It takes a good deal of experience to drive on Indian city roads! You could expect anything from an abruptly stopped vehicle to unexpected motorists who sometimes bring even their cars in the opposite direction to the traffic! A shoulder is nothing but another lane!
I was feeling happy about not having a scratch on our car, mainly due to my mistake. That happiness of 6 months ended yesterday. I navigated the space between a motorcyclist on the wrong side of the road and an abruptly stopped van with a protruding bumper on the middle of its body - front and sides. The metal bumper gave the side of my car a good rub as I committed my error in judgment to squeeze through.
I felt so bad. And I was committed to spending some money to fix the dent. I thought I would also have the other minor marks addressed, which were almost not noticeable. These existed when we bought the car.
My daughter questioned my fixation and said that we could drive the car as-is and spend the money when we absolutely need to. When I kept offering my reasons, she said it is excellent our car had battle scars. I refused, saying it wasn’t a battle but a lame error by me. She countered it with her small temporary scars on her legs from learning to ride a bike. She referred to them also as battle scars. When she said it, I recognized how proud she was about her learning and how she never complained about any of her riding experience.
Thus the day ended with me reflecting on my fixation not to have visible scratches or dents on the car and the ease with which she accepted hers.
And I remembered Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem - a psalm of life.
In the world’s broad field of battle, In the bivouac of life...
Our modern life is not a battle where we risk our bodies. But it is within ourselves of our fixations and acceptance, I thought.
I thanked my daughter and had a good night’s rest.
April 11th, 2021