My Fair Lady
By Hiranya Borah
Copyright 2016 Hiranya Borah
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A tribute to my old lover
She had been with me for last fifteen years, giving best possible services. Now she is becoming old having all possible old age ailments. Now, I have to leave her in peace and in her place another beauty has already joined our family. I want to place my sincere tribute to her before leaving her finally.
I shall be always thankful to her in rest of life for giving so much happiness in my life for last fifteen long years.
I am thankful to Smashword for using their platform to share my feelings about my fair lady.
Chapter I: My Fair lady
She has been my only lady love for last fifteen years. She was extremely beautiful when I brought fifteen years back. Her colour was like dazzling white marble. Few black lines made her more whitish in her body colour. However, like all others she has also black bottom.
It is still vivid in my memory of our first long journey together from Guwahati to North Lakhimpur, a sleepy city of eastern part of Assam.
Just after seven days in my home, against the will of my family members, I first took her for a very long drive. All my family members were very much concerned about our security and safety as both of us new to each other. Bowing to my adamant nature, they agreed to my proposal and allowed both of us to go hand in hand.
I took her to North Lakhimpur which was around four hundred KM from Guwahati. On the way, I took special care that she did not get too tired to go upto North Lakhimpur on a single day. First I took rest at Tezpur which is 180 KM from Guwahati. Tezpur is my district HQs when I used to stay with my parents. Tezpur had been a favourite destination for me, not because it was my district HQs, but because this was the home town of my favourite Aunt, who expired few years back. During that visit of mine to Tezpur, I decided not to visit her house while going to North Lakhimpur; but to visit while coming back. So I took rest in a hotel for few hours; but I could not take away my eyes from her white body.
When I reached my destination, it was 7 PM and darkness had already descended in the city. As I was new to the city, I enquired a local police constable to give me the direction to the circuit house. North Lakhimpur is a small city, so I did not find any difficulty in finding the circuit house as per the direction of the police constable. An officer from NSSO was waiting for me at the circuit house.
After taking dinner I went to bed. But at every hour I got up from my sleep to see her. It was a full moon night and as moonlight fell on her body; her beauty was enhanced, at least in my eyes. I was madly in love with her. Still I remember that day.
Now recalling those days early days with her, I am feeling sad about her. She has been with me since 2001 March and she has been a true companion for more than fifteen years. Now she becomes old and everyday she has been plagued by a new ailment. Her colour is also not so bright now and she does not sound as sweet as her sound happened to be.
Now a days, I am thinking sometimes to finally abandon her. But my daughters do not agree to that idea. Whatever may be the situation she will remain with us; they declare. Therefore, though she moves with difficulty, she stays with us, at least for the time being.
Chapter II: Buying of a car
When I bought my car in 2001, my salary was about Rs. 22000/- PM ($1100/- pm) and car costs me R.236, 000/- which was about 11 months’ salary. Government loan was Rs.117, 500/- and rest was from my savings, my wife’s saving and loans from near and dear ones. I had to compromise colour of the car, originally I booked for Safire blue, but settled at white to save Rs. 3,600/-. I could not install music system immediately with a promise to my children to install after few months, which I could not keep, still she (my car-my fair lady) is waiting to hear some hot Hindi music.
Finally, when I bought the car, I had a feeling of Duke of Wellington who had defeated Napoleon Bonaparte in the war of Waterloo. But my neighbour’s wife had doused my inside flame of winning a war, by commenting, ‘Now a days, anybody can buy a car by taking loan from bank.’ Till today, my wife taunts me for that. Till today my wife reminds me how I have spoiled her life by not buying a car in our first fifteen years’ of married life. She still tells my youngest daughter, how we used to travel on our scooter (two wheeler) on rainy days. Therefore, buying my first car changed many things in my life. Now irrespective of rains or sunlight, we all (my wife and three children) can go to a cinema hall or to a picnic spot. We felt empowered!!!!
Though, I had a valid driving licence, I had little experience of driving a car. On the very fourth day of bring the car, I broke a head light and dented a door while putting her inside my newly constructed garage. Another bolt from the blue on my Purse for Rs.4000/-!!!. All my relatives admonished me for my carelessness. But that did not deter me from driving. After one month, I was comfortable with her. I undertook my first long journey with her just after a week which I have already discussed in the first chapter.
Chapter III: Death of an Elephant
Just after one month I took her to Nalbari, a small town, 65 KM from Guwahati. This journey will always be a memorable journey as I realized for the first time as one intelligent officer is more effective than 100 ordinary policemen. If you are familiar with Guwahati, you are aware that, the north of Guwahati has been connected by one rail-road bridge, named after famous battle of Saraighat over the Mighty Brahmaputra. For those who are not from Assam or adjacent areas, for them it is a mere bridge, but for Assam and Assamese people, the bridge symbolizes valour of Assamese navy and army of eighteenth century, when Assamese army under the leadership of Great Ahom General Lachit Borphukan defeated Imperial Army of Mughals decisively and pushed them out of Assam border.
