If Khivraj Motors the Maruti Car Agency I am interacting with is true to its word by today evening I will be the proud owner of a silver-colored Suzuki Swift. Don`t ask Rekha, for she would say she will be the owner.
From a rag-tag Yamaha to a four-wheeler has been quite a bumpy ride. If you have noticed, thanks to my excellent riding/driving skills…I have got a double promotion. Instead of graduating to a three-wheeler, from a two-wheeler, I have moved straight to a four-wheeler. Something equivalent to a brilliant student promoted to the fourth standard without having to go through the third.
Not all can manage this. I can say it with confidence because a friend of mine, who would come to college (The American College, Madurai) on a TVS 50 is today driving an auto. It is another thing that he had discontinued his studies and is finding it difficult to make the ends meet. This ‘making the ends meet` thing can be quite tricky. For instance, a friend of mine who couldn`t ‘make the ends meet` decided to ‘meet the end` and gave up his life.
Anyway, now I (and Rekha – I can`t miss out her name here for technical reasons) am a proud owner of a Suzuki Swift. This also means that I have the right to question Maruti on the name they chose for this car. Why Swift? Why not Suzuki Sparrow? Why not Suzuki Seagull? Why not Suzuki Eagle? Why not Suzuki Kingfisher? After all, they are also birds.
When I decided to buy a Suzuki Swift, nobody in my office had one. Unfortunately for me (as if it were a conspiracy hatched by somebody really powerful), the very next day…I saw a Silky Silver Swift in the parking lot! The same color I had booked! For a moment, I thought somebody had stolen my thunder…but later I would find out that the car didn`t belong to any of my team mates. That was a consolation.
The day I confirmed the order by depositing the down payment, a colleague and friend (who now ceases to be one), walked up to me and said: “Hey Jammy! Today I have come in my Swift.”
“What?” I shot back.
Wonder if Girisen was surprised by my tone and understood the anguish that went behind it. Even if he did, he didn`t show it. He gently asked: “What happened, you ok?”
“Yeah, I am fine. Are you saying that you bought a black Swift and you have brought it to office?”
Girisen is a good friend of mine, and I knew I would have been one of the first people he would inform. I gently prodded him: “You haven`t told everybody right?”
“Well, yesterday I treated some 30 of them for lunch. That`s all. Why do you ask?”
My world crumbled from under my feet. Standing in front of me was the guy who had stolen my thunder and I was to act happy for him. With great difficulty, I managed a smile on my face. Suddenly, I realized maybe I had a chance…what if he didn`t know to drive and was using a driver? Technically, he wouldn`t have been the first person in my team to drive to office in a Suzuki Swift.
“Did you drive it yourself?”
“Yes. I had bought it a couple of days earlier and was training for four hours in the morning and four in the evening. Now I am an expert driver.”
That meant he was well ahead of me for I needed to practice before I could drive it to office. I had to give it one last try, so asked him: “But you didn`t get a double promotion did you?”
“What is that?”
“From a bike did you straightaway graduate to a four-wheeler? Or did you spend time on a three-wheeler?”
Girisen stared at me a while and then asked me if I was fine. He also pointed out that I had been sweating profusely. When I said I was fine, he said “Chalo mate, think I chose the wrong time to share the good news with you. Catch up later.”
I don`t think he heard me ask him: “What makes a better scratch – a key or a knife?”