The situation for us changed altogether when after serving at small stations close to two decades, I was transferred and posted at Shimla, where local transport has now become as necessary as taking breath. The few times we had to visit our in laws, I had to face the awesome situation when on way back we had to wait for the bus. This wait used to be quite an ordeal for my wife and she would fret and fume and mumble not so pleasant things-naturally, for not having a car to carry us.
Tired with her remonstrations and unable to take her tantrums any more, I dared myself to purchase a Maruti 800, the poor man’s car, by raising a loan- which I had always dreaded taking.I may add that due to poor reflexes and abysmally poor eyesight, driving is- a no no -for me.
On the appointed day, the car arrived , and in initial euphoria , my wife went for a driving licence , and joined a driving school for a month or so. Since, that did not train her enough, I requested my sarkari driver, to give her training after office hours, for a few days. Despite this she has not been able to muster enough courage to drive independently. The car is already six year old lying in disuse and stands abandoned and forgotten in a corner of the parking slot, so much so that it is the insurance people, who remind me that I have a car and I have to renew the insurance cover. It is another thing that my wife has no reason to mumble, at least on this score. But hasn’t this left a poor man like me poorer by a sizable amount !