Cars: What Fuels The Passion.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: True Confessions  |  House: All the Lonely People
As the title says. ^_^

Plus, I'd really like to know what cars you people own. ^_^

Submitted: December 07, 2015

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Submitted: December 07, 2015

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Hello everyone. I'm finally back on Booksie. This article is something I wanted to share with you to help you know me better. I do not write this because I'm weak or emotional at the moment, but because I want that, shall I find any success in life, I should have something that'll always remind me of who I really am, and where I made my beginning.

*  *  *

This is one of my earliest memories. I was five years of age and one of my uncles had decided on buying a pre-owned Maruti Gypsy. No one had bothered to inform us children about it until the very evening it was being brought home. I remember how the family had collected at the gate, ready to welcome this new member. I would look up at my mother and say "Car. C-A-R. Right, ma?". She'd smile and nod. I'd run around the courtyard and then return and ask her the same question again.

I am afraid to say that I cannot describe what happened next without adopting a slightly dramatic tone. I'm sure you would all agree when I say that once every five years, there comes a moment in our lives when time stands still. Everything freezes until its just you and the moment. That's how I'd describe my first real encounter with a car.

First came the roar. The Maruti Gypsy isn't one of those vehicles that are silently driven around like an obedient child. It is one of those regal machines that must announce their arrival with drumrolls. (Though, to this day, I am not sure whether it is because the engineers who designed the engine were geniuses, or because those who designed the silencer were outright fools.) And then those headlights appeared. Those large yellow demonic eyes glared at me through the hazy evening.

That is how I first fell in love.

*  *  *

Life went on steadily for some time after that. Soon, I turned eight. The Gypsy had been faithfully serving the family for three years now. And then one day, one of my other uncles, who worked and lived in Bahrain back then, visited us in his Mitsubishi Lancer. It was a dark green car, and like any other Japanese machine, had impeccable engineering.

But I was too young back then to care two dimes about engineering. I did not even know where Mitsubishis came from. What enthralled me most was something totally different. This uncle gathered the children around his car, and then took out his key from a pocket. He pressed a button on the key fob. The car made a funny "Beep Peep" sound and the two front doors swung open. What other trick did he need to learn to convince an eight year old that he was a magician?

*  *  *

Now, before I proceed any further there's something I'd want you to know about me. My father has never owned a car. Not because we can't afford one, but because of some other reason I don't want to share. All my life, I've seen my cousins incessantly brag about their Tata Safaris, Tata Sumos, Maruti Swifts, Toyota Innovas, et cetera, et cetera while I've had to sit quietly and hear them. Not because I know any less about cars than they do, but because they know how to shut me up.

Among friends, my love for cars was always evident enough. Sometimes, they'd ask me what car we owned. And I'd end up dodging the conversation skilfully. They never discovered my little secret.

For me, cars have always been a lot more than mere machines. They've been a dream that's very close to reality, and yet never close enough for me to reach out and fulfil. Every day, I see these marvels of engineers' sweat, blood and passion smoothly sail down the roads. A hundred different cars meet me on the streets, and yet there's not one that I can call my own and take home.

*  *  *

June 2006. One of my friends had received a Hot Wheels track set for his birthday. (For those of you that don't know, Hot Wheels is an American brand that makes toy versions of actual cars). He showed it to us and I had found something that mattered to me.

In September later that year, when my parents asked me what I wanted for my 10th birthday, they already knew the answer. Hot Wheels. A day before my birthday they took me to a toy shop. The man there said that they had run out of the set my friend had. But he was kind enough to assemble a launcher, a ramp, a long track, and one car. And the result? I had a bigger loop and a more powerful launcher than my friend, even though his track set was longer and he had got two cars with it. That was the first of my many subsequent Hot Wheels hunting trips.

My first Hot Wheels car was an orange Nitro Booster. I spent countless hours playing with it, sometimes imaginig it to be a real sized car, at other times imagining myself to be very small. That continued for three sweet years, until one day, my cousin brothers visited us and broke that car. No, wait. They murdered it. But that's another story for another day. I kept the chassis with me to remind me of that car.

*  *  *

Growing up, I spent a large part of my teen years dreaming about cars. Boys around me were started growing up. One by one they stopped playing with toys. They stopped watching cartoon shows. Then, one boy learned some abusive words. He taught another, and slowly it became a trend in the class room. A  few girls started abusing too. Cars saved me.

As we all turned sixteen one by one, I saw boys grow up really quick. They started bringing..... dirty materials to class. They started chasing girls. They started watching movies meant for grown ups. It was during this time that I discovered car magazines, and Agatha Christie. I started chasing cars. I discovered what turbochargers are and how they function. I found out who Enzo Ferrari was. I read about how Swallow Sidecar Company turned into Jaguar Motors Pvt. Ltd.

My association with Hot Wheels outlasted my friendship with the boy who gave me the bug.

*  *  *

I am nineteen years old now, and things seem to have changed a little. I still collect Hot Wheels and there's still an occassional buffoon who asks me why I still collect these cars. I resist the urge to punch them. And then they chuckle and ask me how much money I've spent on them. Sometimes, its really hard not wanting to kill these people.

Things haven't been all bad either. My very dear mother has always encouraged my collection. A few friends, upon realising that I'm not going to change, have started gifting me Hot Wheels. I've met some like-minded collectors online. I've also found a wonderful partner who accepts me for who I am, and even promises to go on secret Hot Wheels hunting trips with me.

Sometimes, people come to me and ask me what car I own. My answer: 4 Ferraris,5 Lamborghinis,4 Porsches,1 Datsun,5 Volkswagens,4 BMWs,8 Mustangs, 14 Camaros,1 Toyota,3 Batmobiles, and countless Fords and Chevrolets.

May the good Lord bless Hot Wheels.


© Copyright 2018 Adil Khan. All rights reserved.

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