Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Chunnu Munnu di Gaddi

So, Chunnu and Munnu, (by which I mean the SB and I, just in case you were wondering) have gone and got themselves a car. She (the car) is a pretty silver thing and looks like the result of a one of those socially frowned-upon unions (an inter-car marriage?) between a beetle (beetles! I love beetles) and ummm…a bigger car (which also, is the length and breadth of Munnu’s automobile-knowledge. There are beetles, and there are bigger cars).

Chunnu - who used to be a biker and hasn’t really driven cars much - took practice driving classes for about a month before the car was delivered to them. Munnu credits this sensible move as the reason that all three of them (C, M and the G) are alive and undamaged today.

Munnu, however, in all her years, has never seen cars as anything more than things that get you from point A to point B. She has always been supremely unconcerned with things like navigation, traffic rules or even other cars on the road, because you see, it was never her *job* to know these things. Sure, there were the family cars but their ownership was ambiguous; they were never Munnu’s property. Also, there was always a responsible adult (or two) around, who a) drove the car and b) ensured that Munnu got to wherever it is she was going.

As a result of this sheltered upbringing, Munnu is magnificently ill-equipped to deal with the reality of owning a car. When she is strapped into the passenger seat, the responsibility of it all overwhelms her. Her palms go all sweaty and her heart skips a beat every time a BEST bus drives by. She is sorely tempted to jump out of the car screaming and chase all the other vehicles off the road. Or at least out of a five-mile-radius of the Gaddi.

Parking however, is what Munnu finds most stressful, even though she is not the one doing it. Munnu’s job is merely to ensure that the car does not inadvertently snuggle up too close to other cars / pavements / pillars while Chunnu backs it into place. Munnu is frequently convinced that the three feet of space she sees between the Gaddi and the neighbouring car / pavement / pillar is a trick of the light and that any moment, she will hear the not-so-gentle scraping of metal against the relevant immovable object. Every parking episode results in two more of Munnu’s hair turning grey.

Munnu remembers a story she was told as a child, about an aunt who was learning how to drive. Now this aunt lived in Kanpur, which, for some inexplicable reason, had a very high population of pigs. Pigs in general, Munnu’s aunt had no problem with, but apparently Kanpuria pigs were blissfully ignorant of traffic rules, not to mention the law of physics which states, ‘If big metal monster comes in contact with small piggy, small piggy becomes pork chops’. The aunt however, was vegetarian and against the killing of animals (however annoying) and so came up with a solution – she would take the car out with the chowkidar’s seven-year-old son as her only passenger. They would then drive around peacefully until one of the suicidal pigs showed up. The boy would then get out of the car, chase the animal off the road and get back into the car to continue his joyride. It was the perfect arrangement – the boy got a ride, the aunt her driving-practice and the piggy, his life.

Chunnu has suggested that Munnu learn how to drive, to which Munnu cryptically replies, “Our watchman has no sons.”

23 comments:

??! said...

that last maketh a lovely slogan.

iz said...

Dude you have to learn to drive! Don't you have a dhobi or something?

Tabula Rasa said...

and.... what are your views on houses with white picket fences?

Revealed said...

Hmmph pigs schmigs. Zat is nuffing. I was once in a car which managed to leave a gaggle of geese webbed-feet-less in a matter of 30 seconds. Not pretty. And I wasn't even driving. *And* some people *laughed*! Cars are Evil.

Brown Magic said...

:) this pleases me greatly. i can't drive either. i no longer feel cold and alone in this cruel world.

Toe Knee said...

Hey! If you thought Mumbai was bad, try driving in Delhi

Chronicus Skepticus said...

??!: The 'Our Watchman Has no Sons' line? But...what would it be a slogan *for*?

Izzy: Yeah yeah, I know I do. But my dhobi is a very busy man, what to do?

Tabula Rasa: Ummm...that they shouldn't be driven into? Unless you're describing the new house in which case, waaannh! I also want!

