Friday, July 16, 2010

Pleasure car

In the 80's, in my village when a car drives in, it still had only 4 wheels, but at least 20 tiny legs running behind to catch up the spectacle of a marvel. A person getting off of an ambassador car was nothing less than an astronaut (well, even if he just paid for the ride instead of being the owner). Do we ever say Buzz Aldrin, "Hey you orange suited, high jumper! Its after all your company's space craft that you are travelling in & heck it doesnt even give 10Kms/liter of rocket fuel!" A car even if it was a non-a/c ambassador of 1950 make, was still a car!
In fact, the men and women who got out of those cars faked an immense level of butt- tiredness, of having to sit in the plush back seats. They got out of the cars through the crevice between the door and the seat, in luxurious laid-backness, that invited instant deep breaths of the have-not hosts. Ladies let their slipping sarees slip for a little more and gents let the crumpled hair be that for a little more, all in the way of subtle communication that it was "a helluva ride".
It din't matter that the window panes were not tinted, nor did it matter that A/c was not an afforable indulgence. They came in a car and that established their pedigree for another two generations. I have heard sons of 70's say even today ''Engappa andha gaalathlaye car otinaar..morris minor" (Our dad drove a car in those old days. Morris Minor).
The rider always loved every minute of the experience. He put his arm around the half drawn window pane, signalling the precarious cycle rider that "its his car and hence he can hug it that way".
Some thought themselves to be kings and demanded a place in the co-rider's headrest to extend the arm around the other one's neck. It was their way to feel being seated in a throne. Some gently car'essing the curves of the door from within the car, throwing all security norms to the air. I'm sure some them got horny by the ride. That was the love for the car.
Faulty vibrations in an idling car were symbols of power. Sandal paste smeared all over, was just necessary to keep the gods by their side. Dried lemons hanging in the front had to be there to keep the evil away. My neighbors even squeezed the lime under the tires everyday for the first three years. They gave up after their first car and after I once told them in front of a used car sales guy "Mama, you're car and lemon, synonymous!".
It's a lot of fun these days to see my dad in his fully air-conditioned car. With no hald-drawn windows, no vel (spear) in the front, no lemon danglings and no children to follow the ride, his car rides hardly are as eventful as in those 'pleasure cars'

6 of my fans were here!:

Sriram on 4:43 AM said...

gethu postu! i like the way villagers pronounce the word pleasure as 'pleasar' - reminds me of Roja padam ("Rosaaaa, pleasar varudhu!")

JoshiMukard on 3:20 AM said...

Your post reminds me how far we have come. 'no half-drawn windows, no vel in the front, no lemon danglings and no children to follow the ride'....good one.

Ashwin on 12:55 AM said...

@ Sriram, Joshi

My home still is in a village.While a car there is no longer "pleasar car" it still has the spear, lemon and half drawn windows and sandlewood paste smears.

I think the worsht accessory for a car (city or village) is that bloody dog that peeps out of its rear.

pramod on 2:07 AM said...


maatuponnu on 4:52 AM said...

Gosh, you make it sound positively sinful :D

Down south the 'pleasur' associated with the car still exists, only that the cars are Tata Sumos and Toyotas and these days, they just prefer to smoke up. Agarbhatti.

Ashwin on 10:11 PM said...


Vango Vango!

I can't wait to read all those maatuponnu posts..Settha kazhichu varen..

Your kolam avatar in the blog reminds me of vadivelu classic "30 varushama kolam potukitu irukka..inum kalyanam aavale"


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