Friday, 2 March 2012

Baby you can drive my car

We have spent a lot of time driving around in our youth. We have criss-crossed all over the United States, mainly. Many a weekend, we would rent a car or when we owned one, fill it with gas and just take off. I was the official map-reader or 'navigationalist' as I called myself. As this was in the days before all that new technology that you kids seem to use so naturally, these maps were giant pieces of paper. I am thinking of you and your gizmos and your upcoming drive, sraikh..

We stopped at 'Tourist Information Center's in various towns and cities we visited, and picked up maps. We still have a whole pile of them sitting somewhere in our book-shelf. Useless, of course. But there is one in particular that I absolutely am not going to manage to get rid of. The one that helped us get from New York/New Jersey into Massachusetts about a million times. Its patched up with sticky tape in several places. It has black marker marks from trips over the ages. Oh. Beautiful young times.

Since we were long-distancing for a whole lot of time, the way it worked was this. Potus would drive up every Friday evening. I would wait - super tired - very excited - really apprehensive (snow storms would scare the crap out of me every winter friday night). He is an efficient driver. He has few needs. I don't even think he needs to pee just before leaving the house (and I still have to go about half an hour into the ride). He can manage his hunger very well. Of late, he is not quite as good about managing thirst and always steps out with a bottle of water, but in those days, even that was optional.

By the time he arrived, it would be late. But he was always assured of a hot meal that I would cook. It was always super very tasty because of the two secret ingredients I used - butter and love - one I used somewhat sparingly and the other very generously. Simple food, with lots of vegetables. And that jasmine rice we bought in big bags. We would watch something funny on the tiny TV and eat our dinner. I would somehow manage to be much more exhausted than him.

If there was a long weekend (as there often was) or if we were taking a vacation (as we occasionally did), we did not think twice about driving everywhere. We would have driven cross country if we had the time. Thankfully, we only did about half the really wide breadth of the US. Now the time for that has passed, and we still sort of feel bad about that missed opportunity. Now we have baggage of course but she is fine - we can still talk about it as if we could do it. We did get into fights, and I remember one time, entering New York City, being completely unable to see anything because of some awful glare from the sun, and getting really furious because he was copping attitude while navigating...and completely ignoring anything I was saying...

This morning as we stepped out of the door, the plan was to go our separate ways. I would drive my little hyundai to my office. He would drive his monster beamer; drop the child off. But the father-daughter duo conspired and did some emotional blackmail and I agreed to go with them. Which means we (as in, he), drives my car (its so much easier to park is the argument!). And so it happened that I was driven all the way to my office after the child was dropped off. For a second, it felt like the old times. A small car. Just the two of us. Clapton and the Beatles jostling for attention. A small fight about something irrelevant...

We turned left though and it was all over. We rolled our window down and I yelled and he gave the guy the finger. Then swore continuously in all the languages he claims to know at every vehicle and driver in our immediate vicinity. It took us twenty minutes to reach - just 3 kilometers away my office is.... And it was all bumpy and the roads all crap. Not to mention two wheelers going in and out and crazy stuff from auto drivers. Oh. We still do drive a fair bit - both within the city and to Pondicherry and Mahabalipuram and Bangalore and Mysore - plus we did that monster drive from Mumbai to here - but we both uniformly hate it.

Beep Beep Beep Beep Yeah.


Prashanti :) said...

Gosh! Your post reminds me of the days when my husband was at Florida State and I was in Mississippi and he would get out of class on Friday evenings, get gas and drive 7 straight hours to see me. I would cook him his favorite egg curry (always the same thing) and he would arrive and we would eat on the bed. I was always more tired than him ! And the drives we would go on when I visited FL were awesome !

Also, if you have maps that have so many memories attached to them, you can frame them and hang them on a wall. Just get a much larger frame with a good placemat and you're good to go !

S. said...

Aww :-) Super 'happy'inducing post for a Monday morning.