The rail- road bridge was opened in 1962 for public and considering the traffic in 1962, it was quite wide to accommodate the traffic during that period. Thanks to exponential traffic growth in India, the bridge is now over burdened with traffic. The incident I am sharing with you was experienced in April, 2001.
A mother elephant was killed by a bus at the early morning when she was crossing the bridge along with her three month old cub. It is not known why the cub started running on the bridge. But once she saw her cub was running she also started running defying the orders of Mahut. The driver of a bus, coming from the opposite direction could not control the bus and collided with the large animal. The impact of the collision was so huge that the elephant died instantly. Along with the driver, three passengers also lost their lives. The bus halted at the railing of the bridge closing the path for the vehicles to cross the river.
I reached the spot around 8 O’clock in the morning. When I reached the spot, there were thousands of stranded vehicles. There were at least one hundred police men standing helplessly. They could not find any headway to clear the traffic. One of them suggested to push the elephant to the river which was objected by others considering religious sentiment attached with elephant in North Eastern part of India.
At around, 9 AM, Shri Ganesh Das (name may be different), Additional SP of Kamrup district arrived at the scene. He, with the help of the police personnel, pulled the vehicle from the railing and put the vehicle along the bridge. Then he, again with the help of police personnel, pushed the elephant to the same side of the bus. Thus, he was able to clear one side of the bridge. Then he controlled the traffic by allowing one side of traffic move. Luckily for me and my beauty, our side of the traffic was allowed to move first.
Unfortunately, after three months, while controlling traffic before Rajiv Bhawan, Christian Basti, Guwahati, that police officer was hit by an unruly vehicle and that brave officer succumbed to his injuries after few days after the accident.
Chapter IV: Travelling to Delhi
On, 9th May, 2004, under the scorching hot and humid climate, I started my journey with my fifteen year old son, Ayusman Vikramjeet from Guwahati to New Delhi. Despite of resistance from many of my well wishers my son, after appearing for Class X examination, accompanied me on that journey. His presence made me more cautious in my driving, but his company made me very happy throughout the journey.
On the first day she took my son, me and full of household goods from Guwahati to Kishangunj, a town of Bihar, without giving us iota of trouble. Distance covered was 556 KM. We, both son and father duo were damn tired by travelling for more than 12 hours. But she was fit and ready to go. On the next morning we started our journey at 5 AM. There was a stretch of 20 KM near Koshi river, where practically no road was there. She was so small that her wheel submerged in most of the gutters made by the trucks. But to her credit she took us comfortably to Patna covering around 393 KM on hot and humid climate, taking only 10 hours on that day which made one State Government Officer from Patna surprised. He exclaimed, ‘How you could come from Kishangunj to Patna within ten hours! Practically there was no road between Purnia and Baruani!’ I thanked my fair lady!
We stayed two nights at Patna and then we started our journey from Patna to New Delhi on the day when NDA (National Democratic Alliance) led by BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) lost election to UPA (United Progressive Alliance) led by the All India Congress Party. Because of victory rallies in different constituencies we could not progress at a desired speed. Finally, we had to halt at Fatehpuri after covering 494 KM from Patna. The owner of the hotel, Mr. Quereshi was a nice gentleman who allowed my fair lady to get inside their closed boundary for the night.
Throughout my journey from Guwahati to New Delhi, there was only one unscheduled stoppage; that was at Shahjahanbad, a small town of UP, due to puncture of one tyre. The puncture was also not due to her fault; a stray nail struck into one of her tyres. Even after that unscheduled stop, we were able to cover 526 KM on that day to reach our destination, Government Qtrs at Lodhi Road, New Delhi.
Chapter V: She carried everyone
My fair lady was the only car in our office which was used by every colleague of mine at least once in last thirteen years. Except in rare cases of one or two, she had not given any trouble to me while I had ferried my colleagues from one office to other office.
There were many colleagues, after entering into my car gave unsolicited advices to change my fair lady because of her model and old age. Though I understand, it is a human nature to aspire for better life, somehow I like my fair lady from my core of my heart and therefore I did want to change her.
In last so many years, she never ditched me or my family while driving at night or when I had to go through some dangerous patch of the city. By the grace of God, she never faced any major accident in last fifteen years. What else I can expect from her? Why should I dump her?
Now she is an old lady, but she promised me to carry on her duties till my younger daughter learns driving on her lap.
I love you darling, my fair lady.
The author is a Government servant and a man of vivid experiences derived from his official postings across the country, travels across India and numerous visits outside India. He is presently placed at New Delhi.
His earlier publications are:
1. Random Thoughts through a Coloured Prism
2. Dilemma of a Young Mind
3. Funny Statistics and Serious Statisticians
4. Melody of Fragrance
6. Few Cities through Lens of Hiranya Borah
7. Guilt: Gift of Winter Spring
8. Beautiful Ghosts
9. Great Fighters: Grace of God
10. All Blurred
11. Putting Kids to Sleep
12. How to become unpopular
14. My Grumpy Face
15. Love and Worries
16. Discussion of own birth: a taboo
18. Indecent love affairs
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It is a tribute to my first car which served my family for last fifteen years.Now I am replacing the car with a larger car with modern gadgets. But still I love my old car as many good memories were attached to this car.