My Car. My Baby.

Waking up with a splitting headache, I downed amma’s kaapi and an Advil to boot. Dressed for the snow, I waited for my brother to show up to get a ride to the local school where I had abandoned my car late last night. Driving up as I glimpsed my car a wave of emotions rose to the surface. I felt pure joy seeing her just as I had left her. Rushing to scrape the snow and clear the ice on the windshield, I got behind the wheel and drove home carefully. Pulling into the garage. I felt a swell of relief and happiness. Pausing for a moment, I touched the hood lovingly and whispered “Sorry baby.”

You see, I had to abandon her yesterday and I could not forgive myself for it. After class, I drove slowly knowing the snow was falling slowly and steadily but nothing could have prepared me for the white swathe of snow and ice on the hilly slopes that lead my home. Slowly working my way up, I realized the wheels were spinning and I was not getting anywhere. Panic rose in my throat as I realized there were cars behind me. It is no fun getting stuck in the middle of a one land road at night with snow falling gently and beautifully. Slipping and sliding in the snow I muttered a quick prayer and gave up hopes of going home. Maneuvering the car in a position that would let traffic at least pass one way, I was scared to take my foot off the brake. I realized with a start that my bag with my cell phone was on the back seat and I could not reach it. Feeling trapped, I hit the emergency light and sat in the seat peering out the window with my foot frozen on the brake pedal.

Car after car passed. Some slowly with regret on their faces but knowing full well getting themselves out of this mess was top priority. Watching my car lights flicker against the snow, I was wondering if I could take my foot of the brake and try putting it on park. No luck. The moment foot was off the pedal I could feel the car slide backward. Scared I clutched on to the safety of the brake and waited. Noticing a steady light behind me I lowered my window to let them pass, a boy all of 17 or 18 walked by and asked if I needed help. Explaining quickly I said my wheels were spinning and I couldn’t take my leg off the brake to get to my bag. He listened and getting soaked by the slow snow accumulating, he called 411 and got in touch with the local AAA help. Handing over the phone, he waited patiently while I upgraded my membership and gave out my co-ords for someone to come get me. Thanking him profusely I handed back the phone and with his help got my purse from the back.

It was already an hour since I was stuck, my windshield was accumulating more snow and it was getting foggy inside. Slowly hitting the parking brake I managed to get my leg off the pedal and sat in the darkness waiting for help. Plenty more cars passed, skidded and slid their way up. Another gentleman stopped and tried to help me reverse back to the flat road before the hill started. It only got me blocking both lanes. Reverting back to my original position, I thanked the guy and stayed put. 30 minutes later, the AAA guys came by and I got out of the car and let them take over. Of the two guys who came over, one tried driving my car up the hill with no luck. The other asked me to hop on to the truck and wait inside. It was surreal watching some one else in my car slipping and sliding. I felt helpless. Watching headlights behind us, the truck driver put the truck on park and stepped out to apprise them of the situation. I suddenly realized the truck was sliding backward. Yelling, I looked around in panic. The driver got back in and brought the vehicle to a stop. Eventually all of us got out and convened in the middle of the road. Now, there were two other cars stuck just like mine. The AAA guys said all they could do was to help me get my car back on flat land. They did just that and left. Back at the signal I had no idea where to put the car. Driving slowly back on the route I came from, I decided to leave the car at the local school and walk back.

Parking in the snow, I saw two other cars at the school. Only problem was getting out of the car, my foot sunk a feet deep in the snow. My shoes felt icy and I could feel my feet and socks and jean get wet till above the ankle. Worse they were getting numb. Ploughing through the snow, laptop on my back and a handbag to boot, I walked. Stopping to let the occasional car pass, I was hoping I would last till I got home. My teeth was chattering, my feet and hands burning or numb I prayed to God to send someone to help me.

Halfway to my home, I heard a car slow down behind me. It was a truck and the driver rolled down the window and asked if I wanted help. I said if he could give me a drop to the nearest signal that would be great. He had the kindest eyes I had seen in a while. Hop in he said. Struggling to get in with both my bags I gave him a thankful smile and settled in. “Back from school?” he asked. No I said and gave him a short summary of what happened. As we drove along, we picked three other people who were similarly stranded and made our way up. At the signal, knowing we were all headed up the hill he offered to drop us home. I could have cried for joy. Getting off at my home, I blessed him with all my heart and trudged inside to a worried but now relieved mom. Bro and sis were on the phone all eager to know if I reached home safe.

Tucking myself into bed after some feeling returned to my feet and hands, I said a quick prayer and hoped my car would be safe. It was quite an adventure but one that helped me realize I was made of sterner stuff than I thought. It also helped reinforce the basic goodness of people. And I knew my car was my baby.

29 comments

  1. I am so glad that you got home safely Laksh. For some reason, I was tearing reading your post – I must be hormonal! I guess I just felt your fear when the car was slipping and the hopeless feeling. Also imagining you walking in the snow and getting so cold. It’s terrible. I’m just glad that nothing bad happened. I know exactly what you mean about your car being your baby – my car is my baby too. She saved me and Divya when we were in a very bad accident in 2007 so I know how you feel.

  2. Reading the full account gave me the chills.Thank god that you reached home safe and bless all the people who all helped.I came to know about the situation you met with only in the morning.S and i had gone to sleep by 9’oclock.B didn’t tell me the whole story,only that you got stuck in snow.

  3. Glad you are safe now. I got scared just reading that stuff. That man was Godsend as well. one hour stuck in your car with your foot on the brakes is no mean feat!

