by Vimala Ramu
The Dasara Celebrations in Mysore which have been going on every year for a long time has been touted as a World famous show. Though we had been residents of Mysore for quite a few years, its memories were rather hazy.
So, when my husband bought the cute, peach coloured Morris Minor, we decided to visit Mysore and attend the Dasara festivities. Since the previous owner of the car, a famous silk merchant, had used the car for only intra city trips in Bangalore, the car was as good as new. We had no doubt that the car would clear both ways the 88 miles stretch comfortably.
While even the poshest cars these days are designed to carry only four people, our tiny Morris Minor carried 7+1/2 of us. While the scientists talk of the fourth dimension ‘Time’ in addition to the three, namely ‘Length’, ‘Breadth’ and ‘Height’, I feel, while travelling by car a fifth dimension comes into play and that is, ‘ADJUSTMENT’. So, the crowd comprised of me, my husband, my 17 month old daughter, my three brothers (all except the eldest),one sister Komala and one sister-in-law- to- be and on the way back, one more sister –in law !!!
Out of these, my second brother Prasad was getting dropped at Mandya where his wife had just then delivered a beautiful baby girl. He was to be collected on our way back.
As for my third brother Gopal, he was almost the host as we were going to stay in his father-in law’s place. His wife and her aunt were already there to run the house during Dasara and the former was coming back to Bangalore with us.
As for my fourth brother Satyan, he was bringing his fiancée to Mysore and he would be the last one to complain about the lack of space in the car!
My daughter had been addicted to her feeding bottle, in spite of my efforts to wean her from it. So, I had to carry a hot water thermos, a tin of milk powder and a glass and a spoon, all in the cabin area, so that I could make her feed any time and shove it in her mouth before she could set up a howl. Those days we used to manage with one feeding bottle which we would sterilize once a day unlike the half dozen sterilized bottles filled with the ‘formula’ carried by the present day mothers.
So, with such a jolly crowd, the actual Dasara was of minor importance. In fact, used to the better organized Republic Day parade in Delhi, the Mysore one looked rustic, tatty, higgledy –piggledy and grossly disorganized and certainly not the World class it was supposed to be, though the torchlight parade later in the night was quite attractive. The exhibition also was very modest compared to the ones at national level.
So, with one more passenger on the trip back, we set off for Mandya. There we picked up Prasad. Thanks to someone’s helpful suggestion, we went in search of a short-cut and landed in the middle of an irrigated field with nowhere to go.
Somehow, we maneuvered our way back to the highway and headed for Bangalore.
As we were approaching Bangalore, the petrol pump started misbehaving.
All the Engineers in the car took a look at the engine and declared that the problem was the electrical contact. Prasad generously offered to sit on the bonnet tapping the pump to maintain the connection. Probably he was too relieved to get out of the crowded car and travel in the open air on the bonnet. We made a grand entry into the city in keeping with the spirit of the Dasara procession, though braving the funny looks people were giving us and reached home.The End