Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bidding adieu to an old friend

How do you say goodbye to an old friend; one that has been with you for so long that it has almost become a part of your life?
This friend in question happens to be our old car. Though it is defiantly not the first car we ever had, it is, however, one that has been with us longest. I can not even begin to recall how many priceless memories are associated with this vehicle.
This was the car that took all my children to school on their first day. The entire junior section of the school knew it as “meri garheen garhi” as my son in kindergarten used to call it back then.
Among the check post walas who used to guard the entrance/exit of our residential area, it was known as the barey number wali gari . No need to stop and question who it was and where they wanted to go as was the case with cars that had regular sized number plates. The sentries could see us coming from a mile away and lift the barriers for us.
Apart from putting minor scratches and dents on it, there was a time when I smashed a Honda’s tail light while reversing. Another time I drove it against a truck that had spikes protruding out of its wheel caps. Believe it or not those spikes literally ripped off one third of the left side sheet from the body of the car which then hung over the back tyre to scrape the road behind as I drove the car with its metallic train back home. Needless to say I got more than a few curious glances from the passersby.
Since this was a rare case of car vs truck (and not just any truck , a stupid spiked truck at that) so of course the car was bound to suffer but under normal circumstances its hard body covering withstood most attacks I subjected it to with my reckless driving. That is more than what you can say for these newer model cars whose entire sides simply crumple like tissue paper if something heavier than wind collides with them.
Ever since we moved to Lahore we don’t get to see lot of our old friends very often. Still, a few of them come to pay us a visit every now and then when they pass through Lahore. And the first thing they see as soon as they enter our house is "that old car". So much has changed over the years, so many thing are different, but right there, parked in our garage is something which is still the same as it used to be all those years ago. It is like a blast from the past for all the kids. It reminds them of their elementary and preschool years when it performed pick and drop duty for quite a few of them on quite a few occasions.
Alas it is not going to be in our garage for much long.
It has been sold.
Reason was that it was just getting too difficult to manage.
It had begun spending more time at service stations and with mechanics then at home and with us.
It had also become rather difficult to drive lately. With a stubborn steering wheel and a gear with a will of its own, it was not the easiest thing to take out on the road. My daughter is depressed at it being sold. She has sentimental associations with that car. But she had to give in realizing it had become impossible to keep any longer. To be honest I am a little depressed my self.
I am sure that the new car we get in its place will be sleek, shiny, efficient and more manageable then this one. But will it have the old ones scratches and dents? Will it have years of memories associated with it?
I suppose not, but I guess one can not hold on to things for ever and must learn to let go . It is all part of life. After all it is people and not things that are important.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A culinary mishap

Last night I baked the worst garlic bread of my life.
Usually my garlic bread turns out crunchy and delicious but last night the pieces came out of the oven like hard rocks. You could play cricket with them or even hit a home run if you’re a baseball fan but you could not eat them.
By some curious twist of fate, it is always when company is expected that one or the other of my recipes (even a tried and tested one like garlic bread) ends up in a disaster.
Hats off to some of the brave guests, who, even at the risk of chipping their teeth, attempted to take a bite out of those little boulders.