Standing Our Grounds

I am living in Bangalore since 2012. It’s the longest I’ve stayed anywhere other than Durg, my hometown. This long in a place and you learn to call it home. I don’t know Kanada, and neither do I know Chhattisgarhi. But, that doesn’t make it any less a part of my identity. I have had my best years here, most of my best trips started from here, love and heartbreaks, promotions and resignations, visa and vacations, all started from here.

I came here, when I could afford to make life choices, and tailor my philosophies. I was an independent earning youth, in the land of limited oversight, filled with strangers, looking for a place to call my own. Oh! If only you could know how much I have changed in these last eight years.

Today’s theme is about standing my grounds, and I am considering whether to invest in a house or to get a mid-range SUV. Neither was in the plans until very recently. I was one of the first 50 customers of Zoom-cars when they launched. We took it to Goa for a friend’s Bachelor’s party. The car was a Scorpio, red, fresh inside, not a dent on it, and hardly 2K on the meter. It was so affordable that it became a habit to get zoom car to go on road trips. I thought it will last forever.

Then, competition came, and then the cost increased, then the stupid crowd came in thinking exactly what I thought, and nobody took care of those vehicles. Now, they are not even in a decent conditions to drive in the city, forget taking on a 600 KM one-way road trip. I had to change plans twice recently because the cars I got from these self-drive companies were just pathetic and the customer service loathable.

So, for someone who loves driving and thought I could have my pick of the car on demand. That dream was sold to me by the angels of this valley. I invested my 8 years on it, and now I am done. I thought I was helping the environment by not owning a car, but renting a bashed-up trashcan on wheels ain’t my idea of saving the environment or a good road trip.

It’s time I agree that it wasn’t really a mistake then to delay buying a car, but to think that I could dream this dream forever was stupid. I forgot to consider the public ethics of using a common property. I forgot that how limited thought would a franchise give towards paying for a well mannered and trained ‘managers’. I forgot that the cost will shoot up on weekends, and long vacations, and only the worst of the worst cars will be available for the “on-demand” and spontaneous plans.

This goes out to all the friends I’ve tried or convinced to not buy a car. I really believed it once upon a time. Now, I don’t.