I spread my tiny feet in those 48 inches of legroom.
My eyes glued to the space, then shifted to his face.
Suddenly the guy didn’t seem so bad.
I think it was all about the space, not in the relationship but in the car.

Ages ago, my papa drove a family of four on a Honda bike,
My brother sat on the bonnet, I made my place near mom’s lap.
We adjusted, we managed,
We made space for each other.

Back then, our innocent eyes didn’t understand the direct correlation between your car and your class,
All we knew is, we reached our destination – purpose solved. Yay!

But now,
I wonder how a vehicle is not just a mode of transportation;
The massaging seat, sunroof and night vision cameras – or the absence of them;
Announce the depth of your pockets – without uttering a word.

A scooter or a car?
Santro, i20, Tiago, WagonR or Altroz?
BMW, Skoda, Audi or a sexy Merc?
Poor gal, did you just book an Uber?
We all fall into a category, a box, a ladder;
Vehicle’s purpose is no more to reach a destination.

Now, it keeps us hanging in the air.
The more we drive, the farther the destination goes.
Earlier, we ran for the destination; now, we run for the vehicle.

Look, public transport looks good only on forums addressing global warming,
And your cycle – it looks classy only when your garage has a Skoda parked.
Stuck in a red signal when I swiftly pull down the mirror of my Sonnet,
I see those girls under the Sun, covered in cotton gloves, a make-shift face mask.
Seeing them, I sweat in my 15 degrees.
Sipping cold coffee in my swivel seat, I complain about pollution, petrol prices and overcrowded roads.
I like it that way.
Like marriage, kids and house–a car also comes in the unwritten success manual of life.
So, you better buy it.

What am I gonna do?
Walk away – preferably barefoot in the grass.
It’s greener this side.

Janvi Sonaiya is a journalist based in Gujarat. She writes on taxation, politics and social issues.

Featured image: kittu naturoclickz / Unsplash