The Sweet Little Dream Car : Memories with Father (3)
The Photos are not same as our car but i am trying to find the memory never the less :-)
That was a time when we used to live in Namrup as my father was posted in the Thermal Power Project there. The place was a small industrial town. It was near the border of Assam and Nagaland. So the weather was a bit influenced by the hilly feel of the neighboring state. Often we used to see the native peoples of Nagaland who frequented for selling some indigenous items and to procure goods like oil, salt, clothes and many other essential commodities. They were every meagerly dressed and we children used to be afraid of them. They used to come in groups. I still remember the cinnamon they used to sell. It had the best aroma I got till now. The strong flavor was very special and the dishes being cooked with the spice used to be bear delicious aroma.
The place had a total different feel to it. The small town was divided in three parts. First at the entrance of the place was the Namrup Fertiliser Limited Township and main commercial areas of the small hilly town. Then we get the township of the Namrup Petro Chemicals Limited and after that we arrive at the Namrup Thermal Power Project Township. Thermal Power Project Township was mainly a hilly area. The main commercial area was at Namrup Fertiliser Township though much big shops were not there. Small shops mainly for day to day essentials with vegetables and meat, fish items were there in our locality. People used to go to nearby bigger towns like Dibrugarh, Tinisukia etc for important and costlier shopping. Tea gardens in hillocks were to start where our colonies ended. There was a fast river also nearby our township. People used to come for enjoying picnics there very much. The name of the river was Dillighat. There were big rocks all around the river and river bed was also consisted of rocks. Then there was this Diilighat Colliery just after the bridge on the river as far as I remember.
My earliest memory was that we had a scooter and father used to take us all around the town in that one. Though he was allotted with a Jeep but we used to love riding in the scooter very much. But it was very rare that we would ride the scooter with father. Then I remembered that father bought a second hand Herald Car from Jorhat town. Father first built the garage. He was a very planned and systematic person. He ‘car hunted’ for several weeks. We were so much thrilled about it. It was kind of a very big thing for us that time as very few people used to own a personal car. Then one fine day he brought home a Herald Car. Now many of us even may not hear about that model as its archaic compared to the modern high end cars. Those days, very few models of small cars were available on road. To be precise cars were really too little and there used to be rare traffic jams on road. For the present generation it will be totally unbelievable but that time was different. Our enjoyment knew no bound that day. I was jumping around the new garage with my younger brother. Mother was also very happy and they threw a party among their friends. The very next day the car was taken for repairing and father preferred to re-paint it in dark green metallic color The tradition of buying brand new car was very rare then.
After few days our newly repaired car was gleaming bright in the garage and father was very proud owner of his dream car. We used to go for outing every evening with the group of father’s friends. There was this group of father’s friends cum colleagues and they had the two official Jeeps which were spared to them so that whole group can go out together. We started frequenting the nearby eating joints locally called as Dhaba which used to be run by Punjabi Peoples. During winter days we went to enjoy picnics in Dillighat. Then nearby towns even like Naharkatia, Dulijan etc. One incident was especially funny which I am going to narrate here. One fine day, father and mother planned that we will go alone and father made an excuse to avoid the group of friends and families. It was a hot summer day. So we headed toward Dillighat Bridge to enjoy the evening cool riverside breeze as only our family. That was the first ‘only family’ trip we made. So naturally we all were very happy and were enjoying the trip. We got down after we have reached the River Bridge and were enjoying the time there. We ate roti and chicken with tea in nearby dhaba. But when little late in the evening we were ready to return, our sweet car won’t get start. Some major technical problem occurred and the car will not move a single inch even. Time was running out and we were panicky as the place was not very safe for a family to be alone then. Then with no option father had to call his colleague to rescue us from there.
The next scene was hilarious best as two jeeps loaded with whole lot of father’s friends came to rescue us from Dillighat. The very same group of friends whom father avoided that day. They towed us all the way to home and next day our sweet dream car was all fine without any repairing surprisingly. As compensation we had to treat them for dinner next day. It was a big party to celebrate next day and father publicly vowed that we will never go alone leaving behind his group of friends in the dream car so far. He kept his word till we were in Namrup. After that he got transferred to Digboi and we started going as a family alone in our sweet car. It never let us down like that fateful day again till father sold it off to a different person. The day father sold it off we actually got parted with many sweet memories with it. Though father bought another car soon after that, but special sweet car was very close to our heart somehow. I saw tears in father’s eyes for the first and last time in my life. He was a very gentle person and he tried to hide it well. Such was our sweet little dream machine and she really made a father cry in front of his daughter, the memory still buried deep down in my heart