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Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The hatchback story

Veer had just recieved the appointment letter to his dream job in the media publication firm . A celebration at the tony coffee shop eatery  would be the best antidote to cool his happy nerves. He was on schedule to meet Naina an aspiring artist with a keen sense of fashion  who was equally as excited as him and was expected to arrive at the coffee shop in some time . Over a steaming hot cappuchino  and assorted cupcakes Veer was seated right in front of the idiot box watching his favourite team battle it out - Kolkata Knight Riders cricket team was locking horns with the Delhi Daredevils cricket team in the IPl tournament which was going on at the iconic Eden Gardens ground in Kolkata .He was a die hard Kolkata Knight Rider fan and loved the fulsome passion and fighting spirit the team was brimming with. During the innings break impatiently waiting for the call from Naina ,Veer noticed a flaming red hatchback trying to squeeze itself in between the other size zero  mean machines with minimum effort  and maximum eyeballs .In the interim the telly suddenly lost vision and the friendly staff at the coffee shop were on the job to get  it up and running.  Just at that precise moment the heavens opened up and it was a sight to behold - to see a flash of red amidst a riot of other virgin colours with the pitter patter of the raindrops melancholily tap dancing and  serenading the cobbled streets . The gentleman, wearing a suit which was cut from the finest fabric  strode manfully towards the coffee shop swaying to a beat of his own.He seemed oblivious to the many manifold reactions the  hatchback was generating in everyone's minds ranging from  wow " sex on wheels" to " ├╝ber cool car" . He parked his backside in a table close to Veer's ensuring the colourful hatch batch got his undivided attention. There was something mysterious and equally enigmatic  about this man dressed in a black suit complemented with a red tie adorning  garfield's smug mug ... Veer got inquisitive and how.

The conversation was as follows
Veer:Hey your car looks as cute as a button
Stranger: Oh it sure is and I get to drive and live my dreams everyday
Veer: Accha ! Toh aap sapno ke saudagar ho?
Stranger: with a dimpled grin " well I may just go down in history as the man who charmed others with his dreams"
Veer: I would love to have a closer look at your mean machine
Stranger: Can you handle it?
Veer:Sure I am game
Stranger: Cheerio .We can also go for a drive around the streets

Veer needed  a caffeine boost and the stranger also looked like he needed one. Quickly settling the bill with the cashier Veer grabbed two cups of coffee and ambled across to the stranger.The twosome walked towards the hatchback excitedly. Veer was just about getting into the passenger seat when the stranger surprisingly threw the car keys and asked him if he was man enough to drive.Veer - Sir can you trust me with your car. Stranger- I want to share my enthusiasm and love for the car with you. Veer did not need a second invitation and looked on at the car keys - it was foldable, quite different from the rest of the car keys he had seen . They exchanged seats and Veer took in the plush red upholstery bolstered by the sharp and edgy dark brown coloured dashboard which added class and finish to the well crafted leather steering wheel and yes there was ample head room  in the hatchback .The two of them  safely deposited the coffee cups in the ergonomically designed cubbyhole near the handbrake ( Veer remarking to himself - its a small enhancement but very handy). The soft purr of the engine did not give any indication that the engine had started . The stranger gave him a once over look suggesting the engine is on and Veer needed to get going. Incidentally there was no voice or vibration of the engine when it was idle which was quite remarkable .Veer manoeuvred the car expertly out of the tight parking space without breaking into any cold sweat. The hatch back felt incredibly light and agile and was able to flit in and out of the gaps in the afternoon traffic with ease helped in no small measure with the sudden downpour. The stranger was looking on rather bemusedly partaking In the thrill and joie de vivre of Veer when suddenly out of the blue  Veer sighted a stray dog crossing the road and braked with all his might and brought the car to a grinding halt. The stranger gave Veer a look which suggested - you almost had me. Veer changed the gear and quite liked the seamless manner in which the  chrome fitted gear knob fit his left hand like a kid glove. The ride also had a musical tone with the stranger whistling in synch to " Uptown girl " playing on a friendly radio station and his fluffy hair supplementing the free spirited bonhomie by swaying in the wind .The mobile phone signalled its intentions silently and on cue Veer received a call . The pristine and customer centric voice at the other end enquired whether Veer liked the test ride. Veer was pleasantly surprised and asked rather inquisitively how on earth did anyone know he is going on a test drive. The call gets disconnected and he  looks at the stranger inquiringly whether he would know the answer. The stranger is staring blankly outside at the vibrant and colourful rainbow. He replies back with a cryptic one liner " some questions are best left unanswered". Veer navigates the hatchback back to the comfortable parking spot outside the coffee shop and steps out to the warm and moist smell of mud ( after rain) thanking the stranger profusely on the ride of a lifetime and when he would get to see him again. The stranger gives a knowing grin and remarks" new thinking and new possibilities "and snaps his fingers before Veer can say Robin Hood.Veer gets a call from Naina who is quite animated and angry with him for not answering her calls.

Naina: So where were you?
Veer: I went to heaven and back ( grins)