Vivek, a young friend of mine was recently flabbergasted when he saw my Santro car. It was badly in need of a wash and scrub. He is a car freak and has kept his father’s Maruti spotless and immaculate. My Santro is a much later model, but lacks severely in neatness. The reason is simple, I am lazy! He asked me, “Raj Bhayya, how can you do this? Don’t you love your car? I can’t imagine such a nice car being neglected so badly”
I said, “I am that kind of a guy who loves the wife more than the car and hence I don’t ask her to wash the car. But since I am too lazy to do it myself, the car is a little shabby. I also can’t imagine being in love with a Car. For me, car is just like a pair of shoes. I seldom walk even short distances without my shoes. Similarly for longer distances, I need the car. Both shoes and the car do the same thing; they take me from one place to another. I can’t love a pair of shoes and neither can I love a car. Because the car cost me a bomb, I take care of that a little more than the shoes. But since the shoes form a part of my personality and spend more time with me than the car, I shine them frequently. I leave the car in the parking lot and take the shoes inside when I attend meetings and parties!”
He was shattered. He didn’t expect me to be so insensitive. After all I was the same guy who was so fond of F-1, Ferrari and Schumacher and had spent so many evenings discussing Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault. He has never talked to me about cars or F-1 after that.
But this episode prompted me to think. I grew up in a very conservative lower middle class joint family. My upbringing taught me not to waste food, save money whenever and wherever possible, conserve energy and take good care of my belongings. Most of my toys and play things from my childhood are still preserved at my ancestral home. My watches, shirts, trousers and many other personal belongings have lasted for more than a decade and still look like new pieces. A small thin golden ring with a blue sapphire on my left ring finger is two decades old and is still going strong. Though I wear shoes almost all the time outside my home, even my shoes last very long too.
There is something peculiar about all this. I have my favorite cuisine, favorite drink, favorite movie and favorite actors and so on. But I have never had a favorite shirt, favorite pen, favorite this ‘Thing’ or favorite any ‘Thing’. Simply put, I was and still am incapable of love towards ‘Things’. The glorious exceptions were ‘Books’. I was absolutely fond of books and treasured them. My voracious reading habits made me a book worm who never gave up on books. I never allowed people to borrow my books and then keep them forever. Nowadays, I also treasure CDs and DVDs. But for these, there is no favorite ‘Thing’ at all.
Why I have gone so deep into this ‘Thing” is because; I just want to reassure myself that there is nothing wrong with me. I had read a quotable quote sometime ago, ‘Things are meant to be used and people are meant to be loved; but unfortunately we are using people and loving things’.
Well, I would like to declare here that I am not one of those people who ‘Use’ people and Love ‘Things’. I love people and use ‘Things’. Car is just one of those ‘Things’ and I can’t Love a Car!
Thank You, Vivek for helping me to understand me better!