My father collected cars, like I collect Apple gadgets. I inherited 4 cars when he suddenly passed away. In that collection was his Favorite yellow left hand drive 240D Mercedes.
For me the cars were just utilarian tools. Since our factories were 400 kms from mumbai. I used to drive often from Mumbai or to Mumbai. Highways were very risky and I drove very fast. There were some lucky escapes but the 400 kms drive mostly alone were a sort of a roller coaster ride.
Eventually I got sick of all the driving to and fro, and didn’t want any of it. I took the train then.
But what it means to be without your own car is only realised once you are not left with one.
Uber launches in Mumbai
When I moved to a rented house, the landlord would park his 4 cars in the premises while all the tenants were expected to park on the road. Again every day the parking side was alternated by Mumbai Police so people couldn’t just park their cars and forget about it.
A coconut falls and breaks the windshield
One fine day, my landlord calls and tells me the car windshield is shattered as a coconut from the tree has fell on it. I am exasperated, I have to now spend an entire day in the garage and shell out 10K (which i get back via insurance). I think this car is taking too much of my energy and I am not getting enough out of it.
Decision to sell the car
Ironically I am very nervous, I cannot think of a life without a car. But I try to reason out, that Uber is infact better. But still I am having sleepless night over it. The car is also 10 years old and I finally decide that it should go.
With the car goes my Middle class values
My relatives ask me why did i sell the car, They ask me 100 of times. It’s unthinkable for them too. They suspect that my finances have hit rock bottom. They lack the tact and still keep pestering me. I am speechless and keep eating the freshly made idli/dosa while they figure out why I sold my car.
Do i need to buy a car to claim my middle class status
We humans send status signals by things we own. Cars are one of the biggest status signals after the area you live in or the size of the house. I see many jaws drop when I say I live in Bandra West.
I have no plans to buy a car as of now. What I miss the most is the hot steamy dates inside the cars. In a space starved city, you mostly hit the first base in the privacy of the car. Atleast I have done that, even made out in a parking lot once. (Which is rather uncomfortable). Besides the privacy the car offers, I think there is no use for it for me.
Also I dont think I want to get back in to the middle class.