Some men are ‘car men’. They talk cars, read about cars and stare at pictures of cars. They drive cars with relish. If a car stalls, they take great pleasure in fiddling about inside its hood. They keep changing their cars. If their car has a flat, they produce a new tyre from the boot where none existed; at least, not to the ordinary eye. Then they grab other stuff from the boot and do things to the tyre with it, making the car levitate like a yogi. They can drive anywhere sitting at either side of the car. They can drive up mountains, changing gears nonchalantly. These are tough, macho men. I am not one of them.
I too can drive a car. My car. But that is pretty much it. If it encounters a problem, I’m dead meat. I’m not good with other cars. Once, when my car was being serviced, I thought I’d take my wife’s to work. I fell into the seat as if it were a bucket. How she drives from that position, I have no idea. I spent ten minutes trying to adjust the seat and another ten minutes trying to call her. Finally, I took a cab.
Once, about a year after I started driving in Dubai, I was caught in pouring rain with no idea where the wiper was. And last week, I volunteered to take care of a guest’s car. She had double-parked outside my building. It took me many minutes of sweat and panic just to figure out how to start the damn thing.
I don’t like car men. You may have guessed that already. They make me feel small and insignificant. But they are also God’s creatures. And they have their uses, of course. Like if a car breaks down on a highway or gets stuck in the sand.
PG Bhaskar is a private banker and has authored several books. He tries hard to keep up with the times @bhaskarpg and www.pgbhaskar.com. Look out for his weekly humor column on B-Change Saturdays.