Remember the post about the hand brake? Well, here is another incident that adds to our car woes and people around too. How you may ask? This is how –
Recently my mom had invited a mother-son pair home. They were old acquaintances and generally nice people, so catching up were fun! Plus, they had a lot of gujju-gossip to share which made it even more fun. However, the chit-chatting session went on for too long before one could realise that as hosts we’d have to ask them or rather offer to drop them home. And because my mom was enjoying the company so much I pitched in to get Manu to drive them home.
Now my sister was recently trusted with the car and hence, she and I would sneak in a few long drives now and then. Thankfully, dad was beginning, although reluctantly, to see her as a safe driver. So driving the guests home was going to be a cake walk.
About twenty minutes later Manu, head-popping out of the room, says to me, "I cannot find the car keys. Check the hall or go ask the watchman downstairs." I ran down to do so. No keys. Now I was worried as I had given my word. However, in a bit, Manu walked into the parking lot.
M: "Papa took the car keys."
N: "What? Why? WTF?"
M: "Funny. He doesn't take the car but the keys he takes!"
N: "Now? No car? Oh shit...***%$&&*** [mumbling to herself]
M: "No silly I have spare keys and let’s hope this remote works." [Please note: in addition to the hand brake, we had major problems with the auto lock too. It was old and barely worked. So when one pressed the unlock button, the auto lock siren went off]
So now Manu pressed the dreaded unlock button while I waited with baited breath. Five whole seconds and no siren…yay (mentally breaks into a jig)! It sure was our lucky day. But just seconds later the horrible siren went off! And it wouldn’t stop. Bah.
Manu nonchalantly eases herself in the driver's seat and pushes the car into reverse gear. She begins to reverse the car. Ten whole seconds later, she is still reversing the car. How long does it take to reverse the car, girl?
Unperturbed my sister carried on as I imagined our disgruntled neighbours coming down and giving us a sound yelling. I wouldn't blame them if that happened. It was past midnight and a siren for no reason is not welcome at any hour of the day, let alone in the night!
As the seconds inched on, my palpitations increased and Manu continued to reverse the car (remember tough hand brake et al?). All this while all I continued to ask her was to get the siren to stop!
M: "How re? What to do?"
N: "Give the keys! hmmmffff"
What followed was not pretty. To understand it better think of a hammer pounding a plastic toy. Gory, very gory! Yeah, what do you think happens to an old remote when it won’t work?" After a lot of hammering noises later, I got out of the car dejectedly. The music score continued.
However, thankfully we had now managed to park the car outside the building. But the guests were down by now and looking at the car and us in complete dismay.
N: "Sorry aunty. You know this generally doesn't happen. It is the handbrake generally."
Aunty's son,"How old is the car?"
M: "Never Mind."
We make small talk through the ride and finally make it to their destination.
Aunty, "Son, go call your friend Blacky na...maybe he can fix this!"
N: "No aunty it’s too late. We will manage."
A: "No, no beta go to the petrol pump they will fix it."
N: "Ok surely aunty. Thanks."
A: "Son go with them, alone girls in the night...no no! You go."
Aunty's son, "Please follow my directions."
We did as the petrol pump was just round the corner. The guy at the pump fixed the issue in no time. [But while he tries to shut the siren, dad calls. A frantic dad asks us, "What are you doing to my car?" I say, "Tearing it apart what else!"]
Aunty's son:"Pay him some 20 bucks."
Big oops moment! I had no money and Manu never carried money with me around. Aunty's son saved the day. He told us he would handle it. We left red faced. Bah.