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Muscle car

I have a penchant for cars, but with no particular preference for brands and make. For me, a car is a vehicle like any other used for ferrying people to different destinations. On the contrary, my otherwise shy teenage son is a car buff with a particular liking for sports and muscle cars. It’s easy to break the ice with him by initiating a discussion on this topic.

The attraction between my son and muscle cars seems to be mutual. While not commonly seen on the roads, these cars seldom evade his radar. My hawk-eyed genius is quick to spot them while on his way to the market or during a casual stroll and never misses an opportunity to photograph them.

Perhaps it was this affinity between my boy and his favourite muscle cars that drew one to our doorstep one evening in August. It seemed as if the car knew that its “lover” was waiting just around the bend when it seemed to stop suddenly outside our lane, where my son was hanging out with his friends.

The driver approached him for help in locating a mechanic to fix a snag in its engine. My ecstatic youngster and his pals were only too eager to help him, and within minutes a group of teenage boys, led by my son, led the car and its driver to the garage right outside our gate.

Its sheen made it appear as if it were new, while its parking style implied that we owned it. The congratulatory messages from our neighbours bore testimony to this misunderstanding. My son had always wanted to ride this car, but that had hitherto seemed an unlikely proposition.

Born into a middle-class family, I had my aspiration of owning a car remain a dream, given the mighty difference in my income and car prices. All the same, that day, an expensive ride graced the entrance of our house.

My boy excitedly took pictures as the mechanic repaired the engine. The driver invited him to go for a spin as soon as the mechanic was through. The news of an expensive vehicle parked at our gate had spread like wildfire by this time.

Our neighbours watched from their terraces as my son got in and took a round of the colony. I watched the entire scene with utmost amusement. When the car halted at our gate again, the mechanic took a second look at the engine as my son filmed the whole process on his mobile phone.

Surprised looks adorned our neighbours’ faces when after repairs, a stately gentleman stepped out of another car and took his place behind the steering of this one. He thanked my teenage son for helping his driver find a mechanic to fix the car.

The spin and permissions for photography and videography were a reward for his help. A renowned businessman of our city, he and his ride vanished into the evening shadows after bidding a warm goodbye to my boy. The experience left my son with fond memories that he will cherish throughout his life.

shaheen.parshad@gmail.com


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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 11:01:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/muscle-car/article37020905.ece

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