Sunday, April 22, 2012

Turning Point in my life !

 “Masi, buy a Bajaj Sunny & start your business by taking up an agency for UTI Mutual Fund.” My nephew said to me some twenty two years back, while he came to visit us from Bombay. I stared at him. “ Do you know, I have never ridden a bicycle in my life ?” I asked him.
“So what ? You don’t need to know how to ride a bicycle to learn drive a scooter !”
“Arey yaar, I am in my thirties, would be forty in a few years !” I said.
“ So ?”
I looked at him & sighed !
How I had always wished that ! My father would not have allowed a girl to do any such thing….not even as a child !
After completing my school, I was not allowed to do anything else. “A girl should stay at home & do household work”-was his view.
What would have been my life, if I was allowed to attend a college, or do something worthwhile, I always thought !
One fine sunny morning, I saw my bhabhi taking out my brother’s Kinetic out of the gate; I did a double take! She too had never ridden a bicycle ! A man was standing beside her.
“What…how…” I was at a loss for words.
She smiled, “going to learn driving a two-wheeler.” 
“Ah, here is my chance to learn driving too.” I said to myself. But will my father allow it ? Yes, I was mature now, but I was still a girl….I mean, a lady !
For fifteen days, I saw my bhabhi learning to ride a two-wheeler....very longingly. One day, my Mom saw me looking at the Kinetic, my bhabhi had just driven into our compound.
“ Do you want to learn too ?”, she asked me.
I was surprised by her question….was she really asking me that ?? My Mom…who had always been over-protective of me !
“ But what about Dada?” (We used to call my father-Dada) 
“Hmmm, let’s see !”
After two days, my father came out to see, what I was doing in our garden; just then my bhabhi came with her Kinetic.
“ Why don’t you learn to ride too?”, he asked me.
“Really?” I was delighted!
From the next day, my driving lessons started too on my brother’s Kinetic, as I did not have any vehicle.
After a few days, I bought Sunny, as I found Kinetic too heavy for me.
“Why Sunny?”
“It would not be able to bear your weight !”
“It would not last more than six months !” were some comments, I received from my friends.
But I was happy…very happy to have my own vehicle….first time in my life ! I did not have to depend upon others to take me anywhere ! It stood proudly in my doorway !
I was ready to go out at the slightest excuse !
I still remember the first drizzle of the rainy season that year…I took my Sunny out, my Mom shouting after me, “it’s raining !”
“Will soon be home, Mom ! Just going out to the petrol pump….” I drove away replying back.
Feeling the rain drops on my face, cool wind in my hair, I drove around for a while with excitement.
With Sunny as my companion, I started my business, as my nephew had asked me….first UTI Mutual Fund, then small savings/PPF, other Mutual Funds, Bonds, Company FDs…..every business opportunities I could think of in the investment field. From early morning to night the two of us used to rush around the town ( & sometimes out of the town too ) visiting my clients & submitting the forms they gave me to the different offices. 
I was not even worried to come back late at night, I had a companion now ! I used to attend so many music concerts...Ustad Bismillah Khan, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Pt. Jasraj, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Ustad Rashid Khan, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pt.Shivkumar Sharma, Begum Parveen Sultana, Dr.N. Rajam, Pt.Rajan &Sajan Mishra, Gundecha Brothers, Ghazal legend Jajij Singh....& so many other legends of Indian music world. In fact, I have got an autograph book full of their autographs ! 
In those days, I could not think of myself without my Sunny… Be it shopping for groceries or home renovating items ! My little red coloured Sunny never refused to carry those along with my own weight ! ( You know what I mean…)
no, not my Sunny, but similar to it....
Talking of my weight….I remember a comment a friend of mine had made, “ I always used to wonder, how Ganeshji rides his vehicle-a mouse, now I know !”
In 2003, Indian Stock Market started its upward journey & the rally lasted till 2008; that was the busiest time in my life. I don’t know, what I would have done without my Sunny!
Yes, I was still driving the same Sunny I had bought in 1994 & that too without any problem & without much maintenance!   
The person, who had said that the vehicle would not last more than six months offered me a good price for it after I had driven it for twelve years ! He wanted it for his daughter ! Can you imagine ??
It was still in working condition, when I sold it a few days back ( after driving it for fourteen years ) Unfortunately due to health issues, I had to stop driving three years back & now I am back at the mercy of auto rickshaw drivers, who keep meter in their rickshaws only to show it to officers of law!  
These memories of you, my loving Sunny; I will always cherish, you’re in my heart never to perish.
I don’t know, if this entry will qualify for the Castor Power1 Blogging Contest, still I would like to thank them  for reminding me again of the days I would never forget !


Meena said...

aww what a memory. this really is special post

Kishore said...

Bajaj has always made tough vehicles suited to Indian conditions.My Super, I purchased in 96,is over 15 years and I had to get it re passed from RTO last year.The amount of stuff it can accomodate in its two spacious dicky's(as they call it here)is amazing.Felt sad when Bajaj decided to discontinue it's manufacture a few years back.Surprises of surprises, it delivers a mileage of over 50 km per litre.

Punit Dubey said...

Wow! Have learnt it in stories that how simple things can be so important in someone's life, growth, marvelous! I also liked your way of writing, simple and with incredible flow :)

V. Khawani said...

Thanks Meena, Kishore & Punit..for your valuable comments :)
@ Kishore, my brother too drives a Bajaj Super, which he bought in 1990 & still going strong ! As they used to say....Hamara Bajaj....

C. Suresh said...

Lovely post

umashankar said...

The Sunny surely gave the much needed momentum to your life. The memories, again, are lifelong dividends.

abhishek said...

Makes me remember all those ppl who still cherish their chetaks and bullets.......i'll keep an eye for sunnys too now..........nice post

V. Khawani said...

Thanks everyone for your kind words :)

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