When I first saw her, I was hardly impressed. At that point in my life, I was bruised and sore from the heartbreak I had suffered from the first of her kind in my life. I had decided to settle for the average, embittered by my failure to find my dream candidate. She was green like her predecessor but her design was distinctly ordinary. Yet now that the time to dispose of her has come, there is nothing that causes a deeper sadness.
My little green Toyota Corolla rolled out onto the roads on New York City in 1997, when I was 13 years old and trundled into my life when I reached 25 after going through 3 different owners. 142000 miles old when I got hold of her, she carried her age rather well. The AC worked, the engine purred and the sound system was quite good for something her age. I know that Toyotas run forever but it still is surprising when you come across something that'll run forever. She has been to her hometown of NYC twice since she landed on my driveway, besides innumerable trips to Boston and thereabouts. The first month of being with me saw her trudge up 3000 miles, no ordinary achievement that! Since then, I've been a little easy on her old bones but I am sure she is not the complaining type. Her engine note has a very un-Corolla like aggressive tone to it, a fact that I appreciate every time I put my foot to the pedal.
She's got a major dent on her right rear door, a marker from a bad hair day in her past and I have managed to crack one of her wheel caps in that monstrous daily assignment called parallel parking. Her rear door power windows squeak like crazy at being used and so do her brakes early in the morning. The heater does take its own sweet time to get toasty, bombarding me with ice cold air for a few minutes before that. All her tiny flaws fade away though when I acknowledge her for what she really is, a hassle free commute with no airs about herself. It is too easy not to appreciate the simpler gifts of life and 4 odd months with this car has taught me that valuable lesson. Unfortunately the power of this 'spiritual' lesson must be sacrificed to the cause of dry economics.
Life has brought me in the past and will bring in the future many new friends, mostly people, with their flaws and gifts and for many people it's difficult to place an inanimate object at the same stature. But whether seated in her carpety old cabin negotiating Manhattan's honk-happy, rule bending traffic while a Hindi CD track blared from its sound system or just sprinting through an empty section of Route 44 after a long day at work, I find it impossible not to acknowledge this bond. I will sincerely miss you, my 4 wheeled friend!