market I don’t think I am buying one… a new mobike yes may be!