Friday, 3 February 2012

My Affair with Rosie

This post is also a deviation from the main theme of this blog, and is more personal in nature.  Lest you think I am going to subject you to prurient rubbish, let me hasten to add that this is really in the nature of explaining the reason for bringing in Rosinante in the title of this post. The fact is that the personality of Don Quixote has always held a fascination for me. I was always convinced that perceiving my trajectory in life as a series of quixotic experiences had the multiple advantages of wishing to be guided by romantically noble aims on the one hand and seeing my efforts as being semi-comical and to not take myself too seriously.

This `affair' started when I was a 21 year-old graduate student in the US. My first serious acquisition - and the first (and sentimentally favourite) car I ever owned - was a beat up (already 15 year-old) General Motors' `Rambler' - which I promptly named Rosie, after the trusted steed of my hero. She (as I liked to think of Rosie as female) was old and cranky. We have driven together, all the way from Boston in the north-east to Los Angeles in the south-west, and down to Charlotte (North Carolina) and Atlanta. Many is the time when she would give out an ominous gurgle, and stop; and I would sit and let the engine cool down, periodically mumbling sweet nothings. Believe it or not, she would eventually crank up again and move on.

When I lived with a bunch of fun, but poor, undergrads in Santa Barbara for a couple of years, many of them have on occasion requested the loan of my car for some reason or the  other. More often that not, they'd come back, grumbling about the car conking out on them halfway. And I'd say it was probably because they did not treat her right!

You may think I am nuts, but it is so heartening to endow a personality to an oft-used car or wheel-chair (which I've christened 'Herbie') that one has shared many a memory with, happy and fun or aggravating and not so much fun. Rosie's character seemed to so nicely match with that of my Rambler, which I have driven with an Indiana license plate for two years in California, although one is supposed to re-apply for a local license plate fairly soon after moving from state to state. Many is the time that the combination of this aged car with Indiana plates, and its brown-skinned driver with long hair, has attracted some police car to see if we were the undesirable, drug peddling sort. Thank you Rosie, for a fund of wonderful memories of such escapades that have embellished my life.

1 comment:

  1. Sundar, although your comments and the problems that you highlight in your posts are spot on, I am often left depressed after reading through them. The entertaining nature of this post was a welcome diversion.
    I certainly hope you are more successful that Don Quixote.