  4. Quite an ordeal. Been through kind of a similar situation so, can relate…though to me, my vehicles have always been my guys. They are more reliable than the men I have ever had in life! πŸ˜‰

  5. wow Laksh, quite an experience…I am glad you came out safe and stronger out of this experience…..take care…prayers do help dont they!

  6. Wow Laks! That was quite an experience. I am so glad you reached home safe and sound. Take care da. I hope your doing alright now.

  7. Thank God, you could brave it out and all well at the end. I feel you are a cool person with necessary presence of mind needed at such occasion. The experience can never be forgotten and you are going to remember for posterity. All the Best and have a nice day.

  8. Wow!!! I’m glad you’re okay and experiencing things like this makes you bit more grounded; although, I don’t wish this on anyone. You did well πŸ™‚ given the circumstances. See ya tomorrow..

  9. Not a pleasant experience at all, and am glad you made it fine. *hug

    you know, u ought get back to replying, or I just feel am talking to myself! πŸ˜›

  10. The incident sends chills down the spine. I am glad that you made it home with reaffirmed faith in Human-kind. (I refuse to say man-kind :))

    I guess a lesson learned from this is to never keep the purse & phone in the back seat in extreme weather conditions.

    This helped me when I met with accident and had to call emergency.

  11. shook me pretty hard just reading it..i am sure you are made of steel.God less all those who helped you and others.Glad you made it home safe. now get snow boots..get snow tires, this is no kidding
    shy

  12. The way you have explained your ordeal was like watching a movie.. its soo real and visual… good that u got some help in the form of the truck driver.. and above all.. the pic that u have posted is soooooo cool… gives a virtual feeling of being in that place… very pleasant for someone from the hot chennai…

  13. I am glad you reached safely. I can empathize a little bit because something(not this big)like that happened to me last year. I am really scared of snow as far as driving is concerned. But I am so proud that you were so brave.

  14. Laksh!
    I have had a similar experience long time back. On a new year too, in sleet rain. It was scary and horrible. But I called friends, crying, and they came and helped out. So I can totally understand!

  15. What a brave lady you have turned out to be…Amazed at the transformation…..If it was me, I would have pooped in my pants….:-)..It is true that experience makes a person stronger….Kudos to your actions….

  16. @Bavani: I am glad your car saved you both. It is terrifying just thinking about it right?
    @Anila: Am glad B did not scare you when you were asleep. Now you know whom to call if you get stuck in ice πŸ™‚
    @sachita: I reached home and thanked GOD for showing up. Seriously that guy was godsent.
    @Apar: LOL πŸ™‚ Like the analogy
    @Veena: They do!
    @Chillpill: Touched me. I thought to myself that I should stop and help if I saw anyone stuck going forward
    @Laks: Am glad too! Was no fun sitting in the road.
    @ekr: Thank you. This is surely something that I will remember for life πŸ™‚
    @Nirmal: Sure does. Makes me thankful for a roof over my head.
    @Spillay. It was reassuring to know I did not break down or panic
    @rads: hugs! your comment spurred me to respond. Thanks for the nudge.
    @Mads: I know. God bless those folks.
    @Manchus: absolutely. First thing I did getting into the car this morning was to check if my purse and phone were accessible.
    @Shy: Thanks shy. Dunno about snow tires but definitely will think about finding an alternate way home.
    @UL: Just read your account. Glad to know you are safe too.
    @Suman: It was. Reading your account was like reliving mine.
    @Shankar: Hope you enjoyed the movie πŸ˜‰ Looking back I am able to smile. Being in that situation was a tad scary.
    @Sonali: Am glad too. Heard about you getting stuck with the kids in the car.
    @SK: Am glad your friends could help out. I knew even if I called anyone they would probably get stuck which is why I went with AAA. Not that it helped much but…
    @Abi: Am glad too πŸ™‚ Thanks for checking in.
    @Arch: I amazed myself too πŸ™‚

  17. Glad that you are safe… if it were me… I would have cried and would have wait for someone from home to come and fetch me.

  18. hey laksh..that sounds like a realy adventure. Really admire you for your courage, i even dread to think what i would have done if i were in your shoes..anyway as shankar mentioned reading the incident was watching it live..really creative blogging..BTW off context has K come back? My regards to your mom too.

  19. oh wow…great adventure on a bloody snowy night man. My heart goes to the truck driver who helped you get to home. You know what Laksh… I also feel the same for my vehicle. I refer her to be my sweety. I abandoned her twice in the last 8 years of her company. But she never let me down. I felt happy when I came to know that is how someone else whom I know also feel the way I feel. I am sure by now “she” had made you more stronger than you are.

  20. I faced the same thing in 2004 and Hari was with me in the car at that time. I was visiting a friend who stayed uphill. Luckily she saw me and brought her car out to get me. It can scare your wits off! Good to know you are safe.

  21. @Just Someone: Welcome back. Been a while since I saw you on here. Am glad am safe too πŸ™‚ Am soooo ready for winter to be over.
    @selvi: Thats what I thought of myself too. Yet, in that situation tears were the last thing on my mind. First I wanted to be safe. Second I wanted to leave the car in a safe place and then wanted to get home πŸ™‚
    @Sindu: It was quite an adventure. K is in BLR. Will be back next month.
    @Deepa: She sure has! :0
    @Aarathi: That is true! Did scare my wits off. Glad you and Hari were rescued by your friend.
    @Anamika: Sure! That day I did not think anyone could have come to get me cos it was wayyy to slippery and cars were getting stuck behind me too.

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