This day, last year, veriCAR was called off. We handed out our last salaries and shut the office one last time with a heavy heart and a strange mix of a number emotions.
I just watched a movie called 'Love The Beast'. More details here.
'25 years of love can't be wrong.' I know what he's talking about. I know a love like that. A relationship with a machine. One that most people don't understand. Because they have never felt it.
A strange kind of bond. Irrational affection maybe, because the rational mind knows that the car is nothing but metal, wires and rubber. But the ones who know otherwise, know that it's a lot more than that. It's got a heart and a soul.
I know she didn't like anyone else turning her engine over. I know she refused to start. On campus, I'd give away my key to anyone who asked for it. I knew she'd not start with the people I didn't like. And she didn't.
I rarely had enough money to pamper her with. Rarely enough to even take care of her. She rarely asked for anything more. She was selfless, and her love was pure. Occasionally, she complained by bursting her tyres past midnight, but only after I'd made it to the safety of our campus.
I know how he feels in the movie after he's crashed his beast. I know why he chokes up and finds it hard to string his words together. Because I feel the same way now.
I left her back in Kerala. Because I couldn't afford to keep her here. It was hard on me, but it must have been worse on her - she didn't deserve to be treated like that.
I don't know where she is now, but I wish I could get her back. I wouldn't drive her everyday, and she'd probably be ignored all over again. But at least she'd be there.
Or am I being selfish all over again? Maybe she has found someone who takes good care of her, who needs her enough to not ignore her. Maybe she's getting started with her new life, and does not deserve to be shaken out of it.
She's only a car. Or is she?
The trick to floating on water is to let go. To trust nature completely (and blindly). Unfortunately, letting go doesn't come that easy to most of us.
Two other things come close - learning to ride the bicycle, and learning to use the trackpoint. The thrill of having accomplished something that is, at immediate thought, quite inexplicable, is beyond words. It's a high that keeps you going for a couple of days.
When a friend first taught me to float on water about two years back at a desolate hippie beach in Gokarna, I had a tough time. I couldn't loosen up and I couldn't let go. Consequently, I would sink. I finally managed to float when I did let go entirely, when I 'trusted' without any questions.
The first time was a mind-altering experience. It was magical, and I couldn't stop thinking about it for a few days. I was fresh out of an insipid MBA, and attempted to valiantly mix pseudo-philosophy with half-baked management concepts.
I did it again a couple of days back - this time at a choppier beach in Kashid, and the feeling was just as beautiful. Lying down, letting go, floating away. Looking up at the sky, bobbing up and down with the waves, ears shut out by the water.
Is there a better way to go blank? Forgive and forget?