As lesser mortals, we are passionate about the things we own and use during the course of everyday living. This includes our car, bikes and other such vehicles that are a part of our domestic and business lives. Human beings, as they say, have a very high emotional quotient and this translates into emotions for the material possessions that are dear to our heart.
One of the most difficult decisions that I made during the last 10 years was my inability to let go off my first car. It was a used car, that came with additional benefits in the form of small business fuel cards. I owned it for almost 7 long years, and seemed to be enjoying my stint with the hatchback. During all these 5 years, I had an almost perfect relationship with my white hatchback and it gave me a feeling that is indescribable. I guess, this would be the same with anyone who bought his first car with own money. After all, first things are always ‘special’ in our lives; be it the first job, first house or the first promotion.
5 years into my ownership of a pre-owned car, things became amply clear that the hatchback was now beginning to tire into shades of grey. Things seemed to be slowing down around the performance of the hatch, and there were niggles that were now affecting daily commutes. Stuff like crackling noise in the cabin, out of date software, dilapidated upholstery and poor fuel runs were slowly becoming a subject of intense discussion with my lovely dear wife. Steadily, the scope of our family talk was shifting to the flaws of the car. Family time’s peace talk seemed to be giving way to discussions on whether we should say goodbye to the car and get a new sedan class car. This, in hindsight, was my first pointer to the fact that it is time to retire my car. It is an altogether different case that I chose to ignore all this. It seemed that I was selfishly attached to my hatch, even though people all around me were convinced that the family needed a newer version now.
I would say that this period of indecision stretched for nearly 10 months. My old hatch saw through almost 3 complete seasons during this phase, and I happily went around seeing the garage guys on a regular basis. I made a few very good friends at the motor garage. I still speak to the folks from time to time. At the family level, nobody seemed to mind the extra effort being put by me, because it was eventually my decision to prolong my relationship with my first car.
Finally, though, there was a break point. And, it came in the form of my parents’ visit to my little hometown. I had gone in to bring them home from their journey from across the Atlantic. They were coming in after 2 years, and my family had reasons to be happy that they had chosen my home for their stay of 2 weeks. Something gave way as we were heading back home and my beloved white hatch would not move. Phew…it was probably one of the longest days in recent memory. My parents did not utter a word. I didn’t mince any. It had dawned on me that the white hatch needs to be retired. I got the old horse back to the garage and my friends at the garage did a commendable job in getting the old veteran back on its tires in less than 2 days. Mechanical fault, is all that they said.
And, in less than 10 days, I went in for an exchange and got my new sedan. Everybody in the family was happy, and my parents seemed to display the right emotions when I dropped them at the airport for their return journey. Again, no words were spoken.
This incident is about a year old. I am happy with my new sedan and my emotions do not run beyond any logical person’s reasonable levels of sanity. A car, is after all, a car. I am sure many of you would have similar stories to share. And, some of you are still waiting for a breaking-point that will help you take your final decision on retiring your old car. Happy riding.
This is a note of memory down Rajesh’s personal life experience. It reflects on some of the most difficult decisions that we have made during the course of our vehicle ownership. You can connect with him on his g+ profile. He is firmly in the saddle in New Delhi, India.