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The Big Black Car

by Vimala Ramu
(Bangalore, Karnataka,India)

The closure of Hindustan Motors and the stoppage of the manufacture of Ambassador Car gave rise to many nostalgic stories about the grand old patriarch of the Indian Automobile industry. This brought a small amusing incident to my mind too.


Those were not yet the days of colorful Marutis , Hyundais and Hondas. Few well to do people owned the bulky ambassadors, mostly in black and a few drove smart Fiat cars in sober shades.

Gandhibazar was known (and still known) for its lush market and legendary eating places like Vidyarthi Bhavan. Though the vegetable and fruit vendors and flower sellers occupied the entire sidewalk nobody complained about it. It was a unique experience savored by the buyers snaking their way among the fragrant flowers and eyefuls of fresh vegetables and fruits. This market catered to the whole of Basavanagudi area.
Apart from these footpath sellers there were a few permanent shops in the buildings catering to a very faithful clientele. My aunt was one of the regular visitors to one of these shops which sold vegetables. She lived on Bull temple road. She would walk down with the plastic basket in her hand, buy a few vegetables and walk back.

Once her son offered to take her to Gandhibazar by their black Ambassador car. He halted the car right in front of the vegetable shop. His mother got down from the car and went to buy the vegetables. Once she bought her requirement, she returned to the car, opened the door and sat on the rear seat waiting for her son whom she presumed had got
down to do some shopping of his own.

After some time she was shocked to see a stranger entering the car and getting into the driver seat. Not only did he get in, he was about to start the car too! Aunt got panicky and shouted in Kannada,” Hey, get down Mr. This is our car.” The man turned back and equally shocked to see a lady sitting proprietorially said, “No Madam, you have to get down. This is my car”. Aunt explained in detail how her son had dropped her there in front of the vegetable shop and had left the car for a few minutes and that he would be back shortly. The argument went back and forth;The lady would not budge and the man would not give up. Slowly people started gathering around. The interested bystanders were even blocking the traffic.

After sometime, aunt’s son came back and was amused to see his mother well ensconced in a strange car and vehemently asserting her claim to the same as well.

He explained to her that since he had a bit of shopping to do in the next street he had taken away the car without parking after dropping her and that the gentleman was indeed right in claiming the car in which she was sitting.

How could you blame her when an exactly similar looking black Ambassador car was parked in exactly the same position as her own car was supposed to be?

In great embarrassment she got down from the car, mumbled her apologies to the owner, got into her own car and left.


****

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Jul 13, 2014
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carnapping
by: vimala

Dear Sundar, I love the way you burst into a poem anytime on anything. Well, it was not 'carnapping' Poor fellow was driving his own car. It was 'auntynapping' through an Ambassador car. BTW, someone designated Maruti omni as 'the official kidnapping car' on FB :)

Jul 13, 2014
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Carnapping ?
by: Sundar BN

What if Aunty had dozed off after all that haggling with the
bhaaji Walachia & the feller had driven off without realizing she
was there ?

Would it constitute Carnapping albeit without any coercion
involved ? Or, would it be like
Enu mAdodu , onti Aunty obvru, caralli sikkru ?
Caaralli sikkru ?!

Maathganteeni, mansig hacchko bedi ...
Ille chonne ... ;-(

Jul 12, 2014
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thanks
by: vimala

Thank you Radhi and Kanthi for entering your comments directly on the page.

Jul 12, 2014
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Nice Read !
by: Kanthi

Loved the anecdote. Poor lady ! How embarrassing it must have been !

Jul 12, 2014
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fun reading
by: Radhi Spear

I enjoyed reading that.

Jul 11, 2014
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love reading
by: Kalpana Prasanna

Kalpana Prasanna- Fun episode narrated in your down-to-earth style Vimala Maami, love reading every bit you write


Vimala Ramu Thank you Kalpana.

Jul 11, 2014
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Caaaaar caaar caar Melody Caaar
by: Kalpana

Reminded of the lovely number by Jayashree! And those were the days of peace, time, polite & courteous interactions! Dread to think the repercussions if it had happened today!

Nice post Vimala maami.

Jul 05, 2014
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thanks
by: vimala

Thank you Pankaja and Mr. Naidu.

Jul 02, 2014
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Enjoyed
by: Manohar Naidu

Short,descriptive & humours memoir.

Jul 02, 2014
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Good
by: Nuggehalli pankaja

Can't stop laughing!

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