Revealed: Whoa! That is one talented driver! How on earth did he manage to run over the geese's feet and miss the rest of 'em??

But yes, cars...*sigh*. Worrying things.

Brown Magic: Behen*! Ab apne aap ko fir kabhi akelaa (aur thandaa?) mat samajhna!

*And doesn't this word seem all ...incomplete now? Or is that just my years of potty-mouthedness speaking?

Toe Knee: Ha! Delhi! Ha...hahahaha!

I'm sorry, the very thought of driving in that city makes me hysterical.

Bombay Addict said...

Oho...welcome to the world of traffic jams, snail's pace, parking problems, bumps, grinds and scratches.

Shabbash.

However - and as a self-respecting male - am v. curious on which car is a union between a beetle and a bigger car. I'm assuming its not the amoeboid Honda City.

??! said...

some slogans create their own issues.

plus, think of all the fun in watching people read it on your tee, and then trying to figure it out with puzzled brow, while you smirk at them because (they think) they're too stupid to understand the reference.

one is wicked.

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

A Swift? Surely not a Getz?

Don't bother to learn how to drive. Bombay isn't ready for it in this millenium.

J.A.P.

Sougata said...

She is sorely tempted to jump out of the car screaming and chase all the other vehicles off the road.

The mental image does tickle the funny bone something wicked.

scout said...

oh i so get that. i'm always tense when in the co-driver seat. AND i can't drive either.

start a club shall we? bm?

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Bombay Addict: Dude, you're scaring me! And err...no, she is a Swift.

??!: He he. Yes, that is prolly why we like you.

J.A.P: And Bombay isn't ready to be driven in? Or, not ready for ME driving?

Strangely, I sort of agree on both counts. :S

Sougata: Hmmph! I see you're one of THEM.

Scout: You too??! I feel so much better now!

And a club! Let's have a club!

marie said...

Ha ha! Kinda funny.

And your aunt, she's right about the goddamn pigs. Mangy critters - I'd hate them if they didn't taste so good.

Beth said...

Dare to dream! Some of us do have houses with white picket fences - and uncrowded streets that even we can parallel park in without bumps...mostly. For which we pay the price of not living in a place taht is near the sea, that has street food, or where we are likely to bump into Bipasha Basu at the gym. Not that we go to the gym.

Szerelem said...

Because I never get to drive till I go home I am usually rusty. Last time I was home in Delhi a cow randomly walked onto the road and I had to brake and as result had my bumper hit by the car behind me. My parents of course did not believe hat it was the cows fault. The unfairness of it all I tell you.

Arthur Quiller Couch said...

Look helpless. Somebody will offer to drive you home.

Anonymous said...

Congrats and well written ! :-)

-The Fan

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Marie: Hello, new (and most welcome) person! Although, I can't imagine kanpuria pigs as being *edible*...ick!

Beth: Wanna trade? Although I'd miss the Kunal Kapur spottings - the man is awful purty!

Couch: Helpless...hmmm. I can do helpless. Alright then, we have a plan!

Say, do you drive?

Anonymous: Err...thank you! And umm, you're a fan? Of this here blog? Do you mind if I get all teary-eyed with happiness for a minute?

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Szerelem: Oh the cow stories are endless (and endlessly hilarious actually)! There was this one time my sister was concentrating so hard at driving *around* a (sitting) cow that she failed to see a parked car and drove right into it.

There were no casualties. Unless you count the two cars.

Anonymous said...

Oh you already did that at the meet, remember? ;-)

-The Fan again :P

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Anonymous: Oohhh!!! It's YOU! I thought I'd lost you to amreeka!

How's it going btw? If anyone tries to push you around, just tell 'em you know me (there are certain advantages to being bihari) he he!

Anonymous said...

Really, Biharis have clout in amrica too? I shall make a passing reference to you if ever I'm in a tight spot :P
Everything's fine as of now, waiting for classes to begin. And I'll need your posts more and more as I go deeper into the semester, so keep writing :-)

-TF