There is a very famous English proverb that is often thrown at us from all corners by avid believers of the theory of karma-“what goes around, comes around.” Without any ignominy I will accept that it all seemed bogus to me when I was in 9th standard. Too stereotypically-anger-envy- fueled remark that failed to ignite in me any sort of dread of what hid in the future. To me, people who were incapable of changing their circumstances often took shelter in the cozy arms of karma, who like a pretty nurse, ministered our wounded selves back to health, hopes of a better tomorrow reignited in us.

The purpose behind this article is to confess (I suck at building intense thrilling plots, so here we go) that I indeed have gone over to karma’s bandwagon.

Like I mentioned, I was a complete disbeliever in karma-you get what you give- theory. I vividly remember my 9th standard-the nightmare called boards was yet to strike my life. Since I did not have a license, my mode of conveyance to school was an auto (the fact that I had known how to drive since 6th standard scored no brownie points with my mother; no license, no activa! Mothers!). So yes, auto it was. Like all normal (read: mischievous, insolent, unfeeling little humans) students, my friends and I used to derive great pleasure in mocking others—NO, we weren’t mean, just a senseless bunch of kids.

Like multitudes of other doting parents who took up the great duty of dropping their dainty darlings to school (with a smile on their faces, I mean how?! Parents! ), there was a face among them I still haven’t forgotten. To many she was just another woman leaving her kids on the threshold of a different world; to me, she was unique. She was quite masculine; broad shoulders that ever drooped as if permanently burdened with some invisible pain. Black hair that used to be rigorously tied up in a bun. A serious countenance, a frown had made its dwelling on her face. She used to remind me of Hagrid, sans all the love and warmth. We all used to be intimidated by her. Her size made her quite hard to approach.

Yet that isn’t what made her different.

While all women that made up the characters of my morning sceneries would get out of sedans or luxury cars that were either self driven or chauffeured, this one woman drove a MONSTER— QUALIS. The daddy among them all.  Her height and personality only complemented the gigantic 4-wheeler. It must have been a great thing then, being capable of driving such a big car, especially one that was rarely associated to women. To us girls she was plainly one thing-a sore spectacle. She was on the receiving end (though she never knew; we were decent if nothing else) of a number of jibes and remarks. The sight was funny to us, seeing her heave her frame out of the car, followed by 4-5 toddlers, their bags in her hands as she led them towards the gate. The trips continued for the entire year until our eyes no longer searched for droopy shoulders and in spite of her largeness, she was inadvertently lost in the crowd and forgotten. The car however remained in my memory a little longer than her. It was so huge and manly. I can add adjectives galore to my feelings of having seen that monster on road, wondering why anyone chose to drive that monstrosity; if at all one could reach its accelerator. And I laughed a little more at the woman, somewhere commending her for her bravery to face ridicule each morning.

5 years down the line, today.

I am 5’1.

i drive a QUALIS.


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