Babu Rajendrn and I have been friends for over 40 years. We have grown old together and lately our reminiscences include the problems we face and occasionally the pleasure of growing old. On Some occasions we get in to hilarious situations and he told this story over a glass of beer one forenoon recently.
He had been to Commercial Street on an errand. Going to commercial street which is the shopping hub of the city is no longer a pleasant outing as it used to be thirty years ago. Then we would find ample parking, do our shopping, doodle over a cup of coffee and find our way back home at a leisurely pace. Now going there, a short 4 kms away, takes 45 minutes of crawling in the traffic. Having reached there, finding a parking place close by is another major hassle. So you start the journey with a nervous heart and even before the venture you are ill at ease. So Babu was very happy and thrilled to find parking and having done that went on his errand. After finishing, he reached the place he had parked the car and found it missing!
Panic stricken, he looked for the parking attendant who was no where to be seen. What is the next step? Naturally, to go to the police. He went to the nearby police station to lodge a complaint. To the policeman at the reception this must have been one of the many cases he handles and probably one of low priority at that. He took his time which raised the heckles of my friend. Ultimately a constable was detailed to accompany and see the place where the vehicle was last seen. An agitated Babu and a cool policeman walked towards the place the car had been parked. They met the parking attendant on the way. The policeman naturally was angry with the attendant whose responsibility it was to look after the parked cars. The attendant asked whose car had been stolen. The policeman said this man’s, pointing to Babu. 'Saar, his car is here,' he showed Babu his car, which was very much there!
What happened was that Babu had, on that day, taken his son’s car leaving behind his own car. What he was looking for was his old faithful!
Much relieved and thanking the duo for having caused needless trouble, he got into the car. But he could not help overhear the parking attendant telling the Policeman, ‘bloody old mad man’ [Pythakaran].